Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

for those who used equipment, what mistakes did you make?

  • Please log in to reply
84 replies to this topic

#51 Sh4rkbayte

Sh4rkbayte

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Monterey, CA

Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:29 AM

The only mistake I made was learning of SEM too late. I used BYEOS with the 5D and, although it worked as intended, I was only able to grab about 20 frames during a 2:19 totality. Not being able to set burst mode in BYEOS left me with some frames that were just milliseconds off from perfect (Diamond ring and Baily's). For 2024, I will be using SEM, despite my loathing for Apple. It's just too good. I'll probably use something a tad smaller than the ED80 as well. Even with full frame, it felt like I was missing a little!

Overall, I was very grateful for everything I was able to get without so much as glancing at my setup. Everything worked as it did in practice and I was fortunate enough to be able to polar align the night before. I was able to get some great data while viewing totality with my own two eyes for 2:19!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

#52 Chris Boar

Chris Boar

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 353
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Vancouver Island, Canada

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:05 PM

Oh yeah another mistake I made.......left my personal pillow in the Portland hotel......**** I liked my pillow.......:-(



#53 ahicktiger

ahicktiger

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 17 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Oklahoma

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:24 PM

First-time post.

 

Been lurking on the forum for almost a month. I was in Marion, IL for totality. I have a Celestron 114EQ with an Orion Solar Filter, which worked famously, especially through the 32mm eyepiece fairly full frame with room for corona during totality. The sunspots were clear and contrasty. I have an iPhone using Filmic Pro and an Orion holder.

 

Things were going well until I received a text from a teaching friend who was back here in Oklahoma two minutes before totality(Maximum in Oklahoma was 1:15, he texted at 1:20) . I was taking a time-lapse with Filmic Pro and had switched to regular recording mode about 10 minutes before totality. The text stopped my recording, and I didn't realize it until after totality was over. I removed the Solar filter and I had glanced at the phone, and the view was perfectly centered, with prominences showing and an awesome view of the Corona on my phone. Alas, there is no video of totality.

 

I had a Canon 5d on a tripod with an intervalometer taking pictures every second during totality(after I pulled the filter), and I have some awesome pictures of totality, and Baily's beads and a superb diamond ring sequence. So all is not lost as far as photographic memories are concerned. 

 

We also got video of shadow bands with my wife's iPhone before and after totality.

 

Anyways, I haven't looked through the rest of the stories here, but here is a picture of the second diamond ring to look at while I peruse the forum. 

Attached Files


Edited by ahicktiger, 24 August 2017 - 09:25 PM.

  • REC and woolbrig like this

#54 zackyd

zackyd

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 130
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Portland, OR. USA

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:49 PM

I had some weird issues with SEM while testing right before the eclipse. I would engage a simulation starting at 2nd contact, and all would go smoothly until it hit maximum. It would then add on around 2 minutes of count time before taking the next images. I had a bit of a panic but remembered that viewing it with my eyes was more important so I decided to let it run as is, which was good because it ran the script as desired. I had some lockups with SEM also when I tried to introduce another canon DSLR into the mix and decided to cut it as to not introduce any variables that I did not initially test with.

 

Can not wait till the next eclipse and give it another shot.



#55 ksgal

ksgal

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2017

Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:18 PM

I forgot that the tripod I put the wide angle on didn't have a quick release. So by the time I figured that out most of totality was over. But the pictures I did get with the 500mm made up for that. I've learned a lot, and will have a better game plan come 2014. 



#56 astrobhate

astrobhate

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: 20 Apr 2015

Posted 24 August 2017 - 04:21 PM

My setup: 

1) Canon 70D / C90 Mak / Astrotrac / Setnc 

2) Canon 5D Mk III / Meade 6" reflector / Sky Watcher Pro / Setnc 

 

What went wrong : 

1) Forgot to reduce screen brightness for my laptop, it drained way too quickly than my practice sessions - had to manually click one camera and used a borrowed laptop from a friend to control the other one. Thankfully, this happened post totality 

2) Setnc connected properly to both cameras during my trials and on the morning of the eclipse. For some unknown reason, Setnc dropped connection to the 5D Mk III - 3 minutes before C1. No matter what I did, it kept giving me an error. Thankfully, the connection to my Canon 70D continued to work flawlessly all during this time 

3) I removed my filters too late for the first diamond ring - missed it completely 

4) Put on my filters on the Mak C90 too early - missed the second diamond ring also on that setup. The 6" reflector got 1 diamond ring shot, but it looks slightly over-exposed and a touch out of focus. This was my first real experience of totality (missed totality in 1999 due to clouds), so I had no idea when to remove and put on my filters. Setnc tells when to do that, but in the chaos around totality, I could barely hear my own voice, forget about laptop speakers! I guess I got worried way too much about my sensor safety and paid the price for it 

5) I had binoculars for visual observation and also managed a small tripod. But the binocular mount / holder I bought was not compatible to the binocular threads at all and I realized this a just a day before the eclipse when it was too late to order a replacement. 

6) Underestimated the amount of dirt that would get kicked up due to so many cars, pets and people around me, especially after totality. People began driving their cars, dismantling their tents and what not, just 2 minutes after totality. Unbelievable. Two families nearby let their dogs play with each other and the dogs managed to kick up so much dust that I feared for my equipement and electronics and had to request them to reign in their pets and explain why. In general, it was very difficult to do what I really wanted to do while mad traffic jams built up around me in no time. 

 

What went well : 

1) Watched the Corona with a handheld 10x50 bino and saw the most beautiful sight I have ever seen in my entire life! I haven't died yet so I do not know what heaven looks like, but I would use the word "heaven" to describe it. I think we need a new adjective in the English language to describe the sight during totality (and I doubt it will do justice even then)! :-) 

2) I had planned a lot of backup things - I had bought stuff I thought I would never need, I carried tools with me I thought would be useless during my trip and only increase my luggage weight, yet I found myself using almost all of them at one point or another in the last 48 hours before totality. Some for myself, some for a couple of friends who needed help. Very satisfied with my "stupid" decision - oh yeah, the wife was convinced that I am paranoid and I needed a shrink to help me! :D

3) Enormous help from this forum on what to expect, pro tips, do's and dont's, etc. A special thank you to posts from Jerry Lodriguss, Barry Simon and many, many more wise people out there who in a way ensured I captured what I did. I feel no shame in acknowledging that if it wasn't for this forum, I would have been very badly prepared and came home feeling extremely dissappointed on lost opportunity. 

4) Unexpected, but welcome help from friends who decided to join me at the last minute. The experience was even more worthy knowing I was in good company 

 

...there are many more, but these are what come to my mind as obvious ones. 

 

All in all, for me the countdown to 2024 started at 10:22:42 AM on 21st August, right after totality! 

 

Clear skies, 

Shailesh. 


  • REC and ilovecomets like this

#57 The Luckster

The Luckster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 676
  • Joined: 12 May 2017
  • Loc: Los Angeles, CA

Posted 24 August 2017 - 04:29 PM

I had to fill the hummingbird feeder once, that was my biggest eclipse day drama.  Everything else ran according to plan.

 

 

jason



#58 maxmir

maxmir

    Mariner 2

  • *----
  • Posts: 297
  • Joined: 03 Oct 2005

Posted 24 August 2017 - 04:40 PM

Eclipse Orchestrator had a bug
It did not take the proper exposures during the Corona bracketing. I ended up without exposures from 1/100 to .8 seconds

The inner corona , diamond ring, baily's bead and deep Corona with earthshine are excellent however

Max

#59 nimbulan

nimbulan

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 46
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Portland, OR

Posted 24 August 2017 - 04:56 PM

- I started setting up too late so I missed C1 (not a big deal)
- I forgot to set my camera to remote shutter mode so I missed my baily's beads sequence (I was using an IR remote to take pictures rapidly for baily's beads / diamond ring in between computer control for the rest)

- I stupidly adjusted the rotation of my camera thinking it wasn't quite right for the corona just before totality which threw the focus off.  The pictures turned out surprisingly well despite this, discounting the chromosphere.

I also relied too much on the eclipse timer app.  The C2 time seemed to be very far off despite me syncing the tablet's clock with my atomic watch after C1, so my first 6 or so exposures of totality still had the diamond ring visible.  I did take 2 of each exposure so it wasn't a problem.



#60 maxmir

maxmir

    Mariner 2

  • *----
  • Posts: 297
  • Joined: 03 Oct 2005

Posted 24 August 2017 - 05:02 PM

The day before the eclipse , I did a pre assembly
The 3/8 brass tripod screw for the Skytracker pro broke
Lucky it was in time to get a hacksaw to restore the lower threads

The Skytracker pro was a new item for me
I used the polar scope the night before
I had very minimal drift over the 3 hours

Only thing I could have done better is check all the exposure speeds in the CR2 image header before hand

This was not an obvious bug in EO to catch since some exposures did change appropriately

#61 Tom Masterson

Tom Masterson

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 284
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2009
  • Loc: Pacific Northwest - Astro-Hell

Posted 24 August 2017 - 11:56 PM

I had built a piggyback adapter to mount my camera on the back of my refractor. Was going to do h-alpha imaging though the refractor and intended to run the piggybacked camera with a 624mm lens using an intervalometer. Adapter consisted of a ball mount that accepted my camera's quick mount plate. The day before the eclipse I was sitting outside with my camera and the intervalometer practicing when for some strange reason I thought I didn't need the mounting plate on the bottom of the camera. Removed it and tossed in my suitcase which I left back in the hotel, 25 miles from where I set up for totality. God only knows why I did that. Still got some shots hand holding the camera, but had to observe parts of totality with one eye in the viewfinder, and the other eye watching the sun when it was supposed to be mostly automated so I could enjoy the view. Also forgot to bracket exposures during totality. Still got some nice shots so I'm happy.

 

The other wierd thing that happened was the imaging software on my laptop kept freezing at first when I tried saving the image. It happened about 5 times before it started working so I don't have images of the very begining of first contact. This is the same software and laptop I've used for several years to do h-alpha imaging, and I've never had it lock up. Guess the eclipse equipment curse is real! Still, an amazing event!


  • SteveRosenow likes this

#62 mogur

mogur

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3467
  • Joined: 29 Jul 2011
  • Loc: WI

Posted 25 August 2017 - 06:02 PM

Took a couple pics with my digital camera, but I didn't zoom in enough. Eclipse looks really small. frown.gif



#63 Jbslus2

Jbslus2

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2014

Posted 26 August 2017 - 07:50 AM

BackyardNikon froze just a couple shots into my corona bracketing.  I tested it several times before and never had any issues.  I am not sure what happened, although I've never had any issues at all with the software so I am nearly certain it has to do with my laptop (maybe it got too hot?).  I wasn't taking photography too seriously, but when I saw how nice those first few pictures were I was a bit sad that I didn't adequately capture the corona.

 

What I am proud of, however, is that I noticed that it had frozen when I went for another peak through my scope during totality.  But I was set on not wasting totality messing with my camera, so I shrugged it off in the moment and kept watching the show. I'm so glad I did because while you guys have taken some awesome photographs, nothing compares with seeing that corona in person.

 

I have had some fun trying to pull the corona out of the couple of horribly underexposed photographs that I did get.  Here's a look at what photomatix tone mapping does when it has no data to work with and another that's still noisy and soft but a bit more natural.

 

Attached File  photomatix corona (Medium).jpg   245.96KB   2 downloads

 

Attached File  corona sharpened (Large).jpg   149.62KB   2 downloads


  • LesB likes this

#64 wargrafix

wargrafix

    Skylab

  • -----
  • Posts: 4065
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2013
  • Loc: Trinidad

Posted 26 August 2017 - 10:08 AM

While I didn't live in a location of totality, most of the island was generally cloudy.i left my home to a location where I attempted to set up on a hill that was gridlocked with cars. Thankfully I had a sun roof and my wife and I got glimpses of the cresent.

I turned around and head back home to a location which turned not just cloudless. ..but perfectly cloudless. If I had stayed home I would have not had all that hassle.

In 15 mins. I set up an atlas pro, a 9.25 act and camera and polar aligned.

There was successful captures but I had to fiddle with exposures. My pc capture software chose not to capture. Blehhhh.i have a few good ones though. Family did have a good time.

#65 sink45ny

sink45ny

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1930
  • Joined: 08 May 2014
  • Loc: Pennsyltucky

Posted 26 August 2017 - 10:28 AM

I reset the camera to factory settings and only captured JPGs, ugh. Canon 5D and Sigma 150-600 contemporary lens.

 

20170821135312 2S0A2625


#66 dghundt

dghundt

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 194
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2017

Posted 26 August 2017 - 10:44 AM

If I had strapped my solar filters onto myself during the flight out west, the airline wouldn't have lost them in my checked bag.
Thanks to Chuck and a couple online retailers I was able to get some film in time and make my own holders.

#67 AUricle

AUricle

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 474
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Frankfort, IL

Posted 26 August 2017 - 11:07 AM

Out of 141 exposures taken with my C90/+Canon T3 combo, using Eclipse Orchestrator, I ended up with TWO.....count em'......TWO pictures..............ONE of which is usable and barely counts as it was a pre-eclipse check of focus.

So what happened?

Matching up the EO log file image times to the camera image times, I think I've got a real good idea of what went wrong.

I hate to say it, but other than getting mostly clouded out at totality, the mechanical/electronic equipment looks to have performed as expected. The "me" was most of the problemgaah.gif

After all the practice, I can't believe I made these errors.

I carefully aligned my rig with 2 compasses, an inclinometer, and a stick on the ground, adjusting my mount by drift method. Not 100% perfect, but plenty good enough. Scope/cam and finder aligned with each other. Everything looked great.

Just prior to C1 there was a power glitch, and tracking went awry. After a flurry of activity checking cords etc, we confirmed power again but tracking seemed worse than ever. To make matters worse a cirrus layer of cloudiness was building.

Finally my son noticed that somehow, a thing I've NEVER had happen was responsible for the tracking problem.

My mount was a Meade LX5 fork/drive and if you're familiar with it, you know the power switch and N/S hemisphere switch are side-by-side. Apparenty, the N/S switch got bumped to S. He flipped it to N, and bingo, tracking immediately got better. Problem is I was trying to use the latitude adjuster to correct the error, and I think I never got it back to the point I had it in the original set-up. Still, I could easily guide the error out. 

   Now the cirrus layer became an issue and I was worried the dark Solarite filter would cause underexposure of my images, so I had to change the EO script to take longer shots. It was all guesswork, and this is where things REALLY went wrong. I wasn't seeing anything on my laptop with the camera in Live View mode, so I quickly disconnected the camera and threw in an eyepiece to do a visual check.

I'd put two painters tape tabs on the C90 focus ring.....one for visual focus, and one for the camera focus.

Now when I did the visual check, I spun the ring to my 'vis' mark, but yup, when I reconnected the camera, in my haste, I left the focus at 'visual'. That I think was a BIG mistake, because the blur and the cloudiness I think totally defeated my exposure settings. I was frozen, and so the script went on blindly shooting the partials. Cirrus haze was such that at 80% coverage, the Sun couldn't even cast shadows on the ground.

Totality approached and I called out the countdown voice prompts to our group, but a dark cloud settled over the Sun and I guess my shock over the whole thing had me like a deer in the headlights.

I forgot to start my Sony Cybershot in Movie mode to capture the surroundings, and then to add insult to injury, as we stared up at the cloud where the Sun should've been, I had miseed "filters off". Totality images were sunk for good.

Really, after that, nothing else mattered, and the thing is, the video error and the filter error were not even noticed until totality was over.

I did discover the focusing error, but by that time the clouds had really moved in, and it was approaching C3 so it was pointless. 

We did get a 6-7 sec window to see the corona at mid- totality, and another at C3 in time to see the DR, but the story was already written.

There was one more possible error, but I've yet to test it out to verify it, and it relates to to the unusable image.

     It was a 1 second exposure, so it must have occurred just at the moment we got our brief look at the corona, because that's the only time the camera was bracketing exposures that widely. Long enough to pierce the cloudy haze AND the mistakenly left on solar filter. It's an orange smudge (corona?) but it's not centered at all. It's way right in the frame, which brings up a possible scope error.

My vintage C90......and many SCT's in general, experience a "mirror shift" because of the way the main mirror moves as a focusing mechanism.

It hit me, that this off centered "image" may have been a result of a shift that occurred when I'd removed the camera, to do the visual check. When I discovered my error of not setting the focus back to my "cam focus" mark, I quickly tried to correct it, but forgot the possible shift. This never happened in all my practice runs, because once I had camera focus, I never switched to visual focus, so I probably never experienced the mirror shift.

 

I'm actually pretty stunned by all my errors, the unfortunate timing of the weather, and the mirror shift, all teaming up to create the perfect disaster. 

If I make it to 2024, this experience is going to guide my preparation. 

I'm already thinking that maybe I need to either leave the equipment home..............or leave ME  home!lol.gif lol.gif

 


  • charotarguy likes this

#68 Calypte

Calypte

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1514
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2007
  • Loc: Anza, California

Posted 26 August 2017 - 12:08 PM

I used two Canon 6D cameras.  One 6D, used on a TV NP101is scope, was a Hutech-modified camera. The second camera was a standard 6D bought specifically for this expedition to take a wide-angle landscape with the eclipsed sun near the top of the frame.  I wasn't totally convinced Eclipse Orchestrator was going to work when I went on my buying spree, so I bought two Pixel remote/intervalometers, one for each camera.  In my actual set-up, I used one remote on the landscape 6D.  I tried to estimate exposure manually by taking daylight readings, expecting the sky to be dark, with the distant horizon at an approximately realistic value.  The shots from this camera were to be my Sky & Telescope submissions.

 

In the event, my landscape 6D exposures were grossly underexposed (IOW, not S&T material).  The Pixel remote, supposedly good up to 80m away, shot only two images at a distance of about 15m.  Maybe I didn't push the button hard enough.  In any case, I certainly didn't need more than two badly exposed shots.

 

My telescope 6D performed well.  Eclipse Orchestrator mostly performed well, but I couldn't hear the audio prompts when I was standing at the scope ready to remove/replace the filter.  I missed Baily's beads and diamond ring entirely.  I got a good series of the corona.  I also got chromosphere and prominence shots.  I got a complete series from C1 through about halfway between C3 and C4, when the camera's battery ran out of juice.  When had I tested this setup at home, I ran the simulated C2 through C4 without a problem, but I never tried all the way from C1 to C4.  I had extra batteries, but I didn't think I could quickly swap the battery without a hiccup in the timing sequence from EO.

 

I was assured that two of my companions would have generators, so I bought AC power adapters for the cameras.  The generators were there and running, but my cameras were too far away to connect with the power cord and power strips that I had available.  Although we knew where we'd be observing, and we had explicit permission from the property owner (a farm near Menan, ID), we had to set up somewhat differently from what we had anticipated.

 

I was able to watch all of totality without fiddling with cameras, so in that respect I'd rank the expedition a success.  A sampling of individual pictures from totality has impressed friends and family.



#69 mckellyb

mckellyb

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 70
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Fort Worth

Posted 26 August 2017 - 04:15 PM

I had a well-planned 1K mile trip to Wyoming mapped out, spent a week getting the motorcoach and the Grand Cherokee ready, took time off work, all was going perfectly.

 

My perfect spot, #1 choice, was taken by two large fifth wheel travel trailers, a couple of smaller motorhomes, at least a half dozen cars, and another 4-5 tents.  Nope!  

 

So my wife and I took the 40' coach and towed Grand Cherokee down dirt/gravel roads until we found a good spot.  Found it after pre-picked spots #2 & #3 didn't pan out.

 

Turns out, though, I didn't pack any of the three camera tripods.  I had a GoPro Hero 3 Black, a Waylens Horizon, and a Panasonic  Lumix which is a few years old.

 

I did have all the equipment to go with the Celestron C9.25, however, I did not expect the wind to be as strong as it was in Wyoming.  25-35 MPH wind, and no matter what I tried, I could not block it enough to make a useful difference.

 

Still got some footage with two of the three cameras, but the best footage was taken in with my unaided eyes.

 

To be mostly honest, this was a first run for the 2024 event, as I'll be down the street from that one.  Totality goes over our house, but I'll trek 50 miles to get double the totality time.


Edited by mckellyb, 26 August 2017 - 04:18 PM.


#70 LesB

LesB

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3887
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Z-Hills, FL

Posted 26 August 2017 - 06:42 PM

Basically clouded out.  There was some peek through near totality and afterwards.  Took some hand held shots with my Canon MKIII w/ 400mm x 1.4 ext that were good enough given the situation. The weather was bad enough that I had no chance to fail with my equipment.    This eclipse was like being stood up on a date with the girl of my dreams.


  • AUricle likes this

#71 dghundt

dghundt

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 194
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2017

Posted 26 August 2017 - 10:14 PM

Out of 141 exposures taken with my C90/+Canon T3 combo, using Eclipse Orchestrator, I ended up with TWO.....count em'......TWO pictures..............ONE of which is usable and barely counts as it was a pre-eclipse check of focus.
So what happened?
Matching up the EO log file image times to the camera image times, I think I've got a real good idea of what went wrong.
I hate to say it, but other than getting mostly clouded out at totality, the mechanical/electronic equipment looks to have performed as expected. The "me" was most of the problemgaah.gif
After all the practice, I can't believe I made these errors.
I carefully aligned my rig with 2 compasses, an inclinometer, and a stick on the ground, adjusting my mount by drift method. Not 100% perfect, but plenty good enough. Scope/cam and finder aligned with each other. Everything looked great.
Just prior to C1 there was a power glitch, and tracking went awry. After a flurry of activity checking cords etc, we confirmed power again but tracking seemed worse than ever. To make matters worse a cirrus layer of cloudiness was building.
Finally my son noticed that somehow, a thing I've NEVER had happen was responsible for the tracking problem.
My mount was a Meade LX5 fork/drive and if you're familiar with it, you know the power switch and N/S hemisphere switch are side-by-side. Apparenty, the N/S switch got bumped to S. He flipped it to N, and bingo, tracking immediately got better. Problem is I was trying to use the latitude adjuster to correct the error, and I think I never got it back to the point I had it in the original set-up. Still, I could easily guide the error out.
Now the cirrus layer became an issue and I was worried the dark Solarite filter would cause underexposure of my images, so I had to change the EO script to take longer shots. It was all guesswork, and this is where things REALLY went wrong. I wasn't seeing anything on my laptop with the camera in Live View mode, so I quickly disconnected the camera and threw in an eyepiece to do a visual check.
I'd put two painters tape tabs on the C90 focus ring.....one for visual focus, and one for the camera focus.
Now when I did the visual check, I spun the ring to my 'vis' mark, but yup, when I reconnected the camera, in my haste, I left the focus at 'visual'. That I think was a BIG mistake, because the blur and the cloudiness I think totally defeated my exposure settings. I was frozen, and so the script went on blindly shooting the partials. Cirrus haze was such that at 80% coverage, the Sun couldn't even cast shadows on the ground.
Totality approached and I called out the countdown voice prompts to our group, but a dark cloud settled over the Sun and I guess my shock over the whole thing had me like a deer in the headlights.
I forgot to start my Sony Cybershot in Movie mode to capture the surroundings, and then to add insult to injury, as we stared up at the cloud where the Sun should've been, I had miseed "filters off". Totality images were sunk for good.
Really, after that, nothing else mattered, and the thing is, the video error and the filter error were not even noticed until totality was over.
I did discover the focusing error, but by that time the clouds had really moved in, and it was approaching C3 so it was pointless.
We did get a 6-7 sec window to see the corona at mid- totality, and another at C3 in time to see the DR, but the story was already written.
There was one more possible error, but I've yet to test it out to verify it, and it relates to to the unusable image.
It was a 1 second exposure, so it must have occurred just at the moment we got our brief look at the corona, because that's the only time the camera was bracketing exposures that widely. Long enough to pierce the cloudy haze AND the mistakenly left on solar filter. It's an orange smudge (corona?) but it's not centered at all. It's way right in the frame, which brings up a possible scope error.
My vintage C90......and many SCT's in general, experience a "mirror shift" because of the way the main mirror moves as a focusing mechanism.
It hit me, that this off centered "image" may have been a result of a shift that occurred when I'd removed the camera, to do the visual check. When I discovered my error of not setting the focus back to my "cam focus" mark, I quickly tried to correct it, but forgot the possible shift. This never happened in all my practice runs, because once I had camera focus, I never switched to visual focus, so I probably never experienced the mirror shift.

I'm actually pretty stunned by all my errors, the unfortunate timing of the weather, and the mirror shift, all teaming up to create the perfect disaster.
If I make it to 2024, this experience is going to guide my preparation.
I'm already thinking that maybe I need to either leave the equipment home..............or leave ME home!lol.giflol.gif


I'm really sorry all that happened Chuck.
David

#72 AUricle

AUricle

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 474
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Frankfort, IL

Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:03 AM

 

 

I'm actually pretty stunned by all my errors, the unfortunate timing of the weather, and the mirror shift, all teaming up to create the perfect disaster.
If I make it to 2024, this experience is going to guide my preparation.
I'm already thinking that maybe I need to either leave the equipment home..............or leave ME home!lol.giflol.gif


I'm really sorry all that happened Chuck.
David

 

David,

Ahh...well. Life is the sum of your experiences, right? Hopefully there'll be a "better luck" next time.

Since we were pretty much clouded out from about 90% to mid totality, that little window we did get hit like a freight train....short, but VERY dramatic. Life compensates! Besides, I've been looking at other peoples eclipse pictures all my life. What's one more time?wink.gif

Glad the filter material served you well. I hope your experience was a jaw dropper!!


  • charotarguy likes this

#73 charotarguy

charotarguy

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1267
  • Joined: 10 Sep 2014

Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:04 AM

Forget to change the location in Stellarium to Carbondale, not sure how much that is an issue during tracking, I did however change the location in EQMOD. I thought I was prepared, actually a day before let wife and kids go out alone, I sat in the hotel on my own sin the room and went over all my lists and created final 2 cheat sheets for next day and practiced taking images by putting timer again. However when a huge cloud eclipsed the eclipsed sun my brain went blank. Dont think I was prepared for what to do if clouds invaded the party.



#74 REC

REC

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11480
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:11 AM

My setup: 

1) Canon 70D / C90 Mak / Astrotrac / Setnc 

2) Canon 5D Mk III / Meade 6" reflector / Sky Watcher Pro / Setnc 

 

What went wrong : 

1) Forgot to reduce screen brightness for my laptop, it drained way too quickly than my practice sessions - had to manually click one camera and used a borrowed laptop from a friend to control the other one. Thankfully, this happened post totality 

2) Setnc connected properly to both cameras during my trials and on the morning of the eclipse. For some unknown reason, Setnc dropped connection to the 5D Mk III - 3 minutes before C1. No matter what I did, it kept giving me an error. Thankfully, the connection to my Canon 70D continued to work flawlessly all during this time 

3) I removed my filters too late for the first diamond ring - missed it completely 

4) Put on my filters on the Mak C90 too early - missed the second diamond ring also on that setup. The 6" reflector got 1 diamond ring shot, but it looks slightly over-exposed and a touch out of focus. This was my first real experience of totality (missed totality in 1999 due to clouds), so I had no idea when to remove and put on my filters. Setnc tells when to do that, but in the chaos around totality, I could barely hear my own voice, forget about laptop speakers! I guess I got worried way too much about my sensor safety and paid the price for it 

5) I had binoculars for visual observation and also managed a small tripod. But the binocular mount / holder I bought was not compatible to the binocular threads at all and I realized this a just a day before the eclipse when it was too late to order a replacement. 

6) Underestimated the amount of dirt that would get kicked up due to so many cars, pets and people around me, especially after totality. People began driving their cars, dismantling their tents and what not, just 2 minutes after totality. Unbelievable. Two families nearby let their dogs play with each other and the dogs managed to kick up so much dust that I feared for my equipement and electronics and had to request them to reign in their pets and explain why. In general, it was very difficult to do what I really wanted to do while mad traffic jams built up around me in no time. 

 

What went well : 

1) Watched the Corona with a handheld 10x50 bino and saw the most beautiful sight I have ever seen in my entire life! I haven't died yet so I do not know what heaven looks like, but I would use the word "heaven" to describe it. I think we need a new adjective in the English language to describe the sight during totality (and I doubt it will do justice even then)! :-) 

2) I had planned a lot of backup things - I had bought stuff I thought I would never need, I carried tools with me I thought would be useless during my trip and only increase my luggage weight, yet I found myself using almost all of them at one point or another in the last 48 hours before totality. Some for myself, some for a couple of friends who needed help. Very satisfied with my "stupid" decision - oh yeah, the wife was convinced that I am paranoid and I needed a shrink to help me! laugh.gif

3) Enormous help from this forum on what to expect, pro tips, do's and dont's, etc. A special thank you to posts from Jerry Lodriguss, Barry Simon and many, many more wise people out there who in a way ensured I captured what I did. I feel no shame in acknowledging that if it wasn't for this forum, I would have been very badly prepared and came home feeling extremely dissappointed on lost opportunity. 

4) Unexpected, but welcome help from friends who decided to join me at the last minute. The experience was even more worthy knowing I was in good company 

 

...there are many more, but these are what come to my mind as obvious ones. 

 

All in all, for me the countdown to 2024 started at 10:22:42 AM on 21st August, right after totality! 

 

Clear skies, 

Shailesh. 

Yep, my view was like yours in the bino! It completely filled the FOV with it's wispy wings, didn't expect that. Thought is was going to be a round corona kike the one I saw in 1998. Have those  three big prom's was an added bonus! Kind of glad I didn't set up my photo gear, it was too darn hot to manage all that, so spent the entire time with naked eye and bino's. I almost missed seeing Venus until someone mentioned it. Only regret was not staying at the bino long enough to see the diamond ring, pulled away as the right side of the sun was starting to shine through the moon.


  • AUricle likes this

#75 Anhydrite

Anhydrite

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 46
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2017

Posted 27 August 2017 - 01:51 PM

I got caught up in looking at the eclipse with my eyes and looking at the stars and horizon I forgot to use my binoculars to look at the corona and promenances.

 

My pictures looked great.  I am very happy about that.  Now my problem is how to process my HDR stack.  Nothing I try seems to work as good as I think it should.


  • Rickycardo likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics