Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post Reply [phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
alt-az-builder
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post by alt-az-builder » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:06 pm

Here is my general plan for photographing the eclipse. I've never done this before -- so anyone who thinks I'm off-base can chime in and tell me where I've gone wrong. My first priority is to view the eclipse -- so if something goes awry at the moment, then I will simply watch and not photograph.

In keeping with my goal of watching the eclipse as my first priority, I will employ the interval shooting program on my Nikon camera. This program can be used in conjunction the automatic bracketing program to take a series of photos with different exposure settings at each individual interval.

To accomplish this combination, one must set the exposure bracketing first. I plan to use my excellent Nikon 80 to 400 zoom set at 400 mm and f/5.6. This is a super-sharp lens that I've tested with photos of the Moon. (This lens puts my Nikon 18-300 zoom, which is Nikon's top-of-the-line DX format zoom, completely to shame!)

Next, I will set the camera for manual operation and set the ISO setting also for manual operation at ISO 100. I will also set the camera and lens for manual focusing. At least on zoom lenses, one can not depend on the infinity focus mark on the lens. I plan to experiment ahead of time with photos of the Moon to fine the best focus setting.

I plan to use a shutter speed setting of 1/16 second (or on my camera, it might actually be 1/15 second) as the middle value. In the bracketing program, I will set the spacing between shutter speeds to equal 1 f-stop with a total of five exposures at each interval -- two over and two under. This makes the shutter speeds (approximately) 1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 second. Drift is not a serious issue at 400 mm for these speed settings -- perhaps BARELY detectable at the 1/4-second setting is the image is magnified a lot. Using advice that I found online, 1/16 second seems to be the most reliable setting for ISO 100 at f/5.6. If you want shorter exposures, set the ISO to 200 and double the shutter speeds.

Going then to the interval timing menu, I will use the "Now" to initiate the interval sequence -- and I will set for 21 intervals of 5 seconds each. To start the sequence, one then depresses the "OK" button.

I will be mounting my camera on a Hitch Hiker with side-saddle. I plan to use an oversized tripod (Manfrotto 375B) to avoid vibration induced by the tight shutter sequence.

I plan to aim the camera about 45 seconds ahead of totality -- but I will already have the camera aimed very close to the needed start position. I have an extra solar filter that is fairly oversized -- and I will hold it in font of the camera lens to accomplish aiming. The camera will then be all set for the automated sequence.

I will practice aiming as the partial phase progresses -- determining the direction and rate of drift. I will use this info to point the camera approximately where totality will take place. During the 100 seconds that the camera's program will be working, the image will drift less than 1/2 degree. The field of my camera/lens is more like four degrees. So, all of the exposures will capture the eclipse very near the center of the field. Note also that the camera's sensor is fully protected by the reflex mirror while the solar disc is exposed.

Then once totality begins, I simply depress the okay button -- and I'm taking photos automatically while viewing the eclipse. If I get some good photos -- well that is just gravy. I'm really going to watch the eclipse.

I will view totality with my AT 72 refractor and an ES 18 mm 82-degree eyepiece at 24x and a 3.4 degree field-of-view. My solar filter can quickly be slipped off the front of the scope -- and then replaced quickly once the "totality-over" warning bell rings. I am also using a Hitch Hiker with side-saddle to mount my scope -- and will aim it for totality just before totality commences. I will not have to move the scope even once during totality. By keeping everything simple a set ahead of time, the odds of mistake are greatly reduced.

That's my plan! I'd love to hear the plans of others -- and any comments on misinformation that I may have presented. I've done a fair amount of research -- but I am a rookie.

Charles

alt-az-builder
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post by alt-az-builder » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:49 am

No one has commented so far about the technical aspects of my plan -- but I'm still hoping for input from people who have photographed a total solar eclipse before. My plan can be tweaked slightly since I'm using a zoom lens. I can shorten the focal length to 350 mm -- which will give a wider field and a slightly faster aperture setting.

I think the sequence I described will capture the corona out to a little more than one solar radius. Capturing the outer corona -- say beyond two solar radii -- would require longer exposures and tracking -- with exposure times in the 1 second to 4 second range.

But I want to keep my methods simple. I'd like to hear what others are planning.

Charles

cfaser
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:05 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post by cfaser » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:41 am

I am by no means an expert but have photographed 4 eclipses. First, I suggest that you go to mreclipse.com. This is a very good site for eclipse photography and have a very good exposure table. Different phases of the eclipse require different exposures and bracketing is the way to go. I have a canon, but I am sure that the Nikon is similar. More than 3 exposures should be taken. I will be doing 9 exposures. My camera has programmable settings so I can program in 3 sets of three. For the partial phase my settings are on manual (iso-200,F-16, S-3200,2000,1250). During totality, I have three programmable setting (iso- 400, F5.6, S-5000, 1600, 500) (iso- 400, F5.6, S-160, 100, 60) (iso-400, F-5.6, S-50, 30, 20). Disclaimer, these are just the settings I will be using, not suggesting you use them also. You want a good range of exposures for when you stack the photos. This will give you detail you wont see with just a single exposure. I would suggest a remote for taking pictures during totality. You just stand and look at the sun and click away. If your camera has mirror lock up, consider that as well. Focusing should be done in live view and under zoom. Good luck and have fun.

cfaser
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:05 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post by cfaser » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:47 am

Question, I will be using a 400mm lens on my canon 7d. How are you getting enough clearance to zenith on the side saddle? Just got my hitch hiker today and am having problems with clearance to zenith. Also having issues with balancing. One more thing, the dove tail plate that came with the mount is to small for the horizontal saddle. It keeps slipping out. I have posted these questions on the photography part of the forum.

alt-az-builder
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post by alt-az-builder » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:56 pm

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your comments.

I will be trying my 18-400 zoom on the side-saddle this afternoon. But I have balanced this lens on the payload platform -- and from its position there, I'm not anticipating any problem.

The quick-plate clamp is adjustable in width. I made "quick-and-dirty" width adjustments for our quick-plate before shipping -- but since only a fraction of people ordered our quick-plate, I did not generally spend a lot of time on this adjustment. And there's always the chance that I did not adjust the width on your payload platform clamp. So, just adjust the width of the clamp -- four screws on the edge to loosen the clamp jaw -- one pull-screw on the end for micro-adjustment with the plate in place. I suggest removing the camera from the plate before making the adjustment. Don't make the clamp any tighter than necessary because the extreme leverage of the clamp could damage a plate. For our plates, don't make the clamp so tight that the plate won't drop into the clamp.

I can't guarantee that every lens can be balanced with our 4" plate. Later, we will also offer 3" and 6" plates. But for an embryonic company making its first smaller-than-normal production run with highly discounted pricing, it took a heroic effort to offer just one length of plate. You may need a longer plate from a different supplier for now.

I have no idea about the weight of your camera and lens -- nor the length of the lens. So, its hard for me to make specific suggestions. Our plate has a 2.5" slot that allows the plate to be shifted fore/aft. So far, I've been able to balance every instrument I've tried using the 4" plate -- but a 6" plate is definitely coming as a future offering.

Charles

alt-az-builder
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: Notes on my plan to photograph the eclipse

Post by alt-az-builder » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:11 pm

Hi again Chris,

My camera allows five bracketing settings for interval sequences with more than five intervals -- and I am using five exposures at each interval. My camera is limited in what it allows to be varied at each interval -- and all intervals must have the same bracketing. Keep in mind that a Nikon D7200 is not a "professional" camera. It is the bottom-end "enthusiast" camera. Nikon's more advanced cameras offer more control.

I am only trying to record an image good enough to "say I was there." I will do little or no post-processing of the images -- or stacking of the images -- or anything else, really. I'm too busy building mounts to devote any time to image processing. My whole objective is to be a study in basic simplicity. I will leave the fancy stuff to those who are more enthusiastic about it than I am.

If I just get a few halfway decent images that look like a total solar eclipse, I will be extremely happy.

I did get the exposure settings from a table on a total solar eclipse reference site. I might check other sites if I have time. I did check about a half-dozen sites that all made similar recommendations. I'm climbing fourteeners in the days leading up to the eclipse -- packing today. So, for the most part, I have to go with my plan except perhaps making tweaks to the exposure settings or zoom length.

Charles

alt-az-builder
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post by alt-az-builder » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:00 pm

I just tried my D7200 with Nikon 80-400 f/4 to F5.6 zoom on the Hitch Hiker with side-saddle. It balances easily -- and there is clearance with the guide-handle (which isn't needed with this rig -- and I may remove it).

Charles

cfaser
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:05 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post by cfaser » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:02 pm

Thanks for responding. After I posted my questions, I played with the mount some more. By lowering the saddle almost all the way, I was finally able to balance. This mount moves with the slightest touch. With regards to the saddle width, I did not know about the four side screws. I only saw the microtuning end screw. Thanks for the info. With regards to your issue, I think you should try to do one set of pictures at a faster exposure. More like 200-100. I'll will try to send you some pictures to help you decide.

HerbeMannABg
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:36 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Notes on my plan to photograh the eclipse

Post by HerbeMannABg » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:19 pm

Once again, cool stuff I recently ran a session in 1927 Chicago and really enjoyed the setting.

However, would there really be a need for a new noble House? Especially one so specific to a country and time period?

Post Reply
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest