Possible Duplicate:
Can the sun damage the camera sensor? Under what conditions?

.. and by that I mean not damaging :

  • my eyesight
  • my camera
  • my lens

I imagine a proper ND filter could allow me but I'm not sure

  • \$\begingroup\$ How did you just create 3 questions within 5mins of another? You are either a machine, or not doing much research. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 19:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, I did few photos of total eclipse in 1999. I do not know, whether the "analog" cameras with film are less sensitive then DSLR so I rather not compare. I had ISO 100 BW film and used DIY filter made from two stacked black glasses made for welding goggles. Although I was almost sure, that it should be safe, I rather did not watch the whole eclipse through the viewfinder :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Juhele
    Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dpollit : I was expecting 'you're either a very smart machine or a very dumb person'. Anyway searching did not help me much when I don't hit the proper keywords. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 6:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AndreiRinea I just searched for "sun damage" as your title suggested, and the first result is a duplicate of this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 14:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well it seems I should have searched by these terms... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 7:56

1 Answer 1


A large number of people, both amateurs and professionals, photograph and optically observe the sun regularly. The filters required are well known - a search on 'solar photography' will turn up many references.

Be aware that if you get it wrong you can destroy your eyes or your equipment in moments.
Looking directly at the sun will rapidly damage your eyes.
Looking at the sun through a concentrating lens system allows it to happen quicker, or very much quicker ;-(.

Full daylight is nominally 100,000 lux.
A modern LCD screen on full brightness is typically 300 lux at the panel surface. 100,000/ 300 =~ 3000:1. In practice a 400:1 ND filter will do what you want.

For example, Hoya makes an NDx400 ND filter that is intended for solar photography as well as other applications.

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Resulting in -

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Above images from here

These images are all hot liked to websites. Identify ones which appear liable to be of direct relevance and click the photos to open the link. (Obtained using Google search + images).


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