This afternoon I wanted to see if my Sony A6000 with its ND Throttle (NDT) could cope with Extremely Long Exposures (ELEs), say beyond a few minutes. Most would consider LE work in the 10s of seconds to be long, especially when attempted in daylight.
However, for certain architectural shooting there is a need to consider capturing images over many minutes. So the question was: would the image quality suffer using the NDT?
So I decided on a 800 seconds (over 13 minutes) experiment and used what is now my standard exposure-setting workflow on the Sony A6000:
l Work out how many stops of reduction I need from the target (800s) to get below the Bulb setting. In this case that was 5 stops, ie bringing the shutter time to 25 seconds. Because of diffraction I would normally try to limit things to 4 stops, ie F/2.8 to F/11;
l put the lens on F/2.8 (the widest my Rokinon manual will go) and adjust the NDT until the histogram looks about right. From experience you can not afford to have blown out areas when setting up;
- Set the camera to Bulb;
- Dial the lens up 5 stops to F16;
- Use the iPod and MaxStone to take the image.
However, overall I’m pretty pleased with this ‘ultimate’ test of the ELE abilities of the Sony A6000. Next the field test!