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Sun Filter

>Published : 30th Sept. 2005

>What is the best approach for checking if the sun is on the way in or out of the clouds, without damaging the eye? I know some people uses a contrast filter, but I'm not sure if that is enough? I thought maybe a bunch of stacked ND gels could do it?

>Best regards,

Anders Thorsby

Freelance clapper/loader | video assistant
Copenhagen, Denmark


>I just take off my sunglasses and look at the reflection of the sun and clouds in the lenses. A moment's study will tell what the sun and clouds are doing almost as well as looking directly at them.

>Much safer, too.

>Randy Miller, DP in LA


>Anders Thorsby wrote :

class="Paragraph">>What is the best approach for checking if the sun is on the way in or out >of the clouds, without damaging the eye?

>A gaffer's glass works well. It is much denser than a contrast filter. The trouble with stacking various ND’s or using a piece of fogged and developed film is that they may not absorb the UV, which is very damaging.

>Hopefully, the manufacturers of gaffer's glasses have thought of that.

>Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


>Mr. Ramsey wrote:

>A gaffer's glass works well. It is much denser than a contrast filter. The >trouble with stacking various ND’s or using a piece of fogged and >developed film is that they may not absorb the UV, which is very >damaging.

Even though our "Gaffer's Viewing Glass" was designed with a UV inhibitor built in, it was NOT designed to look at the sun. It was designed for looking at lights. I strongly suggest that you not look at the sun with a Gaffer's Viewing Glass.

If you are looking for a way to look at the sun, I suggest welder glass, shade T-10 or denser, maybe even stacking two of the glasses together.

Best regards,


Will Harrison
Harrison & Harrison Optical Engineers, Inc.
"75 YEARS OF PROGRESS IN PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGH FILTERS."
1929 - 2004


>Dye filters or sunglasses may not block all the harmful rays, especially in the UV and IR portions of the spectrum. Looking directly at the sun, you could damage your eyes before you know it.

>A SILVER ND filter (like D-Max B&W silver-image film stock), or welder's glasses, does block the full spectrum, but a safer alternative is looking at the REFLECTION of the sun and sky on a glossy surface like a pane of glass or the lens of your sunglasses. If you use a shiny sphere (e.g., a large glass globe light bulb), you can see a panoramic reflection of the sky all around you.

>Here are some procedures for eclipse photography, which indicate the dangers of direct viewing of the sun:

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/products/techInfo/

p150a/p150a.shtml

>John Pytlak
EI Customer Technical Services
Eastman Kodak Company
http://www.kodak.com/go/motion


>More links about viewing the sun safely :

>http://www.astronexus.com/gatfaq/solar.html

>http://www.roboticobservatory.com/jeff/faq/

>http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030604/health.htm#1

>http://www.look-to-the-skies.com/transit_of_venus.htm

>http://www.avsim.com/pages/0899/eclipse/eclipse.htm

>http://www.mreclipse.com/SENL/SENL9901/SENL901at.htm

>http://www.wildguides.co.za/tour4.html

>John Pytlak
EI Customer Technical Service
Research Labs, Building 69
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, New York 14650-1922 USA
http://www.kodak.com/go/motion


>Will Harrison wrote:

class="Paragraph">>Even though our "Gaffer's Viewing Glass" was designed with a UV >inhibitor built in, it was NOT designed to look at the sun. It was >designed for looking at lights.

>Thanks for the clarification. I'll refrain from using it for viewing the sun.

>Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


>Anders,

class="Paragraph">> What is the best approach for checking if the sun is on the way in or out >of the clouds

>Really, really dark sun glasses used as a mirror (i.e watch the reflection of the sky on the front of the sunnies) - the wrap around ones are best as they give you almost a fisheye view of the sky.

>Hope this helps

>Kim Sargenius
Cinematographer
Sydney Australia


>Other "panoramic" mirrors to view the sky could be a convex mirror used for automobile "rear view", or that are used for store surveillance.

>http://www.roadtech.com/mirrors_new.html

http://www.seeall.com/products/dome_mirrors.html

John Pytlak
Eastman Kodak Company


>John P. Pytlak writes:

class="Paragraph">>Other "panoramic" mirrors to view the sky could be a convex mirror used >for automobile "rear view"

>Aren't these still too reflective to be safe? They reduce the size of the sun, but are still very bright!

>Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


>By their nature, a convex mirror does not focus the light reflected. If you feel the image is still too bright, any shiny convex or spherical surface (e.g., a glass globe lamp or even a "snow globe") could give a panoramic view of the sky by reflection.

>John Pytlak
Eastman Kodak Company


>John P. Pytlak wrote :

class="Paragraph">> If you feel the image is still too bright

>But still, as you said earlier, it's the sun with IR and UV. Not to be kidding with...it's always too bright for our precious eyes.

>I will look into some welders glass in a handy pocket-fit size, to have standby for that quick peek on a mildly cloudy day.

>Thanks to everyone for good ideas and thoughts. It's good to know what is the absolutely right thing to do, but also what is handy when there is no time for the right thing

>Best regards,

Anders Thorsby

Freelance clapper/loader | video assistant
Copenhagen, Denmark