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Downtown NYC Long Exposure

One photo. ONE PHOTO!

That's what comprises this week's project. While a part of me didn't think this qualified as a "52 Week Project", I realized that it took a few hours of prep. I took about twenty shots over the course of an hour and a half to get one passable photo - I'd consider that a project. 

I've been enjoying taking long exposures with my Fujifilm X100s so much that I finally decided to get a matching set of Lee filters for my primary DSLR (the smaller, "Seven5" system won't cover the surface area of most DSLR lenses). Ultimately, this is so I don't end up standing under a waterfall with a short-circuited Fuji, thanks to its complete lack of weather sealing. 

Polarizer, 10-stop ND filter, 3-stop grad ND filter. So much glass.

Admittedly, I didn't need to take out the Nikon today, since the weather was fine -- but what kind of photographer would I be if I didn't test out the new gear? As it turns out, the Nikon needs a little more TLC when setting up for long exposures than the Fujifilm does. For one, the viewfinder must be covered when exposing for more than a few seconds. If you don't take this step, you'll get a rather hilarious amount of light leak onto your photo. Don't believe me? See below.

I told ya. It's awful.

After a bit of research, it seems that this a common happening - to varying degrees - for all DSLR cameras. Hopefully Nikon's more professional (read: expensive) DSLR bodies like the D810 don't suffer from such gratuitous leak. Still - a $3 viewfinder cap fixes that. I bought about five of those. They're cheap, and I will lose them.

The Nikon also suffers from a much higher degree of sensor noise, which basically means that any photo exposed for over a minute will have a lot of white dots from overheating sensor pixels. This is almost entirely fixable with the in-camera noise reduction, but I still see it here and there -the Fuji does not appear to have this issue at all. Finally, the Nikon lacks the Fuji's built-in 3-stop ND filter, which means that it was tricky to expose a photo beyond a minute in total daylight. 

So, if you've read my rambling thus far: both cameras are good for long exposure. But if you have a DSLR (particularly a midrange, crop-sensor Nikon), you may need take a few more precautions. And buy several viewfinder caps. 

Guaranteed, I lose one within the week.