Eye damage from sun in viewfinder accidentally?

Started Mar 18, 2010 | Discussions thread
Daniel Lee Taylor
Senior MemberPosts: 1,821
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Re: Getting back to the original statement...
In reply to Graystar, Mar 23, 2010

Graystar wrote:

Daniel Lee Taylor wrote:

Graystar wrote:

VO2Max wrote:

Do not try this with and astronomical telescope though, you'll fry your eye!!!

From the stories I've read, you'll notice smoke rising from your telescope before you ever get that far!

This is false. You can destroy your retina with brief exposure to the sun through a telescope or through binoculars.

By "before you ever get that far" I meant before you ever get to look through the telescope.

Fair enough, but I wouldn't assume that in practice.

So the sun can damage your eyes...but it takes more than just a quick look.

Never said it didn't for the unaided eye. You'll most likely look away from pain before permanent damage occurs. But lens assisted eyes are a different story, whether that lens is a telescope or a telephoto.

You need 30 seconds of looking directly at the full sun to cause damage, and it will be due to chemical reactions, not burning...which is what i said.

Burning is a chemical reaction

More to the point, unaided the damage most likely comes first from UV, though heating cannot be ruled out. (You would be surprised at how little heat in the retina can cause damage. As I recall from a paper, the retina sacrifices some acuity to keep light sensitive cells closer to blood vessels for the cooling effect.) As you point out this takes some time, more than a quick glance. But through a lens heating could easily be the first and primary cause of damage. Your retina won't catch fire, but the heat absorbed drives the damaging chemical reactions.

I don't mean to pick on you or your post, I just want to make sure readers understand the dangers involved. It's a legitimate issue for photographers who often shoot sun rises and sunsets.

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