DSLR won't meter longer than 30 seconds exposures.

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Paul Furman, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    I've come to notice that doing night shots, my Nikon D200 won't meter
    longer than 30 seconds of exposure time. I don't have a remote release
    and apparently the only way to exceed 30 seconds is to hold my finger on
    the shutter. Is this common behavior for camera meter systems? Maybe I
    missed something in the manual?

    Here's an example image where the meter read "LO" but it was close
    enough to look fine, a few minutes later there wasn't even enough light
    to focus and it came out underexposed:
    <http://www.edgehill.net/1/?SC=go.ph...Francisco/Natural-Areas/Presidio&PG=3&PIC=15>

    I know, I need a remote, just can't decide if the expensive Nikon model
    is worth it & not sure if the cheap $40 third-party remotes will give me
    what I need, or an older simpler used nikon remote... I suppose an
    illuminated LCD display could be handy in the dark... speaking of not
    reading the manual, I still can't figure out how to backlight the top
    LCD on this beast... I don't do much shooting in extreme darkness.
     
    Paul Furman, Jan 31, 2007
    #1
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  2. Paul Furman

    Ken Lucke Guest

    Don't have a Nikon, but for >30 second exposures, check for "Bulb" or
    similar in Manual mode, and yes, you either have to keep your finger on
    the button or get a cable release that will lock in the "open"
    position.

    And "metering" won't work, either - you have to guestimate and
    testimate your very long exposure shots.

    --
    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
    reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating
    the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for
    independence.
    -- Charles A. Beard
     
    Ken Lucke, Jan 31, 2007
    #2
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  3. Paul Furman

    Mark² Guest

    My Canon Timer remote was easily the best $135 I've spent related to
    photogarphy.
    Nikon likely makes a similar remote... With it, I can not only trip the
    shutter (and prefocus if preferred), but I can tell it how many frames to
    take...at what interval of time...and after waiting for a time I specify--
    and how long to hold the shutter open (without having to hold it myself) up
    to many hours(!) if necessary--though I would only suggest using film for
    such an exposure. This is great for group shots where you are part of the
    group, for example, because it means you can tell it to take 5 or 6 (or 99)
    shots without having to walk back over the the the camera each time. It's
    also got an illuminated LCD, which makes an awful lot of sense considering
    that you'd often use it in dark settings.

    Settings/controls include:
    -Time until first frame
    -Number of frames
    -Time between each frame (interval)
    -Shutter open time (up to 99 hours+)
    -Start/Stop
    -Shutter with half/full press
    -Lock shutter switch (so you don't have to actually HOLD it down during
    extremely long exposures)
    -Adjustment wheel
    -Ilumination button

    Not bad for the $135. Surely Nikon has something simlar.

    About your first question... It's normal to have a 30 second limit on even
    high-end SLR/DSLRs for auto, or dialed-in exposure. Beyond that, you use
    "bulb" setting, which is basically holding it down, as you said. -But of
    course you'd never want to actually do that by hand. You need that remote
    shutter release.

    -Mark²
     
    Mark², Jan 31, 2007
    #3
  4. Paul Furman

    Ken Lucke Guest

    My Canon Timer remote was easily the best $135 I've spent related to
    photogarphy.
    Nikon likely makes a similar remote... With it, I can not only trip the
    shutter (and prefocus if preferred), but I can tell it how many frames to
    take...at what interval of time...and after waiting for a time I specify--
    and how long to hold the shutter open (without having to hold it myself) up
    to many hours(!) if necessary--though I would only suggest using film for
    such an exposure. This is great for group shots where you are part of the
    group, for example, because it means you can tell it to take 5 or 6 (or 99)
    shots without having to walk back over the the the camera each time. It's
    also got an illuminated LCD, which makes an awful lot of sense considering
    that you'd often use it in dark settings.

    Settings/controls include:
    -Time until first frame
    -Number of frames
    -Time between each frame (interval)
    -Shutter open time (up to 99 hours+)
    -Start/Stop
    -Shutter with half/full press
    -Lock shutter switch (so you don't have to actually HOLD it down during
    extremely long exposures)
    -Adjustment wheel
    -Ilumination button

    Not bad for the $135. Surely Nikon has something simlar.[/QUOTE]


    I've drooled over one of those for some time (I just use the standard
    RS-60E3 one), but they have a different connector than my 400D uses...
    however, I was just looking over eBay and found a picture of one
    (<http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260078686399&fromMa
    keTrack=true>) that appears to have a mini or sub-mini stereo plug/jack
    built right inline to the cable - and as my 400D/RS-60E3 combo uses a
    standard stereo mini jack/plug, I could easily build an adapter to plu
    into the 400D, as all it does via cable is act like a switch between
    the various wires (nothing needed from the camera internals to
    function) .... hmmmmm.....

    Does yours have that jack/plug in the cable?

    --
    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
    reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating
    the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for
    independence.
    -- Charles A. Beard
     
    Ken Lucke, Jan 31, 2007
    #4
  5. Paul Furman

    Mark² Guest

    No it doesn't. That picture looks like some sort of mock-up to me, but
    perhaps someone is cobling these together. I don't see why it couldn't
    work... Canon definitely doesn't sell one like that. The control unit
    pictured is identical, but I've never seen one with a female sub-mini jack
    like that. It's acually a pretty good idea if it's legitimate, though
    something seems fishy...
     
    Mark², Jan 31, 2007
    #5
  6. Paul Furman

    Robert Brace Guest

    Paul:
    See Pg. 5, at the bottom!
    Bob
     
    Robert Brace, Jan 31, 2007
    #6
  7. Paul Furman

    Ken Lucke Guest

    No it doesn't. That picture looks like some sort of mock-up to me, but
    perhaps someone is cobling these together.[/QUOTE]

    The photo looked legit to me, but I didn't examine it with any great
    detail, so it's entirely possible.
    That's what I thought, as I've looked into them before and they've
    never had a picture of one like that. I thought that this was maybe a
    new version. There's an idea for themm - make the controller, with
    various adapters for the tip, like the universal 120V/DC power supplies
    you can buy!
    Yeah, the response I got from the seller said that the photo was wrong
    ("Dear Customer, This is a wrong picture, this plug is not divided in
    two pieces.")
    "

    However, it got me thinking that there's no reason I shouldn't be able
    to cut off the funky proprietary connector on the end (saving it to
    reattach later when I get a 1Ds Mark 47), strip the wires, and solder
    on a mini-stero connector, once I've figured out the wire-->pin pattern
    (which, with only 3 leads, should be a snap, considering I already know
    the camera side's requirements). I'd reverse the way that it was/is
    shown in that picture, though - the plug would go on the remote's end
    and the jack would go on the end with the proprietary connector - to
    allow the jury-rigged setup to plug directly into the camera without an
    additional adapter.

    By yumpin' yimminies, I think I'll give it a go. I'll let you know how
    it turns out. Maybe I could sell the damn things :^).

    --
    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
    reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating
    the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for
    independence.
    -- Charles A. Beard
     
    Ken Lucke, Jan 31, 2007
    #7
  8. Paul Furman

    Mark² Guest

    The photo looked legit to me, but I didn't examine it with any great
    detail, so it's entirely possible.
    That's what I thought, as I've looked into them before and they've
    never had a picture of one like that. I thought that this was maybe a
    new version. There's an idea for themm - make the controller, with
    various adapters for the tip, like the universal 120V/DC power
    supplies you can buy!
    Yeah, the response I got from the seller said that the photo was wrong
    ("Dear Customer, This is a wrong picture, this plug is not divided in
    two pieces.")
    "

    However, it got me thinking that there's no reason I shouldn't be able
    to cut off the funky proprietary connector on the end (saving it to
    reattach later when I get a 1Ds Mark 47), strip the wires, and solder
    on a mini-stero connector, once I've figured out the wire-->pin
    pattern (which, with only 3 leads, should be a snap, considering I
    already know the camera side's requirements). I'd reverse the way
    that it was/is shown in that picture, though - the plug would go on
    the remote's end and the jack would go on the end with the
    proprietary connector - to allow the jury-rigged setup to plug
    directly into the camera without an additional adapter.

    By yumpin' yimminies, I think I'll give it a go. I'll let you know
    how it turns out.[/QUOTE]

    Please do...though I don't personally have a use for one. Others would.
    I really don't see why Canon keeps the sub-mini design. All of their other
    DSLRs use the diffent style...
    -It's probably just a carry-over thing... but they've used the other disign
    since at least the EOS 3. I don't know about before that. Perhaps they
    want people like you to see it as another rationale for upgrading to another
    body... Who knows...
    :)
     
    Mark², Feb 1, 2007
    #8
  9. Reciprocity failure takes over at long and short exposures for film. I've
    found it to be similarly true for digital.
     
    Phil, Non-Squid, Feb 1, 2007
    #9
  10. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Thanks, yeah that does sound useful... it seems like the Nikon unit is
    about $165 but maybe I'm remembering wrongly in recoiled fear & loathing.
    I believe the third party $40 options mostly have this feature.
    It wouldn't be that hard to allow up to 9999 seconds in manual mode.
    Hmph. I can understand how the meter might not be able to detect light
    levels at longer than 30 seconds though.
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 1, 2007
    #10
  11. Paul Furman

    Matt Clara Guest

    Have you tried the multiple exposure route? I used to do that with my F100
    and film if I didn't have a cable release.
     
    Matt Clara, Feb 1, 2007
    #11
  12. Paul Furman

    Mark² Guest

    It's cheaper than you think...and dang near identical to the Canon unit.
    Here: http://tinyurl.com/2tp56d (B&H)
    -Or if you're paranoid about tiny urls:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...=accessory_detail&addedTroughValue=413124_REG

    -Mark²
     
    Mark², Feb 1, 2007
    #12
  13. The D200 has an intervalometer built in which does exactly these :)
    (also can take n frames, wait s seconds, repeat for m times).
     
    achilleaslazarides, Feb 1, 2007
    #13
  14. You found reciprocity failure with digital? That is, going from 30s to
    60s does not double the intensity recorded in raw? That is extremely
    strange. How did you find this?
     
    achilleaslazarides, Feb 1, 2007
    #14

  15. The meter shows "Lo" (in aperture priority, at least), or it gives an
    indication but flashes (in manual) below some light level. I don't
    think it's about the 30s limit at all, at higher ISOs it'll flash at
    you (or say "Lo") at shorter exposures. But yes, the thing can't do
    more than 30s timed exposures; most SLRs can't, but I am sure some can
    and it would obviously be completely trivial to implement (eg by
    entering how long the exposure should be). Given how easy it is to
    implement, I infer that Nikon simply wants to sell us the remote. So I
    got the "ADIDT" cheapo one. Works perfectly (except when it is plugged
    in, the camera goes to sleep and you wake it up by a shutter release
    half-press: it then takes a shot instead of just waking up, extremely
    irritating when mirror lockup is used). It can be locked pressed (for
    arbitrarily long exposures).

    Of course, it is also hugely overpriced for what it is, just less so
    than Nikon's remote.
     
    achilleaslazarides, Feb 1, 2007
    #15
  16. Paul Furman

    Mark² Guest

    Then why is Paul asking about one for his D200?
     
    Mark², Feb 1, 2007
    #16
  17. He's asking for a way to expose for more than 30s, as far as I can
    tell; not an intervalometer.
     
    achilleaslazarides, Feb 1, 2007
    #17
  18. Paul Furman

    Mark² Guest

    Ah. Right. :)
    Seems rather odd that they coded for all the rest, but couldn't manage to
    add long exposures...
     
    Mark², Feb 1, 2007
    #18
  19. SNIP
    Very long exposures will suffer from things like thermal noise
    building up at an exponential rate with exposure time. If the subject
    allows, it is better to add several shorter exposures.

    Bart
     
    Bart van der Wolf, Feb 1, 2007
    #19
  20. Forgot to say in my previous response: the on-off switch has on/off
    positions and a spring-loaded third position which lights the top LCD
    (it's indicated by a lamp).
     
    achilleaslazarides, Feb 1, 2007
    #20
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