Claim: zooming in on setting sun proves flat earth

Neil Obstat

Member


...I don't know how these images work yet -- I'm still learning!...


The first one (above) was not taken using a solar filter so the sun appears bigger than it really is, then the second one, taken later (supposedly) appears higher in the sky after zooming in with camera. Zooming in should make the sun appear larger but for whatever reason it seems to be the same size in the second captured frame above, as it does in the first, above. But notice the water below in the second pic shows no waves on the shore like the first pic does, and the second pic's water is out of focus or at least very grainy, like the zoom wasn't properly done. Was that deliberate or just sloppy?
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I challenged a friend to use the principle he was claiming in a different way, and he gave me an answer.

He was saying that after a boat seems to have gone down beyond the horizon, when you zoom in with a camera then the boat comes "back," therefore he thinks this proves there is no curvature but only distortion that hides the image of distant objects.

I challenged him by saying, Okay, if your zoom lens makes a boat come "back" after it goes over the curvature of the earth, then why can't you make the sun come "back" after it sets?

So he found this video, to answer my challenge:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oBmNe13AVE

It seems to me the guy posting this video has edited his "Raw footage" (in the title) to show the sun setting, and then posted reversed footage as if it were "raw footage" making the sun appear to rise up again while he zooms in. There is no timer shown and there are no birds flying by or people walking or boats sailing or clouds moving, so there's no way to tell if this wasn't faked. Plus, the camera is bouncing around, getting fuzzy and jumping over missed frames so I can't tell where the splices were made. I don't know what else to say to explain how the sun goes from less than one diameter above the horizon to more than 2 diameters above the horizon as he appears to zoom in on it. [ETA: see below]

I noticed the sun is not allowed to SET in this video before it's made to come "back" with a zoom lens, which is what I had asked to see.

Any expert opinions in the Metabunk world today?

ETA: I see a mod changed my title and moved some pictures, so I'd like to say thank you for not deleting my new thread, if I didn't quite meet the posting guidelines. I thought those two images at the top of the post were mistakes I had made, so I removed them; but now I see perhaps you put them there. So, I'll put them back now, I guess...
...OKAY -- I'm still learning here ! After replacing the two captures you made from the video, I see that perhaps the first pic has the sun appearing to be very large due to the fact no polarizing filter or any other kind was used to reduce the sun's glare, therefore the center of the apparent sun in that first pic is the center of the real sun, but the real sun is about 1/4 the diameter of what is shown, such that later, in the second pic, a smaller f/stop or perhaps a filter added makes the sun now a lot smaller after zooming in, and therefore it ONLY APPEARS to be higher in the sky, whereas in reality it has merely been reduced in diameter by cutting out the glare. -- How about that for a hypothesis?!?!

If I am getting to the truth here, it's only because a mod changed my OP so that I can see my own material better than I could before you changed it. Is that you deirdre, dear?
 

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Neil Obstat

Member
I don't know "why" the cameras do that with light... they just do.

here is my 2 minute bang up job showing the same thing with a flashlight.

the crate top is my horizon. my hair dye box is the sky (holding up my "sun"/flashlight)
Wow. That's aMAZing! Do you mind If I use your video? That's the best answer I've ever seen.

So the guy making that sloppy video at the beach was just fooling around with a P900 and then when he got home he realized he had accidentally stumbled onto something great or whatever. Perhaps he wasn't trying to "prove" anything or deliberately deceive anyone. But being ignorant of how cameras record images while facing bright lights, he was deceived by his own camera!

I would only say, like in the second video, if you had zoomed back in again and then out again, using a tripod, it would be a little more convincing. But this is pretty good, I just have to replay it several times trying to imagine what it would look like if the camera wasn't jiggling around.

Wait a minute. Hair dye?
So THAT'S how you get that shimmering golden brown hair between those nice big ears? :rolleyes:
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Do you mind If I use your video?
nope. although you could probably make a better one. I only have a little mini flashlight I keep in my purse, and as you can see I only have a cheezy camera that zooms about 5 feet. A brighter light source and longer zoom would more mimic the sun.
 

Neil Obstat

Member
nope. although you could probably make a better one.
Well, thank you, but I don't have ANY cameras anymore. They've all been stolen. (Sob story)
So If I ever get the opportunity, you've given me something to look forward to. I really appreciate it. And I really feel weird talking to a fawn. But you're cute.
 

Neil Obstat

Member
I just noticed something else. In your first flashlight-on-dye-box video, above, I stopped it at the beginning and measured the diameter of the light circle compared to the width of the crate top, and got 1/5. So the crate top appears to be 5 times bigger than the light. Then going forward, when the last glimpse of the crate top is still in the frame, the light is 1/7 as big, so the light is appearing to get SMALLER (relatively, or appears to stay the same size, when it ought to be getting bigger just like the crate does) while the crate gets LARGER under zoom.

Source: https://youtu.be/MUYmbHsGbtI

A few seconds later, at your maximum zoom, the right side of the crate top is out of the frame so I can't be exactly sure, however, using repeated replays and tracking the rate that the right corner of the crate moves to the right, I can estimate that at max zoom the crate top would appear to be 10 times wider than the diameter of the light circle.

Consequently, from zoom OUT to zoom IN the light goes from 1/5 of a fixed dimension (crate top) to 1/10 of the same fixed dimension. So the zoom doubles the size of the crate as well as all other fixed dimensions in view. Following this proportion, the apparent distance from the center of the light circle DOWN to the top of the crate (a fixed dimension) would logically also go from its starting dimension (whatever that is - perhaps 2 or 3 inches?) to double that much (about 4 to 6 inches) at maximum zoom.

But it's very interesting to see that the apparent diameter of the flashlight's light beam remains the same diameter from all the way zoomed out to all the way zoomed in.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Following this proportion, the apparent distance from the center of the light circle DOWN to the top of the crate would logically also go from its starting dimension (whatever that is - perhaps 1 or 2 inches?) to 2.5 times that much (about 3 to 5 inches) at maximum zoom
I don't know if you need it but the crate top is 15 and 3/4 inches across. and my flashlight is a smidge short of 1inch and 1/4, <not turned on.

add: the hairbox side height is 2 and 3/8 inches. I was 6 feet (give or take an inch..although I was probably standing straight) from the crate.

not sure you need any of this info.. but. ..
 

Neil Obstat

Member
I don't know if you need it but the crate top is 15 and 3/4 inches across. and my flashlight is a smidge short of 1inch and 1/4, <not turned on.

add: the hairbox side height is 2 and 3/8 inches. I was 6 feet (give or take an inch..although I was probably standing straight) from the crate.

not sure you need any of this info.. but. ..
You're freaking me out -- you can read my mind! Yeah, this is great. So from the top of the crate to the CENTER of the flashlight is 3" ...(1.25/2 + 2.375 = 0.625 + 2.375 = 3)... Presuming the flashlight lens is not wider than the flashlight body.

Whether you are zoomed out or zoomed in, the center of the light circle ought to remain above the crate at 1/5 the width of the crate, which is 3.15" and that doesn't change. Since the light circle seems to rise up when you zoom in, it has to be due to the illusion of the light circle appearing to get smaller at maximum zoom. Therefore it has to be due to a property of the lens optics, because that's the only thing that is changing with the zoom action going on. The light is not moving and the camera isn't getting closer to the crate.

This experiment could be improved by having a vertical index standing next to the light, about 6" to the left, like a ruler on end or a tape measure or an index card with horizontal sharpie lines for each inch from 1 to 6, going vertically. Or you could just have a statue there or some identifiable picture of something. Anything to give a sense of scale. A 6" model of the Eiffel Tower would be great. Then starting from zoomed out, we could see how high the top of the light circle is, and as you zoom in, we could see if the top edge of the light circle appears to move down; if so, we would see that the entire light circle appears to be getting smaller as you zoom in. I think it would.

As it stands now, all we have with the video as-is, is the presumption that the light mysteriously seems to move up when you zoom in, even when we know that the light is not moving at all. But there is nothing above it to show whether it appears to be also moving down at the same time.

Note: Likewise, there are no clouds in the sky to let us see if the top of the sun at the beach appears to be moving down while the bottom of it appears to be moving up. Nor is there any tall tree, tall ship, or mountain in the distance, or one of Soundly's electrical towers!

If the light appears to be moving up, and appears at the same time to be moving down, while the light is in fact known to not be moving at all, the only thing left is, "something is reducing the apparent diameter of the light beam inside the lens to make the beam look smaller," because the zoom lens is the only thing that's moving.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's doing it because the camera is adjusting the exposure based on the whole image. This makes the sun appear bigger when zoomed out because what you are seeing is mostly flare
 

Neil Obstat

Member
It's doing it because the camera is adjusting the exposure based on the whole image. This makes the sun appear bigger when zoomed out because what you are seeing is mostly flare
That's sounding a lot like the reason that stars appear "larger" in the sky, to the naked eye or even with some magnification, when it's actually their relative BRIGHTNESS that makes them appear larger. In these photos, the sun (or the flashlight) has a consistent apparent diameter as a % of the current frame because of the automatic exposure adjusting for the flare of the bright spot(?) The camera's light meter reads flare size and keeps that effectively constant(?)

I'm familiar with emulsion film exposure (f/stop & duration in 1/1000s) but I'm not up to speed on digital cameras.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Anything to give a sense of scale.
that's why I chose a hair dye box. they are all basically the same size. Clairol nice and easy.

I think the main point, vs the math, is it is an experiment your friend can easily replicate him/herself and see that the effect has nothing to do with the sun or the FE. It's a light meet camera thing. Maybe with their car headlights, the ground, at a greater distance and a greater camera zoom ability. (my camera says 10x on the front.. so I'm assuming that's my zoom ability)
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
A simple way to disprove this would be to put a dark filter over the lens so that the sun is only visible as a disc, and then zoom in. If you do it when the sun is right on the horizon then you will still be able to see where the horizon is. If the Flat Earth claim was correct, then zooming in at the moment of sunset ought to make the bottom half of the sun visible again.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIviCNY3Txw
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
That's sounding a lot like the reason that stars appear "larger" in the sky, to the naked eye or even with some magnification, when it's actually their relative BRIGHTNESS that makes them appear larger. In these photos, the sun (or the flashlight) has a consistent apparent diameter as a % of the current frame because of the automatic exposure adjusting for the flare of the bright spot(?) The camera's light meter reads flare size and keeps that effectively constant(?)
That can be the result, but it's not what the camera is trying to do.

Camera's adjust the exposure by the amount of light in the scene. When you view the scene wide angle there's a small sun in a large scene, so the camera tries to expose for the whole scene (say 1% sun and 99% sky/ground) and so the sun is even more over exposed that normal, making the glare bigger.

When you zoom in the size of the sun increases, so there's less "dark" regions, (say 10% sun, 90% sky/ground) so the camera compensates by reducing the exposure. So there's less glare, and so the sun looks smaller and more well defined - but since you've zoomed in it's magnified, so it can stay around the same size in the image.

This effect will vary based on just how bright the sun is. It can also very based on the camera, and the the camera settings. The exposure might be set to "center weighted" or "spot", meaning the exposure will vary depending on where the sun is in the frame.

And as noted, the way to solved this problem is to use a filter. It does not need to be an expensive one.
 
The sun appears bigger because there is a maximum brightness each pixel can display. The area around the sun (and the sun itself) is so bright it maxes out the brightness value. The camera seems to somehow adjust it's exposure so this maxed out area is about the same size as the others said.

That is why very bright coloured light appear white as well, e.g. why the setting sun appears white and not yellow. Colour is the relative difference in brightness between the red, green and blue pixels. If something is very bright all the pixels max out at 100%, and if all the pixels are the same value that is displayed as white.

edit2: changed sun to setting sun.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The camera seems to somehow adjust it's exposure so this maxed out area is about the same size as the others said.
Again though it's not trying to do this. This is just sometimes the results.

That is why very bright coloured light appear white as well, e.g. why the sun appears white and not yellow.
The sun is white, not yellow. Look at a sheet of white paper in sunlight. It's white. The light coming from the sun is white, the sun itself is white.
 
The sun is white, not yellow. Look at a sheet of white paper in sunlight. It's white. The light coming from the sun is white, the sun itself is white.
You are right! Thanks for pointing that out. Sunlight even peaks in green not yellow!

However, in the case of the setting sun, it really 'is' yellow. This is because the blue light (shorter wavelength components) are scattered more by the atmosphere and during sunset the sunlight passes through a much thicker column of air before it reaches our eyes (or the camera). I.e. a larger fraction of the shorter wavelength (red-yellow) light reaches us. But it still appears white on the camera in this case, because it's over exposed.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
But it still appears white on the camera in this case, because it's over exposed.
Indeed, but a clearer indication of how much it is over exposed is how much bigger the image is than the actual disk of the sun

Move the slider here. Same camera setting, just one shot with a filter.


(note also the reflected image of the sun in the mid lower left of the unfiltered image, that's the correct size.)

That's really the best point to try to get across to people.
 
Same camera setting, just one shot with a filter.
Very cool. Didn't realise the little spot is the reflected image of the sun, is it reflections in the lens assembly somehow? Can't help but notice that the solar filter must be tinted yellow (deliberately or not?)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Very cool. Didn't realise the little spot is the reflected image of the sun, is it reflections in the lens assembly somehow? Can't help but notice that the solar filter must be tinted yellow (deliberately or not?)
I don't think it's deliberate. It's hard to get a true neutral filter. These are just cheap filters. I've got a $100 Hoya ND100000 filter, but even that has a bit of a yellowish tint. Maybe if it HAD to be tinted, they erred towards yellow.
Metabunk 2018-06-12 10-49-06.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

Neil Obstat

Member
This effect will vary based on just how bright the sun is. It can also vary based on the camera, and the the camera settings. The exposure might be set to "center weighted" or "spot", meaning the exposure will vary depending on where the sun is in the frame.

And as noted, the way to solve this problem is to use a filter. It does not need to be an expensive one.
So that's why in some videos when the sun passes through the very center of the frame the exposure of the whole frame gets darker, probably because the camera's light meter is set to "spot" which is right in the center of the viewfinder.

I read comments on that flat-earther video I linked in the OP (shown below) where lots of viewers say, "Why don't you just use a filter!" The author replied with contempt to these comments showing that he knew a solar filter would eliminate the effect that he was hoping to preserve in order to deceive the viewers, "...it would defeat the purpose."

The video (author, Geo Buster):


Comments sample:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oBmNe13AVE&lc=UgwBgBFDsGCsq4eZvQJ4AaABAg
Or: Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oBmNe13AVE&lc=UgwBgBFDsGCsq4eZvQJ4AaABAg.8a2AGpOkCva8a3MOVs5_Fe

 
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Inti

Senior Member.
I remembered this thread when I happened to see a video by Wolfie6020 showing the effects of changing exposure. He shows how locking the exposure removes the apparent 'reappearance' of the sun due to flare. A good response to this FE claim, I think.

 
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