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Why is shortest possible shutter speed 30s?

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Tricky01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why is shortest possible shutter speed 30s?
    Posted: 07 January 2022 at 13:25
Is there any rationale for shutter speeds topping out at 30 seconds? Is it purely to sell more cable releases or is there a a more justified reason? Under other circumstances I'd assume it was to do with cable release sales but then why did the update come out to add in intervalometer controls? Perhaps it's a risk to damaging the sensor and by limiting it they remove their liability?

A quick google implies that "it's got to stop somewhere so 30 seconds is as good as any", but I wish it would go up to 2-3 minutes. Alternatively, could be because the camera will struggle to get auto settings right with so little light (what is the right ISO or aperture on a 240 second exposure). But surely an option in a menu to enable it or limiting it to manual mode only would be possible? It would only add a couple more stops to the dial (60 seconds; 120 seconds; 240 seconds) before getting to bulb for cable release and I'd love to have that flexibility.

Edited by Tricky01 - 07 January 2022 at 13:30
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2022 at 13:35
Hi Simon,

It may just be a carry over from film camera days where 2 - 3 minutes had such a potentially large degree of error engrained in it that getting reproducible exposures was seen to be beyond the then technology.

Things have clearly changed - but without people pushing for adaptations such as this (which clearly makes sense with astro photography and other long exposure shots) then it does seem odd it isn't a simple option now - there's plenty of other things included which few people use....

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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2022 at 13:59
Because Sony in their infinite wisdom made it so

I know many camera go up to 60s

Nikon Z9 can do up to 900s

I am also intrigued as to why there is no bulb mode with electronic shutter on Sony bodies (especially A1/A9 series)?

It seems Nikon Z9 has managed to do it some how without mechanical shutter.

Even sigma fp seems to be able to do bulb mode (with a 300s limitation).

So why does Sony enforce this seemingly arbitrary use of mechanical shutter to use bulb mode?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2022 at 14:34
I think it's a throwback to electronic film SLRs , where the bodies were then used for DSLRs , using the same type of shutter etc.

The shutters are controlled electronically , and if I remember correctly power is used to hold a shutter open when it's a time setting being controlled by the camera , regardless of what exposure mode your in .
So if your in aperture priority mode , with an ND 3 ( 10 stop ) filter on , ISO 100 and f/22 , and low light , where the exposure could be a couple of minutes , you would be draining the batteries .

Using a cable release ( mechanical or electronic ) and the camera set to "bulb " the shutter is opened , and as long as you keep the button pressed down no power is being used to hold the shutter open . Releasing the button shuts the shutter .

This was very important when your camera used a couple of tiny LR44 batteries ( like in my Minolta X700) or some AA batteries or the expensive 2CR5 batteries .

Quite why a modern camera with all its computing power can't be set to alter how the shutter is kept open automatically depending on shutter speed , I don't know .

I think it's a case of that's how it's always been done since the 70's , so why change now ?

@nandbytes , when you say that the a1/9 has no bulb mode on electronic shutter , I presume they still have bulb mode on mechanical shutter ?

If so their might be a reason that that the sensor based shutters can't function like this , rather it just being the manufacturer not implementing it .

Edited by neilt3 - 07 January 2022 at 14:47
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2022 at 16:19
Originally posted by owenn01 owenn01 wrote:

It may just be a carry over from film camera days where 2 - 3 minutes had such a potentially large degree of error engrained in it that getting reproducible exposures was seen to be beyond the then technology.
reciprocity error starts well before 30s and film producers tend to publish charts to counter it. I do not think this is the reason. More likely is imo that over 30s the bulb timing is good enough - it doesn't matter if you're off by one or two seconds when you have a shutter time of two minutes. I think that is why they did not bother over 30s: just use bulb, it is good enough.

But it still is a good question. By now it should be possible to fire and forget for long exposures. I can imagine that with mechanical cameras it might be difficult to time these long shutter times and use fast shutter speeds with the same system. That is maybe why the 1954 Leica M3 is 1/1000s - 1s and the 2014 Leica M-A is the same. But these days it is al electronic, why not just be able to dial in any time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2022 at 16:55
Originally posted by neilt3 neilt3 wrote:


@nandbytes , when you say that the a1/9 has no bulb mode on electronic shutter , I presume they still have bulb mode on mechanical shutter ?

If so their might be a reason that that the sensor based shutters can't function like this , rather it just being the manufacturer not implementing it .


Yes A1/9 (and all other Sony bodies) have bulb mode with mechanical shutter only

If you re-read my comment above I already gave examples of manufacturers implementing bulb mode with only sensor based shutter (i.e. electronic shutter)
Nikon Z9 and sigma FP both have no mechanical shutter whatsoever and can still shoot in bulb mode.

In fact sigma FP doesn't even have a stacked sensor with fast readout speeds and they've still implemented it albeit with a 300s limitation (Z9 seems to have no such limitation).

So its definitely Sony's arbitrary limitation as far as I can see.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2022 at 23:49
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

More likely is imo that over 30s the bulb timing is good enough - it doesn't matter if you're off by one or two seconds when you have a shutter time of two minutes. I think that is why they did not bother over 30s: just use bulb, it is good enough.
the problem is, I wouldn’t trust my finger to stay steady for an exposure of 5 seconds, let alone 30+, so it’s less a matter of precision, and more a case of not wanting to accidentally add any movement to the camera.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2022 at 00:51
Originally posted by nandbytes nandbytes wrote:



Yes A1/9 (and all other Sony bodies) have bulb mode with mechanical shutter only

If you re-read my comment above I already gave examples of manufacturers implementing bulb mode with only sensor based shutter (i.e. electronic shutter)
Nikon Z9 and sigma FP both have no mechanical shutter whatsoever and can still shoot in bulb mode.

In fact sigma FP doesn't even have a stacked sensor with fast readout speeds and they've still implemented it albeit with a 300s limitation (Z9 seems to have no such limitation).

So its definitely Sony's arbitrary limitation as far as I can see.


Quite right , I should have done a better job reading your post !

Also , I wasn't ware of cameras such as these not having mechanical shutters , so clearly the technologies there already .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2022 at 00:05
Originally posted by Tricky01 Tricky01 wrote:

the problem is, I wouldn’t trust my finger to stay steady for an exposure of 5 seconds, let alone 30+, so it’s less a matter of precision, and more a case of not wanting to accidentally add any movement to the camera.

I used to use a short remote release with a screw on it. Press the plunger, turn the screw, then either check the watch and time or else just count, then release the screw. On the Miranda it just screwed into the shutter release.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2022 at 01:45
Originally posted by Tricky01 Tricky01 wrote:

Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

More likely is imo that over 30s the bulb timing is good enough - it doesn't matter if you're off by one or two seconds when you have a shutter time of two minutes. I think that is why they did not bother over 30s: just use bulb, it is good enough.
the problem is, I wouldn’t trust my finger to stay steady for an exposure of 5 seconds, let alone 30+, so it’s less a matter of precision, and more a case of not wanting to accidentally add any movement to the camera.


Most wired remotes can lock - so you simply push and lock and walk away if you want, coming back to unlock and end the exposure
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2022 at 05:40
Originally posted by Phil Wood Phil Wood wrote:

Most wired remotes can lock - so you simply push and lock and walk away if you want, coming back to unlock and end the exposure


Also works rather well if you are trying your hand at lightning photography, just leave the camera in a continuous shooting mode and lock down the wired remote.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2022 at 08:41
Originally posted by Phil Wood Phil Wood wrote:

Originally posted by Tricky01 Tricky01 wrote:

Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

More likely is imo that over 30s the bulb timing is good enough - it doesn't matter if you're off by one or two seconds when you have a shutter time of two minutes. I think that is why they did not bother over 30s: just use bulb, it is good enough.
the problem is, I wouldn’t trust my finger to stay steady for an exposure of 5 seconds, let alone 30+, so it’s less a matter of precision, and more a case of not wanting to accidentally add any movement to the camera.


Most wired remotes can lock - so you simply push and lock and walk away if you want, coming back to unlock and end the exposure
Yep.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2022 at 21:44
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Originally posted by Phil Wood Phil Wood wrote:


Most wired remotes can lock - so you simply push and lock and walk away if you want, coming back to unlock and end the exposure
Yep.
Yeah, I have one of these, but it's ridiculous in this day and age to need to carry an extra piece of hardware when it could be easily made redundant by firmware/software. 2 or 10 second timer serve same purpose as need for a cable release, why not also longer length shutters. At least another few stops beyond 30s
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Post Options Post Options   Quote XKAES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2022 at 00:49
I don't know if any digital cameras have this, but on some earlier cameras there was a T setting. Different from B, you press the release once and the shutter opens. Press it again -- whether 1 second or 1 day later -- to close the shutter.
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