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Thread: Direct focus to sun?

  1. #1

    Default Direct focus to sun?

    Newbie question here. Can we set our camera focus point at sun especially taking sunset or sunrise pic? Will it cause any harm to the camera? Any inputs are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    er, probably no damage caused, as i have mentioned before, unless you are going to do something silly like set exposure like iso800, f/2.8 and 30 seconds.. then say goodbye to your sensor.

    maybe you can post up the picture that you took if you did that.

    anyways, you can try setting, from my own experience, i think you will find that your camera cannot focus properly.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    er, probably no damage caused, as i have mentioned before, unless you are going to do something silly like set exposure like iso800, f/2.8 and 30 seconds.. then say goodbye to your sensor.

    maybe you can post up the picture that you took if you did that.

    anyways, you can try setting, from my own experience, i think you will find that your camera cannot focus properly.
    Thanks for your prompt reply! My shutter speed did not go more than 1 sec unless the sun is not there and i always retain my iso at iso200. Im using kit lens and the lowest f/stop can go is only f/3.5. So i will guess this will has no issue rite?

    Btw, is there any different or advisable to have the point focus at sky or other object rather than direct to the sun while taking sunset or sunrise pic?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    basically, what i meant is, don't test the limits of your sensor to getting burnt by the sun

    most normal shutter speeds will be alright, even overexposure with sun in picture by as much as 3 stops are definitely ok.

    doing iso800, f/2.8 and 30 seconds, is probably overexposure by at least 10 stops, and then you can say goodbye to your sensor.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by superyes View Post
    Thanks for your prompt reply! My shutter speed did not go more than 1 sec unless the sun is not there and i always retain my iso at iso200. Im using kit lens and the lowest f/stop can go is only f/3.5. So i will guess this will has no issue rite?

    Btw, is there any different or advisable to have the point focus at sky or other object rather than direct to the sun while taking sunset or sunrise pic?
    Do you mean- meter off the sun? You could most likely get everything else underexposed. Usually is meter somewhere off the sun (eg. nearby clouds).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    basically, what i meant is, don't test the limits of your sensor to getting burnt by the sun

    most normal shutter speeds will be alright, even overexposure with sun in picture by as much as 3 stops are definitely ok.

    doing iso800, f/2.8 and 30 seconds, is probably overexposure by at least 10 stops, and then you can say goodbye to your sensor.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    Do you mean- meter off the sun? You could most likely get everything else underexposed. Usually is meter somewhere off the sun (eg. nearby clouds).
    Thanks for all the inputs! Will take note of that.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    try use both A or S mode, then then try matrix and shot metering, you can find a best condition for different sun light condition

    then you will also know the different between metering mode

  8. #8

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nenjia View Post
    try use both A or S mode, then then try matrix and shot metering, you can find a best condition for different sun light condition

    then you will also know the different between metering mode
    Good idea! There is another learning method. Thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TheChef's Avatar
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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    basically, what i meant is, don't test the limits of your sensor to getting burnt by the sun

    most normal shutter speeds will be alright, even overexposure with sun in picture by as much as 3 stops are definitely ok.

    doing iso800, f/2.8 and 30 seconds, is probably overexposure by at least 10 stops, and then you can say goodbye to your sensor.
    Pardon my ignorance. I have yet to hear the sensor of anybody's camera being fried by the sun. I know technically this is possible when you focus on a noon day sun, as the lens acts as a magnifying glass.

    Will taking pictures of sunset fry your camera? Is this the truth or a myth? Any myth-busters here? I have seen many sunset and sunrise photos in this forum. Can any brothas and sistas share their experience? Thanks.
    Last edited by TheChef; 10th May 2009 at 10:19 AM.
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  10. #10
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheChef View Post
    Will taking pictures of sunset fry your camera? Is this the truth or a myth? Any myth-busters here? I have seen many sunset and sunrise photos in this forum. Can any brothas and sistas share their experience? Thanks.
    Isn't this answer enough? Did we ever see any comments like "Managed to get this great sunset picture - but now managing to get a new camera..."?
    Exposure is a certain amount if light necessary to create an image. If the light is very strong then the camera will compensate or warn you, unless you are in Manual mode and you ignore your meter ... or do other silly things as night86mare mentioned. So there is NO harm capturing the sun during sunset and sunrise.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheChef View Post
    Pardon my ignorance. I have yet to hear the sensor of anybody's camera being fried by the sun. I know technically this is possible when you focus on a noon day sun, as the lens acts as a magnifying glass.

    Will taking pictures of sunset fry your camera? Is this the truth or a myth? Any myth-busters here? I have seen many sunset and sunrise photos in this forum. Can any brothas and sistas share their experience? Thanks.
    you need to actually want to fry your camera

    i have taken so many pictures of sunset, sometimes i shoot hdr, so i have to overexpose by 3 stops to capture shadow details, there has been no problem on my side

    anyways, i am not sure if the sun will actually fry your camera, but here is a discussion on it, along with specific mention of shutterless cameras being more suspectible to camera burn (since sensor not protected by mirror). g1 discussion specifically. from what i gather, you need the sun to take up most of the frame, i.e. with telephoto. if you look at it, your eyes will also be spoilt probably.

    anyhow, i don't think anyone wants to try with their camera.
    Last edited by night86mare; 10th May 2009 at 07:45 PM.

  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    here come another urban legend......

    the sensor exposed to light ONLY when the shutter open, so if you point your camera to the sun for too long, most likely you will hurt your eyes first.

    if you exposure your sensor for too long, you only get white picture, and it is still far far away from damaging it. is there any use for taking photos only have 255 255 255??
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post

    if you exposure your sensor for too long, you only get white picture, and it is still far far away from damaging it. is there any use for taking photos only have 255 255 255??
    but uncle catchlights...

    if you do f/2.8 and 2 minute exposure with sun filling up 90% of frame, the sensor won't spoil???

  14. #14
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    but uncle catchlights...

    if you do f/2.8 and 2 minute exposure with sun filling up 90% of frame, the sensor won't spoil???
    who wants and why need to create totally white wash photos it suppose to be a sun rise or sun set photos? testing the sensor? honestly, I do not know how robust are these sensors, but under normal usage, noting will happen, for most people, most likely shutter will fail before the sensor.

    anyway, I shot countless of studio portrait in white b/g, I deliberately overexposed the white till it flash highlight, if it is so damaging, my cameras will be all long gone.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    who wants and why need to create totally white wash photos it suppose to be a sun rise or sun set photos? testing the sensor? honestly, I do not know how robust are these sensors, but under normal usage, noting will happen, for most people, most likely shutter will fail before the sensor.

    anyway, I shot countless of studio portrait in white b/g, I deliberately overexposed the white till it flash highlight, if it is so damaging, my cameras will be all long gone.


    i hope someone will test soon

    i have been doing searches but there is no one that has done such a test, then we can answer confidently whether there is going to be such a problem

  16. #16
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post


    i hope someone will test soon

    i have been doing searches but there is no one that has done such a test, then we can answer confidently whether there is going to be such a problem
    the camera user manuals only advise not to leave camera inside a car which park under hot sun, does not saying anything about pointing camera toward the sun will damage camera.
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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Then, maybe one should try out while the camera is still under warranty, so that if it's really spoilt, then bring to the service centre and get to change new sensor....hahaha

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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by knightskid View Post
    Then, maybe one should try out while the camera is still under warranty, so that if it's really spoilt, then bring to the service centre and get to change new sensor....hahaha
    Heard of this thing called customer negligence (also sometimes called stupidity)? It's not covered under warranty. You can't "accidentally" expose your sensor to the sun for an extended period of time. No one will believe you.

  19. #19
    Senior Member TheChef's Avatar
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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by knightskid View Post
    Then, maybe one should try out while the camera is still under warranty, so that if it's really spoilt, then bring to the service centre and get to change new sensor....hahaha
    That's why I ask whether any brothas and sistas have heard of a camera sensor being burnt by the sun in 30 seconds.
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  20. #20
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Direct focus to sun?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheChef View Post
    That's why I ask whether any brothas and sistas have heard of a camera sensor being burnt by the sun in 30 seconds.
    why don't you call up service center to ask??
    Last edited by catchlights; 11th May 2009 at 01:48 PM.
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