Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR

Started 7 months ago | Questions
Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
1

Hi! I was wondering if long exposures with a pinhole lens (or just a body cap with a hole) might damage the sensor of a DSLR.

Thanks! 🙃

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
AlbertTheLazy
AlbertTheLazy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,561
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
3

No reason it should.

You'll get a lot of diffraction with a true pinhole.

-- hide signature --

Albert the lazy photographer
Having fun with my cameras in Herefordshire

 AlbertTheLazy's gear list:AlbertTheLazy's gear list
Canon PowerShot G15 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-T3 Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R +6 more
Bobthearch
Bobthearch Forum Pro • Posts: 10,574
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
1

Nope, you're good to go.

Unless you're shooting directly into the sun...

-- hide signature --

Personal non-commercial websites with no ads or tracking:
Local photography: http://ratonphotos.com/
Travel and photography: http://placesandpics.com/
Special-interest photos: http://ghosttowns.placesandpics.com/

 Bobthearch's gear list:Bobthearch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II +2 more
OP Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR

I found a flaw in my plan. If I try a one or two month long exposure, I'm not having my camera. I was so focused on how to setup the whole Schmutz.... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤪

Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 4,136
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
1

Tigs WA wrote:

I found a flaw in my plan. If I try a one or two month long exposure, I'm not having my camera. I was so focused on how to setup the whole Schmutz.... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤪

https://solarcan.co.uk and you can still use your camera

Mark S Abeln
Mark S Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 18,693
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
2

AlbertTheLazy wrote:

You'll get a lot of diffraction with a true pinhole.

And every bit of dust on the sensor will be turned into little bullseyes.

 Mark S Abeln's gear list:Mark S Abeln's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D7000 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D +4 more
Bobthearch
Bobthearch Forum Pro • Posts: 10,574
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
2

Tigs WA wrote:

I found a flaw in my plan. If I try a one or two month long exposure, I'm not having my camera. I was so focused on how to setup the whole Schmutz.... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤪

It must be an extremely small pinhole, or you're shooting the night sky?

In bright sun you can shoot pinhole photos handheld if you just nudge the ISO up a bit.

Here is my 2018 World Pinhole Photography Day entry, shot handheld at 1/100 sec.  Not sure which cap I used, but it's something like f/333.

My 2021 entry, 1/8 sec with a tripod.

-- hide signature --

Personal non-commercial websites with no ads or tracking:
Local photography: http://ratonphotos.com/
Travel and photography: http://placesandpics.com/
Special-interest photos: http://ghosttowns.placesandpics.com/

 Bobthearch's gear list:Bobthearch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II +2 more
FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 16,926
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
2

Tigs WA wrote:

I found a flaw in my plan. If I try a one or two month long exposure, I'm not having my camera. I was so focused on how to setup the whole Schmutz.... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤪

I don't think that there is a battery that will keep a DSLR  operating for one or two months.

Quarkcharmed
Quarkcharmed Senior Member • Posts: 1,989
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
2

Tigs WA wrote:

I found a flaw in my plan. If I try a one or two month long exposure, I'm not having my camera. I was so focused on how to setup the whole Schmutz.... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤪

Two months? Beyond a few minutes, you won't be able to shoot digital. You'll get huge amount of hot pixels. The exact limit will depend on the sensor, but you're unlikely to get a usable image after a very long exposure.

 Quarkcharmed's gear list:Quarkcharmed's gear list
Canon EOS R5 Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM
Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 18,676
That's a long long exposure
3

Tigs WA wrote:

I found a flaw in my plan. If I try a one or two month long exposure, I'm not having my camera. I was so focused on how to setup the whole Schmutz.... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤪

I usually think "long exposure" means something like 30 seconds or a couple of minutes. Months-long exposures are a whole new game.

First, your sensor isn't set up for such time scales. It will just load up regardless of what light is hitting it.

Second, if you're exposing an outdoor scene it's going to change a lot from day to night. What are you trying to record?

If I were doing such a thing, I'd use film. But I wouldn't do such a thing.

-- hide signature --

Leonard Migliore

 Leonard Migliore's gear list:Leonard Migliore's gear list
Canon PowerShot G12 Nikon D300 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +11 more
OP Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR

There's an idea. What do I do with the film after exposure? I don't have a darkroom and I have no idea how that works. That's why I thought a DSLR is not as complicated.

OP Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR

My idea was to setup and have a month or two worth of sun trails. 24/7 exposure.

OP Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR

That's a smaller hurdle. I do a little electrical stuff myself, basically all you need is a charger, few cables, and of course duct tape. 🙃

FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 16,926
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
1

Tigs WA wrote:

My idea was to setup and have a month or two worth of sun trails. 24/7 exposure.

As already pointed out , you are not going to do that with a digital camera.

This is how the pinhole camera in the link above works :

OP Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Re: That's a long long exposure
OP Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR

I had no idea. That's why I asked here. Never thought I get so many great replies. Thanks for the input.

FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 16,926
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
3

Tigs WA wrote:

I had no idea. That's why I asked here. Never thought I get so many great replies. Thanks for the input.

Good on you.

My guess is that 4 out of 5 people that ask similar questions here never bother to even reply to a single suggestion given.

So thank you for being the exception.

OP Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR

Well, a thank you hasn't killed anybody yet.

OP Tigs WA New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR

I would like to thank all of you for steering me into the right direction.

I'll investigate the beer can idea and hope I find someone to develop the film.

Thanks again, you are much appreciated!

Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 4,136
Re: Pinhole long exposures with a DSLR
2

Tigs WA wrote:

There's an idea. What do I do with the film after exposure? I don't have a darkroom and I have no idea how that works. That's why I thought a DSLR is not as complicated.

On page 11 of the instructions it says to open the SolarCan, take the paper out and scan it straight away, no development needed - https://solarcan.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/solarcan-the-booklet-3-web.pdf

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads