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Using the "bulb"

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by photoloco, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. Hello folks,
    Is there any danger in using the bulb setting on my D80 for a long exposure, say 20 - 30 seconds or longer?
    Any possibilities that the sensor could be damaged?
    Have a good and safe 4th. of July!
  2. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi ron-

    i'll qualify mike's response with a "maybe" as it depends on your light conditions/subject. if you're using a telephoto lens and have the sensor aimed at a very bright light source (say the sun), it is possible that you could damage your sensor if you expose for more than a second or so. but if you're taking photos at night, it's doubtful that you'd have a light source bright enough to damage the sensor.

  3. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    I used the 'bulb' setting with the IR remote last night for fireworks. A couple of my pics were 15-20 seconds long. I didn't notice any ill affects.
    But I guess if it were pointed at a bright light that long, there might be the possibility, although I kind of doubt it.
  4. Okay this is good.
    I was not thinking of taking a pro-longed exposures aimed towards the sun or a bright light. I was mainly thinking night exposures, fireworks, cars, buildings and the like.
    A colleague of mine said that he was told that the sensor could "heat up" if left open to long.
  5. The amount of thermal noise can be seen in long exposures, but it won't harm your sensor in the least bit by itself.
  6. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi ron-

    your friend is correct, the sensor (and other electronic components in the camera) does generate heat if it's active for long periods of time. however, the heat isn't enough to damage the sensor. what does happen is you get more noise in your image. it's one reason that you should activate the in-camera noise reduction if you're taking exposures of several seconds.


  7. Thanks!
    I will now shoot long with confidence.
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