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05-05-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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UV on matrix

Hi all,

I am asking for a professional opinion.
Is there is any hazard to a DSLR matrix from UV rays?


05-05-2009, 12:02 PM   #2
Damn Brit

That's a question you should be asking of the manufacturer to get a definite answer but I would assume that there is always potential for harm from UV rays unless proper care is taken. IE, don't leave your camera in the sun.
05-05-2009, 12:49 PM   #3
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Original Poster

Thanks for an immediate reply.
I will definitely contact the manufacturer... but I have got a Pentax camera and this seems to be a Petax forum...

Well, it is not said in the camera instruction. There is a mention that an eye may get damaged if looking straight on the Sun. Although my question was not about this nor about heating from the Sun (like leaving the body in a locked car).

I've asked whether UV actually can reach the DSLR matrix and damage it by any means. Not the image, but matrix. I might be wrong, but UV should be filtered by the lens glance itself.

If somebody knows the answer, please help to sort this out.
05-05-2009, 02:32 PM   #4
Damn Brit

The eye will definitely get damaged if you look directly at the sun.
The reason I suggested that you contact the manufacturer is because they make the cameras and so should know what the cameras tolerances are.
We on the forum however only use the cameras so at best, any answer would be a guess.
Unless you are planning at trying to take a picture directly pointing into the sun (which would be a waste of time) I wouldn't worry about it.

Incidentally, why are you asking the question? You haven't made that clear and it does seem pretty pointless on the face of it.

05-05-2009, 02:50 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Well, true...
I should have contacted the manufacturer and I should have told you the reason I'm asking quite a silly question.

All in all, I faced an opinion that a camera matrix might get damaged from UV. I don't know any particular reason for that. I was pretty sure that UV filters are to illuminate negative spectrum and to sharpen the image in bright day lightning. Although, I have noticed quite a few posts, where people asked for help when their matrices were damaged, because they took pictures high in the mountains, facing the Sun and they believed the damage comes from UV.

However, glass should filter UV and there should be other reason for the broken matrix. It should be something else - like very bright Sun rays focused on a small area on the matrix and burn it out.

Thanks for replying really quickly!
05-05-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
Damn Brit

I've never seen a post suggesting that myself. If you think about it, under those conditions, the shutter would be open for such a small fraction of a second that damage would seem unlikely.
05-05-2009, 03:13 PM   #7
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Original Poster
100% agree.
But still there are people who bluntly believe that the matrix is damaged by UV rather than by heat or something else. I'm not a pro, simply find it interesting. I have dropped an email to Pentax support. I will post a summary reply here, in case somebody else is interested as well.
05-05-2009, 04:40 PM   #8
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Extended UV exposure might cause radiation damage to the plastic microlenses, but I think that'd be substantially mitigated by the glass in the lenses which would cut out all the short UV.

A focused image of the sun on the sensor is another matter; I'll bet temperatures could get high *pretty fast* at the sensor/microlens interface.

I'm interested to hear what Pentax says.

Iowa Dave

EDIT: a rough estimates indicates a pretty long exposure (like seconds) would be needed to get things dangerously hot.

Last edited by newarts; 05-05-2009 at 04:54 PM.

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