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Author Topic: Solar eclipse questions...???  (Read 4224 times)

Richard8971

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Solar eclipse questions...???
« on: May 19, 2012, 12:15:51 AM »
Hey everyone! I live in Tucson, AZ and the solar eclipse this weekend will hopefully provide some awesome photos! However, since I have never photographed an eclipse, I need some advice.

I have filters at the ready, but when I Google the subject, some sources say to use filters and some say to not use them.

The ones that say to use them as the sun is "deadly" and will hurt my camera and my vision...

The others say that we take photographs of the sun all the time (I.E. during a sunset) and it will not "hurt" my eyes or my equipment.

I have 3 cameras that I plan on using during this event. One for a close up (for the flares), one for a "time-lapse" photo of the eclipse, and one hand held for random shots during the event.

One source tells me to use the filter for direct shots of the sun but to remove it during the total eclipse...

I have seen online of "time-lapse" photos of the eclipse that could not have been taken with a filter (unless it was photoshoppped first)...

Any thoughts? And my apologies if this subject has been addressed already.

Don
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Solar eclipse questions...???
« on: May 19, 2012, 12:15:51 AM »

PeterJ

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 12:54:12 AM »
There have been a few threads on the subject, first one I started a while back and got some useful advice and another more recent one as well that you might pickup some info from:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1587.0
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=6682.0

As for your question personally I wouldn't look through the viewfinder without a UV/IR blocking filter specifically made for the purpose of direct sunlight viewing. If you use liveview then the sensor is exposed all the time and while your eyes will be safe unless you have a very dense filter you run a fair risk of damaging the sensor.

Just checking the EXIF on a partial eclipse photo I took at f/11 with such a filter I calculated shutter speed would have had to have been about 1/500,000 without the filter, so depending on the phase of the eclipse and time of day I think often getting a properly exposed shot without some sort of filter would be impossible.

During the totality of the eclipse when it's quite dark I think you'd be safe without the filter, naked eye viewing is considered safe during that period. Personally I'd still just use liveview in that stage though in case it's over a bit quicker than you expect plus you are magnifying it a lot. NASA has a stack of information on their web site about just about all aspects including safe photography / viewing:

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/solar.html

Anyway good luck and post your shots back :D. I'm in the southern hemisphere so have to wait until later in the year for my turn :-[.

epsiloneri

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 04:59:05 AM »
In addition to what PeterJ said, note that this eclipse on May 20 is annular, not total. It makes a huge difference, as the sun will never be completely covered. The eclipse in Australia later this year will be total.

Shooting the annular eclipse will be good practice for the Venus transit on June 5!

jabbott

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 10:07:26 AM »
Here is another recent forum discussion about solar photography:
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=6385.0

I'm heading to Albuquerque to be in the center of the annular eclipse path...  the forecasted sky cover is higher than I would like (27%) but I'll take my chances.  I'll be using two stacked ND filters with a combined optical density of 3.9 (which according to one person at the discussion above is a recipe for disaster, but I beg to differ as I will only be using Live View and quickly framing/focusing/shooting and then covering the lens otherwise).  Best of luck to everyone photographing it!

dougkerr

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 12:02:58 PM »
Hi, Don,
One source tells me to use the filter for direct shots of the sun but to remove it during the total eclipse...
Good advice for a total eclipse event. Note however that this time there will be no total eclipse.

I don't know what the best advice is during the "complete annular" phase.

Best regards,

Doug (Just barely outside the path of "full annular" eclipse, in Alamogordo, N.M.)

dougkerr

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 12:05:09 PM »
Here is another recent forum discussion about solar photography:
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=6385.0

I'm heading to Albuquerque to be in the center of the annular eclipse path...  the forecasted sky cover is higher than I would like (27%) but I'll take my chances.  I'll be using two stacked ND filters with a combined optical density of 3.9
About 13 stops - often recommended for this purpose.

Best regards,

Doug

heavybarrel

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 02:23:50 PM »
I'm in San Francisco, where the eclipse won't be happening until late afternoon... is it still going to require 13 stops to get a good shot?

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 02:23:50 PM »

PeterJ

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 12:21:20 AM »
I'm in San Francisco, where the eclipse won't be happening until late afternoon... is it still going to require 13 stops to get a good shot?
It's probably too late for this time but the best way to find out would have been to try a few shots in the days leading up around the same time. You might be OK with less but you could well need to stop down the lens a lot more than you'd normally like to.

I'm glad I bought the proper filter, assuming you're looking for a telephoto shot I found 400mm on a crop to be quite tricky to frame so it was a big bonus being able to use LV continuously to make small adjustments, I didn't record any exact times but I seem to remember about 5 minutes was enough time for the sun to drift from center frame to towards the edge.

broseph

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 05:02:33 PM »
Was anyone able to get some good shots of it? We had clouds in our area.

awinphoto

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 05:37:18 PM »
Got these from N Nevada...
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

Richard8971

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2012, 01:38:04 PM »
Thanks everyone for the advice and links! I am still editing photos from last weekend but here is so far one of my favorites.

D

Taken with our 5D2.
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jabbott

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2012, 06:59:07 PM »
Here is a compilation of eclipse photos I took:


In Albuquerque it was really interesting because the eclipse was still happening during sunset.  Because of that, the sun set in a shark fin shape.  We were about a mile away from the center path of the annular eclipse, so we were able to get the moon centered nicely in the sun.  There was cloud cover earlier in the day but it all went away for the eclipse... we couldn't have asked for better viewing conditions.  For these photos I used a Canon Rebel T2i with a 70-200mm f/2.8L II with a 2X extender @ 400mm and two stacked neutral density filters with a combined optical density of 3.9.

Richard8971

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2012, 09:22:03 PM »
Here is a compilation of eclipse photos I took:


In Albuquerque it was really interesting because the eclipse was still happening during sunset.  Because of that, the sun set in a shark fin shape.  We were about a mile away from the center path of the annular eclipse, so we were able to get the moon centered nicely in the sun.  There was cloud cover earlier in the day but it all went away for the eclipse... we couldn't have asked for better viewing conditions.  For these photos I used a Canon Rebel T2i with a 70-200mm f/2.8L II with a 2X extender @ 400mm and two stacked neutral density filters with a combined optical density of 3.9.

Very cool shots! Love your work.

D
Canon 5D2, 7Dv2.03, 50D, 40D, T1i, XTi...XT (& lenses, flahses), various powershots... You get the idea... I have a problem. :)

Wife shoots Nikon, D7000, D7100, (lenses and flashes)... we constantly tease each other that our cameras are better than each others!

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2012, 09:22:03 PM »

jabbott

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2012, 09:43:19 PM »
Very cool shots! Love your work.

D
Thanks!  I'm starting to look into getting prints made of it.  The full resolution is 12500 x 3000 pixels so at 300 DPI it works out to a 42x10" print.

broseph

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2012, 06:11:35 PM »
Here is a compilation of eclipse photos I took:


In Albuquerque it was really interesting because the eclipse was still happening during sunset.  Because of that, the sun set in a shark fin shape.  We were about a mile away from the center path of the annular eclipse, so we were able to get the moon centered nicely in the sun.  There was cloud cover earlier in the day but it all went away for the eclipse... we couldn't have asked for better viewing conditions.  For these photos I used a Canon Rebel T2i with a 70-200mm f/2.8L II with a 2X extender @ 400mm and two stacked neutral density filters with a combined optical density of 3.9.

Nice! Facebook timeline photo haha? I wish it wasn't cloudy where we were

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Re: Solar eclipse questions...???
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2012, 06:11:35 PM »