2017 Total Solar Eclipse

scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 214Member
edited August 4 in General Discussions
I did a search and besides the old forum did not see any threads on solar eclipse's. These are pretty rare, next total eclipse is 2024 for the US and I probably won't be around long enough for another US event. I have searched pages of websites and forums and some of the information is more directed at viewing the event with a telescope and others get sidetracked about the weather in the location they are looking to photograph the event from. I know a few members here have some experience with this and might be able to point me in the right direction. If I drive around 30-40 miles I can get between 2 min 15 sec to 2 min 36 seconds of totality.

The following is equipment I can get my hands on, if I can get some guidance it would be appreciated.

Gear list:
D810, D7100, D200 (Lifepixel super color IR conversion), D700, F5

Daystar Camera Quark Hydrogen Alpha filter for Nikon mount (4.2x), Daystar energy rejection filter 130mm/100mm (this will cover the front element of the 200-400 but unfortunately not completely. With the 4.2x teleconverter inside I should not see any vignette I hope), 77mm White light solar filter.

All Nikon lenses::
24-70mm F2.8G
85mm f1.8G
135mm f2.0D DC
70-200mm f2.8G VR II
200-400 f4.0 VRI
300mm f4.0D
400mm f2.8G VRII
600mm f4.0D EDII
TC14 and 17 II, TC 20 III.

RRS tripod and gimbal head, extra tripod with ball head (I might have an old manfrotto heavy lens support somewhere but might not be able to find it), monopod with ball head.

My current plan (may not be a good one though) is to take the RRS tripod/gimbal head with the D200, Daystar filters and 200-400mm. I believe this will give the best overall outcome, figure the IR converted sensor would do better with the specific range of light being transmitted through the Daystar filter. MC-36 remote release.

A second camera, probably the D7100 with 300mm F4, TC -20 III, extra tripod with ball head, and white light filter. I predict that the ball head will be a problem, maybe a lower TC and just crop to what I want. I would have a bit more room for error and would not have to adjust the focus point as much. If I can find the manfrotto lens support might use the 600mm and use a 195mm white light filter (would need to purchase). ML-L3 wireless remote.

A possible third camera if I use the 600mm and D7100 setup. The D810 with 300mm and TC 1.4 and 77mm white light filter hand held.

Honestly, this is probably overkill, if I want to see pictures go look on the web. Some people have practiced this stuff for years and will have way better results that me just messing with it for a week (I do plan to take a few pics to test this stuff before the event).
Post edited by scoobysmak on
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Comments

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,108Member
    edited August 4
    Sorry no help .. but just thought ... Solar eclipse will be a subject the Mirrorless cameras will have trouble with ....since the sensor is exposed ...
    not shot solar eclipse but seen one .. :-) well not directly but using a reflected image ..

    Look forward to your pics
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 214Member
    edited August 4
    Well my Daystar filter plan caught a snag but I think I found a work around. One of the filters is placed between the camera and the lens but has no electrical contacts. Needless to say the 200-400 is a G lens and from reading online people have used a string to keep the aperature open. Not my preferred choice but will have to test fire this anyway, did not plan on changing this setting. I wasn't planing to run wide open but it's better than full stopped down.

    The other problem seems to be it was only created for lenes f4 and slower. Pretty sure you just need to set the aperature to f4 or slower on any lens but using the 70-200 I would have to get creative how to hold it open but not all the way. Hopefully I can get something useable but this might be a test run for 2024 but will have to drive much further to find totality in 2024.
    Post edited by scoobysmak on
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,189Member
    edited August 6
    obligatory -

    http://www.mreclipse.com/SEphoto/SEphoto.html

    Note the exposure chart well down the page for various features of the eclipse.

    Also the admonition the bracket your exposures for many of these features, especially for the corona during totality. Sounds like three bodies shooting should keep you very busy.

    First time viewing and attempting to photograph a total solar eclipse for me. The recommendation I am taking to heart is to write down a detailed plan, and to practice it (several times), for the entire duration of the eclipse, from the partial phases through the 2+ minutes of totality, noting precise timing. My plan A is to be in far southern Illinois, depending on the weather forecast.

    Currently planning to shoot at f/11, ISO 100, shutter speeds per the exposure chart, D500 and Nikon 200-500 at 300mm - trying for a full eclipse composite. Also using a gimbal head. Then I also have to remember to remove the solar filter at totality, but it should be pretty obvious in the live view display.

    May also bring another camera and a wide angle just to shoot the location as video during totality. I shouldn't have to do much to that one except focus and press the start button.

    Good luck on your shoot!
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Posts: 18Member
    I've never photographed an eclipse, but I plan to in 17 days. I'll be down in Oregon to the east of Portland, and south of Hood River, OR.

    I haven't decided what I want to go for. I really need to get my act together and make a plan. I need to figure out how high or low in the sky the sun will be because I'm trying to figure out if I want to attempt a time-lapse movie. I'll be in a desert type of area. Hope to find some rock formations or something cool for a focal point, start shooting early and catch it unfold. I suppose with the 14mm Rokinon I should be able to capture some foreground and the eclipse, but I need to do the homework to figure out if this is feasible.

    Anyways, in regards to the OP's questions. I can offer a link that you might find helpful.

    The link is to eclipse2017.org. Once you get to the site click on the "prepare for the eclipse" tab and mouse to "how do I photograph it". Once on that page, start reading and notice where it says "look at this first". Definitely click on "this". This guy's results are amazing.

    Perhaps you can extract some helpful information between the two sites.

    eclipse2017.org/eclipse2017_main.htm
  • scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 214Member
    Well went to cloudy nights forum and was told I was crazy, lol (guess I should have warned people first). The resident expert said I was insane for not using the D810 and the 600mm with no teleconverter. The Daystar filter I can use any day but I won't need it here since I can look at it during totality.

    The biggest thing was to bracket the shots, there are too many variables to calculate in the short amount of time and practicing for it is not an option.
  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 395Member
    Would "The Photographer's Ephemeris" app be helpful for this solar event?
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,308Moderator
    If I shoot the eclipse, I may try the D500, 400/2.8/TC2 and use the Thousand Oaks Optical solar filter which reduces the light 99.999%. This is good for seeing detail on the sun's surface as it is blocked, very early in the eclipse. Then removing very briefly, it if one can see a total eclipse. Here is the surface detail seen with this filter:
    Colorado_Sun_07.09.14

    This image was done with a D800E, and at an altitude of about 6000 feet, which improves things greatly, reducing some of the issues brought in when we shoot at lower altitudes and deal with effects from the atmosphere.
    Msmoto, mod
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,221Member
    filter from a welding mask is what you need and as long a lens as you can get ...practice on the sun before the event for exposure
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 260Member
    I am using an Orion 07723 7.17-Inch ID Full Aperture Glass Telescope Solar Filter (Silver) on my Nikon 800mm F/5.6 with the teleconverter (1000mm) on my D800E to shoot the Eclipse from Torrington WY. Practice shots have been solid at ISO 400 F/7.1 @ 1/320

    Denver Shooter
  • MegapixelSchnitzelMegapixelSchnitzel Posts: 175Member
    I'd like to have the actual disc small (but obvious) in the sky. Peak (80%) here in Sacramento will be about 10:17 a.m. I plan on using my 24-70 to get the event, the sky and my garden all as part of the total scene. It will be a sort of ultra HDR series of exposures.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,351Moderator
    Sounds like my kind of image MpS.
    Always learning.
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 205Member

    Sorry no help .. but just thought ... Solar eclipse will be a subject the Mirrorless cameras will have trouble with ....since the sensor is exposed ...
    not shot solar eclipse but seen one .. :-) well not directly but using a reflected image ..

    Look forward to your pics

    "Mirrorless cameras will have trouble shooting an eclipse"? Good heavens, what does that mean? There's no problem shooting an eclipse with a mirrorless camera. I shot the entire November 2012 total solar eclipse with a mirrorless camera and had a blast. I will be viewing the All American Eclipse later this month from Wyoming and shooting it with my Panasonic MFT mirrorless camera: there's plenty of light to work with and my MFT gives me the largest solar image (as measured in pixels) of all my gear, including the D7200 with the 80-400mm set at fl = 400mm.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,308Moderator
    @DenverShooter

    With the Thousand Oaks Filter I shot the sun surface above at f/10, 1/640 sec, ISO 100 on a D800E

    The filter is Number TH-6250, has an outside diameter of 6 3/8" which fits into the hood of my 400/2.8. The actual filter aperture is 5". It is called a Type 2+ and has an aluminum frame with a glass filter coated with the Solar 2+ coating. Light transmission is less than 0.001% which means it looks opaque when one looks through it in normal light conditions. When the sun is viewed it appears as in the image above.
    Msmoto, mod
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,108Member
    {"Mirrorless cameras will have trouble shooting an eclipse"? Good heavens, what does that mean?}

    I guess it depends on how you do it... If you try to use high shutter speed(1/8000) to reduce the light, like you can with a dslr then the sensor may be cooked while the sun is focused on it.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 205Member
    edited August 11

    {"Mirrorless cameras will have trouble shooting an eclipse"? Good heavens, what does that mean?}

    I guess it depends on how you do it... If you try to use high shutter speed(1/8000) to reduce the light, like you can with a dslr then the sensor may be cooked while the sun is focused on it.

    Are we are both writing about the same thing, i.e., shooting a large-scale image of the sun and moon with a telephoto lens that's filtered during the partial phases of the eclipse...but unfiltered during totality? If you meant taking an unfiltered wide-angle shot during the ingress and egress phases of the eclipse, in order to include one's surroundings, I suppose there could be problem. But unfiltered shots of totality, whether wide-angle or telephoto, have been done many, many times before at many, many eclipses with no ill effects. My shots of totality in 2012 with my mirrorless camera were unfiltered. They came out great, and the camera was fine, suffering no damage.
    Post edited by BabaGanoush on
  • mcammermcammer Posts: 10Member
    Very similar ideas to dissent, above. My plan:

    Nashville (or nearest cloud-free spot)
    D7000 with N200-500/TC1.4
    Meade SF450 filter (ND5 or 0.001% passthrough)
    tripod & remote

    Issues:

    weather- the one thing that can mess up all your planning. I am willing to drive a few hours E/W if need be, as far as the patience of family members allows

    settings- with the particular camera & lens combination, I will be shooting at 500mm (1050mm 35mm equiv), f/8 (effectively f/11), 1/125 sec, iso100, solar filter on, prior to totality. During totality, no filter and A mode, auto iso & matrix metering (?) to find proper exposure. Bracketing +/- 2 stops in both cases. Settings saved into U1 & U2 to make it easier.

    movement- The sun's diameter will be ~1300 pixels (0.53 degrees), or 40% of the short axis on my sensor. That should allow for streamers out to about 1.5 solar radii. During the 2+ minutes of totality, the sun will move 0.5+ degrees in the sky, or about 1-1.5 solar diameters. Since movement is primarily E/W, the sun should stay within a single frame during totality. Plan is to manually trigger with remote.

    filter- The filter I have fits over the end of an unhooded N200-500 lens. Unfortunately, it is mirrored and does cause reflections within the lens/camera if not aligned straight on. It knocks down the light about 17 stops (for the record, that means my mid-day, late summer, no haze, Michigan sun has an EV100 of ~31) . My settings result in a medium orange color.

    framing- In Nashville, the eclipse will happen when the sun is near to its highest point in the sky (62 degrees). That means composing any shot with natural features in the foreground is difficult. So, I'm not going for a composite shot of the whole eclipse and zooming in during totality instead. The streamers and flares you can see are variable in intensity, so bracket and hope for the best, I think. There are apps that can help you line up a shot. I used PhotoPills, which I find clunky, but it overlays the math onto Google maps. It tells me I can step out of the BB King Blues club and the sun will be directly over the AT & T tower a block away. Unfortunately, I will be wherever there is something to amuse the kids.

    tripod- one nasty thing I've found out is that my tripod head doesn't tilt back far enough to point the camera as high up as needed. I compensated by shortening the back leg of the tripod, but did not love how imbalanced all that equipment looked. May call for some new gear.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,189Member
    edited August 12
    I may very well go longer than 300mm - will now know after this weekend's testing.

    Well, the weather forecast for southern IL isn't exactly looking exceptional for clear skies - at least ten days out. Go away for a couple of days rain!!
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 205Member
    @mcammer: I'll be in Jackson WY. I'll be shooting 4K video of totality with my Panasonic GX8 + PL 100-400mm lens (unfiltered), which will provide an image of the solar disk of slightly more than 1050 pixels. I'll start shooting just before second contact and end just after third contact. The track of the sun across the field of view of the camera will be almost horizontal, only slightly tilted, so once I'm focussed on the dark limb of the moon (which will act as a knife edge) and have positioned the sun/moon on the LCD screen where I want, I'll let the camera run by itself. During totality I'll also shoot a few wide-angle stills with my Panasonic GX85 + 12-35mm f/2.8 lens. I might take a few stills during ingress and egress, but only if I first see a bunch of spots or spot groups through my binoculars, which I consider unlikely this time around.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,089Member
    Local dealer is scheduling a shooting. They wrote an article on what to bring and the disclaimer looks like it was written by an attorney. Anyway, I will gt that write up and post their suggestions. The good thing is they are selling the glasses for $5 but I don't know what they are charging for the welding glass. More to come.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,189Member
    Gah! I feel like a dummy. I just realized that I can't used my MC-DC2 wired remote release with my D500. Can someone please point me to the correct wired release for the D500.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,189Member
    edited August 14
    Hmm. Seems like it's the MC-30A for the D500, huh. The 10-pin one that plugs into the front. Is that right?

    But the specs for the MC-30A say it doesn't work in Live View? Am I reading that right? What the heck?
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,351Moderator
    mcammer said:



    tripod- one nasty thing I've found out is that my tripod head doesn't tilt back far enough to point the camera as high up as needed. I compensated by shortening the back leg of the tripod, but did not love how imbalanced all that equipment looked. May call for some new gear.

    My Manfrotto CF tripod has a centre column that can be repositioned sideways which I find really useful for vertical panoramas of the night sky. With that you have 360 degree vertically.

    I have a question: For those of us who don't have deep pockets, how about using our 5 stop or 10 stop ND filter for the sun?
    Always learning.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,189Member
    edited August 14
    I'd recommend a dedicated solar filter if you plan to look through the viewfinder at all. Remember that the filter will have to safely screen IR, UV as well as visible light for safe viewing. The mylar ones, while potentially more fragile, are not all that expensive. They do take a while to get, however.
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • mcammermcammer Posts: 10Member
    dissent- wireless remote might be easier get on short notice. Don't guess live view would be any different.

    spraynpray- i have a lighter weight Manfrotto that will tilt far enough. A bit wobbly with such a heavy lens.... But now you make me wonder about the 90 degree center column. Doesn't that make it hard to see through viewfinder or live view (esp. w a non-tilt screen camera)?

    ND5 eclipse filters permit only 1/100,000 of light through (10^-5). This is equivalent to 17 stops (2^17). A 10-stop filter plus 7 more stops (f/16 & 1/8000sec) should do it. Of course, during totality you don't need any filter.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,351Moderator
    You are spot on with the tilt screen - I have the D750 so no worries.

    What about the 'diamond ring' phase of the eclipse?
    Always learning.
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