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#1 Brian Schmidt

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 09:38 PM

Hi all,

  I've been strictly visual for many decades and have on idea about imaging.  I have decided to take the family to see the solar eclipse in April and just booked a hotel in the path after securing the needed personal days.  I own an Ed 80 and have the thought of connecting it to my Nikon Crop sensor DSLR.  I already have the F-mount ring.  I believe that I need to get some sort of field flatter and was looking for budget suggestions.  Also, is there anything else I need to get?  It looks like the threads on the camera ring will thread onto the field flattener or am I wrong about that?  Maybe it would be better to just stick with the 300mm lens that I have for the camera and just use my scope for visual leading up to totality.

PS:  I also own a 1000 Oaks filter for the front lens of the telescope, which I have used visually for years.  



#2 steveward53

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 12:38 AM

No flattener needed Brian ... wink.gif

 

To be honest I'd just have the camera and 300mm ready for some snaps at totality but concentrate on enjoying the eclipse without getting bogged down with technicals .


Edited by steveward53, 16 February 2024 - 12:42 AM.

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#3 UtahStargazer

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 01:44 AM

No flattener needed Brian ... wink.gif

 

To be honest I'd just have the camera and 300mm ready for some snaps at totality but concentrate on enjoying the eclipse without getting bogged down with technicals .

Hi Brian! I agree with Steve; during totality, you could use your ED80 for visual observing and your 300mm lens and DSLR for imaging.

 

However, if this is your first total eclipse, I might suggest forgoing imaging altogether unless you feel very strongly about taking your own images. One of the lessons I learned in the 2017 total eclipse was that it's very hard to get good images of totality while also enjoying it visually. I had a TV-76 set up for visual observations during totality, but I also set aside ~15 seconds of totality for imaging with a 400mm telephoto lens and DSLR. My images were pretty bad because the focus drifted. If I had devoted more of totality to imaging, the results would've been better, but this would've come at the expense of soaking in the stunning view through my TV-76. In hindsight, I wish I had used those 15 seconds to spend more time at the eyepiece.


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#4 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 06:21 AM

Utah, the focus for totality should be checked and done 10 or 15 minters before totality by using this trick on the tip of the crescent during the partial phase.  Focus drift is riskier with zoom lenses than with a telescope with a focus rack.  Even though I teach about this trick I made the mistake with one of my setups in 2017 and did not re-focus closer to totality.  Ugh!  Brian, I also attached a basic setup slide from the talk I give about eclipse photography.  Gordon

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3a focus tip.jpg
  • basic setup.jpg


#5 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 08:22 AM

Forget about telescopes and photography.

Just make sure you bring your solar glasses.

 

A total solar eclipse is a wonderful natural show, it's hard to describe it in words, enjoy it in a simple way.


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#6 UtahStargazer

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 05:12 PM

Utah, the focus for totality should be checked and done 10 or 15 minters before totality by using this trick on the tip of the crescent during the partial phase.  Focus drift is riskier with zoom lenses than with a telescope with a focus rack.  Even though I teach about this trick I made the mistake with one of my setups in 2017 and did not re-focus closer to totality.  Ugh!  Brian, I also attached a basic setup slide from the talk I give about eclipse photography.  Gordon

That's good advice.

 

About 10 minutes before totality in 2017, I focused on a very distant landmark on the horizon, locked the focus in place, and disabled autofocus so that (in theory) I could just point the camera at the Sun and take a series of images without having to waste time during totality on focusing. But the focus-lock mechanism on the zoom lens turned out not to be as reliable as I had expected. Afterwards, I realized that it was a pretty bad strategy to focus on something at elevation = 0 degrees and to expect the focus lock to hold when observing the Sun at elevation ~65 degrees.


Edited by UtahStargazer, 16 February 2024 - 05:12 PM.


#7 Brian Schmidt

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Posted 17 February 2024 - 02:05 PM

The back button focus is fantastic.  It decouples the focus from the shutter release.  I've used my 11mm lens to take still photos, taken photos of the moon with the zoom lens, and even used a prime lens to take a picture through the eyepiece.  I've just ordered the t adapter for 17 bucks.  I can try to take some pictures of the moon and the sun over break through my 80 ED and see how it works out.  We have a hotel in the eclipse path north of Little Rock.  I'm open to suggestions on where to try to view from.  Maybe make the drive up to the Ozark's?  Guess that's another thread.


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#8 CreatorsHand

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Posted 17 February 2024 - 03:55 PM

The back button focus is fantastic.  It decouples the focus from the shutter release.

I agree. I've been doing that for almost 20 years. It works exceptionally well with a large telephoto like my 500mm f/4L when taking pictures of wildlife and birds, although it has less benefit for Astrophotography, except that I don't have to worry as much to turn the autofocus off on the lens.

 

Paul





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