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Thread: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

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    4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Four-hour exposure, ISO 200, 14mm at f4, NO dark-frame, no noise reduction in post, 100% crop. The stock Nikon battery had 16% left, 35 degrees F. The file is very clean and I'm really surprised that the darn battery would last this long. I'll be doing an eight-hour exposure next dark moon cycle using an external battery to see what that looks like. Could this camera be as good as film for star-trail photos?

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Tim, that's just fantastic.

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Wonderful! Was it a completely still night or is the lack of movement in the tree limbs a factor of the uber-long exposure?

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    I think the wind was blowing a little bit, however I was asleep in my cabin most of the time and did not pay too much attention to it. Small movements would not show up, especially in the smaller branches anyway.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Nice, Tim You've tried this with other Nikons?
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    I've never tried a four-hour exposure (batteries would not last long enough) or skipping the dark slide exposure on anything longer than a few minutes before. Except, of course, with film...

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    I am so getting this camera!!! beaytiful mang!!

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Excellent!

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Wow. That looks great.

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Tim,

    That does look great. How did you get the camera to skip the dark frame exposure?

    I didn't realize that you could disable the dark frame. Or at least, hopefully you can. I can think of a few long exposure time lapse shoots I wanted to do where that could come in handy.

    Chris

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    It is easy. It is in the menu somewhere, I forget where, but you either turn it on or off. Normally I would leave it tuned on all the time (only kicks in with exposures of a full second or longer), but with this sensor you simply don't need it most of the time.

    I just got an external battery that will handle an 8-hour exposure so will try that next and see what the sensor will look like - I'm expecting it to be ugly, but am hoping for a nice surprise.

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    8-HOUR UPDATE. I just completed an 8-hour exposure at 24 degrees F., ISO 200, no dark frame, no noise reduction. The file is clean without noise or hot pixels that I can see - I don't know what is going on here, but it appears to me that this camera has replaced film for very long exposures. I can't wait for the upcoming dark moon phase so I can really have some fun!

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    post it please!!!

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    I can't upload anything from this computer (very slow connection - beaming it 300' through the woods) but will move to a different building in a little bit and post a link from there...

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    OK, here ya go. This is just a snapshot looking out into the woods from the porch for the test exposure shot (we had a big ice storm that knocked down a bunch of trees last year and I've been too lazy to cut them out). It was completely dark when I started the exposure (no snow), but sometime during the night a snowstorm blew through and it got a lot lighter. No post done other than white balance and about -2 exposure in ACR. This is a 100% pixel view cropped from the middle. Eight hours & 29 seconds exposure, ISO 200, f8, 24-70 nikkor, no dark slide exposure or noise reduction in post, no sharpening (the file sharpens up nicely, even though I'm sure the blowing snow blurred things a bit).



    I hope to be able to make a real picture at this exposure soon - this opens up a lot of possibilities for me!

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Eight hours you reckon? Man, that's pretty good isn't it!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    No reckoning required. Here's the EXIF info:

    Camera: Nikon D3S
    Lens: 24-70 mm f/2.8
    Shot at 70 mm
    Exposure: Manual exposure, 28894 sec, f/8, ISO 200

    Pretty impressive to say the least.

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    Senior Member ecsh's Avatar
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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    So now we will need a program to read actual time on the camera instead of shutter clicks<G>
    Joe

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    That's funny! Kind of like on a tractor - only shows hours on the engine instead of miles! I wonder if the total amount of time on a sensor has any effect on it? I know some aerial cam sensors go millions and millions of exposures with no ill effects, so probably not...

    Since I'll only be using this camera for nighttime exposures and never during the day for normal photos, it will probably end up with about the same number of hours as any other camera. I'll also use it for timelapse though so sometimes the shutter clicks will add up - let's see, an eight-hour timelapse with 30-second exposures at .1 second per frame on the movie would be 960 photos and yield a 96 second movie. I think. That is still a lot of shutter clicks in one day...

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    I wonder if the total amount of time on a sensor has any effect on it.....
    ********
    Are there sensor heat issues involved with very long exposures? I wonder if the low ambient temperature helped with the low noise levels.

    Steve

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    Steve - yes, lower temps always have lower noise and vice versa. No telling what this would look like at 70 degrees. I'm thrilled to have it look so good at 24 degrees though - I do most of my nighttime shooting in the winter anyway.

  22. #22
    tetsrfun
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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    I'm thrilled to have it look so good at 24 degrees though
    ********
    It is an amazing picture....Next thing, you will be building a refrigeration unit for the camera body for summer use. :>)

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    Re: 4-hour Nikon D3s exposure

    It's scary how fast the digital world is moving, really. With all the talk of a new D900 over at Nikon Rumors, I wonder what we'll see coming up from Nikon. D3s performance and chip with 1080p video? That would make a lot of happy campers in Nikon land.

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