"But I took a landscape shot at midday with the Sun in frame and it didn't melt my sensor". The difference being the length of exposure and the concentrations of energy.
The sun isn’t a garden hose. Putting something in front of it doesn’t make the edges more intense.
The reason for the damage is entirely due to the receiver behaving/being differently, be it your eyes or your camera, because they get tricked into thinking it's dark and they act like it, being much more receptive and then overwhelmed.
For example, if 90% of the sun is covered by the moon, then only 10% of the usual amount of sunlight will light up the area around you. So it is quite a bit darker than usual.
However, the portion of the sun that is still visible is just as bright as it would be on any other similar day. If you stare at that remaining portion of the sun, or aim a camera at it, it will cause the same damage as it would any other time, only in a smaller crescent-shaped area instead of a full circle.
The danger to your eyes is even greater, because the overall darkness tricks your irises into opening up wider and letting even more light in than usual.
You're pretty unlikely to stare at the sun for 30 seconds on a normal day. But people do that during a partial eclipse, and that's the problem. Similarly, people don't usually aim their cameras directly at the sun with the lens wide open and no solar filter - except during an eclipse.
A total eclipse is quite a different thing, of course. During totality, the sun's bright photosphere is completely hidden, and only the much fainter corona is visible. This is only about as bright as a full moon, and it's perfectly safe to take pictures with any lens, and to observe directly with the naked eye - even with binoculars.
Anecdotally, I viewed the 1979 total eclipse with binoculars (and no filters), and at the end of totality I continued to look through them for a few seconds to see the diamond ring and Baily's beads.
It didn't harm my vision at all, even though there was some fair amount of direct sunlight coming through by then. But it was only a few seconds. The duration of sun exposure certainly is a factor.
This is a really bad example :DDD
I don't think that is totally true for human eye. You can test it by putting a LED spotlight in front of you at night, and have someone else check your pupil before and after you turn on the LED (And remember test it in different distances).
Camera works differently, they have multiple ways (Metering Modes) to test the brightness of a scene. So how it work will depends on the selected Metering Mode.
And camera can collect more light by letting light keep entering the light sensor for longer time. Plus, bigger lens can also collect more light, some people may even mount their camera on a telescope, thus more light entering. So maybe this is the physical reason why so many gears got destroyed?
That's what they're saying. Zooming in on the sun vs the sun happening to be in-frame.
Wouldn't zooming in spread the sun's energy across more of the sensor? Same energy, larger area = less intensity.
Put differently, longer lenses typically also have bigger absolute apertures, collecting incident light from a larger cross-section. This compensates for the fact that a given solid angle of incident light is spread over a larger area of the sensor.
Someone posted a video of replacing the sensor on the old 7d (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udonzfGdW0Y)
Seems it eventually worked for him, after several attempts to adjust the position to get correct focus,
but if you read the comments on the video there are many people who've messed up their camera trying to do this.
Might be fun to try though.
In the Reddit thread, they talked about replacing the aperture module for some of the lenses; that's just a simple swap, along with cleaning the adjacent elements.
So I feel like they don't make them repairable.
It depends on their expertise
I'm assuming the damage Lens Rentals saw was from people who were trying to do time-lapse.
The flux for the sun on the sensor/film/whatever is:
Φ/4α² * 1/A²
The total power over the film is:
Φ/4πα * f²/A²
Burned shutter cloths on Leica M series cameras with wide angle lenses is a real problem that can happen simply if you leave the camera without a lens cap lying on a table. This is less of a problem on most other cameras, as they use metal shutter curtains.
The creator of that video hangs around on /r/photography, his comment is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/photography/comments/6xg8a7/lens_re...
I thought the renters would be paying for it?
> Unfortunately, these types of damage are considered neglect
So yes, somebody owes LR a considerable amount of money for repairing or replacing that £11,000 600mm lens.
The admin of dealing with this crap is built into the rental price. A well looked after lens doesn't depreciate fast.
Unfortunately for the lens, the 600mm lens's drop-in filter slot is behind the iris. So the camera was fine, the lens not so much.
What use could you make of this filter?
I think there's a lesson here in targeting inexperienced consumers. Perhaps a good preventative measure would have been handing out protective lenses before the eclipse so that customers would have really had to try to mess it up.
It might not be good business to express that in a blog post
There's certainly enough positive surprises in the above to warrant an upbeat post, one that can also be used to educate about how camera systems can be damaged, and the limits of their insurance.
Then clearly this is the wrong business for you.
Dealing with stupid customers simply comes with the territory.
It hurts just thinking about it, yet some people don’t seem to really believe the warnings.
Edit: To elaborate - Higher magnification lenses (depending on the camera lens used of course)
Edit 1: - /u/corndoge Suggests that people may take this the wrong way. I mean to say in the amount of physical damage it's worse for camera's because of the extra (and typically higher magnification lens). I don't mean that a burnt camera is worse then a burnt eye - I'd rather anybody loose tons of $$$ for a camera then have eye damage.
Higher magnification actually makes it slightly safer, because the image of the sun ends up magnified and spread out over a larger part of the sensor. Low magnification means it all goes to one point.
Our eyes have lenses but as /u/jmiserez said the lenses in the cameras lenses magnify it far more. It'd be like us looking into a telescope looking at the sun (Obviously depends on which camera lens you use).
Edit: I edited the main comment to explain that the difference is that camera's typically have higher magnification lens then our eyes.
I'm not sure which is more damaging here.
Using the holes in a Ritz cracker as a pinhole lens to focus the sun on a sheet of paper seems eminently fine, as you're only subtracting sun from the case of looking at the paper outside (as opposed to using a glass lens to image the sun, which gathers light from more angles and concentrates it). It seems like poorer optical quality given its thickness, but could be handy if you don't have access to a piece of paper and a staple, or if you're a clickbait journalist trying to entertain a dying audience.
Looking through the hole is idiotic. It'll cut down on some of the light sure, but nowhere near the attenuation required - a quick search shows a #13 welding shade lets through about 10^-5 of the light.
It was interesting how most of the post-eclipse reporting was hijacked by a certain politician not wearing his glasses (probably he only looked for a split second anyway). Anyway, this eclipsed (sorry) any reports about the actual event, which must have been one of the largest events in history based on the number of spectators (I saw estimates of 20 million people across the US).
Or when the Queen of England is at an event and doesn't smile for a moment.
Or "woman wears shoes"
or "look at the number of people in this place compared to this other picture where the numbers were different at a different time of the day"
it's all so tiresome
During the short time when the moon completely obscures
the sun – known as the period of totality – it is safe
to look directly at the star
I mostly looked at it through the display on my camera though. Didn’t even cross my mind it could cause damage. Luckily it didn’t
An iphone 6 camera only costs 5$ and is easy to replace(with a screw driver and spudger (maybe an igizmo) most hacker news people likely wouldn't have issues.), so it's not the end of the world (source:I repair phones)
I also doubt it would be the lens damaged in the case of a smartphone. The lenses are built to take a tremendous amount of abuse and almost certainly would be fine. The sensors are by far the more fragile component.
A Chicago Tribune story  cited the WSJ  saying that Apple said that eclipse photography would not hurt an iPhone.
Forbes says that recent generations of iPhone have sensors and lenses just big enough to cause damage if you point them at the Sun for more than a couple seconds, but that selfies that include the Sun are fine because the front camera and sensor are small .
i don't buy it. phones get their rear cameras pointed towards to the sun all the time. all it takes is you putting the phone on its back out in the sun. you'd be hearing thousands of reports iphone cameras mysteriously getting damaaged. not to mention that it's not really forbes saying that, it's some blogger that forbes sold its name to (a practice they're infamous for)
The flux is:
Φ/4πα * D²
As a first approximation, the sensor can support a certain flux, but once that regime is exceeded the damage is proportional to the energy, not to the flux. So if we talk about the regime where the sensor is not destroyed, flux is the relevant metric, but a larger lens will likely cause more damage once damage actually occurs.
A similar effect happens in the kitchen. It's very easy to burn yourself by touching a large hot surface, but it's much harder to burn yourself by touching a hot pointy thing.
Caution is needed of course. Get ready to put those glasses back on any moment now!
Incredible hues and glow and the surrounding twilight. Can't see any of that with glasses on. At totality, sneak a peek with your naked eyes, it's fine.
Same for camera equipment, it's the setting up and pointing the camera at sun before the eclipse that does the damage. Keep lens cap on until last moment, then take off, and nothing will happen to camera. I've done it at two eclipse festivals, no clouds, didn't even use ND filter! Cameras and eyes fine.
The camera said "error", turned off, I replaced the solar filter, and it was fine. Much longer, and I'd have had a burn. The telescope really collects and concentrates a ton of light.
If you remove the camera, and point the scope at the sun, there's a good sensor-sized beam of intense sunlight at focus.
P.S. Here's the video pointing at the sun all day long: https://youtu.be/HgbG--t3Bd8
multilayered lenses can be destroyed as the expand and contract and heat is emminated from the join and also
Any lense with coatings to correct for chromatic abberation, the coatings get destroyed on the surface of the lenses just by being pointed at the sun.
Taken in rural Oregon (just two shots I selected at random for this post)
Unfortunately, these types of damage are considered neglect, as warnings were given out to customers before the solar eclipse. Our LensCap insurance plan, which can be added to rentals for a small nominal fee, does not protect from neglect but is an excellent tool for those who are worried about their rental and want to protect themselves from any accidental damage.
(but perhaps not really - there are enough wiggle words in that policy that I wonder if they ever pay out on expensive damage at all: https://help.lensrentals.com/26475-damage-lenscap-protection... )
It's an interesting line, between accident and neglect. Reading the article, my initial reaction was that it is ridiculous for their insurance to not cover this damage. But yet in general I do enjoy the non-diligent actually retaining some moral hazard. This "absent agency" problem is usually addressed with a deductible, but that still doesn't fully price in the cost of easily-prevented damage.
Recently renting a box truck and not wanting to be on the hook for a $150k piece of capital equipment, I got the damage waiver. But I had wished for a cheaper policy that would have excluded damage from low drive-throughs and parking garages, which presumably makes up the majority of their claims. Alas.
That's the irony about insurance that I was pointing out. The much worse situation would have been covered.
In general, insurance relies heavily on intent. Intentionally breaking the camera on the ground would not be covered. Gross negligence (like ignoring the warning of the camera shop and proceeding to burn the sensor) is interesting because to the person doing it it feels like an accident, yet to most everyone else it feels like they didn't try hard enough not to.
They also don’t cover damage from Color Runs, and they’re upfront about that too.
(Although this would be a very unfair move)