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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk
Thread started 25 Jul 2017 (Tuesday) 09:57
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Eclipse - How to point the camera at the sun?

 
LJ3Jim
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Joined Jan 2012
Pacific Northwest
Jul 25, 2017 09:57 |  #1

I'm starting to practice for the eclipse. I'm using a tripod with a gimbal head, 100-400 II lens at 400, 1.4x III extender, and a solar filter. I have a right-angle adapter for the viewfinder. I'd like to take photos every 15 minutes or so, and turn the camera away from the sun when I'm not shooting. But when I want to aim at the sun again, I'm having trouble finding it. Any suggestions?


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LJ3Jim
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Pacific Northwest
Jul 25, 2017 11:38 |  #2

I found one way of doing it. Here's my rig - an Acratech Ball Head in gimbal mode. Note the knob that tightens or loosens the lens collar.

IMAGE: http://www.lj3.com/1dx2/eclipse_1.jpg

I was looking at various shadows that my equipment was putting on the camera body. I noticed that the corner of the lens collar knob's shadow was right on the "E" in EOS. I repeatedly moved the camera and then put it back so that the shadow is as shown below. Every time I tried it, the sun was in the viewfinder and was pretty close to the center of the frame. This will work for me, but I'm open to other ideas...

IMAGE: http://www.lj3.com/1dx2/eclipse_2.jpg

Image editing ok; C&C always welcome.

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TCampbell
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Joined Apr 2012
Jul 25, 2017 14:49 |  #3

1) Attach the filter.
2) Zoom out to the 100mm end of the range.
3) Point the camera at the sun (that solar filter is on, right?!)
4) At the 100mm end it shouldn't be too much trouble to see the Sun in your viewfinder (or on the live view screen).
5) Center the sun and zoom in to 400mm.

You can leave the camera pointed continuously at the sun as long as the solar filter is on the lens (or during totality ... you won't use a filter during totality if you are observing from a location that will experience totality.

Since the Sun/Moon will continue to advance across the sky, you'll have to keep re-centering from time to time unless you have a tracking head.




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LJ3Jim
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Jul 25, 2017 15:15 |  #4

TCampbell wrote in post #18411079 (external link)
1) Attach the filter.
2) Zoom out to the 100mm end of the range.
3) Point the camera at the sun (that solar filter is on, right?!)
4) At the 100mm end it shouldn't be too much trouble to see the Sun in your viewfinder (or on the live view screen).
5) Center the sun and zoom in to 400mm.

You can leave the camera pointed continuously at the sun as long as the solar filter is on the lens (or during totality ... you won't use a filter during totality if you are observing from a location that will experience totality.

Since the Sun/Moon will continue to advance across the sky, you'll have to keep re-centering from time to time unless you have a tracking head.

I did try that. I'm very good at pointing at things I can see. A fast plane at an airshow, eagles, cars, etc. When I tried the zoom technique that you outlined, I kept finding myself "cheating" and looking briefly at the sun with my left eye even with the lens at 100mm. I didn't think that was a good thing, so I decided to try to find a method that eliminated the possibility of glancing at the sun.

I did consider a tracker, but I would probably only use it once. I'm going to continue practicing my manual techniques regularly, and I hope to do well on August 21.


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MalVeauX
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Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Jul 25, 2017 15:59 |  #5

I use a 2nd lens/scope with a solar filter that is very wide angle that is aligned to the main lens/scope so that if I center the sun in the smaller lens/scope, it's centered up on the larger one. Makes it really fast and easy.

You can also take a 1.25" right angle diagonal and put solar film on both entrances and map a central point on it and align that to your longer lens.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

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Littlefield
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Joined Jan 2006
SC, USA
Post has been edited 2 months ago by Littlefield.
Aug 05, 2017 04:00 |  #6

You could get a Kendrick Sun Finder.
Don

http://www.astro-physics.com ...s/solar_acc/kendric​k-2017 (external link)

http://www.weasner.com ...ick_Sun_Finder/inde​x.html (external link)




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Capn ­ Jack
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Joined Mar 2010
NE USA
Aug 11, 2017 19:29 |  #7

When I ordered a filter from B&H, they send a few glasses that seem to help lining things up. The local eye doctor is giving them away. A trial today, I zoomed out and to see where the sun was in the lens, then zoomed in after centering the sun.




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Celestron
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Texas USA
Post has been edited 2 months ago by Celestron.
Aug 11, 2017 21:11 as a reply to Capn Jack's post |  #8

That is the best way with a zoom lens is to zoom out , center , then zoom back in . Actually I have my lens/camera set to center focus only and while zoomed out I hit my focus button and focus on the brightest object then switch over to manual focus but I don't touch the focus ring again unless it gets out of focus after I zoom in . When you focus on the sun the outer edges are what you focus to the sharpest edge you can get .




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spotz04
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Joined Mar 2010
Local Yocal, USA
Aug 14, 2017 23:25 |  #9

I use that same method with my sigma 150-600, zoom out, align, then zoom in. I have my solar glasses on for rough align with my nose just above the viewfinder. At that point I can take off glasses & see the sun in Live View while zoomed out. I AF the suns edge, then i lay a piece of tape across the focus ring, then I switch to MF. Caught a couple pics with sunspots last week with my sigma 150-600 on a crop body while testing the solar filter.

The thousand oaks orange filter isn't sharp as a tac, though. Sun edges are sharp but sunspots are a little soft. Shot at f/6.3 at 600mm. I don't have any pics online right now to share, sorry.




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Eclipse - How to point the camera at the sun?
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