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  • Filter for eclipse?

    There's a total eclipse in August, right across the width of the USA. I'm in the early stages of planning to go and experience it (another tick on the Bucket List! . . ), and obviously will want to attempt some photography.

    I know enough never to look directly at the sun, or through a lens at the sun (use the EVF), and that a very strong filter will be required to get anything at all. The longest lens I have is the Oly75-300mm, which will give me a 600mm equivalent, and it has a 58mm thread.

    Now that font of all wisdom, The Internet, is divided on the question of filters: some advocate a high-number ND filter (I have a 6-stop and a 10-stop, so could combine), others say that a proper solar filter is required. ...

    Does anyone here have actual experience of eclipse photography, and if so what did you use? If I need to get a solar filter, where might I find them? Ta.
    Margaret

    my Website ; my Flickr ; my Facebook

  • #2
    Re: Filter for eclipse?

    I'm just wondering whether you best not bother with photography at all!

    You really need to fully experience the event without the distraction of fiddling about with a camera.

    Besides, if you do photograph the eclipse, it will differ little from thousands of existing images.

    Jim

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    • #3
      Re: Filter for eclipse?

      You can make your own solar filters using Baader film or similar.
      It can also be used on telescopes, binoculars etc. Obviously two filters needed for the latter.
      Just remember that it's imperative that any filter is used on the end of the lens furthest from your eye.
      Best Regards
      Bill

      The nearest I have to a home page.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/peak4/
      They're Watching You!

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      • #4
        Re: Filter for eclipse?

        If you are not bothered by a colour cast, you can use welding hood filters in a Cokin holder

        Look at this on eBay:

        https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161310936174

        Welding Lens Lense Helmet Mask Green Tinted Shaded Glass Filter Mig All Shades

        I use a x10 and x12
        Graham

        We often repeat the mistakes we most enjoy...

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        • #5
          Re: Filter for eclipse?

          Originally posted by Jim Ford View Post

          You really need to fully experience the event without the distraction of fiddling about with a camera.

          Jim
          Yeah, I know. Part of me agrees. But ... I'm a Photographer! How can I be at one of the special experiences of my life and NOT want to grab a snap or two?!

          I'd regret it forever if I didn't at least try ONE during that 2min 40sec!!
          Margaret

          my Website ; my Flickr ; my Facebook

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          • #6
            Re: Filter for eclipse?

            Originally posted by peak4 View Post
            You can make your own solar filters using Baader film or similar.
            It can also be used on telescopes, binoculars etc. Obviously two filters needed for the latter.
            Just remember that it's imperative that any filter is used on the end of the lens furthest from your eye.
            Interesting, thanks. So what .. you just sellotape it over your lens?
            Margaret

            my Website ; my Flickr ; my Facebook

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Filter for eclipse?

              Originally posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
              If you are not bothered by a colour cast, you can use welding hood filters in a Cokin holder
              I tried a welding filter and found it optically very poor, not only a nasty green colour cast but ghost images and blurring. Instead I used a 10 stop ND filter on my 50-200 SWD FT lens and got some good results. This was the partial eclipse in March 2015 though. A total eclipse is still on my list.

              I went down to Penzance to see the total eclipse in 1999 but that was itself eclipsed by heavy cloud so all we got was a darkening. The local ale we enjoyed in a pub afterwards was OK though. Brewed specially for the occasion it was called "Daylight Robbery" .
              Regards
              Richard

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Filter for eclipse?

                Originally posted by MargaretR View Post
                Interesting, thanks. So what .. you just sellotape it over your lens?
                More or less, I made deep cardboard sleeves to go round the outside of the lens hood, and taped the film to that. Make sure there aren't any wrinkles, and that the tape can't come undone. Also make sure that neither the tube/filter, or lens hood can become detached in use.

                In retrospect, I should have used something more stable than cardboard, as over time (months, rather than minutes), as the moisture content of the air changed, the cardboard's moved a bit and, like me, the filter now has wrinkles.

                If you have the camera on a tripod, and are set up ready to go, you should still be able to experience the spectacle whilst still getting some photos.

                Unlike me who only set stuff up the night before, you can alway practice with solar photos in advance of the eclipse. There's plenty on the net by folks who do know what they're doing, rather than listening to me.
                Best Regards
                Bill

                The nearest I have to a home page.
                http://www.flickr.com/photos/peak4/
                They're Watching You!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Filter for eclipse?

                  Originally posted by MargaretR View Post
                  Yeah, I know. Part of me agrees. But ... I'm a Photographer! How can I be at one of the special experiences of my life and NOT want to grab a snap or two?!

                  I'd regret it forever if I didn't at least try ONE during that 2min 40sec!!
                  I took lots of shots during the eclipse in France at the ends of the 90s. To avoid repeating other's efforts (as I did), try something a bit more creative, E.g.:

                  - Try a multiple shot sequence showing the progression of the eclipse over a nice landscape. Do some research and find out the sun's path during the eclipse.

                  - Take more than 1 camera and get multiple views (wide, close up etc)

                  - Get some perspectives of the overall scene during total eclipse. Maybe animals etc

                  Anyhow - just my 2c worth...
                  Paul
                  E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
                  flickr
                  Portfolio Site
                  Instagram

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                  • #10
                    Re: Filter for eclipse?

                    A safe way of looking at an eclipse is its reflection in a bowl of water on the lawn. Presumably you could then photograph that.
                    David

                    EM1ii, EM10ii

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                    • #11
                      Re: Filter for eclipse?

                      Also, if you are near some trees, observe the patches of light cast onto the ground by the interstices between the leaves. They act like pinholes and cast a rough image of the sun onto the ground. Under normal circumstances they are just unremarkable discs of light, but during a solar eclipse they become crescent shaped and may be worth photographing.

                      Jim

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                      • #12
                        Re: Filter for eclipse?

                        Originally posted by peak4 View Post
                        More or less, I made deep cardboard sleeves to go round the outside of the lens hood, and taped the film to that. Make sure there aren't any wrinkles, and that the tape can't come undone. Also make sure that neither the tube/filter, or lens hood can become detached in use.

                        In retrospect, I should have used something more stable than cardboard, as over time (months, rather than minutes), as the moisture content of the air changed, the cardboard's moved a bit and, like me, the filter now has wrinkles.

                        If you have the camera on a tripod, and are set up ready to go, you should still be able to experience the spectacle whilst still getting some photos.

                        Unlike me who only set stuff up the night before, you can alway practice with solar photos in advance of the eclipse. There's plenty on the net by folks who do know what they're doing, rather than listening to me.
                        Precisely what I did for 2006 in Turkey - the advantage of Baader film is that there is no colour cast, and a single sheet will cover at least two lenses.

                        BUT be sure to experience the eclipse itself - images are ten-a-penny, and they cannot convene the unmatchable experience.

                        For reference material, Michael Covington's book is recommended (Cambridge University Press).

                        Piers

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                        • #13
                          Re: Filter for eclipse?

                          Originally posted by gphemy View Post

                          For reference material, Michael Covington's book is recommended (Cambridge University Press).

                          Piers
                          Is that the "Cambridge Eclipse Photography Guide", which seems to be from the 1990s?
                          Margaret

                          my Website ; my Flickr ; my Facebook

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Filter for eclipse?

                            Originally posted by MargaretR View Post
                            Is that the "Cambridge Eclipse Photography Guide", which seems to be from the 1990s?
                            Yes, that is the one, I hadn't realised it was 1993 - ignore the detailed tracking for the eclipses of the 1990s (as did I) and turn to https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/solar.html for the current series. Ignore also the film-specific advice - fortunately, technological developments since 1993 seem to have had no effect on solar eclipses :-)

                            Covington does have a later book on Astrophotography, which mentions CCD imaging, and covers the whole area, not just eclipse photography, so if you want to branch out that may be better.

                            In the final analysis, remember that you will do well to get photos which look like the illustrations in those books - or any other on the topic. Hence the recommendations from Jim Ford and myself to make sure you experience the eclipse first and foremost. Photos are optional!

                            Piers

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                            • #15
                              Re: Filter for eclipse?

                              Baader film is the way to go.

                              I bought a sheet of the film from somewhere, and cut out a precise circle to fit a UV filter suitable for the lens to be used.

                              There are some filters especially for telescopes made of Baader film, I made a second filter from one of these, cut to the lens filter size.

                              And get some practise in looking for sun spots here in Uk, when the sun shines of course

                              But as you are no doubt aware just make d=sure the film is fitted precisely.............

                              Mj
                              Mark Johnson

                              My Sailing Page

                              My Flickr

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