Monday, September 17, 2007

Canon DSLRs for UV?

I was a Canon shooter, always, for many years. Then something happened, I got infected by that "UV Photography Virus" and I switched to Nikon. Why? Easy answer, some Nikon DSLRs are pretty sensitive to UV, but Canons are not. Are they really?

So I did a test after some years of having neglected my Canon gear and shot using the Canon 20D and the Nikon D70 under otherwise identical conditions.

And the winner is...??

Here's the Canon 20D result:

And here is the Nikon D70 result:

Not much visible difference, right? But the real difference gets visible when we have a look at the exposure data:

- Canon:  EOS 20D, ISO3200 (!!!), 30sec, f5.6, UV Rodagon 60mm, Baader 2" U-filter, UV LED

- Nikon: Nikon D70, ISO200, 2sec, f5.6, UV Rodagon 60mm, Baader 2" U-filter, UV LED

which is about 8EV (!!!) in favour of the Nikon D70 - a clear winner for UV shooting.

That now does not mean you can't use a Canon DSLR at all, it is just that ISO3200 and 30sec exposure are not really that convenient if you shoot somewhat ambitiously UV, irrespectively of the much higher noise which occurs at that high ISO level.

(Remark as of 2017: Canon cameras also use SONY sensors now, no own developemnts, so also Canon cameras have useful UV sensitivity from what I have read and seen)