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Old 10-05-12
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Re: tips needed for taking photos of the full solar eclipse

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
Hi Dave, thanks a lot for the kind and useful advices.
no problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
I decided to go to Aichi pref. and not Tokyo although that place I have in mind is not under the central line. It is however a wide parking lot at top of a mountain and as far as I remember there are no obstacles in the direction of east. I also prefer that I can pick up gears instantly from car depending on needs, which is probably not easy in Tokyo. Besides I can stay at a camping site from the previous day.
The annular eclipse time is however by around 30 sec. shorter there than in Tokyo. 4 min 30 sec. or so. Total eclipse time is approx. two hours.
it is worthwhile getting as close the the exact centre line as you can as you'll end up with a perfect doughnut image at the midpoint of the eclipse. moving away from the centreline will offset the inner ring accordingly.

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Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
I still do not fully understand what a sun filter is. Will look for it in Tokyo when I stop over there.
essentially, it blocks all but a tiny bit of the light from the sun, and, importantly, blocks the UV and IR

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
I also have in mind to use an old floppy disk sheet or DVD for compact cameras but not fully sure if it works properly.
not something i've tried so can't offer an informed opinion, however most stuff i read say this is a 'bad idea'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
As for lenses, I think I will use a zoom 350mm and extender x2 for tele purpose.
When I used the combination last time for lunar eclipse I had difficulties in finding the moon in the frame as the moon was just upright and my camera (20D&7D) have no arituculated monitor screen. And the ball head, althogh its quite large, does not allow me to set up an exact framing with this heavy conmbination.
you could always construct a sun finder and mount it to the flash socket. it's simply a hole in a piece of card that projects an image onto another piece of card mounted as a projection screen. get the sun centred in the camera viewfinder then quickly put some cross-hairs on the screen where the projected image of the sun falls on the 2nd bit of card. obviously, this won't work for the moon. but is great for lining up stuff on the sun - i use this principle to very quickly align my solar telescope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi View Post
About neutral density filter ND400, I understand UV is harmful to eyes. Is it however sufficiently dark for taking pictures of the sun? I'm thinking to use a live view of 7D.
i wouldn't like to say. i don't know what damage would happen to the camera as the sensor will be subjected to strong UV and IR while you are doing live view. for the sake of a 15 (in the uk) piece of solar film and a mounting system (glued to a UV filter for instance), is it worth the risk?

you've got the bonus of being close to solar maximum, so the chances of there being some large sunspots on show during the eclipse period is high. if you get your solar filters sorted out in good time, you can practice exposures etc on these beforehand. don't let the camera do the metering though. it'll probably hopelessly over-expose the shot.
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