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Eclipse Orchestrator compatibility

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#1 unknown1304

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 12:29 PM

For the 2017 eclipse I used Eclipse Orchestrator with a rented camera body. it worked great. 

 

I plan on using EO again but am looking to purchase a used Nikon D850.  The EO website says that the D810 is compatible. Does anyone know if the D850 will work? Or does anyone know how to get ahold of a developer of EO? I can't find any contact information on their website.

 

Thanks. 


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#2 starrycanuck

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 01:08 PM

For the 2017 eclipse I used Eclipse Orchestrator with a rented camera body. it worked great. 

 

I plan on using EO again but am looking to purchase a used Nikon D850.  The EO website says that the D810 is compatible. Does anyone know if the D850 will work? Or does anyone know how to get ahold of a developer of EO? I can't find any contact information on their website.

 

Thanks. 

No longer have my D850 but I have been mostly successful with a Z7II. The two issues I've encountered are:

  1. EO doesn't correctly set the file type (e.g RAW vs. Fine JPG). Looks like the internal list of file types used for the D series doesn't align with Z mount bodies. THrough some trial and error, I determined that if I tell EO "RAW+fine-jpg", the camera is set to RAW as desired. D810 vs D850 might not be as big a jump but I'd verify that.
  2. EO tries to set an absurdly high shutter speed of 1/65535 for Baily Beads and Diamond ring exposures. I've overridden manually to 1/8000 and adjusted ISO accordingly but am still suspicious of the original calculation ... 65535 smells like a calculation/overflow error not caught in EO. Am waiting for my new solar filter to arrive to test the script. This may be require further adjustment (actually the same is true for the other exposures settings as well).

That said, script creation and execution seems to work well. 


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#3 CreatorsHand

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Posted 29 January 2024 - 03:57 PM

For the 2017 eclipse I used Eclipse Orchestrator with a rented camera body. it worked great. 

 

I plan on using EO again but am looking to purchase a used Nikon D850.  The EO website says that the D810 is compatible. Does anyone know if the D850 will work? Or does anyone know how to get ahold of a developer of EO? I can't find any contact information on their website.

 

Thanks. 

I don't know for sure, although the EO website does say that "Newer cameras in the same series of a supported camera are usually supported.", which seems like the D850 might fit in with the D810 that way. Getting an answer from the developer of EO may be a challenge. I attended a webinar last week where he and the developer of Eclipse Maestro (Mac gave a talk about using their programs for the eclipse (the developer of Eclipse Maestro was giving his talk from a hospital bed, which would be worse), and the developer of EO said that he was working 100 hours a week on making eclipse filters and equipment for the eclipse, and that EO was just a sideline because he was interested in helping people capture the eclipse, but not a money making proposition. He explained that the $109 he charges for the Pro version is just to let him afford to rent cameras to test the software, although my guess is that he currently has no time to do that now. My suggestion would be to consider buying a D850 with the idea that you would have a backup plan of using an intervelometer if it doesn't work with EO, unless you can find someone who has successfully used the D850 with EO.

 

Paul



#4 starrycanuck

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 02:10 PM

I don't know for sure, although the EO website does say that "Newer cameras in the same series of a supported camera are usually supported.", which seems like the D850 might fit in with the D810 that way. Getting an answer from the developer of EO may be a challenge. I attended a webinar last week where he and the developer of Eclipse Maestro (Mac gave a talk about using their programs for the eclipse (the developer of Eclipse Maestro was giving his talk from a hospital bed, which would be worse), and the developer of EO said that he was working 100 hours a week on making eclipse filters and equipment for the eclipse, and that EO was just a sideline because he was interested in helping people capture the eclipse, but not a money making proposition. He explained that the $109 he charges for the Pro version is just to let him afford to rent cameras to test the software, although my guess is that he currently has no time to do that now. My suggestion would be to consider buying a D850 with the idea that you would have a backup plan of using an intervelometer if it doesn't work with EO, unless you can find someone who has successfully used the D850 with EO.

 

Paul

Wonder if EO’s rights owner would consider offering EO as open source so that the community can assist. If it is truly a “lost leader”, would be a win-win. The community needs a maintained offering that supports Nikon equally as well as Canon and with all the major camera vendors moving to new mirrorless designs, EO is going to hit a wall without an investment in resources.


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#5 lightdrops

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Posted 31 January 2024 - 11:16 AM

No longer have my D850 but I have been mostly successful with a Z7II. The two issues I've encountered are:

  1. EO doesn't correctly set the file type (e.g RAW vs. Fine JPG). Looks like the internal list of file types used for the D series doesn't align with Z mount bodies. THrough some trial and error, I determined that if I tell EO "RAW+fine-jpg", the camera is set to RAW as desired. D810 vs D850 might not be as big a jump but I'd verify that.
  2. EO tries to set an absurdly high shutter speed of 1/65535 for Baily Beads and Diamond ring exposures. I've overridden manually to 1/8000 and adjusted ISO accordingly but am still suspicious of the original calculation ... 65535 smells like a calculation/overflow error not caught in EO. Am waiting for my new solar filter to arrive to test the script. This may be require further adjustment (actually the same is true for the other exposures settings as well).

That said, script creation and execution seems to work well. 

I have a Z7 ii and have been considering using EO, I was also planning on using a D850. Does EO allow you to use your camera at full speed, around 9 FPS (for the Z7 ii) for a given fast exposure? Do you need a Shoestring shutter cable for that?



#6 starrycanuck

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Posted 31 January 2024 - 02:35 PM

I have a Z7 ii and have been considering using EO, I was also planning on using a D850. Does EO allow you to use your camera at full speed, around 9 FPS (for the Z7 ii) for a given fast exposure? Do you need a Shoestring shutter cable for that?

I have only had a chance to do bench testing indoors. I’ve had no trouble triggering Z7II exposures at the specified shutter speed (verified by looking at metadata in Lightroom) but I’ve got a min 1s delay specified in the plan now while I make sure the basic setup works.

 

Are you thinking of 9 fps for Baily’s Beads and Diamond Ring?



#7 lightdrops

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Posted 31 January 2024 - 11:09 PM

9 fps from Bailey's beads exposures until about 1/60s exposures (it's for applying some image enhancement technique that requires high cadence), i'll be using a 81mm-diameter apo refractor. I'd let the buffer clear if necessary between the change of exposures, it takes about 6s on the Z7 ii with a fast CFexpress card to optimize the process, which is why I'd like to know if EO could add a bottleneck.

#8 CreatorsHand

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Posted 01 February 2024 - 12:03 AM

9 fps from Bailey's beads exposures until about 1/60s exposures (it's for applying some image enhancement technique that requires high cadence), i'll be using a 81mm-diameter apo refractor. I'd let the buffer clear if necessary between the change of exposures, it takes about 6s on the Z7 ii with a fast CFexpress card to optimize the process, which is why I'd like to know if EO could add a bottleneck.

Can you get a serial shutter cable for the Z7 II? I know that, according to documentation, EO will only handle the fastest fps if a separate serial shutter cable is used to trigger the shutter on a DSLR, but I don't know if that applies to mirrorless cameras. I was also wondering how many frames you can get at 9 fps on the Z7 II before the buffer slows it down, as I am wondering how much I am losing with my Canon 7DII compared to a mirrorless camera. The 7DII will do 10 fps, but can only do about 28 RAW frames before the buffer slows it down to something like 3 fps. At 4 fps I am limited to about 50 RAW frames, and at 3 fps it is about 70 RAW frames before the buffer has an impact. I just found out that I can set the high speed shooting rate to anywhere between 4 fps and 10 fps, so I can extend that 28 frame limit somewhat by slowing the fps down.

 

Paul



#9 lightdrops

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Posted 01 February 2024 - 12:44 AM

I did order a dsusb / shutter release from shoestring today for EO.

Regarding speed and buffer, there's this test that can answer your questions: https://www.imaging-...ikon-z7-iiA.HTM

Which basically says that, with a CFexpress card, at 14-bit RAW files, we can get about 200 shots in H drive mode @5.5 fps. H+ drive mode decreases to 54 @9fps, and with a full buffer, we would get 2fps. However, the buffer clears fast, about 6 seconds.

I will receive a CFexpress card in a few days. I will report back with my numbers.
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#10 jcrb

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Posted 06 February 2024 - 10:37 AM

No longer have my D850 but I have been mostly successful with a Z7II. The two issues I've encountered are:

I can't even get EO to recognize my Z9 exists much less take pictures, did you have to do anything to get it to sync up?  Can you post part of your config file/timing script you are using?



#11 JethroXP

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 12:00 AM

I found some quirks using EO with my Nikon Z6, the file type issue that starrycanuck found, as well as any disconnection of the camera power or USB cable after EO has started can *only* be resolved by rebooting the PC.  I cannot under any circumstances get the camera to reconnect once it's been disconected, the only thing that works is to reboot.  Also I found that EO will leave the camera in H shutter release mode, but the camera will not connect to EO until its in S shutter release mode.  Once you do that the camera will connect and EO will place it back in H release mode and it works fine.



#12 jcrb

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 04:26 PM

I found some quirks using EO with my Nikon Z6, the file type issue that starrycanuck found, as well as any disconnection of the camera power or USB cable after EO has started can *only* be resolved by rebooting the PC.  I cannot under any circumstances get the camera to reconnect once it's been disconected, the only thing that works is to reboot.  Also I found that EO will leave the camera in H shutter release mode, but the camera will not connect to EO until its in S shutter release mode.  Once you do that the camera will connect and EO will place it back in H release mode and it works fine.

Oh that's pretty catastrophically bad, if it disconnects cause you bump something taking the filter off just as the totality begins. Makes me think I should just put it on like a 7 shot +1.5 stop bracket and leave the shutter button down as it gets to totality and forget about using EO at all. I mean it would just be a couple thousand pics to sort through, much better than getting 0  

Seems like its not going to matter as even after downloading 3.9.1 it still doesn't even see that my Z9 is there


Edited by jcrb, 07 February 2024 - 05:41 PM.


#13 JethroXP

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 06:00 PM

Oh that's pretty catastrophically bad, if it disconnects cause you bump something taking the filter off just as the totality begins. Makes me think I should just put it on like a 7 shot +1.5 stop bracket and leave the shutter button down as it gets to totality and forget about using EO at all. I mean it would just be a couple thousand pics to sort through, much better than getting 0  

Seems like its not going to matter as even after downloading 3.9.1 it still doesn't even see that my Z9 is there

It's not much different than when I was using my Nikon Z6 for astrophotography.  There is a bracket that screws into the Z6 body to secure the USB to ensure it doesn't pull out, and I use a dummy battery with AC power to power the camera all night.  Wires are secured and the miniPC is strapped to the tripod.  There shouldn't be any bumping.  In my opinion it's an annoyance, but entirely manageable.



#14 starrycanuck

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 10:00 PM

I can't even get EO to recognize my Z9 exists much less take pictures, did you have to do anything to get it to sync up?  Can you post part of your config file/timing script you are using?

Sorry for the delay. I've attached a test script that has worked with my Z7II to trigger exposures with the desired file type (RAW).

Attached Files



#15 starrycanuck

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 10:04 PM

Oh that's pretty catastrophically bad, if it disconnects cause you bump something taking the filter off just as the totality begins. Makes me think I should just put it on like a 7 shot +1.5 stop bracket and leave the shutter button down as it gets to totality and forget about using EO at all. I mean it would just be a couple thousand pics to sort through, much better than getting 0  

Seems like its not going to matter as even after downloading 3.9.1 it still doesn't even see that my Z9 is there

What do you see in the Hardware Configuration dialog box in the Type/Model/Serial # drop down?



#16 starrycanuck

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 10:07 PM

I found some quirks using EO with my Nikon Z6, the file type issue that starrycanuck found, as well as any disconnection of the camera power or USB cable after EO has started can *only* be resolved by rebooting the PC.  I cannot under any circumstances get the camera to reconnect once it's been disconected, the only thing that works is to reboot.  Also I found that EO will leave the camera in H shutter release mode, but the camera will not connect to EO until its in S shutter release mode.  Once you do that the camera will connect and EO will place it back in H release mode and it works fine.

I've had the same issue with "hang until reboot" but I've not encountered the need to change back to S release. That might be a difference between the Z6II and the Z7II (and their respective FW loads).


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#17 jcrb

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Posted 09 February 2024 - 06:08 PM

What do you see in the Hardware Configuration dialog box in the Type/Model/Serial # drop down?

Nothing in the Type/Model/Serial # drop down?



#18 JethroXP

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Posted 12 February 2024 - 09:49 AM

FYI - my DSUSB USB Shutter Control adapter arrived from Shoestring astronomy this weekend and I've verified it works with the Nikon Z6.  I'm still testing with it, but I think I can reliably get 2-frames per second when changing settings in-between, more when not.

http://store.shoestringastronomy.com/
 



#19 andyhawkins

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Posted 12 February 2024 - 08:35 PM

Nothing in the Type/Model/Serial # drop down?

trying Z8 and Z9, I see

(Not Used)

Serial Port - COM3

Serial Port - COM4



#20 starrycanuck

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Posted 13 February 2024 - 03:52 PM

trying Z8 and Z9, I see

(Not Used)

Serial Port - COM3

Serial Port - COM4

Do you have a serial cable attached as well or only a USB? I’ve just got the USB cable attached.



#21 zbadger

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Posted 13 February 2024 - 09:12 PM

If you look at my Thread Eclipse Orchestrator worked in 2017, Does Not Now,  I had the same result.   It does not recognize my camera in the area Type/Model/Serial # drop down.



#22 HxPI

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 08:14 AM

I just did a test using EO with Nikon D810. Camera will be attached to Lunt 60mm scope without solar wedge, I’ll use front Baader film filter. Tracking mount will be iOptron HAZ46. It was frustrating figuring out why there was no camera showing in script wizard when the camera was in hardware config. BTW, I also noticed the camera would sometimes not be detected. Not sure why, but reboot resolves it. Anyway, I noticed that after putting a nickname for the detected camera in the hardware setup, now I saw a camera listed in script wizard! OK so now I was ready to setup a script and test the camera during a simulated event.

 

i decided to use the DSUSB since I know it will allow the camera faster shutter operation. I needed to use a powered USB hub because I’m using a Surface Pro 8, which only has two TB4 ports. This allowed the use of two connected devices and provide power to the tablet. I connected the camera and DSUSB, started EO, and tested various scripts until finding one that produces the maximum number of photos without dropping shots. The best I was able to get was using 1 second delay. I’m concentrating EO on the main event around totality only, I have other equipment capturing the other phases. I get 57 out of 60 shots for a 2:30 min event, missing the first few due two delays in exposure setting changes. I figure this is worst case scenario, and more shots would be possible closer I get to totality line for a longer event time.

 

This software is great when it works, but quite frustrating by modern software expectations and standards. Hearing this is not given highest priority explains a few things. In the past, the Mac variant was a viable option and it was free, but I was having compatibility issues with upgraded macOS versions. This may be resolved now, Since I am using my Mac for another task, a tablet PC is the only other tool I have available for the 2024 event. If it doesn’t work day of event, I plan to just disregard it. I’ll have a backup Nikon D3 with intervalometer set up that will take bracketed shots and hope for the best. I’ll also have other equipment setup and that will have to suffice. The most important part is enjoy the event with my working eyes!

 

Hope for clear skies to all, I was clouded out during the 2017 event.

 

P.S. What is the idea number of sets for each event stage during totality? I assume lots of the first few seconds before and after totality, then as many sets of corona brackets as possible. Also, watching the recent AiC YouTube video about the topic demonstrated 14 shot brackets for corona, which seems excessive. The 7 shot brackets also demonstrated seems to be just as acceptable. Looking for experience feedback. Thanks.

 

P.P.S. Will there be noticeable field rotation during a 4 min totality event? I’m using an alt/az tracking mount and don’t want to mess around with polar alignment. Just curious, it’s not a big deal otherwise. Thanks again.

 

Regards,

Mel


Edited by HxPI, 16 February 2024 - 08:36 AM.

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#23 JethroXP

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 10:39 AM

FYI - the developers of both Solar Eclipse Maestro (Xavier Jubier) and Eclipse Orchestrator (Fred Bruenjes) just gave a talk and walked through the details of how to use their software in this video:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=qLHfURDO1YY


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#24 CreatorsHand

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 11:57 AM

FYI - the developers of both Solar Eclipse Maestro (Xavier Jubier) and Eclipse Orchestrator (Fred Bruenjes) just gave a talk and walked through the details of how to use their software in this video:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=qLHfURDO1YY

I watched it a month or so ago when it was recorded, and thought it was beneficial. It also explains a lot about the current status of the software, and why it hasn't been updated recently, especially since Xavier gave his talk from a hospital bed. Thank you for posting the link; I was waiting for it to be posted to YouTube, and was going to post a link when it was. I plan to watch it again.

 

Paul



#25 CreatorsHand

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 12:44 PM

I just did a test using EO with Nikon D810. Camera will be attached to Lunt 60mm scope without solar wedge, I’ll use front Baader film filter. Tracking mount will be iOptron HAZ46. It was frustrating figuring out why there was no camera showing in script wizard when the camera was in hardware config. BTW, I also noticed the camera would sometimes not be detected. Not sure why, but reboot resolves it. Anyway, I noticed that after putting a nickname for the detected camera in the hardware setup, now I saw a camera listed in script wizard! OK so now I was ready to setup a script and test the camera during a simulated event.

 

i decided to use the DSUSB since I know it will allow the camera faster shutter operation. I needed to use a powered USB hub because I’m using a Surface Pro 8, which only has two TB4 ports. This allowed the use of two connected devices and provide power to the tablet. I connected the camera and DSUSB, started EO, and tested various scripts until finding one that produces the maximum number of photos without dropping shots. The best I was able to get was using 1 second delay. I’m concentrating EO on the main event around totality only, I have other equipment capturing the other phases. I get 57 out of 60 shots for a 2:30 min event, missing the first few due two delays in exposure setting changes. I figure this is worst case scenario, and more shots would be possible closer I get to totality line for a longer event time.

 

This software is great when it works, but quite frustrating by modern software expectations and standards. Hearing this is not given highest priority explains a few things. In the past, the Mac variant was a viable option and it was free, but I was having compatibility issues with upgraded macOS versions. This may be resolved now, Since I am using my Mac for another task, a tablet PC is the only other tool I have available for the 2024 event. If it doesn’t work day of event, I plan to just disregard it. I’ll have a backup Nikon D3 with intervalometer set up that will take bracketed shots and hope for the best. I’ll also have other equipment setup and that will have to suffice. The most important part is enjoy the event with my working eyes!

 

Hope for clear skies to all, I was clouded out during the 2017 event.

 

P.S. What is the idea number of sets for each event stage during totality? I assume lots of the first few seconds before and after totality, then as many sets of corona brackets as possible. Also, watching the recent AiC YouTube video about the topic demonstrated 14 shot brackets for corona, which seems excessive. The 7 shot brackets also demonstrated seems to be just as acceptable. Looking for experience feedback. Thanks.

 

P.P.S. Will there be noticeable field rotation during a 4 min totality event? I’m using an alt/az tracking mount and don’t want to mess around with polar alignment. Just curious, it’s not a big deal otherwise. Thanks again.

 

Regards,

Mel

I haven't had a chance to try EO yet, as the micro PC I am planning on using has only two DisplayPort connections and no HDMI connection, so I need adapters to connect my HDMI monitor (which should be here today). I am hoping that I will have better luck with my 7D Mark II, as Canon cameras seem to be better supported, or at least that is my impression. I am also planning to use a Serial shutter cable, hoping for performance closer to what my camera can do with just an intervelometer (10 fps for at least 28 frames before the buffer slows image capture down), but I suspect it may be less than that. Have you tried a longer exposure to generate a set of bracketed images? I know that I can do that with my Canon cameras with a remote switch; I hold the button down with the camera set to high speed continuous shooting long enough for the seven bracketed images it will do as a maximum, then let it up and push the button again to start again once they are done being saved (I could start before they are done, but haven't figured out what the minimum wait time is to not buffer out). I hope to do that with EO, and will work out the shortest interval I can use and not run out of buffer in 4 minutes. I will have a second 7DII on a second OTA running on a programmed intervelometer to cover my bases.

 

In 2017 I found that 7 bracketed (the maximum my 7DII can do) shots 2 stops apart (1/2000 sec to 2 sec) worked well with Aurora HDR for creating an HDR composite of totality. You could get the 14 bracketed images by shifting the base exposure 1 stop and doing another set of 7 if you wanted them closer, assuming that you are using a tracking mount. In 2017 I ended up using a tripod and gimbal head (basically a non-motorized alt-az), so the Sun moved too much to combine two bracketed sets.

 

I hope you have better luck with clouds than in 2017, although history doesn't favor that. I almost got clouded out in Nebraska in 2017 (it cleared up completely literally a couple minutes before the start) and there was historically an 80%+ chance of clear skies there.

 

Paul

 

HDR from 7 bracketed images, 2 stops apart

2017 Solar Eclipse-Stapleton.jpg


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