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Thread: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

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    Default Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?



    Hello guys

    New to the forum and new to astrophotography. I have been an amateur photographer for a few years now and have been reading about how to photograph the total solar eclipse we are having this august.. Due to the research I have done so far it I have got quite interested in astrophotography. That being said I have never touch a telescope in my life I have a dslr nikon 7100 several lenses the longest being a 70-300mm, so far I understand that is bare minimum for an eclipse but quite good for deep sky objects. Planning on getting the sigma contemporary 150-600 for the eclipse and for my birding. I have been looking at different EQ mount systems and some programs like Solar eclipse maestro to photograph the total eclipse but I am not sure what to get. Here is my dilemma. I would like to invest in something that works for the eclipse but also works for other astrophotography targets since the eclipse will be 1 day and then dont want all the equipment to sit in a closet until the next eclipse. What equipment would you recommend with my dslr camera that will be useful for the eclipse but that I can use latter on for astrophotograpy that is easy to use and does not break the bank?. Any of you guys have experience or know of a place that have a tutorial on how to use Solar Eclipse maestro?. Thanks

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

    First off, welcome to the forum. Glad you joined us.

    The only problem with Solar Eclipse Maestro is that it is Mac only. I contacted the author and asked if he had plans for a Windows/Linux version and he said NO. Pretty unequivocally.

    For Windows I'm in the process of evaluating these two titles: Eclipse Orchestrator and SETnC. Both titles are free (or have a free version). As I run through these titles I'll try to do a review to others can make an informed choice.

    Due to the nature of the eclipse (ie how bright it is), your current setup (plus a strong, 10-stop, neutral density filter) should be able to handle all phases of the eclipse on a simple photo tripod. A tracking mount should not be needed as most, if not all, of your exposures should be under (usually well under) 5 seconds. Adding a 1.4x telecompressor to your optical train may give you the image size you are seeking.

    Also, reference Jerry Lodriguss' exposure length matrix here, scroll down to find it: Total Solar Eclipse Exposures

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

    Hi Astronoob, and welcome to the Forum!

    Good luck on your quest - plenty of folks with advice to offer you here.

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

    Thanks for all your answers. What is the limit on mm to the point you need a tracking devise? There is a chance I will use a 600mm sigma on an aps-c sensor so that will be like 900 mm. Will the sun say in the middle of the frame with that magnification during the 2 minutes 30 seconds?

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

    Hi there, Welcome to the forums!

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

    Hello

    I check out the Eclipse orchestrator and I was planing to buy the full version since the trial only allow you to basically take 2 pictures. I am doubting about it now cause for some reason even tho the camera is communicating with the program since I can shoot a frame when I co to camera and select push the shutter when I try to do the simulated second contact it does nothing. It is weird that no one has made any video tutorials on how to use these programs. There are a few videos on youtube showing the cameras running the script but nothing else. If by some miracle I finally master how to use one of the two I will make a few videos on how to. Will be testing Maestro today. You mention 10 stop neutral density filter. I have one of those thousands oaks solar filters. Is there any difference on the image quality etc? I was thinking on the teleconverter but I am not so sure since I will be losing 2 stops. My lens is 5.8 at 300 mm losing too stop will not be a problem for the eclipse photography? I have also hear of some vignetting specially on aps-c sensors like mine.

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

    I have a Canon T3 and use it with a 50mm white light filter from Thousand Oaks. I use this same filter over my finder scope for my 8" SCT which has it's own filter. The Sun taken with Jim's Canon DSLR and a white light solar filter - 05-16-2014.JPG This one was with the camera on my piggy back mount on top of my telescope.

    These two were taken with my Canon T3 attached to my telescope at prime focus.

    October 2014 partial eclipse with white light filter.JPG Sun in daylight with white light filter.JPG

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

    very nice what kind of lens would you recommend? I have a 300 mm but thinking on getting the sigma 150-600 mm for my birding and for the eclipse. Since I am using an aps-c semsor camera 600mm would be 900mm or so. Would I need a tracking mount for a 900mm zoom? I am worried the sun will move out of the frame at 900mm

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    Default Re: Preparing for the solar eclipse 2017 What equipment do you recomend?

    I have a 50mm and a 75 - 300 mm zoom. That first image was with my zoom capped with my 50mm white light glass filter and the camera body was mounted on top of my telescope body.

    For the eclipse, you don't need a whole lot of glass....but even if you do end up using the big gun, you're going to be taking snaps just a hundredth of a second anyway; preferably lots in a series.
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