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Thread: Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

    Hello all,

    I believe I will have an opportunity to photograph today's' solar eclipse. A first for me. I have a Nikon D80, and plan to use WB, sunny, iso 100, F10-16, Shutter speed ~ 80. 300 mm lens

    Any recommendations on if I should underexpose the shot a bit?

    Anything else I should know?

    I also read that it can damage your lens? If yes, I have one ND filter. Will this protect my camera lens?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

    Hi Christina,

    I have never tried this and I don't know how much of an eclipse you will get, but this sounds dangerous, both for your camera's sensor and your own eyes, rather than the lens.

    You won't have much time, but I'd check the histogram and adjust exposure depending on the first shot.

    I think they make special filters for solar eclipse photography.
    I suggest a google if no-one else replies here before you risk your safety.

  3. #3
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

    Hi Dave,
    Thank you for your reply... I did google it and it did not sound safe... See http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science...pse/55063578/1

    I guess I was hoping that all these photographers on this forum would know of a safe way to do so... Thank you. I will just watch it from a safe distance for my camera and lens unless I hear otherwise... (:

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

    Page 2 of 10 here may help.

  5. #5
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    Re: Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

    The only suggestion I have heard for "seeing" without having proper solar eyeglasses is to make a pinhole image. Get a straight pin (or a safety pin or a knife with a very sharp point) and two pieces of paper (slightly thicker than typing or printer paper is good, but you don't want it to be too thick because what I'm about to suggest will make a cylindrical hole through material that is too thick.

    In the center, make a pinhole all the way through that piece of paper. Then hold that piece of paper a few inches above the other piece of paper which will not have a pinhole in it, such that it's between the sun/moon combination and the piece of paper without the hole. You should see the annular eclipse on the lower piece of paper from which you should be able to take a picture (though slightly off unless you have a Lensbaby or similar. This process has long been known as making a pinhole camera which has the effect of focusing the light coming through the pinhole on the other piece of paper. You may need to adjust the distance between the two pieces of paper.

    Additionally, you should be able to try it out before the actual event as it is the same method usually taught in science class (about 5th grade in the US) to safely look at the sun itself without the moon between it and us.

    I made one of these in the summer after 5th grade and cut the top and bottom off a shipping box so that I could place the plain paper on the bottom and the pinhole on the top. When I finally got everything working, I cut a eyehole in the side of the box and I could see the sun just fine.

    Good luck.

    v

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

    Thank you. The sun set behind the mountains, so I missed the eclipse.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 21st May 2012 at 01:21 AM.

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    Re: Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina Stobbs View Post
    Thank you. The sun set behind the mountains, so I missed the eclipse.
    So much for the solar eclipse photography, lol............better luck next time.

    I bought a pair of eclipse glasses back in 2009 to watch the total solar eclipse, woke up at 4 am, only to find an overcast sky!!! Ended up watching the eclipse on TV (live from some other location)..........The glasses are still lying unpacked for the next opportunity.

  8. #8
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Solar Eclipse - Recommendations?

    At least next time around, I will be prepared with my papers set with pin holes, a solar filter and eclipse glasses. Thank you for your empathy.

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