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Eclipse photographers - what are you planning on using?

418 replies to this topic

#101 R Botero

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Posted 31 October 2023 - 09:55 AM

Roberto, how do you like using the Sky-Watcher Solar Quest? Does it really do a good job of auto-aligning and tracking the Sun without a lot of fiddling around?

Mark

 

I think quality control is an issue for some of these mounts as other users complain about it not working for them.  I bought mine second hand earlier this year and everytime I've had it out, I've left it tracking the sun for hours and it just works.  I have been testing it with its solar camera/sensor covered to simulate totality and if properly levelled, it keeps the Sun centred just fine.  It's very light weight and although the tripod is flimsy, I am only hanging a scope and camera which weigh very little so it should do its job just fine if kept collapsed.  I have tested it with a double-stacked front mounted Coronado 60mm scope and it handles it well.

 

Roberto


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#102 emh52

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Posted 31 October 2023 - 06:34 PM

Mark

 

I think quality control is an issue for some of these mounts as other users complain about it not working for them.  I bought mine second hand earlier this year and everytime I've had it out, I've left it tracking the sun for hours and it just works.  I have been testing it with its solar camera/sensor covered to simulate totality and if properly levelled, it keeps the Sun centred just fine.  It's very light weight and although the tripod is flimsy, I am only hanging a scope and camera which weigh very little so it should do its job just fine if kept collapsed.  I have tested it with a double-stacked front mounted Coronado 60mm scope and it handles it well.

 

Roberto

I have two sky watcher solar mounts, one carried a lunt 80 with a wedge and the other a quester duplex, it worked well, it had a little drift during max eclipse but easily corrected... I'll probably use them again in TX and then easter island in 2024.  Note new batteries were low by C4, so change the batteries before using for the eclipse. It is a good ride for a Questar duplex. For wider angle I'll probably just a gear head as a drive is overkill.


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#103 dghundt

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Posted 09 November 2023 - 11:49 AM

I got some great photos from a Canon 600mm f/4 in 2017 on a GEM.  It was a lot of practice, testing, organization beforehand.  Had a great image after I figured out how to process it.

But this time I'll just observe with my naked eyes.



#104 Thehun

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Posted 19 November 2023 - 09:04 PM

I got Eclipse Orchestrator Pro and trying to write the script for the eclipse. I was wondering if someone could explain better what does "Time Offset" column mean and how would you program it for the eclipse C1, C2, MAX, C3, C4. I have the following for the eclipse in Texas.:

 

C1 Strat of partial eclipse - 12:25

C2 Start of Total Eclipse - 1:42

C3 End of total eclipse - 1:47.

C4 End of partial eclipse - 3:04

 

How does "Sign" column? Come into play? Not really explained.

 

Sometimes I see in the example script "sign" column "-" with "time offset" column decreasing while other times (sign) column "+" with "Time Offset" increasing.


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#105 RonH47

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Posted 19 November 2023 - 10:23 PM

I will be imaging from central Arkansas. I would love to be further south but I can't drive that far. A two day trip (going/returning) is about all I can do.

As I did in the total eclipse of 2017, I will be using my Meade LX200 f/10 classic 10" with a .63 focal reducer, mounted on a Superwedge, and a Canon 70D crop sensor dslr camera. The frame just holds the sun's disk, with a little left on the edges to show the corona (in 2017 there wasn't much). I mostly concentrate on taking a movie of the eclipse, from which I can pull high resolution frames as still shots. I think I used the manual mode, letting the ISO change as needed. Experimenting ahead of time is important to find the parameters that look the best, and also to be able to quickly make adjustments as needed.

This time I also plan to use a ZWO ASI224MC camera (mostly for planetary) coupled with a Canon kit lens, 18-135 zoom to get a smaller disk with more room for the corona. I will mount this camera/lens combo on my SkyWatcher Star Adventurer mount for tracking. For this setup I will need some accessories to be able to mount on the Star Adventurer, which I haven't figured out yet.

For both setups I use a Baader solar filter film during the partial phases.

In 2017 I also used the wonderful iphone app Solar Eclipse Timer, the inventor already posting on this thread. It was fantastic and incredibly accurate for timing, and the audio announcements added a great deal to the experience. I will definitely use it again in 2024.

Also very useful for planning equipment needed is the website FOV Calculator,  Wonderful for seeing how your objects will fit into the frames of different equipment. I am sure there are more similar tools, like Stellarium, but I find this one to be most easy to use.

Lots of planning and experimenting to do yet, but I am so excited. Clear skies!!


Edited by RonH47, 19 November 2023 - 10:25 PM.


#106 winbag4

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Posted 20 November 2023 - 08:57 AM

I got Eclipse Orchestrator Pro and trying to write the script for the eclipse. I was wondering if someone could explain better what does "Time Offset" column mean and how would you program it for the eclipse C1, C2, MAX, C3, C4. I have the following for the eclipse in Texas.:

 

C1 Strat of partial eclipse - 12:25

C2 Start of Total Eclipse - 1:42

C3 End of total eclipse - 1:47.

C4 End of partial eclipse - 3:04

 

How does "Sign" column? Come into play? Not really explained.

 

Sometimes I see in the example script "sign" column "-" with "time offset" column decreasing while other times (sign) column "+" with "Time Offset" increasing.

This is just how much time before or after an even an exposure is taken.

 

C1 +30s is 30 seconds after C1

C1 -30s is 30 seconds before C1



#107 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 20 November 2023 - 08:32 PM

I will be imaging from central Arkansas. I would love to be further south but I can't drive that far. A two day trip (going/returning) is about all I can do.

As I did in the total eclipse of 2017, I will be using my Meade LX200 f/10 classic 10" with a .63 focal reducer, mounted on a Superwedge, and a Canon 70D crop sensor dslr camera. The frame just holds the sun's disk, with a little left on the edges to show the corona (in 2017 there wasn't much). I mostly concentrate on taking a movie of the eclipse, from which I can pull high resolution frames as still shots. I think I used the manual mode, letting the ISO change as needed. Experimenting ahead of time is important to find the parameters that look the best, and also to be able to quickly make adjustments as needed.

This time I also plan to use a ZWO ASI224MC camera (mostly for planetary) coupled with a Canon kit lens, 18-135 zoom to get a smaller disk with more room for the corona. I will mount this camera/lens combo on my SkyWatcher Star Adventurer mount for tracking. For this setup I will need some accessories to be able to mount on the Star Adventurer, which I haven't figured out yet.

For both setups I use a Baader solar filter film during the partial phases.

In 2017 I also used the wonderful iphone app Solar Eclipse Timer, the inventor already posting on this thread. It was fantastic and incredibly accurate for timing, and the audio announcements added a great deal to the experience. I will definitely use it again in 2024.

Also very useful for planning equipment needed is the website FOV Calculator,  Wonderful for seeing how your objects will fit into the frames of different equipment. I am sure there are more similar tools, like Stellarium, but I find this one to be most easy to use.

Lots of planning and experimenting to do yet, but I am so excited. Clear skies!!

Ron, thank you for the "shout out" about my app Solar Eclipse Timer!  So glad you liked it in 2017.   It is ready for 2024.  There is also a new feature that I developed along with Fred Espenak, it's called Photographer's Mode.  When this mode is enabled all of the announcements are about timing to the contact times.  This will be REALLY helpful for those who are not scripting, but it is also useful for those who are scripting.  Make sure you have the latest version, which can be checked at the bottom of the Information screen.  For Apple, it is version 4.0.23 and for Android, it is 4.1.28. Here is a link to my website to print out the Photographer's Mode Worksheet (pdf) so you can see the time announcements and figure out what notes you might like to write for any particular time.  https://www.solarecl...e Worksheet.pdf


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#108 aroughroad

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Posted 20 November 2023 - 11:22 PM

I have just discovered this invaluable thread, and sheer panic has set in instantly. I am an experienced DSO astrophotographer desirous of photographing the 2024 total eclipse, but have never touched a DSLR/mirrorless camera and am in a mild state of panic about how late I am to the game as it relates to preparation for this momentous event. I have some very basic questions and would be deeply grateful for any feedback from those who’ve had experience or done more research.

I shoot DSOs in narrowband from my light polluted backyard with an encoder mount, cooled mono CMOS camera, 910mm refractor, off-axis guider, and 3nm S/H/O filters. For the eclipse, my goal is to capture world-class data of all the phases of the eclipse, in particular the corona and the diamond ring. Budget is not really a constraint…the only real constraints are:

1) the rig must be portable (I’ll be flying from LA either to Mazatlan or TX).

2) my goal is to shoot at an effective focal length of 7-800mm to capture the entire corona but still have excellent detail.

With that in mind, what would your dream rig be for this event?

1) star tracker — I own a Mach2GTO mount but don’t consider that portable, and want to get into MW shots eventually anyway, so I am considering the Fornax LightTrack 2 for this.

2) camera — my WO FLT 132 is not portable, so I was thinking of a mirrorless camera that could also be used for high-quality MW photography. Definitely full-frame.

3) telephoto lens / converter — I need something very high quality that will be compatible with the camera and that will get me to 7-800mm effective focal length.

4) filters — who makes the best solar filters?

5) automation software — eclipse orchestrator vs SET’n’C? Would love to be able to program a bracketed sequence of shots so I can enjoy the experience visually…

6) Laptop — I use a NUC for DSO but assume I will need a laptop with a hardwired connection to the camera for this? Recommendations?

7) tripod — good tripod to carry all this?

I should probably stop there…any feedback on any aspect of these components is greatly appreciated. My plan is to spend the next 2 months acquiring the gear and the following two months practicing at home. I feel like I’m learning the hobby all over again!

#109 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 21 November 2023 - 05:52 AM

aroughroad, from your list of questions I can only make one recommendation, buy a glass solar filter.  They can still be found at Seymour Solar and Spectrum Telescope.  Buy the diameter big enough to be snug when padded with self-stick felt but easily removable and reinstalled.  It also needs to be loose enough to be tilted slightly if you have to get rid of reflected ghost images.



#110 R Botero

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Posted 21 November 2023 - 05:56 AM

I have just discovered this invaluable thread, and sheer panic has set in instantly. I am an experienced DSO astrophotographer desirous of photographing the 2024 total eclipse, but have never touched a DSLR/mirrorless camera and am in a mild state of panic about how late I am to the game as it relates to preparation for this momentous event. I have some very basic questions and would be deeply grateful for any feedback from those who’ve had experience or done more research.

I shoot DSOs in narrowband from my light polluted backyard with an encoder mount, cooled mono CMOS camera, 910mm refractor, off-axis guider, and 3nm S/H/O filters. For the eclipse, my goal is to capture world-class data of all the phases of the eclipse, in particular the corona and the diamond ring. Budget is not really a constraint…the only real constraints are:

1) the rig must be portable (I’ll be flying from LA either to Mazatlan or TX).

2) my goal is to shoot at an effective focal length of 7-800mm to capture the entire corona but still have excellent detail.

With that in mind, what would your dream rig be for this event?

1) star tracker — I own a Mach2GTO mount but don’t consider that portable, and want to get into MW shots eventually anyway, so I am considering the Fornax LightTrack 2 for this.

2) camera — my WO FLT 132 is not portable, so I was thinking of a mirrorless camera that could also be used for high-quality MW photography. Definitely full-frame.

3) telephoto lens / converter — I need something very high quality that will be compatible with the camera and that will get me to 7-800mm effective focal length.

4) filters — who makes the best solar filters?

5) automation software — eclipse orchestrator vs SET’n’C? Would love to be able to program a bracketed sequence of shots so I can enjoy the experience visually…

6) Laptop — I use a NUC for DSO but assume I will need a laptop with a hardwired connection to the camera for this? Recommendations?

7) tripod — good tripod to carry all this?

I should probably stop there…any feedback on any aspect of these components is greatly appreciated. My plan is to spend the next 2 months acquiring the gear and the following two months practicing at home. I feel like I’m learning the hobby all over again!

Read the thread - it's not that long.  Some of us will be using CMOS cameras and small refractors to image.  I have been posting my settings for over a year.


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#111 aroughroad

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Posted 21 November 2023 - 09:01 AM

Read the thread - it's not that long.  Some of us will be using CMOS cameras and small refractors to image.  I have been posting my settings for over a year.

Thanks - been through the thread.  So great to hear everybody’s plans.  You said your will give you an EFL of 490mm.  But it looks like you’re using the Stowaway (612mm native FL) with an APS-C sensor (1.6x crop factor), so wouldn’t your EFL be ~980mm?

 

I’m looking for an EFL closer to 700mm, and I’d like to stick to full frame sensors.  I believe this means a CMOS camera isn’t an option for me, as I would need a full-on telescope with a 700mm FL, which would be too heavy for the kind of star tracker I can take to Mazatlan…please correct me if I’m wrong there?

 

Does any one have a recommendation for the best telephoto lens / converters for a mirrorless full frame chip that will get me to ~700mm EFL?

 

Finally, are those going to Mazatlan worried at all about the proximity of the airport and the constant arrival/departure of low flying planes?



#112 markmanner

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Posted 21 November 2023 - 10:24 AM

Thanks - been through the thread.  So great to hear everybody’s plans.  You said your will give you an EFL of 490mm.  But it looks like you’re using the Stowaway (612mm native FL) with an APS-C sensor (1.6x crop factor), so wouldn’t your EFL be ~980mm?

 

 

Hi, that isn't how you calculate effective focal length for astronomical imaging (multiple an "APC crop factor" by the telescope focal length). There are some significant differences between traditional photography with lens systems and astronomical imaging with a telescope that sometimes make the transition difficult. For example, astronomical imagers don't usually mask part of the aperture to change focal ratio, which is what many traditional lens systems do, etc.  Good luck with your research on this.
Best,

M

 

EDIT: look around for some good online FOV calculators, which I think will be helpful to you as you think about camera/lens combinations.  Here is one:

 

https://astronomy.to.../field_of_view/


Edited by markmanner, 21 November 2023 - 10:50 AM.


#113 markmanner

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Posted 21 November 2023 - 10:26 AM

 

Finally, are those going to Mazatlan worried at all about the proximity of the airport and the constant arrival/departure of low flying planes?

I'm not worried. If one happens to fly through for a second and it shows up, I'll either delete it, or keep it as a 'feature'. smile.gif.



#114 aroughroad

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Posted 21 November 2023 - 10:49 AM

Hi, that isn't how you calculate effective focal length for astronomical imaging (multiple an "APC crop factor" by the telescope focal length). There are some significant differences between traditional photography with lens systems and astronomical imaging with a telescope that sometimes make the transition difficult. For example, astronomical imagers don't usually mask part of the aperture to change focal ratio, which is what many traditional lens systems do, etc.  Good luck with your research on this.
Best,

M

Ah…R Botero must simply be using A-P’s 0.8x telecompressor with the Stowaway…duh! ‍♂


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#115 aroughroad

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Posted 22 November 2023 - 06:09 PM

aroughroad, from your list of questions I can only make one recommendation, buy a glass solar filter.  They can still be found at Seymour Solar and Spectrum Telescope.  Buy the diameter big enough to be snug when padded with self-stick felt but easily removable and reinstalled.  It also needs to be loose enough to be tilted slightly if you have to get rid of reflected ghost images.

Thank you - I have just reread and finally processed your commentary above about the usefulness of a glass filter in helping one determine proper exposure times for the various phases for my specific system.  I’ve also been through the information on your website, in particular the step by step methodology for capturing all elements of the eclipse.  This was extremely helpful information for someone like me, who is still new to this, and it was laid out clearly and simply.  Thank you for this!

 

You mentioned that this strategy was sound based on the assumption that one is using the Thousand Oaks Solarite filters.  Do you have any reason to think the glass filters from Seymour or Spectrum might work differently?

 

Another thing I’m learning is that there appears to be no eclipse automation software compatible with the newer Sony mirrorless cameras (the AS7iii in particular).  Is anyone aware of automation software that works with Sony?  Eclipse Orchestrator, SEM, and Set”n”C do not.

 

I was planning to buy a Sony AS7iii to double as my eclipse camera as well as my camera for a portable Milky Way rig, so while not being able to fully automate the eclipse capture is not the end of the world, it certainly entails more execution risk.  I guess one benefit is not having to worry about bringing a computer, supplying power, and mastering a new piece of software!



#116 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 22 November 2023 - 09:40 PM

aroughroad,  Thank you for your nice comments about the work I do and how has proved to be helpful to you.  I am glad and I appreciate the feedback!

 

Let me clarify something and correct what I think was your typo, you typed that "strategy was sound based on the assumption that one is using the Thousand Oaks Solarite (?) filters."  I don't know of the term "Solarite."  They make a film filter called Solar Lite.  But to answer your question my strategy is based on the Thousand Oaks glass filter they used to sell (I still have a number of them). They don't sell glass anymore.  It is NOT based on Thousand Oaks Solar Lite film which I have found to decrease light transmission by 3 stops compared to glass filters.  I do not recommend Solar Lite film.

 

To answer your other question:  I have two Seymour Solar filters and I find that their percent transmission is very, very close to the old Thousand Oaks glass that I use.  I do not have a Spectrum Telescope glass filter, but I am quite sure it will be the same.



#117 aroughroad

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Posted 23 November 2023 - 12:09 AM

aroughroad,  Thank you for your nice comments about the work I do and how has proved to be helpful to you.  I am glad and I appreciate the feedback!

 

Let me clarify something and correct what I think was your typo, you typed that "strategy was sound based on the assumption that one is using the Thousand Oaks Solarite (?) filters."  I don't know of the term "Solarite."  They make a film filter called Solar Lite.  But to answer your question my strategy is based on the Thousand Oaks glass filter they used to sell (I still have a number of them). They don't sell glass anymore.  It is NOT based on Thousand Oaks Solar Lite film which I have found to decrease light transmission by 3 stops compared to glass filters.  I do not recommend Solar Lite film.

 

To answer your other question:  I have two Seymour Solar filters and I find that their percent transmission is very, very close to the old Thousand Oaks glass that I use.  I do not have a Spectrum Telescope glass filter, but I am quite sure it will be the same.

Got it - thanks.  Typo indeed.  



#118 dghundt

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Posted 24 November 2023 - 01:36 AM

I used my trusty canon 600mm f4 II and 5d4 in 2017.
Astrotrac setup was way too wobbly, and difficult to find the sun. I bought a fairly cheap ioptron cem25P which worked like a dream in testing. So I mailed that in a small box and another box with the tripod out west via usps. I flew with misc gear in checked baggage.
600mm was a great focal length for a full frame camera sensor. I had corona tips touching the edges of my final image. 700mm isn't a common native lens focal length anyway. I wouldn't bother chasing that, or figuring out some teleconverter combo. Just do 600mm if you want a nice corona portrait but be able to see surface phenomenae too. 400mm on a crop camera would work well and dramatically cut gear weight and gear cost.
I also practiced with the solar eclipse timer at home and used it during the eclipse. Very helpful.
Mirror lockup was essential at slower shutter speeds. If you go mirrorless, that won't be an issue of course, but you still need to practice at home and view your sun/moon images critically. There might be an advantage to a shutter that you didn't expect based on camera oddities.
Practicing with the sun, twilight moon, and planet/stars are important - focus, exposure, image quality, and getting to know your gear. One mishap and you won't be able to recover in time. My plan in the event of a mishap during totality was to drop everything immediately and look up with my bare eyes. Somehow I got lucky.
Good luck and have fun!

#119 SteveInNZ

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Posted 24 November 2023 - 02:26 PM

I was going to comment on the choice of mount too. Great for wide angle Milky Way but not for 7-800mm.

You have to assume there will be a breeze and you're out in the open. The eclipse itself can generate a breeze. Sometimes it's barely noticeable, other times it's quite strong.

I also agree with the point of finding the Sun. A ballhead is the worst option in that regard.

 

I usually take a CEM25EC for travel but I've just started testing the Az-GTi with a 1000mm Mak and 0.7x reducer. So far, it's looking encouraging and the mount and counterweight are only 4.4kg. There are a few trackers in the same capacity/capability range or there are the smaller strain-wave mounts.

 

Steve.



#120 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 24 November 2023 - 09:34 PM

I was going to comment on the choice of mount too. Great for wide angle Milky Way but not for 7-800mm.

You have to assume there will be a breeze and you're out in the open. The eclipse itself can generate a breeze. Sometimes it's barely noticeable, other times it's quite strong.

I also agree with the point of finding the Sun. A ballhead is the worst option in that regard.

 

I usually take a CEM25EC for travel but I've just started testing the Az-GTi with a 1000mm Mak and 0.7x reducer. So far, it's looking encouraging and the mount and counterweight are only 4.4kg. There are a few trackers in the same capacity/capability range or there are the smaller strain-wave mounts.

 

Steve.

I agree with Steve on ball head mounts.  For the sake of weight and size of gear, I had to travel with two of them to Argentina in 2019.  Just brutal to use for eclipse photography!  They are too hard to point and lock due to freedom in all axes, especially when trying to pitch the camera sensor to match the equator of the Sun. They let me down and I will never use ball heads again at an eclipse.



#121 aroughroad

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Posted 25 November 2023 - 12:50 PM

I was going to comment on the choice of mount too. Great for wide angle Milky Way but not for 7-800mm.

You have to assume there will be a breeze and you're out in the open. The eclipse itself can generate a breeze. Sometimes it's barely noticeable, other times it's quite strong.

I also agree with the point of finding the Sun. A ballhead is the worst option in that regard.

 

I usually take a CEM25EC for travel but I've just started testing the Az-GTi with a 1000mm Mak and 0.7x reducer. So far, it's looking encouraging and the mount and counterweight are only 4.4kg. There are a few trackers in the same capacity/capability range or there are the smaller strain-wave mounts.

 

Steve.

 

I agree with Steve on ball head mounts.  For the sake of weight and size of gear, I had to travel with two of them to Argentina in 2019.  Just brutal to use for eclipse photography!  They are too hard to point and lock due to freedom in all axes, especially when trying to pitch the camera sensor to match the equator of the Sun. They let me down and I will never use ball heads again at an eclipse.

Interesting about the breeze.  I'm not sure I can lug anything heavier than the Fornax L2 and a really sturdy tripod...for attaching the camera I was planning on using a geared head.  Something like the Manfrotto 410 (https://www.bhphotov...eared_Head.html).

 

Would this be a good option for finding the sun and orienting the sensor easily?



#122 SteveInNZ

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Posted 25 November 2023 - 05:32 PM

Good geared heads are wonderful. That one and the Benro are good. The little Manfrotto one is terrible.

Even a pan-tilt is substantially easier to drive than a ball head.

 

I can't fathom the mount thing though. You're spending an awful lot to put good gear on an inadequate mount, when it costs what, $50 for another bag ?

 

Steve.



#123 aroughroad

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Posted 25 November 2023 - 06:26 PM

Good geared heads are wonderful. That one and the Benro are good. The little Manfrotto one is terrible.

Even a pan-tilt is substantially easier to drive than a ball head.

 

I can't fathom the mount thing though. You're spending an awful lot to put good gear on an inadequate mount, when it costs what, $50 for another bag ?

 

Steve.

Thanks for pointing this out.  The CEM25EC is an equatorial mount.  Are you certain star trackers are inadequate for good eclipse photography at 700mm FL?  Is is the case that every good eclipse image at 700mm image is taken with an equatorial mount?  The shutter speeds are so high that I thought the only real purpose of having a tracker was to avoid the hassle of having to track it manually…What would you say is the maximum EFL the Fornax LT 2 on a good tripod could handle?



#124 MattPenn

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 12:05 AM

Portable:
PXL 20230808 185655082
 
Tested:
PXL 20230811 174116486
 
Cropped at annular eclipse:
partial 2023 10 14 160237 1.8ms Pss gpp2
 
M31 full FOV:
M31_20231102
 

Edited by MattPenn, 26 November 2023 - 12:10 AM.


#125 SteveInNZ

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 04:22 PM

Thanks for pointing this out.  The CEM25EC is an equatorial mount.  Are you certain star trackers are inadequate for good eclipse photography at 700mm FL?  Is is the case that every good eclipse image at 700mm image is taken with an equatorial mount?  The shutter speeds are so high that I thought the only real purpose of having a tracker was to avoid the hassle of having to track it manually…What would you say is the maximum EFL the Fornax LT 2 on a good tripod could handle?

No. I wouldn't make a blanket statement that trackers are unsuitable.

Different trackers (and I have a few) have different strengths. The MSM is tiny. The Star Adventurer has low power consumption. The AstroTrac (similar design to the LightTrac) has low periodic error.

But each advantage has to come with a compromise. The first two have relatively high periodic error while the AstroTrac/LightTrack sacrifices some mechanical rigidity.

I've had the AstroTrac for years and appreciate the attraction of the LightTrack, but I wouldn't consider taking it to an eclipse.

 

Yes, the purpose of a tracking mount is to keep the object in the field of view but the primary role is a camera mount. If the camera shakes with every exposure, it doesn't really matter how good your optics are. Many good eclipse photos have been taken with Alt-Az mounts or fixed tripods with pan-tilt or geared heads.

 

There's no will work / won't work line. You can only try to stack as many of the odds in your favor as you can.

 

That to me, seems like your weak link.

 

Steve.





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