Burning The Digital Sensor

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by tenlientl, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. tenlientl

    tenlientl TPF Noob!

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    Hey, guys. I like to think I'm really good at googling, but I've already tried different keyword searches but couldn't find anything about the D90's digital sensor in regards to burning.

    I plan to purchase a wireless remote soon for my D90 so I can take 2 minute exposure. What's the longest possible exposure without harming the digital sensor. I've heard I can burn it if I go for 10 minutes or so.

    I have a film, so I can use that, but it would be awesome if I can use my digital instead.
     
  2. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    It depends on a few factors. However the main issue with long exposures is overheating. If you're doing something like star trails, then taking 30 second exposures for x # of frames is the way to go rather than having an extremely long exposure. Not only will it cut down on sensor noise, it'll keep your sensor from overheating. Also pointing your camera at the sun for extended exposures with a 200mm+ lens can apparently damage your sensor due to the intense heat caused by the magnification of the telephoto lens.


    Basically yes, you can burn out your sensor. To be safe, stack shorter exposures for the final image.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    psht.


    I've got a friend who routinely does 30 minute-to-1 hour long exposures on his D300 with me.


    You're fine.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I've made night exposures as long as 20 minutes each with a D90.

    Ambient air temperature will play a part.

    There have been a couple of threads in the last year here on TPF that discuss this issue.

    Besides, with film you have reciprocity failure to deal with, which was one of the reasons astronomers were the first to really embrace digital imaging.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    ^^ exactly, ambient temperatures play a part in the process. For example, i've done 45 minute long exposures where there's no noise because i was in below-freezing temps, do the same thing in the middle of summer, and there's going to be more noise to deal with, most likely amp noise.

    On nikon's current 12mp DX sensor, you could do an exposure up to about 20 minutes at ISO 100, in about 40F without seeing serious noise, maybe a little amp in the corner. You might have a hot pixel or two, but aside from that, it should look fine.

    just do it.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    D300 is metal. D90 is plastic. That is more worrying.

    That said the only case I have heard of (and first hand) was a burnt out 350D from many years ago. It was a 45min exposure at the time. I've done a few hours of exposure with a 2degC ambient outside and my camera got hot but still works.

    I'm not sure this is really a relevant problem anymore, but I can definitely tell you with 100% guarantee so help me god that you D90 will have no problem what so ever taking a 2 minute exposure.

    Come chat again when you want to take a 2 hour exposure, as I have tricks to work around the heating issue :)
     

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