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Eclipse photographers - what are you planning on using?

286 replies to this topic

#26 nicknacknock

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Posted 21 March 2023 - 09:00 AM

Roberto,

 

It's just the soft padded bag inside a Vanguard hard case.

 

FYI I am doing the 2027 eclipse in Egypt - it's going to be a group of us - but will take my AM5 and SolarQuest and plenty of gear. However, we will all set up the previous night at the roof of the hotel, polar align and then do shifts on the roof to guard stuff lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif


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#27 R Botero

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Posted 21 March 2023 - 09:03 AM

Roberto,

 

It's just the soft padded bag inside a Vanguard hard case.

 

FYI I am doing the 2027 eclipse in Egypt - it's going to be a group of us - but will take my AM5 and SolarQuest and plenty of gear. However, we will all set up the previous night at the roof of the hotel, polar align and then do shifts on the roof to guard stuff lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

I may well sign up for that trip too!


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#28 DelVento

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Posted 24 March 2023 - 07:50 AM

Good thread all. 

 

I'm going to Leakey, TX where I have reserved a cabin and will stay there with my family. It will be my third total eclipse.

In 2017 I went to Nebraska, it'll be interesting to see how kids will react to the event after having grown 7 years!

In 1999 I went to Hungary.

I was always an assistant to some more experience astrophotograph, but this time it'll be me (gasp!)

 

For making pictures (perhaps eventually a video, weather permitting) I will bring my just-acquired AT102ED (see https://www.cloudyni...one/?p=12573421 ) my Nikon 300mm f/4 -- probably other lenses too. I will bring my Nikon D5500 and D5300 and I'll probably get another body or two. I am experimenting with dslrdashboard which I have not used before. It seems adequate but I **definitely** need to make more tests.

We'll use a Losmandy GM8 (and many binoculars etc). Have to remember how to correctly set it up to track with minimal or no correction for the whole duration!

 

Wonder why you have stopped posting about a year ago :-)

I'd be very interested in discussing with people using similar equipment (or perhaps going to nearby place where we could meet in person). My younger kid and I plan to practice a lot starting now and for the whole summer, culminating with a dry run from our backyard for the October 14th eclipse.


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#29 gordtulloch

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Posted 24 March 2023 - 09:26 AM

I will have a 70mm refractor (Meade ETX lens in a modified tube with a traditional focuser) with a ASI294MC for wide field and a Celestron C90 for disk/prominences. The 70mm will be on a Solarquest and the C90 will be on an AZ-GTi.  Cameras will be controlled by a pair of RPi3B+ running EKOS and some custom scripting I'll be working on this summer to orchestrate the two cameras/mounts. Each RPi will have a SSD drive for images.

 

We are booked in Mazatlan already, in the Hotel Tramanto Mazatlan arriving Sat. Apr 6 afternoon and departing the following Saturday Apr 13 which will hopefully bracket the bulk of the mob a bit. We were actually in Mazatlan mid-February on a pre-Eclipse scouting vacation (it was -40C at home!!) and were quite taken with the Avenida Playa Gaviotas area which is near the N end of the Malecon (boardwalk).


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#30 R Botero

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Posted 25 March 2023 - 01:59 AM

See you in Mazatlan Gord!  I’m hoping to use an ASI2600MC at 490mm EFL with a 92mm scope. praying.gif    Will be staying at the Torre Peninsula on Avenida Sábalo. Arriving on the 5th, leaving on the 9th for a few more days in Mexico City. Never been to Mexico before this cool.gif

 

Roberto


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#31 gordtulloch

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Posted 25 March 2023 - 09:55 AM

See you in Mazatlan Gord!  I’m hoping to use an ASI2600MC at 490mm EFL with a 92mm scope. praying.gif    Will be staying at the Torre Peninsula on Avenida Sábalo. Arriving on the 5th, leaving on the 9th for a few more days in Mexico City. Never been to Mexico before this cool.gif

 

Roberto

See you there Roberto!  You're quite north of most stuff but a quick uber or pulmonia ride solves that. Breakfast is at Margaritas on Ave Playa Gaviotas Sunday morning :)


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#32 MattPenn

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Posted 27 March 2023 - 12:07 AM

We've been testing cheap and easy COTS equipment, and standard software packages, and have settled on something like this for our Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast Initiative:

60mm Rainbow Symphony solar filter (for partial phases)

2-inch Yellow #12 filter

M48 to M56 thread adapter

Askar 40mm FMA180 Pro

Svbony 5 & 30mm spacers

M48 to M42 adapter

Player1 Neptune-M camera

iOptron SkyHunter mount

Laptop

SharpCap Pro running a multi-exposure script

Anaconda Python combining the HDR frames

 

Final price tag is something like $1700.  Planning to test at eclipse next month.


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#33 APshooter

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Posted 01 April 2023 - 06:06 PM

I'll be using SetnC for camera control of the Nikon on my AP130. I have a solar quest to guide my lunt 50mm scope. I'll have time lapse cameras, an all sky cam recording as well. I may test the Hinode solar guider again. It worked ok on the last eclipse but during totality my polar alignment was off. This time I won't have that issue because I'll be in my observatory.
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#34 DelVento

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Posted 02 April 2023 - 11:15 AM

I'll be using SetnC for camera control of the Nikon on my AP130. I have a solar quest to guide my lunt 50mm scope. I'll have time lapse cameras, an all sky cam recording as well. I may test the Hinode solar guider again. It worked ok on the last eclipse but during totality my polar alignment was off. This time I won't have that issue because I'll be in my observatory.

Mmm, SetnC is advertized for working on Canon, not Nikon cameras.. Am I missing anything?

 

Most interesting, you'll have totality passing on your observatory??!! How lucky, congratulations!!



#35 R Botero

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Posted 03 April 2023 - 04:18 AM

Well, SharCap allows all sorts of controls for imaging that I had not used before.  Its Sequencer, although designed with DSO imaging in mind, is very powerful to programme a sequence of images of different geometric and exposure characteristics.  I cannot do this with FireCapture.

 

Below is a screenshot of a simple Sequence I created last night to test on the (almost full) Moon with my ASI2600MC camera and the 92mm f/6.7 Stowaway. 

 

 SharCapSequence_MoonTest.jpg

 

The commands within SC's Sequencer allow for setting of the colour space, output format, dimensions, exposure, frame count, etc.   I stuck to simple captures of the live feed of the camera but it can be programmed to capture individual frames without preview.  I am sure this will work with many DSLR cameras as SharpCap is compatible with those.  

 

I need to test further what sequence of bracketed exposures I can fit within the 4m 20s of totality in Mazatlan.  My ASI2600MC is a DSO camera and only yields 3.5fps (at full 6248x4176 pixels) - which is good enough I think - but maybe I will get a second hand ASI294 Pro which gets me 15fps or so at full resolution.

 

Roberto


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#36 R Botero

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Posted 03 April 2023 - 04:24 AM

And here's a stack of 125 frames (out of 500) at full resolution of the Moon at an EFL of 491mm (1.58"/px) for the ASI2600MC.

 

3wAZeNfaABQQ_16536x0_IosSfE2L.jpg


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#37 speedster

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Posted 26 April 2023 - 02:29 AM

Texas tips:

 

Stay out of the big cities.  They will be zoo.

 

Less chance of clouds the farther south you go.

 

Pick a small town along the path and get a motel room.  In NE TX there is Sulpher Springs which is a pretty place.  In central TX, Gatesville and Fredricksburg are good but Fredricksburg is always packed even without an eclipse (but it does have lots of shopping an the main drag and some great food).  We'll be at Comfort Inn in Gatesville.  Surrounded by open fields and the typical amenities of a modern motel.  There are some other towns not quite on the centerline but pretty close.

 

VRBOs and B&Bs are limited but can be a great find in that you can set up the day before and leave things in the backyard overnight.

 

If you are going to be in Gatesville, send me a message and we might get together for some TexMex.


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#38 swaroopshere

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Posted 29 April 2023 - 10:37 AM

I captured the 2017 eclipse with my trusty old Canon 5d MKii on stellarvue 102ED + reducer-flattener on paramount Myt with Eclipse Orchestrator. I had the privilege of driving up to the location to justify the heavy equipment. Not going to have that privilege this time around, since I will be flying to Mazatlan. so looking to use a William Optics 71 GT with probably the Canon 7D on a tripod supported by IOptron Skytracker Pro. 

Ive had reasonable success with the Eclipse Orchestrator and a DSLR so hesitant to change that, but I see that a lot has changed in the 7 years, and folks are starting to use color CMOS cameras with SharpCap. I am tempted to try it out. What I loved about the eclipse orchestrator is its GPS support and scripting capability. Its well tested. The issues I ran into with it were skipping some frames because my exposures were too close to each other, probably ran into FPS or data cable limits on the 5D mk2.. Im hoping the 7d with its 10 fps would help, but wondering if i should just go the color CMOS with sharpcap route altogether.


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#39 dan_hm

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Posted 29 April 2023 - 01:50 PM

Ive had reasonable success with the Eclipse Orchestrator and a DSLR so hesitant to change that, but I see that a lot has changed in the 7 years, and folks are starting to use color CMOS cameras with SharpCap. I am tempted to try it out. What I loved about the eclipse orchestrator is its GPS support and scripting capability. Its well tested. The issues I ran into with it were skipping some frames because my exposures were too close to each other, probably ran into FPS or data cable limits on the 5D mk2.. Im hoping the 7d with its 10 fps would help, but wondering if i should just go the color CMOS with sharpcap route altogether.

I'm also beginning to wonder if my ASI2600MC will make more sense for the eclipse than my Canon 6D.  The resolution will be improved significantly with the 2600 and would probably produce a cleaner image overall.  Decisions, decisions!
 


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#40 swaroopshere

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Posted 29 April 2023 - 02:52 PM

I'm also beginning to wonder if my ASI2600MC will make more sense for the eclipse than my Canon 6D.  The resolution will be improved significantly with the 2600 and would probably produce a cleaner image overall.  Decisions, decisions!
 

One thing thats likely still in favor of DSLRs are the fact that they will store on cards as opposed to the CMOSs that will save on laptop, although the only crunch time would be during diamond rings/baileys beads. I guess something like an ASI2600MC will have enough buffer to store upto 20 odd frames and then transfer to laptop during totality when you can keep a 3-4 second interval between subsequent shots.


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#41 SteveInNZ

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Posted 29 April 2023 - 05:13 PM

The issues I ran into with it were skipping some frames because my exposures were too close to each other, probably ran into FPS or data cable limits on the 5D mk2.. Im hoping the 7d with its 10 fps would help, but wondering if i should just go the color CMOS with sharpcap route altogether.


It's a camera usb protocol limitation. It won't accept the command to take another shot while it's sending image data over usb. Eclipse Orchestrator has the facility for a serial port interface to the remote shutter input of the camera which gets around that limitation. Of course, you need a serial port and a bit of circuitry. 

 

Steve.



#42 swaroopshere

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Posted 29 April 2023 - 06:11 PM

It's a camera usb protocol limitation. It won't accept the command to take another shot while it's sending image data over usb. Eclipse Orchestrator has the facility for a serial port interface to the remote shutter input of the camera which gets around that limitation. Of course, you need a serial port and a bit of circuitry. 

 

Steve.

FWIW, I was using the DSUSB serial port interface in addition to USB and yet ran into this problem. I was also stupid enough to not check the actual exposures during my test runs (too young and over confident) ..I was trying to fill entire duration of 3 odd minutes starting from C2 diamond rings all the way upto C3 diamond rings with exposures without giving the camera a break.. (despite reading many threads warning us of not doing so) This time around, planning to keep at least 2 second breaks between DR, BB, and each of the corona exposures.. 



#43 swaroopshere

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Posted 29 April 2023 - 06:12 PM

On a side note, what do folks think about something like the Askar 400 Quintuplet refractor for a portable imaging setup? https://www.cloudyni...let-astrograph/


Edited by swaroopshere, 29 April 2023 - 06:12 PM.

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#44 RNSpeed

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Posted 29 April 2023 - 06:45 PM

For the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse I traveled with my Wife and Kids to Casper, WI.  I used a Coronado PST for the partial phase of the eclipse and a lightweight Meade Adventure Scope 80 for the Total Phase.  As for the camera I used a Canon 70D controlled by the iPhone Canon App.  All on a Celestron CG4 Mount.   Used eyepiece projection with a Meade 8-24mm Zoom lens that helped me make quick adjustments to archive focus.

For next year Hopefully (If I can find a place to stay in TX)  I plan to use my AP Stowaway with white light filter on the iOptron HAE29 mount.    Since I sold the Canon camera and the PST  I'm planning to buy soon one of those Canon Mirroless cameras and maybe a Lunt 50
 

Regards

 

Ray

Decided finally for a Micro Four Thirds Camera, I ended up ordering an OM System OM-5 camera.  Even tho Full Frame and APS-C cameras were a choice I gave more weight to the fact that at the long range the Micro Four Thirds camera would be easy for traveling. Here's a photo next to my Stowaway.

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#45 RNSpeed

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Posted 29 April 2023 - 06:49 PM

For reference the below photos shows my setup for 2017 Eclipse.

 

Regards

 

Ray

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Edited by RNSpeed, 29 April 2023 - 06:51 PM.

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#46 tommyboy

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Posted 06 May 2023 - 01:34 PM

Isn't anyone going to grab pix through a Lunt Ha and ZWO ensemble?



#47 emh52

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Posted 06 May 2023 - 01:41 PM

Is Hinode a proven solution for TOTAL solar eclipses?  I was thinking about the Sky-Watcher Solar Quest but some users have said it does not track if the Sun/Moon are totally obscured....which makes it pointless for the period of totality.  I don't want to use an equatorial mount and have to fiddle with alignment, etc, hence my question about a simple Alt-Az mount.   There should not be much field rotation in the 4 minutes + of totality to impact a large enough FoV.   Any suggestions?

 

Roberto

I had the same concerns about the skywatcher solar and I corresponded with skywatcher and they wrote to say the mount would continue on its correct path during totality. There is of course no way to check this without the eclipse, but I am going to risk a camera setup on that is automated as to take time pressure off of me for other things.


Edited by emh52, 06 May 2023 - 01:42 PM.

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#48 nicknacknock

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Posted 06 May 2023 - 09:46 PM

With the SolarQuest mount, it is critical to level it perfectly. Once you have tracking going and the sun centered, double press the power button to “lock” tracking. I cannot stress enough how much difference good leveling does to the performance of this mount.


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#49 emh52

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Posted 07 May 2023 - 07:27 AM

Isn't anyone going to grab pix through a Lunt Ha and ZWO ensemble?

Yes have that set up but I considering the calcium rather than Ha module with the 80 mm   still undecided. 



#50 markmanner

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Posted 09 July 2023 - 10:37 AM

And here's a stack of 125 frames (out of 500) at full resolution of the Moon at an EFL of 491mm (1.58"/px) for the ASI2600MC.

 

 

Roberto, that is a nice image. Have you now settled on using the Stowaway and 2600MC using Sharpcap rather than Firecapture? I'm inclined to do that and use a RST135E mount. I use that mount now for general solar observing and imaging, and it seems to track well with minimal alignment and setup. I don't mind readjusting the mount during the partial phase, and I'm sure it will track adequately for the few minutes of totality. 

 

I do find myself looking at dslr bodies to use, but it would be a waste to me to have one, since I wouldn't use it other than for the eclipse. I know this from prior experience having an DSLR, and both times I ended up not using them and selling them.

Mark





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