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Tips and Techniques for Photographing the Total Solar Eclipse

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#51 Skywise2

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 10:48 PM

If I use EO with a Canon 5D, do I have to load any Canon software (EOS Utilities disk) or does EO have the Canon drivers already?



#52 AUricle

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 12:19 AM

If I use EO with a Canon 5D, do I have to load any Canon software (EOS Utilities disk) or does EO have the Canon drivers already?

Skywise2,

I can't say for your set-up, but I know with my Canon T3, I have to start EOS Utility first to establish USB remote capability. Then I shut it down and open EO Pro.......



#53 AUricle

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 12:24 AM

Is the shoestring astro cable a serial cable? Does it allow for more exposures in EO like the Hap Griffin cable?

Yes. It controls the shutter commands, subordinating the exposure control functions( ISO, exposure speed,  etc. to the USB cable, so as to speed up the shutter command times


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#54 Philipp

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 03:38 PM

Thanks Jerry for your very informative and also motivating postings!

 

I have been planning my eclipse trip for quite some time, and also thought a lot about how to photograph the eclipse itself.

 

Since I will be travelling by plane, and part of our family vacation will be a camping trip, I cannot bring my 127mm f/8 or even my 80mm f/7 refractors with adequate mounting.

 

Therefore I opted for a telephoto solution.

 

I also had a look (and tested) a quite nice Tamron 500mm f/8 SP mirror lens and a Celestron C90, but both lost out in the shootout against my 300mm f/4E Nikkor PF lens with the TC14E-II converter, it was sharper and more contrasty.

 

DSC00490_1600px.jpg

 

In the meantime I also tested the 300 with a TC2E-III, which showed even more resolution on sunspots.

 

DSC_0113_1600px.jpg

 

But then I did some vibration testing using Jupiter as a target, which showed that I absolutely have to use Mirror lock up. The test was on our roof-deck, which is quite vibration prone, so I have to repeat it on solid ground, but I am convinced I have to use mirror lock up which is bad, because I wanted to use bracketing in combination with the built-in intervalometer of the D750 for totality. But with the intervalometer only the first shot uses mirror lock up.

 

2017-07-23-22_31_27-Lightroom-Catalog-Ad

 

So I will have to trigger the camera using a cable release by hand during totality, the bracketing can be set to use 5 frames with a spread of 3EV between each frame - this gives me sequences with 1/125s, 1/4000s/, 1/1000s, 1/15s and 1/2s - coupled with the dynamic range of the Nikon D750, this should result in images usable for some HDR processing. I just have repeatedly to press a button, so this should not be too complicated...

 

I plan to use the D750 with the 300mm f/4E and 1.4x converter on the Vixen Polarie.

 

(In the picture the 2x converter is mounted, instead of the 1.4x)

 

DSC_0490_1600px.jpg

 

DSC_0484_1600px.jpg

 

I tried to use EclipseDroid with the D750, but it did not work, but it does work with my old D7000, so now I plan to additionally use the D7000 in combination with the 70-200 f/4 coupled with the 2x converter attached to my phone using a USB OTG cable. This afternoon I did quite a bit of testing, and came up with this action sequence which is modeled after the sequence on your webpage:

REM DEBUG
E;0;LOG;* Loading philipp_madras.csv **

C1;-300;SPEAK;5 minutes to first contact;EN
C1;-180;SPEAK;3 minutes to first contact;EN
C1;-60;SPEAK;1 minute to first contact;EN
C2;-35;SPEAK;Minus 35 seconds Filters off;EN
c2;-6;TAKEPIC;Bailey's Beads;D7000;1/4000;8;100;RAW
c2;-3;TAKEPIC;Diamond Ring;D7000;1/200;8;200;RAW
c2;0;TAKEPIC;Chromosphere;D7000;1/4000;8;100;RAW
c2;3;TAKEPIC;Chromosphere;D7000;1/2000;8;100;RAW
c2;6;TAKEPIC;Prominences;D7000;1/1000;8;100;RAW 
c2;9;TAKEPIC;Prominences;D7000;1/500;8;100;RAW
c2;12;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/250;8;200;RAW 
c2;15;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/125;8;200;RAW 
c2;18;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/60;8;200;RAW
c2;21;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/30;8;200;RAW
c2;24;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/15;8;200;RAW
c2;27;TAKEPIC;Middle Corona;D7000;1/8;8;200;RAW
c2;30;TAKEPIC;Middle Corona;D7000;1/4;8;200;RAW
c2;33;TAKEPIC;Middle Corona;D7000;1/2;8;200;RAW
c2;37;TAKEPIC;Outer Corona;D7000;1;8;200;RAW 
c2;42;TAKEPIC;Outer Corona;D7000;2;8;200;RAW
c2;49;TAKEPIC;Outer Corona;D7000;4;8;200;RAW
c2;60;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/125;8;200;RAW 
c3;-58;TAKEPIC;Outer Corona;D7000;4;8;200;RAW
c3;-48;TAKEPIC;Outer Corona;D7000;2;8;200;RAW 
c3;-42;TAKEPIC;Outer Corona;D7000;1;8;200;RAW
c3;-36;TAKEPIC;Outer Corona;D7000;1/2;8;200;RAW 
c3;-33;TAKEPIC;Middle Corona;D7000;1/4;8;200;RAW
c3;-30;TAKEPIC;Middle Corona;D7000;1/8;8;200;RAW
c3;-27;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/15;8;200;RAW
c3;-24;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/30;8;200;RAW
c3;-21;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/60;8;200;RAW
c3;-18;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/125;8;200;RAW
c3;-15;TAKEPIC;Inner Corona;D7000;1/250;8;200;RAW
c3;-12;TAKEPIC;Prominences;D7000;1/500;8;200;RAW
c3;-9;TAKEPIC;Prominences;D7000;1/1000;8;100;RAW
c3;-6;TAKEPIC;Chromosphere;D7000;1/2000;8;100;RAW
c3;-3;TAKEPIC;Chromosphere;D7000;1/4000;8;100;RAW
c3;0;TAKEPIC;Diamond Ring;D7000;1/200;8;200;RAW
c3;3;TAKEPIC;Bailey's Beads;D7000;1/4000;8;100;RAW
c3;6;TAKEPIC;Bailey's Beads;D7000;1/4000;8;100;RAW 
c3;9;TAKEPIC;Bailey's Beads;D7000;1/4000;8;100;RAW

C3;30;SPEAK;30 seconds Filters on;EN

which almost runs perfectly (one frame is not recorded).

 

conclusions:

  • Mirror Slap is severe at the exposure times relevant for a solar eclipse
  • Older lenses or telescopes are sometimes not up to modern standards (notable exceptions include the 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor and the 5" f/8 Astrophysics)
  • Testing proved to be insightful and time consuming...

 

 

 

 


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#55 dghundt

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 05:49 PM

Tell me more about that nifty Polarie scope setup!



#56 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 06:37 PM

 

I also had a look (and tested) a quite nice Tamron 500mm f/8 SP mirror lens and a Celestron C90, but both lost out in the shootout against my 300mm f/4E Nikkor PF lens with the TC14E-II converter, it was sharper and more contrasty.

 

But then I did some vibration testing using Jupiter as a target, which showed that I absolutely have to use Mirror lock up. The test was on our roof-deck, which is quite vibration prone, so I have to repeat it on solid ground, but I am convinced I have to use mirror lock up which is bad, because I wanted to use bracketing in combination with the built-in intervalometer of the D750 for totality. But with the intervalometer only the first shot uses mirror lock up.

 

conclusions:

  • Mirror Slap is severe at the exposure times relevant for a solar eclipse
  • Older lenses or telescopes are sometimes not up to modern standards (notable exceptions include the 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor and the 5" f/8 Astrophysics)
  • Testing proved to be insightful and time consuming...

 

My original plan was to use a 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor, but, like you, when I tested it, my Astro-Tech AT65Q blew it away.

 

Test again on solid ground for vibration and sharpness.

 

Try using your D750 with Live View on and the intervalometer, there may be a way to trick the camera into keeping the mirror up.

 

Jerry



#57 Philipp

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:28 PM

Tell me more about that nifty Polarie scope setup!

This is the Lacerta Off-Axis Polarscope from Teleskop-Zentrum.

 

Teleskop-Zentrum is an Austrian telescope dealer that works with manufacturers and developers in Hungary for astronomical equipment.

 

https://teleskop-aus...-Holder-OAH-for


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#58 Philipp

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:31 PM

 

 

I also had a look (and tested) a quite nice Tamron 500mm f/8 SP mirror lens and a Celestron C90, but both lost out in the shootout against my 300mm f/4E Nikkor PF lens with the TC14E-II converter, it was sharper and more contrasty.

 

But then I did some vibration testing using Jupiter as a target, which showed that I absolutely have to use Mirror lock up. The test was on our roof-deck, which is quite vibration prone, so I have to repeat it on solid ground, but I am convinced I have to use mirror lock up which is bad, because I wanted to use bracketing in combination with the built-in intervalometer of the D750 for totality. But with the intervalometer only the first shot uses mirror lock up.

 

conclusions:

  • Mirror Slap is severe at the exposure times relevant for a solar eclipse
  • Older lenses or telescopes are sometimes not up to modern standards (notable exceptions include the 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor and the 5" f/8 Astrophysics)
  • Testing proved to be insightful and time consuming...

 

My original plan was to use a 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor, but, like you, when I tested it, my Astro-Tech AT65Q blew it away.

 

Test again on solid ground for vibration and sharpness.

 

Try using your D750 with Live View on and the intervalometer, there may be a way to trick the camera into keeping the mirror up.

 

Jerry

 

hmm, I just did a quick test with the D750 - and apparently Mirror pre-release (*d4) WORKS with the intervalometer, so I am all good, now I just have to figure out if I need to use 1s, 2s or 3s on solid ground.

 

btw: I will also be staying at SolarFest in Madras, maybe we run into each other! 

 

cheers,

 

Philipp



#59 OrlandoMatt

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:06 PM

I am completely lost lol. I'm just now getting into what I'm going to do about photographing this event.

 

I was thinking about using my CPC800 to photograph the eclipse. I want to connect my Canon 5D mkIII to the CPC800, figuring out my settings, and letting my intervalometer just snap pics off while I enjoy it on my own. Can I do this by buying a Celestron Eclipsemart Solar Filter 8" SCT off amazon and just photograph it like I normally would with A-focal adapter? And would I also need to use my f6.3 focal reducer as well?

 

Or am I way off base? I've never photographed the sun before let alone an eclipse. I'm having a astrofreakout.



#60 grnbrg

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:04 PM

http://i.imgur.com/LyPuMma.png <-- ~2MB, full res solar image.

 

Any comments?  Is that well focused granulation, or just camera noise?

 

Spent some time today working on focus.  That image is the result of the use of a Schiener Mask, with focus iterated by reviewing high-ISO images on the LCD, then removing the mask for the final images.

 

  • Canon 70D
  • Rokinon 800mm, f/8 mirror lens
  • ISO 400
  • 1/1600s
  • Thousand Oaks SolarLite ND5 filter
  • Postprocessing:  Colour desaturated, contrast boosted slightly.

     

 

 

grnbrg.



#61 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:19 PM

I am completely lost lol. I'm just now getting into what I'm going to do about photographing this event.

 

I was thinking about using my CPC800 to photograph the eclipse. I want to connect my Canon 5D mkIII to the CPC800, figuring out my settings, and letting my intervalometer just snap pics off while I enjoy it on my own. Can I do this by buying a Celestron Eclipsemart Solar Filter 8" SCT off amazon and just photograph it like I normally would with A-focal adapter? And would I also need to use my f6.3 focal reducer as well?

 

Or am I way off base? I've never photographed the sun before let alone an eclipse. I'm having a astrofreakout.

You still have a month, but you need to get working and practicing.

 

The Sun will fit in your CPC800 with a 5DMIII, but just barely.  You're not going to get much corona.

 

You can let your intervaolmeter just snap pix, but you're going to be limited to a single exposure, and most people shoot a range of exposures to record different phenomenon like the Diamond Ring, Bailys' Beads, the Chromosphere, Prominences, and the Corona.

 

See my page here for tips: http://www.astropix.com/html/i_astrop/2017_eclipse/Eclipse_2017.html

 

You need a filter for the partial phases, but you take it off for totality.

 

If you afocal adpater increases the magnification of your scope, you are going to be way to tight on the Sun to get any Corona, and that is what the show is really about.

 

Normally you would not use an afocal adpater which increases the magnification with an eyepiece with a focal reducer which reduces the maginfication.  You need a normal t-mount adapter to the focal reducer..

 

Jerry



#62 Bowmoreman

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:20 PM

 

 

 

I also had a look (and tested) a quite nice Tamron 500mm f/8 SP mirror lens and a Celestron C90, but both lost out in the shootout against my 300mm f/4E Nikkor PF lens with the TC14E-II converter, it was sharper and more contrasty.

 

But then I did some vibration testing using Jupiter as a target, which showed that I absolutely have to use Mirror lock up. The test was on our roof-deck, which is quite vibration prone, so I have to repeat it on solid ground, but I am convinced I have to use mirror lock up which is bad, because I wanted to use bracketing in combination with the built-in intervalometer of the D750 for totality. But with the intervalometer only the first shot uses mirror lock up.

 

conclusions:

  • Mirror Slap is severe at the exposure times relevant for a solar eclipse
  • Older lenses or telescopes are sometimes not up to modern standards (notable exceptions include the 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor and the 5" f/8 Astrophysics)
  • Testing proved to be insightful and time consuming...

 

My original plan was to use a 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor, but, like you, when I tested it, my Astro-Tech AT65Q blew it away.

 

Test again on solid ground for vibration and sharpness.

 

Try using your D750 with Live View on and the intervalometer, there may be a way to trick the camera into keeping the mirror up.

 

Jerry

 

hmm, I just did a quick test with the D750 - and apparently Mirror pre-release (*d4) WORKS with the intervalometer, so I am all good, now I just have to figure out if I need to use 1s, 2s or 3s on solid ground.

 

btw: I will also be staying at SolarFest in Madras, maybe we run into each other! 

 

cheers,

 

Philipp

 

This is very, very similar to the plans I *currently* have, Philipp.... My D750 with my TC1.7 (you're using 1.4) and my Nikon 300f4 Telephoto...

What I'm wondering/thinking is, since I do NOT plan to bring an EQ mount with me, and I'm going to be using my DM6 with my Lunt 60/50 double stack in parallel throughout the eclipse... I was planning on using my extremely stout Manfrotto... locking the mirror and using the intervalometer... since my f/l will be around 510mm onto the full frame chip I'm hoping lack of tracking isn't going to be huge issue... I'm NOT looking for dozens of images I can stack, just some nice, bracketed exposures...

OTOH: have you given any thought to just running the D750 in Video-mode?

I'm highly conscious of Jerry's (and everyone else with experience!) advice to NOT try to shoot photos in your first eclipse (and this IS my first one!); and I wonder if just getting it framed off to the up-rotation side, and starting a video about 2-3 minutes before totality (with my home made slip on/off filter ON); take the filter off at/during totality, and put it back on afterwards, for a 10 minute video (with sound!) of the event

Is it going to be too dark during totality? Anyone with Nikon movie experience on this camera have any thoughts/advice? How would I *test* it in advance? (yeah, I can take a movie of the normal sun with the filter on, but how do I practice a movie of totality w/ no filter?)

 

Thanks and regards

 

Dave



#63 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:21 PM

http://i.imgur.com/LyPuMma.png <-- ~2MB, full res solar image.

 

Any comments?  Is that well focused granulation, or just camera noise?

 

Spent some time today working on focus.  That image is the result of the use of a Schiener Mask, with focus iterated by reviewing high-ISO images on the LCD, then removing the mask for the final images.

  • Canon 70D
  • Rokinon 800mm, f/8 mirror lens
  • ISO 400
  • 1/1600s
  • Thousand Oaks SolarLite ND5 filter
  • Postprocessing:  Colour desaturated, contrast boosted slightly.

     

 

Looks like granulation. Unfortunately, there isn't a spot on the sun right now: http://www.spaceweat...ianph8pg2m50lu2

 

Jerry



#64 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:29 PM

This is very, very similar to the plans I *currently* have, Philipp.... My D750 with my TC1.7 (you're using 1.4) and my Nikon 300f4 Telephoto...

What I'm wondering/thinking is, since I do NOT plan to bring an EQ mount with me, and I'm going to be using my DM6 with my Lunt 60/50 double stack in parallel throughout the eclipse... I was planning on using my extremely stout Manfrotto... locking the mirror and using the intervalometer... since my f/l will be around 510mm onto the full frame chip I'm hoping lack of tracking isn't going to be huge issue... I'm NOT looking for dozens of images I can stack, just some nice, bracketed exposures...

OTOH: have you given any thought to just running the D750 in Video-mode?

I'm highly conscious of Jerry's (and everyone else with experience!) advice to NOT try to shoot photos in your first eclipse (and this IS my first one!); and I wonder if just getting it framed off to the up-rotation side, and starting a video about 2-3 minutes before totality (with my home made slip on/off filter ON); take the filter off at/during totality, and put it back on afterwards, for a 10 minute video (with sound!) of the event

Is it going to be too dark during totality? Anyone with Nikon movie experience on this camera have any thoughts/advice? How would I *test* it in advance? (yeah, I can take a movie of the normal sun with the filter on, but how do I practice a movie of totality w/ no filter?)

You do realize that you won't be using the Lunt during totality because the Sun won't be visible?

 

You can run the D750 in video mode. The Sun is going to move its own diameter in about 2 minutes. So you have to know which way the ecliptic is in relation to your framing for which way the Sun is going to move.

 

It will be like civil twilight during totality.

 

You can't really practice for totality on the Sun with no filter.  

 

The inner corona is about as bright as the full Moon, so you can practice on that, but it's not going to be exactly the same.

 

At 420mm of focal length with your 300mm and 1.4x converter, you're going to be a little loose. That would be a good focal length for the corona, but you need long exposures for the corona and unfortunately, video doesn't have that kind of dynamic range.  There are lots of videos of previous eclipses on Youtube. Check them out.

 

Jerry


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#65 Rickycardo

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:37 PM

A little advice for anyone planning to use a GEM (german equatorial mount) for photographing the eclipse. I ran through a dress rehearsal yesterday with my setup. According to my planned location totality should begin at 1:23pm CDT. During my tests at about 1:17 my mount reach the limits of its travel and attempted a meridian flip which snagged cables, mis-aligned things and generally caused a bunch of chaos, the final result being the power cable to my mount came loose and it shut down.

 

Had this been August 21, I would have missed everything. I have now turned off my meridian flip and am looking into my mount limits of travel. I am going to try to set the mount so it can run roughly from 11:00am through 3:00pm without any flip. This will require resetting my mount limits and setting up earlier in the morning so the mount doesn't change.

 

I recommend everyone attempt a dress rehearsal with their mount at about the time of day the eclipse will occur in your area.

Another lesson learned.


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#66 Bowmoreman

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:47 PM

 

This is very, very similar to the plans I *currently* have, Philipp.... My D750 with my TC1.7 (you're using 1.4) and my Nikon 300f4 Telephoto...

What I'm wondering/thinking is, since I do NOT plan to bring an EQ mount with me, and I'm going to be using my DM6 with my Lunt 60/50 double stack in parallel throughout the eclipse... I was planning on using my extremely stout Manfrotto... locking the mirror and using the intervalometer... since my f/l will be around 510mm onto the full frame chip I'm hoping lack of tracking isn't going to be huge issue... I'm NOT looking for dozens of images I can stack, just some nice, bracketed exposures...

OTOH: have you given any thought to just running the D750 in Video-mode?

I'm highly conscious of Jerry's (and everyone else with experience!) advice to NOT try to shoot photos in your first eclipse (and this IS my first one!); and I wonder if just getting it framed off to the up-rotation side, and starting a video about 2-3 minutes before totality (with my home made slip on/off filter ON); take the filter off at/during totality, and put it back on afterwards, for a 10 minute video (with sound!) of the event

Is it going to be too dark during totality? Anyone with Nikon movie experience on this camera have any thoughts/advice? How would I *test* it in advance? (yeah, I can take a movie of the normal sun with the filter on, but how do I practice a movie of totality w/ no filter?)

You do realize that you won't be using the Lunt during totality because the Sun won't be visible?

 

You can run the D750 in video mode. The Sun is going to move its own diameter in about 2 minutes. So you have to know which way the ecliptic is in relation to your framing for which way the Sun is going to move.

 

It will be like civil twilight during totality.

 

You can't really practice for totality on the Sun with no filter.  

 

The inner corona is about as bright as the full Moon, so you can practice on that, but it's not going to be exactly the same.

 

At 420mm of focal length with your 300mm and 1.4x converter, you're going to be a little loose. That would be a good focal length for the corona, but you need long exposures for the corona and unfortunately, video doesn't have that kind of dynamic range.  There are lots of videos of previous eclipses on Youtube. Check them out.

 

Jerry

 

Thanks, Jerry... I know it's loose with the full frame and the 1.7TC and the 300 (510mm f/l)... but My D200 and D300 (both APSC) don't do video...

would I therefore better with my son's D5300 (APS-C chip instead of the D750's full frame) and the TC1.7? i.e at 1.5 x 1.7 x 300, or around 750mm f/l for video?

Yes, the Lunt is for the time before and after totality... during totality, visual will be with my Canon IS 15x50's (they'll have filters before and after totality of course).

I suppose for rigidity, I could simply use the Lunt for visual up until around 2 minutes or so before totality, and then swap it off the DM6 and swap the Nikon setup on... that way use the more rigid DM6 mount (far more rigid than the Manfrott) for the Nikon (whichever I use).

Or, I could get really crazy and use my 15-30f28 zoom on the D750 and do an UBER widefield video of the entire thing (on the Manfrotto), while doing the 750mm f/l video version on the APSC camera on the DM6... (to do that, I'd need to make another solar filter for that lens; not hard, just takes a bit of time; i've the extra filter material to do so).

Thoughts?

The lenses I have available are: 15-30 f2.8, 24-70f2.8, 70-200f2.8, 300f4.0 (all full frame lenses). Cameras: D200, D300, D750 and D5300. I also have a bunch of DX zooms, but figure that what they have in range (e.g. 18-270) they more than lose in sharpness, surface reflection ssues, and slowness.

So, advice given the above would be appreciated. My goal would be once totality starts, I'm NOT messing with ANY camera... I'm WATCHING visually

I'm pretty much done with the idea of futzing with stills, given: a) first timer, and b) no EQ mount available (my MI-250 is NOT portable really; plus I'm not wanting my most valuable astro gear in my mini-van for 17 days on a cross country jaunt)...

 

Thanks



#67 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 05:33 PM

 

would I therefore better with my son's D5300 (APS-C chip instead of the D750's full frame) and the TC1.7? i.e at 1.5 x 1.7 x 300, or around 750mm f/l for video?

 

Yes, I think so.

I suppose for rigidity, I could simply use the Lunt for visual up until around 2 minutes or so before totality, and then swap it off the DM6 and swap the Nikon setup on... that way use the more rigid DM6 mount (far more rigid than the Manfrott) for the Nikon (whichever I use).

 

Personally, I would not be thinking you can swap anything 2 minutes before totality. That is asking for trouble. 

Or, I could get really crazy and use my 15-30f28 zoom on the D750 and do an UBER widefield video of the entire thing (on the Manfrotto), while doing the 750mm f/l video version on the APSC camera on the DM6... (to do that, I'd need to make another solar filter for that lens; not hard, just takes a bit of time; i've the extra filter material to do so).

Thoughts?

 

That doesn't sound as crazy as trying to swap stuff out 2 minutes before totality.

The lenses I have available are: 15-30 f2.8, 24-70f2.8, 70-200f2.8, 300f2.8 (all full frame lenses). Cameras: D200, D300, D750 and D5300. I also have a bunch of DX zooms, but figure that what they have in range (e.g. 18-270) they more than lose in sharpness, surface reflection ssues, and slowness.

 

Probably a correct assessment.

So, advice given the above would be appreciated. My goal would be once totality starts, I'm NOT messing with ANY camera... I'm WATCHING visually

 

That is a good idea.

 

Jerry



#68 Philipp

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:59 AM

This is very, very similar to the plans I *currently* have, Philipp.... My D750 with my TC1.7 (you're using 1.4) and my Nikon 300f4 Telephoto...

What I'm wondering/thinking is, since I do NOT plan to bring an EQ mount with me, and I'm going to be using my DM6 with my Lunt 60/50 double stack in parallel throughout the eclipse... I was planning on using my extremely stout Manfrotto... locking the mirror and using the intervalometer... since my f/l will be around 510mm onto the full frame chip I'm hoping lack of tracking isn't going to be huge issue... I'm NOT looking for dozens of images I can stack, just some nice, bracketed exposures...

OTOH: have you given any thought to just running the D750 in Video-mode?

I'm highly conscious of Jerry's (and everyone else with experience!) advice to NOT try to shoot photos in your first eclipse (and this IS my first one!); and I wonder if just getting it framed off to the up-rotation side, and starting a video about 2-3 minutes before totality (with my home made slip on/off filter ON); take the filter off at/during totality, and put it back on afterwards, for a 10 minute video (with sound!) of the event

Is it going to be too dark during totality? Anyone with Nikon movie experience on this camera have any thoughts/advice? How would I *test* it in advance? (yeah, I can take a movie of the normal sun with the filter on, but how do I practice a movie of totality w/ no filter?)

 


 

 

Thanks and regards

 

Dave

 

 

Hi,

 

of course I am also thinking about video, but not of the eclipse, but of us observers on the ground. Currently I plan to let the RX100 and my wife's E-PL5 record video of the event. I have an Nikon to m4/3 Adapter, so I could use the 8mm Samyang fisheye on the Olympus - need to test it though, maybe it is not as wide as I would like it to be.

 

Before realizing that EclipseDroid will only work with the D7000 I planned to do a fisheye timelapse video with the D7000 showing the observers and the sky.

 

Now it looks like I will use both the D7000 and the D750 for pictures on the eclipse. 

 

I am not going after a close-up video on the Eclipse itself as it would need exposure adjustments, and I don't want to do that during such a short eclipse.

 

The best way to test the equipment for the necessary exposure range is to photograph the thin lunar crescent and try to change the exposure from the crescent to the earth-lit dark part of the moon, this should replicate the brightness range of the corona. 

 

For vibration and focus testing Jupiter is useful, I used the Intervalometer and exposure Bracketing (5 images with 3 EV steps) with Auto-ISO turned on, so Jupiter will be visible in the shorter exposures too.

 

For testing the resolution I used images of the sun with sunspots (currently none are visible), and found out I could get more detail with the TC20E-III than the TC14E-II, even though the 2x converter is generally not well reviewed for f/4 lenses.

 

The weather is terrible here in Austria right now, so I am not able to do more tests - I would like to see how fast the sun (or moon) is moving through the frame so I can prepare the framing before totality. (of course that can be calculated too, but real-life experience is preferred in my opinion).

 

Is anybody else here heading for Solartown/Solarfest in Madras?

 

cheers,

 

Philipp



#69 Philipp

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:54 PM

Today the sky cleared up a bit, and I was able to do some more testing using the thin crescent of the moon as a target.

 

It seems with the intervalometer, five-frame bracketing and mirror pre-release set to 1 second the images are quite usable.

 

Here are some examples, each full frame, and then a crop:

2017-07-26-23_21_04-Lightroom-Catalog-Ad

 

2017-07-26-23_21_58-Lightroom-Catalog-Ad

 

2017-07-26-23_22_20-Lightroom-Catalog-Ad

 

2017-07-26-23_22_34-Lightroom-Catalog-Ad

 

2017-07-26-23_22_46-Lightroom-Catalog-Ad

 

2017-07-26-23_23_07-Greenshot.jpg

 

 

 

2017-07-26-23_24_48-Greenshot.jpg

 

 

2017-07-26-23_36_48-Lightroom-Catalog-Ad

 

Of course the clouds interfered with the contrast exposure.

 

I think I will use 1/30s f/8, ISO 400 as a starting exposure for my 5-frame bracketing using 3 EV steps, this will give me:

 

1/30s 

1/2000s

1/250s

1/4s

2.0s

 

Apparently the intervalometer does not care about the exposure times and mirror-up times, it will finish when  the interval has passed n times, therefore I will set the interval to 1 second and the number of exposures to the max, to make sure the camera is clicking away during the whole totality.

 

When testing the D7000 setup I made a really dumb error, I didn't change the zoom setting to 200mm!! Therefore the images are not really conclusive, but it is already visible that it is very difficult to get sharp pictures with the tripod mounted camera without mirror pre-release, the imagse with shorter exposures are not sharp because of mirror slap, and the longer exposures are not sharp due to trailing, I therefor will not use the D7000 for narrow angle eclipse photos but either for wide angle timelapse or video.This will also reduce the amount of heavy tripods I need to bring.

 

The setup used: 

 

DSC_1059_1600px.jpg

 


  • Rickycardo, charotarguy and dghundt like this

#70 wargrafix

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 05:24 AM

Trinidad will only have 62% coverage. :-(

Let's hope we get sunspots. It's a boring disk right now

#71 Philipp

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 02:38 PM

I stored the camera settings for the eclipse in U1 (User Settings) so I can make sure I don't forget anything!



#72 trurl

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:36 AM

I am hoping for a simplified approach. Just enjoying the experience and maybe getting a few pictures is the goal.

 

I have read Jerry's web page and it's not beyond my understanding exactly, but maybe a little more than I feel confident about. My wife is the usual photographer, but since I am the one with the telescope, it is my job to get the closeups of the eclipse. I've not spent much time with astronomy for many years, and even less time with a DSLR.

 

The telescope is a NexStar 6SE with f/6.3 focal reducer (prime focus). The solar filter is the Helios Film from SeymourSolar. The camera is a Nikon D750. I will be using Live View and ML-L3 Wireless Remote.

 

The advice on the webpage includes turning off Auto-ISO. I have done some solar shots using Auto-ISO and it seems like it might be useful to me as a novice to help me choose an appropriate shutter speed. I just picked a shutter speed that seemed to be telling me that it was going to select an ISO setting around 200. These shots included some with a little interference from clouds and so the shutter speeds needed varied somewhat. Looking at the results in Lightroom the exposures seemed to turn out OK but I don't know whether that technique will work for totality. Also, the shutter speeds were somewhat slower than those in the charts on the webpage, possibly because of my solar filter or maybe the clouds.

 

Our "Plan B" in case of clouds is just to make the best of it rather than trying to battle for another location, so maybe shooting with clouds was useful. We will be in Casper, Wyoming so we should have better odds than if we had stayed closer to home and tried for South Carolina.

 

So, my main question is, is Auto-ISO really a bad thing? Are the numbers I am seeing in Live View for the ISO it is choosing meaningful?

 

Any other advice to keep it simple for a novice?



#73 bunyon

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:56 AM

If you have Backyard EOS, I've managed to put together a bracket over 8 stops that gets me around 50 images in the span of totality. I haven't yet explored mirror lock up as, until reading this thread, I hadn't thought it important so if you want to use MLU that number may be high. It may not be as good as EO but it's free if you already have the software. 



#74 adamjones

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:25 AM

I'm wondering if anyone can speak to the lighting conditions and suggested exposure settings for wide angle shots; I've heard that totality is equivalent to the lighting during a full moon -- can anyone confirm?

 

Thanks!



#75 RutileQ

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:48 AM

I'm wondering if anyone can speak to the lighting conditions and suggested exposure settings for wide angle shots; I've heard that totality is equivalent to the lighting during a full moon -- can anyone confirm?

 

Thanks!

What do you want to image during totality?  I'll have two wide angle cameras shooting, one for the landscape, that I think I'll have set on automatic, with aperture priority, auto exposure with a bracket centered below 'correct' exposure, because it's a fisheye and I have not for the life of me been able to mock up a filter for it.  

 

The other I'm trying to image the starfield that shows up, and I'll have that camera piggybacked on my equatorial mount, so I'm going to set it to bracket up to 15 second exposures at least, at ISO 200, f/2.8.   I'll be near the center line, so maybe I'll go crazy with just two or three super long exposures and see just how many stars I can get, or how far out I can get the corona.  




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