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Timing imaging and potential damage.

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#1 StarBurger

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Posted 31 January 2024 - 03:16 PM

Weather permitting I am planning to image the April 8 th total eclipse. I live on the central track.

It will be my second total eclipse. First was clouded out in 1997 in Cornwall.

I will be using a 80 mm ED f 7.5 scope with a Canon 3 Ti on tracked EQ mount. I have used it before on the 2017 USA event, although from my location it was VERY partial.

That was easy with a solar filter fitted and not needing removal.

However I am a little concerned that I might get the timing wrong for a total.

At what point can I remove the filter to capture the corona?

If there are Baillies Beads will it be safe? Can they cause any damage to the sensor?

In all the excitement will I forget to replace the solar film as totality ends and end up with a burned camera sensor?

Is there any advice on how to time and discipline myself to prevent damage? Digital alarm clocks, burning candles, water clocks, hour glass?

I am thinking that perhaps I should forget imaging and enjoy the spectacle only with eclipse glasses or filtered binoculars and kick myself afterwards that I have no images to remember it by ? 

3m 27 secs is barely long enough to figure out the exposure times needed to capture the corona also.

I can hope to practice a few days ahead of time on a bare Sun but by all accounts the total itself is such an awe inspiring event that I might go to pieces.

 

What think Ye?

 



#2 CreatorsHand

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Posted 01 February 2024 - 12:52 AM

In 2017, I went to Nebraska and was on the centerline. Looking through my images, I got my first image without the solar filter between 30 and 50 seconds before the start of totality (that's as close as I can get) and got my last one without a filter almost 60 seconds after the end of totality (which was extremely overexposed). I was using a 7DII and a 500mm f/4L lens, and had no problems with damage to my sensor whatsoever. You should be very safe for the 30 seconds before and the 30 seconds after totality, and that should be more than enough to get the Diamond ring and Bailey's Beads.

 

You first of all have to remember to remove the filter; there have been people that got so excited that they left it on during totality and ended up with nothing of the corona. In 2017, that was my wife's job; remind me about filters. This year she isn't able to come to the eclipse, so I plan to use the app Solar Eclipse Timer, which has audio reminders.

 

There is something to be said for just experiencing it and forgoing the camera. And 3m 27s is not long enough to "figure out the exposure times". If you are going to use your camera you need to have them figured out and practiced many times over long before the eclipse. Totality will be an awe-inspiring event unlike anything you have seen before, and you need to have your photo sequences locked down weeks before, not start practicing days before. If you have any questions about that, leave your camera home and just experience it, and then buy a print from someone who is more experienced, or you may miss what may be the most amazing event of your lifetime. I took time out from photography in the middle of totality in 2017 to look around, but I missed seeing much of it. This time I am automating as much as possible, and if there are any problems the cameras will be put aside so I don't miss it again.

 

Paul


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#3 Cajundaddy

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 02:20 PM

Use Gordon's E​clipse Timer App for very precise timing of C1-C4.  I think it is still $1.99 for this event and it was very useful in 2017.  


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#4 StarBurger

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 03:18 PM

Thanks Cajundaddy!

Unfortunately I am a dinosaur and do not own (and never want to!) a cell phone. Neither do I own a laptop.

I'll just have to work with a stopwatch and pay attention.


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#5 Cajundaddy

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 05:12 PM

A stopwatch works.  With precise Lat/Lon coordinates you can find the exact times for 1st contact, entering totality, exiting totality, and last contact.  Synchronize your watch the day before for best precision and err on the side of caution.  You should be fine.  These are useful sites to prepare, practice, and experience eclipse photography:

Fred Espenak- http://mreclipse.com
https://astrobackyar...-solar-eclipse/


Edited by Cajundaddy, 03 February 2024 - 05:25 PM.


#6 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 03 February 2024 - 09:17 PM

StarBurger,

 

To test my app I have to have multiple test phones.  I have old phones that I buy from run-down electronics store in my town.  None of my test phones have a cell service contract.  They only get on WiFi when I am at my house to download the app and test it.  You can probably buy a used Android phone for $50.  You DO NOT need a cell phone plan.  To use my app the Android phone needs to be running Android 10 or greater.  You need Internet and WiFi at home and then you can download the app and buy the 2024 eclipse for $1.99 while connected to the internet.  Remember, my app DOES NOT need a cell service plan to run.  It runs and does all of the contact time calculations internally in the app.   The formula is in the app.  So you can use the app on eclipse day without a cell plan.  The app will help you enjoy the eclipse.


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#7 WillR

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Posted 24 February 2024 - 05:25 PM

StarBurger,

 

To test my app I have to have multiple test phones.  I have old phones that I buy from run-down electronics store in my town.  None of my test phones have a cell service contract.  They only get on WiFi when I am at my house to download the app and test it.  You can probably buy a used Android phone for $50.  You DO NOT need a cell phone plan.  To use my app the Android phone needs to be running Android 10 or greater.  You need Internet and WiFi at home and then you can download the app and buy the 2024 eclipse for $1.99 while connected to the internet.  Remember, my app DOES NOT need a cell service plan to run.  It runs and does all of the contact time calculations internally in the app.   The formula is in the app.  So you can use the app on eclipse day without a cell plan.  The app will help you enjoy the eclipse.

Does your app work on an iPhone? If so does it determine your location and thr time and length of totality, or do you have to do this manually?



#8 chvvkumar

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Posted 24 February 2024 - 09:31 PM

Does your app work on an iPhone? If so does it determine your location and thr time and length of totality, or do you have to do this manually?

This is the link for ios devices I believe:

 

https://apps.apple.c...platform=iphone



#9 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 24 February 2024 - 11:00 PM

Does your app work on an iPhone? If so does it determine your location and thr time and length of totality, or do you have to do this manually?

Sorry for the delay in responding to this question.  The app will geolocate by whatever means available to it, WiFi, cell towers, or even the GPS satellites.  The formula for calculating the contact times is in the app, so it will calculate your precise contact times.  Then when you load those times into the Main Time and the app will talk you through the eclipse.  You only need internet service to do the in-app purchase of the 2024 data set.  Once the data set is purchased and available, the app can time the eclipse without internet service.


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#10 CreatorsHand

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 12:06 AM

Does your app work on an iPhone? If so does it determine your location and thr time and length of totality, or do you have to do this manually?

Will, I can vouch for the accuracy of the Contact Times Gordon's app provides; If I put in the same Latitude and Longitude (down to the 5th decimal place) that Xavier Jubier's map provides, the Contact Times are within 0.3 seconds of what Xavier's calculations produce.

Paul



#11 WillR

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 08:48 AM

I downloaded Gordon’s app, but have not fully tested it yet. I did run into an issue with one test and may have some questions if I can’t figure out what I did wrong.

 

I did notice you mention not using your phone as a camera while using the app for the eclipse. I am certainly going to want to take some photos while the eclipse is happening, just holding the phone. Is there a reason for not using the camera?



#12 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 11:08 PM

I downloaded Gordon’s app, but have not fully tested it yet. I did run into an issue with one test and may have some questions if I can’t figure out what I did wrong.

 

I did notice you mention not using your phone as a camera while using the app for the eclipse. I am certainly going to want to take some photos while the eclipse is happening, just holding the phone. Is there a reason for not using the camera?

Will,

I just don't think it is a good idea to use system resources for other things while my app is keeping up with the loaded timeline.  Once the timing is started the announcement are preloaded down to the second they are supposed to be played ore initiated.  If something interferes with the system resources at that exact second a timing announcement could potentially be missed.  I have to make the recommendation to dedicate a device for timing the eclipse.


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#13 Kurt_in_WI

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 11:00 PM

For totality, there is no ideal exposure. Bracket about eight stops, no kidding. There is no wrong exposure during totality. Shorter exposures show prominences and detail around the disk; longer exposures show a bigger and bigger corona.  My sweet spot was f/9, 1/80 sec, iso 400.

 

A lot of cameras have intervalometers and auto-bracketing.  Set it up to fire a burst of eight or twelve bracketed exposures every ten seconds.  Light it off a minute or so before totality. The moment the photosphere disappears, or a little before, pull off the solar filter and let your camera do the work while you watch the eclipse.

 

The biggest challenge is nailing focus.  An old-school telephoto lens with engraved focusing scale, once you find perfect focus, lets you repeat that precisely by using the marks on the lens barrel.  Tape it down when it's right for extra security.

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