A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!

Started Dec 13, 2014 | Discussions
icarus2015 New Member • Posts: 7
A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!

Here is what happened today when I shoot under fluorescent lights with my otherwise beloved A7s!! All the photos have the same issue. Does anyone experience the same problem? Is it A7s generally problem or I got a lemon?  Any thoughts please? Thank you!

iso8000, f3.2, 1/4000

Sony a7S
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Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,505
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!

icarus2015 wrote:

Here is what happened today when I shoot under fluorescent lights with my otherwise beloved A7s!! All the photos have the same issue. Does anyone experience the same problem? Is it A7s generally problem or I got a lemon? Any thoughts please? Thank you!

iso8000, f3.2, 1/4000

Fluorescent(arc) lights have been a pain in the butt with digital cameras, their nature is to flicker, so I have to ask, why ISO 8000 and 1/4000? With this type of light you may have to go with the slowest shutter speed you can get away with for the subject you are trying to capture, would 1/200 work?

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 19,882
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!
3

icarus2015 wrote:

Does anyone experience the same problem?

iso8000, f3.2, 1/4000

The same thing is going to happen with any similar camera. Try different shutter speeds and watch the effect change.

JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 33,296
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!

Lightshow wrote:

Fluorescent(arc) lights have been a pain in the butt with digital cameras, their nature is to flicker, so I have to ask, why ISO 8000 and 1/4000? With this type of light you may have to go with the slowest shutter speed you can get away with for the subject you are trying to capture, would 1/200 work?

Fluorescent lights have been a pain in the butt with focal-plane shutter cameras, film or digital. Cameras with leaf shutters like the RX-1, tech cams, and most Hasselblads don't have the striping artifacts, although, at high speeds the exposure is not predictable even with them, since you don't know if the shutter will be open at a peak or a valley.

You can't blame this on the particular camera; rather the class of camera.

Jim

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RGBCMYK
RGBCMYK Senior Member • Posts: 2,338
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!

Were you shooting with the electronic shutter feature?  What you are seeing is nothing more the natural cycling of fluorescent bulbs and how your camera scans the image line by line and some of the lines are being scanned when the light is flickering off vs. on

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Rey66
Rey66 Senior Member • Posts: 1,570
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!

icarus2015 wrote:

Here is what happened today when I shoot under fluorescent lights with my otherwise beloved A7s!! All the photos have the same issue. Does anyone experience the same problem? Is it A7s generally problem or I got a lemon? Any thoughts please? Thank you!

iso8000, f3.2, 1/4000

This is normal..varying speed to match the frequency of the flourescent light will work, thank god for live view

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Barugon Veteran Member • Posts: 9,058
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!

Here is what happened today when I shoot under fluorescent lights with my otherwise beloved A7s!! All the photos have the same issue. Does anyone experience the same problem? Is it A7s generally problem or I got a lemon?  Any thoughts please? Thank you!

iso8000, f3.2, 1/4000

The silent shutter actually travels very slowly across the frame. Try the mechanical shutter and use a maximum of 1/60s (if your electrical system is 60hz).

terryoregon
terryoregon Senior Member • Posts: 1,487
"Silent Shooting" Is The Problem

Using my A7s, I tried shooting at different speeds up to 1/8000 in my kitchen, couldn't duplicate the issue.

Once I turned on "silent shooting", the problem was easy to duplicate.

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Brian_Smith
Brian_Smith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,421
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!
1

That photo appears to be taken in Silent Shooting mode. Sony A7S silent shooting mode uses an electronic rolling shutter, which functions exactly like a video shutter. To capture a smooth exposure without banding under lights that pulse such as fluorescent lighting, you must shoot slower than the pulse of the lights (generally 1/50-1/60th of a second.)

Read more about Silent Shooting mode

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OP icarus2015 New Member • Posts: 7
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!
1

Thank you all for taking time to help. I posted the photo with the 8000 iso because it was the worst. After your suggestions I tested the camera in very slower speeds and I found out that approaching 1/100 the problem fades out - almost completely- and below that speed (1/80, 1/60, etc) it isn't visible at all. I'd like to thank you all, again, for your help.

Tha silent shutter doesn't seem to make any difference in my case. I have the same problem with both shutters maybe with the silent is just a little more intense. Can't tell for sure though.

JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 33,296
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!
2

icarus2015 wrote:

Thank you all for taking time to help. I posted the photo with the 8000 iso because it was the worst. After your suggestions I tested the camera in very slower speeds and I found out that approaching 1/100 the problem fades out - almost completely- and below that speed (1/80, 1/60, etc) it isn't visible at all. I'd like to thank you all, again, for your help.

Tha silent shutter doesn't seem to make any difference in my case. I have the same problem with both shutters maybe with the silent is just a little more intense. Can't tell for sure though.

Assuming the original posted image is uncropped, and exposed using silent shutter, I have a question. Silent shutter takes 1/30 of a second to make an exposure:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6450

A fluorescent lamp with 60 Hz excitation varies its brightness at 120 Hz. That would give four cycles during the exposure. But it looks like there are a little over three cycles.

Do you have 50 Hz mains where you live?

Jim

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blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 12,050
Re: A7s huge problem with fluorescent lights!
1

icarus2015 wrote:

Thank you all for taking time to help. I posted the photo with the 8000 iso because it was the worst. After your suggestions I tested the camera in very slower speeds and I found out that approaching 1/100 the problem fades out - almost completely- and below that speed (1/80, 1/60, etc) it isn't visible at all. I'd like to thank you all, again, for your help.

Tha silent shutter doesn't seem to make any difference in my case. I have the same problem with both shutters maybe with the silent is just a little more intense. Can't tell for sure though.

The reason for building US and European models with 1/60th and 1/50th Hz rates is for video - if you use the US model in Europe, or the European model in the US, you are likely to pick up the flicker rate if the circumstances are right for it.

For stills, if your shutter speed is faster than (twice) the flicker rate, you will end up with a partially exposed image, as you observed yourself.

Flicker rate related problems are not the same as rolling shutter, which is more associated with the silent shutter itself. This can happen when subjects move at a certain speed (e.g. fans, propellor blades). But I still would expect that the silent shutter is more prone to exposing flickr problems than the focal plane shutter.

Also, if you really want to shoot at 1/8000th, (or close to it), you should turn the EFCS to off, as you need both curtains to be mechanical to improve the exposure precision to avoid banding in the image. This can be visible in e.g. skies in daytime.

Using 1/80th as a target SS under low light is a good practice.

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Cheers,
Henry

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