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01-28-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
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Long Exposures- My personal Angst with DSLRS

I don't know why all DSLR manufacturers do this but nevertheless it is a consistent issue.

For photographers wanting to shoot exposures longer than 30 seconds, in order to do so you must either

A. Hold the shutter button manually on a tripod increasing the risk for blur due to shake

B. Use a cable remote in a locked down button mode for as long as you'd like to expose your image

My question is: Why don't manufactures give you a choice in the features to set up your shutter release on a 2 second timer that requires one press to engage the 2 second timer, and another press later when your exposure time has expired thus closing the shutter and completing your exposure?

This way, you could use a wireless remote to engage your 2 second timer (or 3 second as it is with the remote) and never have to touch your camera. Or if you do press the shutter at the end of the exposure cycle without a remote, chances are that little bit of vibration will not harm the image sharpness.

Probably been brought up before but either I have missed a setting on the K20D or it is just like every other DSLR on the market in this regard. I have used another camera that had this feature along with a timer on the lcd that showed you just how long your exposure ran (for up to 3 minutes).

So I'd like to see:

1. A feature enabled that allows the photographer to choose either hold the shutter down during the exposure cycle, or to allow a 2 touch operation allowing one press to start the exposure and another to finish the exposure, for as long as the photographer needs.

2. For an option to have either the top or rear LCD be able to show the total amount of time of the exposure live, or even both simultaneously.

3. The wireless remote to have an option to lock the mirror up for as long as you wish with either a two press operation or a sliding button that locks manually down until you wish to slide it back to release it.

How hard and how much cost can this possibly be?

I am aware that stop watch and a cable release can do what I wish. My thought is that in this highly technical era we are living in, we shouldn't have to rely on either if we choose not too.

Cable releases will still sell because there is an advantage to freeing your body away from the camera during release of exposure, especially during portrait routines in studio work where you need to be unintimidating etc.

I am sure this has been brought up before but it is high time manufactures do something about it. I cannot think of one good reason why not. And I really hope I haven't missed something in the manual or in the custom functions setting on the K20D if I have, obviously disregard my rant.

Thanks for listening!

Carl

01-28-2009, 08:03 PM   #2
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2) my 1Ds2 does have a feature where when you're using bulb mode it'll show the total time of the exposure on one of the LCDs. It's pretty neat.

I agree with you that having to keep the shutter button pressed be it directly or indirectly is pretty silly. A lot of older cameras had 'T' mode where you'd press the shutter once to open and once to close. Not sure why DSLRs don't allow for it.

Showing the exposure "live" is a really neat idea. You could sit there and check the LCD and stop the exposure once it looks "right".
01-28-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
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Those sound like great options and would not add much to the cost of the camera. I'd like a two minute exposure which is about as long as is practical for my. Unfortunately long exposure is not on the minds of the camera designers.

The Pentax cable release is not too expensive, and people have made them for a few dollars.
01-28-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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Carl,
I agree, just makes no sense. Do you think that digital camera makers are actually trying to discourage one from taking exp. longer than 30 sec. Me just being paranoid i guess.

I've read that there are electronic timers at cheap prices on ebay that allow one tons of flexibility in timing longer exposures. I'm considering one if anyone that joins your thread has a recommendation.

I'd also like to know if the K10D and K20D have the capability to do longer exposures without excessive noise before i plunk down more money for an electronic trigger.

I've been doing a lot of exposures up to 15 seconds long recently. I would note that the temporary jostling of a camera by using your finger on the shutter (OMG) thats taking a 10 second or longer exposure will be hard to detect on the actual image. Why? because there is 10 seconds of exposure thats outweighing anything you do for a short time. I'll try it tonight, hope some camera god doesn't strike me with lightning.

01-28-2009, 09:16 PM   #5
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Hi Phil

QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Carl,
I agree, just makes no sense. Do you think that digital camera makers are actually trying to discourage one from taking exp. longer than 30 sec. Me just being paranoid i guess.

I've read that there are electronic timers at cheap prices on ebay that allow one tons of flexibility in timing longer exposures. I'm considering one if anyone that joins your thread has a recommendation.

I'd also like to know if the K10D and K20D have the capability to do longer exposures without excessive noise before i plunk down more money for an electronic trigger.

I've been doing a lot of exposures up to 15 seconds long recently. I would note that the temporary jostling of a camera by using your finger on the shutter (OMG) thats taking a 10 second or longer exposure will be hard to detect on the actual image. Why? because there is 10 seconds of exposure thats outweighing anything you do for a short time. I'll try it tonight, hope some camera god doesn't strike me with lightning.
I don't think that is the intent of DLSR manufacturers off hand. It could possibly be that most just haven't got around to doing this yet, or they want to sell more cable releases. I don't honestly know.

I have used the K20 for long exposures and have been very pleased. I typically use ISO 100 for these exposures. I find the long exposure NR in camera to be well designed. Essentially the camera taking a second black frame exposure to use as a mirror to remove only the noise and not crush detail. Initially I turned it off as I prefer to do NR myself, yet the camera does such a good job that I let it do it's job.

Carl
01-28-2009, 09:18 PM   #6
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Im pretty sure

QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
2) my 1Ds2 does have a feature where when you're using bulb mode it'll show the total time of the exposure on one of the LCDs. It's pretty neat.

I agree with you that having to keep the shutter button pressed be it directly or indirectly is pretty silly. A lot of older cameras had 'T' mode where you'd press the shutter once to open and once to close. Not sure why DSLRs don't allow for it.

Showing the exposure "live" is a really neat idea. You could sit there and check the LCD and stop the exposure once it looks "right".

It just hasn't been brought up enough. Sadly there is a really small percentage of photographers taking photographs with any consistently over 30 seconds time that demand results for professional use. With some attention raised to the matter I am sure that we can all get this fixed on a future model or in a firmware update.

If there is a good enough excuse to leave this feature out, I am all ears. Otherwise a lack of reply from the manufactures means they just need to get it working.

Carl
01-29-2009, 06:12 AM   #7
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I'd take long exposures more often if the 2-press operation were an option.
01-29-2009, 06:45 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rush2112 Quote
It just hasn't been brought up enough. Sadly there is a really small percentage of photographers taking photographs with any consistently over 30 seconds time that demand results for professional use. With some attention raised to the matter I am sure that we can all get this fixed on a future model or in a firmware update.

If there is a good enough excuse to leave this feature out, I am all ears. Otherwise a lack of reply from the manufactures means they just need to get it working.

Carl
I'd wager a guess that the sensor heating up could potentially cause issues if you do a lot of very long exposures. Perhaps that's the reason.

01-29-2009, 06:49 AM   #9
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I think there are not enough photogs doing long exposures for the camera designers to care. In a perfect world, there would be programmable shutter times longer than 30", so you didn't need bulb mode in the first place. There would be a fix of the K20D darkframe bug. Then there would be a bulb mode utilizing your excellent "two touch operation" idea. And so on. You see that night shooters simply are not a priority for the camera designers.
01-29-2009, 07:25 AM   #10
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Slight Variation on a Theme

Has anyone tried doing a 9 shot multi-exposure in lieu of a 2 minute timed exposure? Supposedly, the K10D (and I would guess K20D) exhibit less noise in multi-exposure mode.
01-29-2009, 08:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
I'd wager a guess that the sensor heating up could potentially cause issues if you do a lot of very long exposures. Perhaps that's the reason.
Since you can keep live view on for a few minutes, which (sorry if I'm mistaken) exposes the sensor for that length of time, you could do an exposure for the same length of time, without doing damage, right? Unless it's, you know, into the sun.

I'm sure they could cap it before it gets dangerous but, I agree, at the very least there should definitely be some way to dial in the length of exposure you want.
01-29-2009, 08:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
Since you can keep live view on for a few minutes, which (sorry if I'm mistaken) exposes the sensor for that length of time, you could do an exposure for the same length of time, without doing damage, right? Unless it's, you know, into the sun.

I'm sure they could cap it before it gets dangerous but, I agree, at the very least there should definitely be some way to dial in the length of exposure you want.
They do... up to 30 sec... anyways k20 has a built in intervalometer which is, to me , more important than a 2 touch B mode and amore expensive aftermarket part for those that don't have it but want it. The manual remote release w/ lock is just as efficient. There are plenty of IR and RF remotes that will do exactly as is asked for (2 touch, one on, one off) in the 20-40US range.....
As to why it's not there in the first place??? who knows, weird call for the programmers.
Wireless Remote Control 4 Pentax K10D K20D K100D K200D - eBay (item 110316378502 end time Feb-21-09 04:34:47 PST)
Bulb Mode:
1. Switch the camera to Bulb mode.
2. Press it all the way for 3 seconds until the Red LED on the remote controlgoes off.
3. The receiver is in bulb mode now. (Indicated by Red LED on the receiver)
4. Press the button again to close the shutter.

No endorsement or connection to this co/ebay implied BTW.. just an example and probably not the best.
01-29-2009, 08:38 AM   #13
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If you press it again, you end up shaking the camera if you have it on a tripod.

That reminds me...I should wish list an exposure greater than 30sec. Up to 2min is the max for autometering.
01-29-2009, 10:02 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
If you press it again, you end up shaking the camera if you have it on a tripod.

That reminds me...I should wish list an exposure greater than 30sec. Up to 2min is the max for autometering.
Not with a wireless remote (the above is IR I believe). Some people want the shutter button itself to do this. That's the point of the discussion. As to the vibration, on long exposures it may be meaninless but, not very elegent.
01-29-2009, 08:02 PM   #15
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Sure, you might shake the camera a bit on the second press, but that's better than having your hand on the camera for the duration of the exposure. And you can always use the put-something-in-front-of-the-lens and hit the button the first time, leave it open for the exposure time, put it back in front of the lens, and then hit the button to end the exposure. That way no light enters the camera while you're touching the buttons and possibly shaking it, which means no blur. Might add a second or two to the exposure.

Not all of us want to deal with remotes just for the ability to do a time exposure. Some old manual film cameras did it just great. Is it so hard to ask for a couple lines of code to enable the same thing?
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