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Effect of Laser Light on Cameras?

IsaacT

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Hi all!

As I recently obtained a Nikon DSLR I am wanting to double check some things before I do to much Laser Photography.

1. How do long exposure shots of high wattage lasers affect the Sensor in my nice camera?
2. Does damage only occur when a laser beam enters the chamber of the camera or can the mere intensity of the light being captured have adverse effects on my camera and its ability to perform its function.

I have heard in the past of people's camera getting dead spots and I want to make sure I don't ruin my nice camera with all the fun photography.

Thanks,
Isaac
 

gismo

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I can't judge how bad is the impact of a laser beam on the DSLR's lens/sensor area based on what the ones affected by it state or stated in the past, but for myself I can write this:

1. I've photographed beams emitted from lower and higher powered lasers at 10-30 seconds exposure time. So far I haven't noticed a single dead spot in my pictures (then again not that I'd be closely looking for any:p).

2. Coming from 1st point, I haven't hit the sensor/lens area yet (fortunately), I'd be worried a lot, if I had, obviously. Yesterday, taking pics of multiple laser beams sometimes less then 50cm away from DSLR, all went good. One can easily forget about the distance, if focused on hunting for the right shot and - most of all - on a proper eye protection (which is even more challenging when using multiple wavelengths not covered by 1 piece of goggles).

Common sense is the best way to go. If you're afraid of the laser beam being damn too close the lens/sensor, then increase the mutual distance further. Experimenting is fine, but safety always comes first, starting with your own sensors - the eyes - and ending up at the camera sensor:).

Perhaps other laser-beams-catchers/photographically experienced forum users can throw more light on the subject as well:beer:.
 
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trencheel303

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Very intense laser light that isn't directly reflected can cause dead pixels but you really have to be trying. The only way you'll really do damage is if the laser directly hits the sensor, much as with our own eyes.

I wouldn't recommend doing any long exposures or shooting any video, of the "spot" of a very bright laser for much more than a few seconds. Otherwise, shooting the beams, diffuse patterns, and the dot on a non reflective surface is fine.

Sometimes it's a gamble though, ie when shooting into crystals you never know of there is a beam headed direct for the sensor - imo it's too unsafe to take the goggles off and check as you could be blasted too, so you either have to take a chance or not take the shot.
 

IWIRE

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The only issues I've heard of was when the sensor took a direct hit. I didn't want to take any chances with my DSLR so I picked up a Canon S110 just for shooting lasers. I haven't shot any yet with my EOS 7D. The guy I know of that lost his sensor is a pro photog that was shooting a rock concert.
 

IsaacT

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I have been keeping my lens cap on when I take diffraction grating shots. Once I know that no beams are touching the front I take it off. I would just rather know than not
 

hwang21

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Yeah I haven't heard of any beamshot problems, just when the laser goes into the camera sensor. And wanna's idea is good :beer:
 

brucemir

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Hello,
My take on this is to treat the lens aperture the same you would treat your eye. Personally that is why most of the lasers I photograph are under 200mw. For the laser photography I try to do, high powered lasers would be very hard to do as they are so bright and at times ,there could be dozens of beams everywhere, Even my 200mw Aurora 447mw is so bright it washes out all my other colors. I also have a Danefex 1w 450mw that I only can use on special occasions. I have taken a good many photos shooting into crystals and all different optics. To be safe , when composing the lasers and optics to get ready to photograph, the crystal has to be stable so beams aren't going everywhere. When it is stable that is when I will use my camera to compose a shot and is safe for the camera. I always do this no matter what type of optics I am using. A situation when the beams will enter the lens is when shooting straight into a matrix diffraction grating. But I have taken a good amount of this type of shot with many different lasers and since the lasers are not high powered and with the grating splitting it up, I never had a problem. In fact the best shots like that I haven taken are with 5mw to 30mw as the beams is so thin to start with and the many beams coming out are thin and never did damage to my camera. As far as long exposures, i think as long as the beam isn't hitting going in the lens, 15 to 30 secs should be fine. My old camera only went to 15 secs. I have taken tons of pics at 15 secs. Now that a have a new camera that can take exposure for as long as you want, I can't wait to taking 30 sec exposures outdoors and getting the surreal look you can get from long exposures. Anyway, just be very careful setting up and then careful placement of your camera in relationship to your lasers. Good luck
 
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IsaacT

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I wanna know about this surreal business haha. My camera has a bulb mode so I can do however long I want, although I really want to get my remote working so it doesnt move the camera when I press the shutter release.
 

Blarg King

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good trick I use to avoid moving my camera while doing a long exposure is to simply set a 2 second countdown timer so that the camera starts capturing after Im no longer touching it.
 

IsaacT

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Well that is actually an awesome trick and I look forward to trying it but for bulb mode I have to hold the shutter release down for as long as I want the exposure to be.

Still, +2 for that idea!
 
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Livinloud

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Idk if dslr have this but old 35mm cameras had a shutter release cable. Push the cable in and then hold it for the length you want or twist the lock and walk away, untwist and it releases. Used this many time on my Minolta 35mm
 

brucemir

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As far as just setting the timer, I can tell you with the Nikon D5200, and I am sure your Nikon, when you set the 2 sec timer, you have to reset it it every time as it defaults back to single shot. What a pain in the ass the other night as I had to go into that menu for almost every shot to change it to 2 sec timer.

I just ordered this for my Nikon D5200 -

Vello FreeWave Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Nikon RW-N2

I decided on this instead of a wired remote so I can move around and release the shutter from wherever.

Hey Livinloud - my first 35mm camera was a Minolta SRT-102 I got for my HS graduation in 1975. I still have my Minolta XG-7 35mm camera and I also still have the release cable.
 

IsaacT

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Damn I could have mailed you my woreless remote for free as it is incompatible with the D3100. I have to get a wired due to them not putting in compatibility.

Edit: although yours will do more

PS - I think if you hold down the Fn button(located under the flash button?) and use the scroll wheel like you would for setting aperture or exposure it will scroll through the timers without the need for menu hunting. The Fn button should activate it as well.
 
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IWIRE

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I'm cheap. You know how those Canon shooters are. :p I just install an app for my phone to control my shutter. :) It takes two different apps though. I can only control the S110 if I have wifi access. My phone has an IR blaster so it will control my DSLR anywhere. I use my phone for everything. It even controls my garage door and lets me check to make sure I shut it when I get to work. I don't know how I survived before smartphones.
Makes me feel pretty stupid though having a phone smarter than me
 

Livinloud

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Minolta XG-M (actually have two) and then a lower model Minolta as well. One was my dads that he got new. I have since bought around 8 lens for it but my pride and joy is a 15mm (iirc) fisheye, 16-28mm (iirc) wide angle and 300-600mm (iirc) ZOOOOOOOOOM. Hahaha as you can tell havent used it in a few years. I used it a bunch in college since I could use the dark room whenever I wanted but now that I have graduated I havent used it, although I bet I could still go use the dark room, just need to look at my notes for the chemical bath times lol

And now to resume our regularly scheduled program.......
 

brucemir

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Hey WBS,
I know I can program the FN button, but on my camera there is a button near the shutter to directly access the timer menu. I should have my remote control unit by the time I shoot this weekend.

LL- I got my XG-7 in 1979. I also have the motor drive unit for and a 28mm, 50 mm, 1.4 lens, super fast and a 135mm. I think I still have my 90-230mm zoom that is about a foot long and weights about 3 lbs! The last time I used it was about 4 years ago to shoot a concert ( Blackmores Night) where they only allowed 35 mm , no digital because of video recording. When I was in college I used to spend hours in the dark room Trenton State College had. I would have never dreamed back then about digital photography.
 




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