December 18, 2017, 04:04:01 PM

Author Topic: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM  (Read 3800 times)

Rofflesaurrr

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Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« on: August 01, 2017, 06:17:00 PM »
I plan on photographing the upcoming solar eclipse this month from NJ. My longest lens setup just happens to be a Canon FD zoom. I have a 100-300mm f/5.6L and 2x-B extender. This will give me a 600mm effective focal length at f/11 wide open. I've never photographed an eclipse before, let alone with 35mm film. I have a Canon AL-1 body and a A-1. For film, I was leaning towards Kodak Ektar 100 and maybe even ADOX CMS 20 II... perhaps one in each body. Being an SLR, I'm going to have to look through the viewfinder. I don't want to burn my retinas out. I see B&H is pushing solar filters lately. Will I need one of these, considering my maximum aperture is f/11? Or will a standard ND filter work? Should I stack a UV filter also? Being in NJ, I will never see it in 100% totality, but around 80%.

Another option would be to ditch the film bodies altogether and adapt the FD lenses to a crop sensor mirrorless camera. Especially if I won't be able to use the viewfinder on my Canons. This would also give me an additional 1.5x reach.

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Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« on: August 01, 2017, 06:17:00 PM »

Valvebounce

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 07:13:18 PM »
Hi.
All your best advice about filters is here, http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=32807.0
I have no idea of the quality of adapted lenses, but unless you already own an EOS DSLR and are familiar with its operation, it is probably better to forgo that learning curve in the relatively short time remaining until the eclipse.

Cheers, Graham.
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slclick

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 07:20:14 PM »
YES you will need a solar filter. Don't even think about stacking ND's or whatnot. It's not the same. A good SF will start you about 139 and up for a front of the lens and the best/right was to do it is to get the one that sandwiches between the body and lens and those will run you deep cash. So many articles right now, check out B&H's in depth articles on their main page.

Folks are going to be putting many camera shops and Repair Centers in business this August not to mention ophthalmologists as well.

Sensor repair? Might as well buy a new body
iPhone replacement?  $649 and up
Retinas? This isn't Blade Runner.

Rofflesaurrr

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 08:11:24 PM »
YES you will need a solar filter. Don't even think about stacking ND's or whatnot. It's not the same. A good SF will start you about 139 and up for a front of the lens and the best/right was to do it is to get the one that sandwiches between the body and lens and those will run you deep cash. So many articles right now, check out B&H's in depth articles on their main page.

Folks are going to be putting many camera shops and Repair Centers in business this August not to mention ophthalmologists as well.

Sensor repair? Might as well buy a new body
iPhone replacement?  $649 and up
Retinas? This isn't Blade Runner.

So from what I can gather, the solar filter provides UV and IR filtration in addition to being an ND, so that should be the only filter I need? I'm just worried that a 16-22 stop solar filter, at ISO 100, and an aperture of f/11 might be too dark?

slclick

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 09:56:24 PM »
YES you will need a solar filter. Don't even think about stacking ND's or whatnot. It's not the same. A good SF will start you about 139 and up for a front of the lens and the best/right was to do it is to get the one that sandwiches between the body and lens and those will run you deep cash. So many articles right now, check out B&H's in depth articles on their main page.

Folks are going to be putting many camera shops and Repair Centers in business this August not to mention ophthalmologists as well.

Sensor repair? Might as well buy a new body
iPhone replacement?  $649 and up
Retinas? This isn't Blade Runner.

So from what I can gather, the solar filter provides UV and IR filtration in addition to being an ND, so that should be the only filter I need? I'm just worried that a 16-22 stop solar filter, at ISO 100, and an aperture of f/11 might be too dark?

Don't get hung up on apertures, use them all.

dcm

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 11:03:01 PM »
Even though I shot with Canon equipment, I did attend Nikon School back in my early film days. My old Nikon School Handbook on photographing the sun has a lot of cautions about viewing the sun directly or though any optical light gathering instrument.  It can damage your equipment as well as your eyes.

A 5.0 neutral density filter (ND5) should be used to reduce solar light for photographic purposes.  However, it is still not sufficient to protect the eyes when viewing the sun.  A simple method for aiming the camera towards the sun is to adjust the lens and camera body so that they project the smallest possible shadow on the ground.  Another easy way is to place a card just an inch or so behind the camera viewfinder.  When the lens is pointed correctly, the sun's image will appear as a bright disk on the card.

It even provides an approximate exposure table for the equipment/film available at the time.

PhaseISOFilterShutterAperture
Normal Solar 64ND 5.01/60 f/8
Partial Phase Disc Delineation 64ND 5.0 1/125 f/8
Total Phase Prominences 64 none 1/60 f/5.6
Inner Corona 400 none 1/60 f/5.6
Outer Corona 400 none 1/15 f/4

Edit: updated filter spec to ND 5.0.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 12:37:54 PM by dcm »
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LDS

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 05:36:24 AM »
I plan on photographing the upcoming solar eclipse this month from NJ. My longest lens setup just happens to be a Canon FD zoom. I have a 100-300mm f/5.6L and 2x-B extender. This will give me a 600mm effective focal length at f/11 wide open.

The advices given for digital cameras are valid for film cameras as well, you can look at the thread http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=32433.0

I shot the August 1999 eclipse using an A-1 and a 70-210mm/4.5 + 2x, f/11 may make focusing a bit hard using the standard screen, IIRC the AL-1 screen was not much different. Also, you're shooting at full aperture when the image quality is not yet at its best. It could be better to shoot at 300mm without TC, stop down 1-2 stops, and then enlarge and crop when printing.

For any Sun photo outside a total eclipse, a Sun filter is needed, other DIY systems are just dangerous, especially on a clear day and the Sun high in the sky (when almost nothing filters it even a little). Sun filters block UV and IR, letting pass just a small percentage of the visible light.

The filter need to be mounted on the lens, in front of it. Filters mounted to the rear are today deemed very dangerous because the lens will collect and focus the energy on the filter, and the heat can break it (and also damage things around...).

A slow film will have better definition (useful when the Sun shows spots or the like), but when you have to shoot through the whole atmosphere, there's the issue of turbulence which may decrease image quality, especially on hot days, or where temperature differences may create more turbulence.

Using faster shutter speed may "freeze" it, and deliver better images, especially if the Sun shows some features like spots (some appeared lately, although the Sun is at its minimum of the 11-year cycle). I would try to avoid going below 1/125, especially if the tripod is not really sturdy, but if possible I'd use faster speeds. Use a release cable, of course.

A slow film like the ADOX may be slow, and its definition may be not used fully unless the whole system is very stable, and the teleconverter may anyway reduce image quality a little. I'd choose between the Ektar 100 and the Portra 400 (or equivalent from other brands), to keep exposure above 1/125 at f/11, with the chosen filter.

Beware some filter will deliver a "white" image of the Sun, others may be designed to produce an "orange" one, and they are quite monochromatic. In the former case, a B/W film is a good choice also.

It's better to test the equipment and the exposure beforehand, taking some images of the Sun. A partial eclipse is as bright as the whole Sun - only until the Sun is about 90% covered there is a decrease of brightness.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 05:53:03 AM by LDS »

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 05:36:24 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 12:09:44 PM »
The numbering systems of filters causes a lot of confusion, and can cost you your eyes.  Get a solar rated filter. 

There are two similar numbers for filters, numbers like ND 5.0, or numbers like ND10.  A ND 5.0 is equivalent to ND100000.  So using a ND10 photographic filter or even stacking them is not a good solution, and IR / UV blocking is another gotcha.

good information here:

http://starcircleacademy.com/2012/04/solar-filter/

You can view thru the viewfinder if you are using a ND 5.0 (ND100000) solar filter.  The good ones are all sold out, I'd be wary of the cheap knock offs, a pinhole can be very bad.

You can still find Baader Solar safety film ND 5.0 and easily make a filter to fit over the end of a camera lens, binoculars, or telescope.  In addition to my Orion glass solar filter, I ordered a piece of the film in case I want to make a filter for a 2nd lens, or binoculars.  It arrived Yesterday.  That's the best bet at this point, it may be all gone soon.

example:  https://www.amazon.com/Baader-AstroSolar-Visual-Solar-Filter/dp/B072XPB9NS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501690109&sr=8-1&keywords=baader+film
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 12:18:11 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

jones1337

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 09:31:45 AM »
I remember i was trying to shoot my first eclipse in 2011, that was really impressive. i advise u to read some articles about shooting at night on fixthephoto.com or some other websites u can find using google. Good luck in catching eclipse ;)

zakriyabh

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2017, 01:37:38 PM »
Okay so just out of curiosity (and I know I'm going to sound like a total idiot here) but is it technically possible to shoot the eclipse on film without a filter? I'm in a bit of a predicament because they are sold out of filters literally everywhere but I did manage to find one pair of glasses so I was curious if I could just use a low-speed film (like Ektar) and then just use the solar glasses when looking through the viewfinder. Would the light from the sun damage the film or do you think it would work? In the end, I wouldn't be actually looking at the sun directly because of the glasses so the main thing I'd be concerned about it frying the film.
Thanks,
Zak

sulla

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2017, 02:41:26 PM »
You definitely neeeeeeeed a solar filter! NDs won't block enough IR, you will ruin your eye, if you don't use special solar filters. And if you look through the viewfinder (as opposed to life-view) you will need one suitable to "visual observation", not just for "photography", again, becaus it NEEDS to block IR!

I shot my last solar eclips back in 1999 in central Europe, then still with film.

I encountered severe problems at the outer protuberances. As I prepared for the event sloppily, I was not aware that the protuberances emitted mostly in the infrared, and most lenses have a different focus for IR light. Morover, the eye can't see it, and so during focussing I did not notice this. Some Canon lenses actually have a separate marking (in red) for IR. This resulted in a sharp edge of the sun and moon, but in significantly blurred protuberances. You might try an IR-blocking filter, too, but you will lose details. Those filters filter out near-IR, that will still pass through the solar observation filters. Film will be sensitive to near-IR.

I guess a mirror reflector "lens" would be suited better than refractor lenses.
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LDS

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2017, 02:50:26 PM »
Okay so just out of curiosity (and I know I'm going to sound like a total idiot here) but is it technically possible to shoot the eclipse on film without a filter?

Only the totality is safe without a filter. In any other moment you just risk to damage your eyes and the equipment. The equipment can be replaced, your eyes can't.

Solar glasses (those specifically made with solar filters, not plain sun glasses) are OK only and only if the Sun is looked at directly, not through any optical device that collect and amplify its radiation - that includes cameras, binoculars, scopes, etc. Any solar filter must be put in front of any device.

Pointing a camera at the Sun high in the sky without filters can easily damage lenses, mirrors, shutters and film as well. Eyes are even more at risk.

If you have solar glasses, use them to wait for the totality, take images of it, and be careful to stop when it ends.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 02:56:08 PM by LDS »

sulla

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2017, 02:52:36 PM »
Okay so just out of curiosity (and I know I'm going to sound like a total idiot here) but is it technically possible to shoot the eclipse on film without a filter?
Yes, it can be done: You will get the exposure right by closing the aperture, using a 2x extender (closing the aperture by another factor of 2) and using 1/8000. That should be enough.

BUT: Using a long tele-lens and pointing it to the sun will melt the plastic in your mirrorbox within few seconds.

So, it can be done by chosig the exposure and covering the lens with a hat, only putting it away for 1second, during which you take the picture. Aiming at the sun will not be easy, however.

Disclaimer: I strongly advise against this.
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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2017, 02:52:36 PM »

sulla

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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2017, 02:57:04 PM »
Solar glasses are OK only and only if the Sun is looked at directly, not through any optical device that collect and amplify its radiation - that includes cameras, binoculars, scopes, etc. Any solar filter must be put in front of any device.
Actually, I believe solar filters certified for putting in front of binoculars will be fine. I used some in 1999 in Europe, it was great and safe. It will be printed on the packaging of such filters.
Others won't be fine for observation through optical devices, however.
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Re: Photographing the Eclipse with FILM
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2017, 02:57:04 PM »