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Post by travis_cooper on Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:12 am

Bulb mode is the last one on our dial. This is used when you need more than your longest shutter speed, which is 30" on my camera. When would you need more than 30", well if you are shooting stars you might need a minute or so, or if you are taking pictures of buildings at night, if its dark enough, you will need more than 30". So bulb mode lets you set the exposure for as long as you want, or until your batteries die. In this mode the e-dial sets your aperture and the shutter speed is determined by you, you simply press the shutter button and as long as you are holding it down the shutter stays open. Once you let go it closes. So if you need 60" you hold it and use a watch or count to 60 seconds. Now you may think, if I'm off on my counting won't I get a bad exposure? Well probably not because a full stop of light is basically every time you double the time, so from a minute to get another stop of light you have to go two minutes, so if you are off by a second or two that is hardly anything in comparison to the full amount of time. This is also a very useful mode to get lightning strikes and fireworks. Since the sky is mostly black in these situations you just point your camera where you think lighting will hit, or where the fireworks are and hold down the shutter, after a couple of fireworks go off or after the lightning strikes let go of the shutter and you will get much better results.

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