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Old 6th of November 2008 (Thu)   #1
0ozma
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Default Shooting the Sun?

I was wondering if shooting the sun is damaging to your lenses or sensor? I've taken a few shots of dark clouds with the sun bursting directly through and it didn't seem like a problem, but I was wondering if anyone has any feedback.

Thanks!
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Old 6th of November 2008 (Thu)   #2
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

Bad idea to point any optics directly at the Sun, especially if it is not diffused at or near the horizon. Staring at a magnified Sun can damage your vision permanently in a very short amount of time. And yes, magnifying the Sun to a focal point at your camera sensor can create excess heating which could cause damage. How much magnification and length of exposure is too much? That depends but it really isn't an experiment worth making or risk worth taking. I always picture the results we got as kids with a magnifying glass under the bright sun.
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Old 15th of November 2008 (Sat)   #3
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

You can buy special solar filters that go IN FRONT of your lens. The silver type sheet that looks like aluminum foil lets you see the sun in it's natural color (white) and you will be able to see sunspots and the sharp limb of the sun.

A Hydrogen-Alpha filter is very expensive. This lets you see the outer layer of the sun, where you will see large solar prominences, flares and coronal mass ejections.

NEVER buy solar filters that attatch to eyepieces. They are dangerous and illegal. You MUST filter the sun's rays BEFORE they enter the lense.

Look up coranado scopes and solar filters for solar viewing and photography.

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Old 15th of November 2008 (Sat)   #4
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.S.I.G.N. Observatory View Post
You can buy special solar filters that go IN FRONT of your lens. The silver type sheet that looks like aluminum foil lets you see the sun in it's natural color (white) and you will be able to see sunspots and the sharp limb of the sun.
Yup, Baader solarfilm is a pretty cheap way of getting shots of the Sun. I cut a piece to the right size and embedded it between two UV filters for getting shots of an eclipse and of sunspots.
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Old 15th of November 2008 (Sat)   #5
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

Did you take this today Hollis ? What equip , a lens and camera ?
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Old 15th of November 2008 (Sat)   #6
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

i actually heard a story of a guy who left his 1D mounted on a tripod, sun hit it just right and burned up the sensor due to the reverse magnification of the lens
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Old 16th of November 2008 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

Must have had his mirror locked up...
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Old 16th of November 2008 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestron View Post
Did you take this today Hollis ? What equip , a lens and camera ?
Thesunspot pic was taken about three years ago. Canon 20D, 70-300mm DO + 1.4x TC, Baader Asrofilm filter, f/8, 1/400s.
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Old 18th of November 2008 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

I had my 4" celestron out one day looking at the sun and I started to wonder how hot the light through the eye piece would be unprotected.
I got one of those old steel/aluminum thermometers with the round gauge on top. I put the rod right in front of the eyepiece and the temp shot straight to 200*F and got stuck. I am not sure how hot it would have went to. It also melted a hole straight through a snowball in about 10 seconds!
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Old 18th of November 2008 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

Wow. thanks for the replies on this guys. Guess I'll steer clear of the sun!
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Old 19th of November 2008 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

Didn't any of you guys burn/melt stuff with a magnifying glass when you were kids?
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Old 20th of November 2008 (Thu)   #12
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Default Re: Shooting the Sun?

I burnt things with a magnifying glass when I was young. But magnifying glasses are disposable...I wouldn't point my scope anywhere near the sun without my solar-filter attached. (The closests I'll ever get without the solar filter is when I try to shoot the earthshine on a nearly new moon.)
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