How to melt your camera sensor shooting the eclipse

Aug 20, 2017

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

How to melt your camera sensor shooting the eclipse

Aug 20, 2017

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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You know how a tiny, toy magnifying glass can burn little pieces of paper? Well, the camera lens is a not a small, toy, magnifying glass by no means, it is a powerful well-polished tool of optics and using it in the wrong way – say to photograph the sun during an eclipse – can be devastating to the camera sensor.

The team at Everything Photography did a little experiment and showed what an unfiltered six seconds exposure would do to your sensor. TL;DR – it fries te sensor.

The team took a (probably dead) Canon T2i connected to a (probably) 400mm unfiltered lens and pointed it at the sun.

The first noticeable thing is that you definitely don’t want to look at the viewfinder while the camera is pointed at the sun. It narrows the sun image into a very small space which is likely to burn your retina.

The next experiment was a six seconds exposure which nuked the mirror mechanism and “dented” the sensor.

but the most interesting thing of all was a very long “exposure” done with the mirror held back with a paper clip. It looks like a plasma beam out of Star Trek simply frying the sensor.

Sadly, the sensor did not have any photon torpedos to fight back, and it got annihilated.

The moral of the story: know what you are doing when shooting the eclipse.

[How to MELT your camera shooting the eclipse via fstoppers]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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10 responses to “How to melt your camera sensor shooting the eclipse”

  1. Autumn Jay Avatar
    Autumn Jay

    Why would you do a 6 second exposure in bright sun ?

    1. Photoman Ayu Avatar
      Photoman Ayu

      Because looking into the view finder blinds you, so try to do it in liveview to focus and compose. I can see some people tries to do it without filter.

      1. Rusty Shackleford Avatar
        Rusty Shackleford

        That still doesn’t explain the need for 6 seconds. A lot of people will be shooting this much, much, more quickly at up to 1/4000 of a second or even higher. What’s the point of showing what six seconds would do?

  2. Youenn Thomas Avatar
    Youenn Thomas

    Thierry L’élagueur ne fait pas ça lol

  3. Paul Ford Avatar
    Paul Ford

    Looks a bit beyond a little clean with a sensor wipe!

  4. Steve Lafleur Avatar
    Steve Lafleur

    What about film? Could you shoot the eclipse with a 35mm film camera, and not do damage to the camera? This is my burning question.

    1. Timi Stiefler Avatar
      Timi Stiefler

      “this is my burning question”

      Is that a pun I smell?

  5. Damon Whitt Avatar
    Damon Whitt

    He didn’t have a filter and did a 6 second exposure wtf that will fry anything plus the lens he was using damn it was just a f*ing laser with the sun. Post better information then this please.

  6. Duncan Knifton Avatar
    Duncan Knifton

    oops!!

  7. Kevin Williams Avatar
    Kevin Williams

    Any idea what would be the lowest welding filter you could use with a lens? I have a #11 right now.