Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Astrophotography and Imaging Equipment and Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
  #1  
Old 16-06-2012, 07:57 PM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 15,309
Solar eclipse imaging - what do you need to know?

With the upcoming solar eclipse coming up I'd like to be prepared for it in advance.

There was an excellent talk on this subject at the AAIC on the Gold Coast last year. I'll have to look that up.

I plan to use a DSLR. What is the best approach to imaging solar eclipses?

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 16-06-2012, 08:56 PM
h0ughy's Avatar
h0ughy (David)
DOGHOUSE REBORN

h0ughy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NEWCASTLE NSW Australia
Posts: 30,532
i would be interested in this as well Greg
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17-06-2012, 08:36 AM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 15,309
I think I have a copy of the AAIC talks Mark Bolton sent me. I'll dig it up as there was one presenter who went into in great detail and there was even software available for this sort of thing.

Types of filters. Exposure lengths. Whether a scope and a planetary camera is the better setup?

The Venus transit showed the best images were using the solar imaging setup of expensive solar filters and planetary cameras. But then totality is probably quite a widefield shot.

Perhaps 2 setups, one with planetary camera and one with DSLR for the widefield shots. It all happens so fast so you also don't want to get stuck in fiddling with the technology as it occurs either.

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17-06-2012, 09:13 AM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 15,309
Ah yes I found it.

Terry Cuttle.

Here are some links:

to the Cairns website:

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/201...lifestyle.html


To various software to control your DSLRs/SBIG cameras (2 are freeware but one is only for Macs one for PCs:


http://www.moonglowtech.com/products...or/index.shtml

http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages..._Software.html freeware

http://nicmosis.as.arizona.edu:8000/...MBRAPHILE.html for Macs.


I am thinking a solar filter for my AP140 and a planetary camera like Paul Haese and Peter Ward used for the Venus transit.

Plus a DSLR setup using a short focal length scope and filters and a mount.

Its a lot to travel with though.

What if you get all this stuff ready and its a cloudy day?

Cairns is tropical far north Queensland and I wonder how often it is cloudy there in November (I suspect its cloudy a lot).

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17-06-2012, 09:23 AM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 15,309
Here's a fabulous resource about the likely weather, cloud cover for the whole region and recommendations.

As its an early morning eclipse it means less likelihood of cumulus type cloud having formed.

60% chance of a clear day in Cairns.

So along the beach may be the go.

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~jander/...tse12intro.htm

Greg.

Last edited by gregbradley; 17-06-2012 at 10:01 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 17-06-2012, 12:23 PM
DavidTrap's Avatar
DavidTrap (David)
Really just a beginner

DavidTrap is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 2,828
Greg,

I've been corresponding with the author of Solar Eclipse Maestro. I looked into this one specifically as it's written for Mac, and mine will run for >4hrs on battery, whereas my PC only lasts 2hrs - so not long enough for the full eclipse sequence without external power.

It also appears to play well with Nikon - I believe the author is a Nikon user. I did some beta testing for the author to get my D800 working properly. There are a couple of limitations:

It will take a full frame shot every two seconds, as it writes to the card before firing another shot. (I experienced similar problems when trailing eclipse orchestrator)


It will take up to 20 shots at 4fps, but you can't vary the exposure settings during this sequence. I was thinking about using this for the diamond ring, but the camera then locks up for 30secs while it clears the buffer.

You can also switch to DX mode which reduces the time between exposures to 1sec. This might be a better option for the diamond ring, as you could bracket exposures during the sequence.

It also has works with Live View, which may be useful for focusing - yet to try this out.

The scripting for both programs is almost identical, so comparison of your script with another from someone who has done this before is easy.

DT

Last edited by DavidTrap; 17-06-2012 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Typo
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 17-06-2012, 10:56 PM
AstroTourist's Avatar
AstroTourist (Terry)
Show me the universe

AstroTourist is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 111
Eclipse phtography

Personally I have used Eclipse Orchestrator (Moonglow tech) at the last three total solar eclipses with great success.
You really can set it up and let it do its own thing through the full eclipse sequence including full partials.
I have an ASUS netbook running XP with a 10 hour battery life (key reason why I chose it), which gives plenty of time to do a test run before and then the full eclipse.
But having said that I have heard very good reports about Eclipse Maestro. Xavier is a guy who really is dedicated to getting things to perform to their best, and he is continually updating it.
Umbraphile was the first and for a while the only available program but it doesn't get updated as often.

When I am flying to an eclipse my typical setup is DSLR coupled to my 76mm f6.3 Televue either at 480mm for full corona or with a 2x at 960mm for closer in on a lightweight tracking mount. I usually have a second camera for widefield. But as I will be driving to this one, I will be taking all the gear I can stuff into the car.

Rgds,
Terry
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 17-06-2012, 11:45 PM
RobF's Avatar
RobF (Rob)
Mostly harmless...

RobF is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 5,458
Thanks Terry.
Awesome presentation at the AIC, and appreciate you again filling our heads with useful info.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 17-06-2012, 11:54 PM
AstroTourist's Avatar
AstroTourist (Terry)
Show me the universe

AstroTourist is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 111
Glad you liked the pres, Rob.
Happy to elaborate on anything anyone has questions on.
Terry
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 18-06-2012, 09:10 AM
DavidTrap's Avatar
DavidTrap (David)
Really just a beginner

DavidTrap is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 2,828
Terry,

Xavier has been great to deal with, and will be in Trinity Beach for the eclipse. I hope to catch up with him in November.

Would it be possible for you to post a sample script, to give an example for newbies of what to capture during an eclipse??

DT
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 18-06-2012, 09:52 AM
AstroTourist's Avatar
AstroTourist (Terry)
Show me the universe

AstroTourist is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 111
David,
I expect to be doing up some scripts for the 2012 eclipse in the next month or two. And happy to share them at that time. Please feel free to prompt me if I havent done that.
In the meantime, there are some samples that come with Eclipse Orchestrator. And the wizzard that comes with Eclipse Orchestrator is an excellent starting point.
Also, I am very happy to do a workshop or help anyone at Qld Astrofest for anyone who will be there.
We also have accommodation at Trinity Beach for the eclipse and I certainly expect to be catching up with Xavier (and others) then.
Sounds like the Trinity Beach - Palm Cove area will be an IIS focal point.
Rgds,
Terry
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 18-06-2012, 12:02 PM
EclipseMaestro's Avatar
EclipseMaestro (Xavier)
Eclipse Maps & Software

EclipseMaestro is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroTourist View Post
We also have accommodation at Trinity Beach for the eclipse and I certainly expect to be catching up with Xavier (and others) then.
Sounds like the Trinity Beach - Palm Cove area will be an IIS focal point.

Terry
Hi Terry,

I'll be staying in Trinity Beach from Nov. 10 to 16. I am renting a couple of apartments among the one we visited together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTrap View Post
Xavier has been great to deal with, and will be in Trinity Beach for the eclipse. I hope to catch up with him in November.
DT
You certainly have to!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroTourist View Post
But having said that I have heard very good reports about Eclipse Maestro. Xavier is a guy who really is dedicated to getting things to perform to their best, and he is continually updating it.

Terry
It is worth to mention that the software isn't only meant to control DSLRs and SBIG CCD cameras.
It has much more to offer and many of its other features are unique. Here is an example:
Baily's beads simulation

BTW, those interested in getting the best shots of the solar corona should get one of the new SBIG CCD cameras, the Ethernet type ones having a readout of about 1 second. The results that can be obtained will be much better than with any DSLR on the market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTrap View Post
I've been corresponding with the author of Solar Eclipse Maestro.

It also appears to play well with Nikon - I believe the author is a Nikon user.

DT
Correct.
Unfortunately I will just mention that I haven't yet had direct access to the latest Nikon cameras: D4, D800 and D3200.
The fact that you had a D800 was great as it allowed to add support for that camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTrap View Post
I did some beta testing for the author to get my D800 working properly. There are a couple of limitations:

It will take a full frame shot every two seconds, as it writes to the card before firing another shot. (I experienced similar problems when trailing eclipse orchestrator)

It will take up to 20 shots at 4fps, but you can't vary the exposure settings during this sequence. I was thinking about using this for the diamond ring, but the camera then locks up for 30secs while it clears the buffer.

You can also switch to DX mode which reduces the time between exposures to 1sec. This might be a better option for the diamond ring, as you could bracket exposures during the sequence.

DT
The limitation isn't only due to the fact that the 80MB file has to be written to the memory card. The write speed is indeed an important factor and one has to use the fastest card available and supported by the camera. However the combination between the Expeed 3 engine and the firmware of the camera appears to be a bit "slow" at processing the massive amount of data. Nikon has clearly some work to do on optimizing the firmware and/or handling the multitasking when communicating with a remote host.
I have to say that most digital cameras often need to have a better and more optimized firmware to really meet our needs during total solar eclipses. The best camera in that regard is the Canon 7D.
In terms of speed the D4 is clearly better than the D800, but the D800 will offer much higher resolution. In other words it all depends on what you want to do, but I'm convinced that with some beforehand rehearsal a good compromise can be found.

You should be able to change the exposure during the burst of 20 shots. The only thing is that you don't know exactly when the camera is going to execute the change. The fact is it isn't really a problem at C2 and C3 when shooting the Baily's beads.
IMO switching to DX at those two instants, and then back to FX, is likely the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTrap View Post
It also has works with Live View, which may be useful for focusing - yet to try this out.

The scripting for both programs is almost identical, so comparison of your script with another from someone who has done this before is easy.

DT
Live view is a great feature and movie recording on the camera will also be controlled by SEM.


Please find some pictures from the May 20 annular
ASE 2012 in Arizona
and June 5 Venus transit
ToV 2012 on the Mauna Loa in Hawaii

Xavier
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 18-06-2012, 02:41 PM
Paul Haese's Avatar
Paul Haese
Registered User

Paul Haese is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 9,358
Greg, I have a rather extensive plan in mind with a combination of DSLR white light images and a Ha with DMK images. Might I suggest for this time you either use a DSLR or point and shoot and just enjoy the experience of the eclipse. This is will be my third eclipse and it has taken me some time to organise all the ideas together. As you can appreciate one does not get a lot of chances to practice imaging eclipses. However for just simple techniques use a bracketting of 5 or 7 stops during totality. Processing via masking from there.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 18-06-2012, 03:47 PM
dannat's Avatar
dannat (Daniel)
daniel

dannat is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Macedon shire, Australia
Posts: 3,365
there was an article in Sky & Telescope i read at the ASV library - think it may have been the April issue - there was an article about a home made tracker - other pints the author made were

#tracking will avoid rotation
#he recomedned exp bracketing eg 1/30 - so you get either side of this - depends on camera how many it will do (author used a D700)
#he recommended continuous shooting, so you can just hold the button down or remote & let it fire away at will
#the author used a TV scope as lens , either a 76 or 85 i can't remember
#he was careful to recommend to guard against vibration, either form the scope or whatever else is around - he said it was a big threat to great img's
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 26-06-2012, 07:52 PM
bojan's Avatar
bojan
amateur

bojan is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mt Waverley, VIC
Posts: 5,858
Hi all,
I plan to take my MTO-1100A (for prominences and chromosphere details) mounted on LXD75 mount (just ordered) and Canon 300mm+400D to be used for corona photos.
Anyone could suggest some rule of thumb exposure times ? (I know I can determine this in situ, but some guide values would be also helpful).
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 27-06-2012, 12:38 AM
EclipseMaestro's Avatar
EclipseMaestro (Xavier)
Eclipse Maps & Software

EclipseMaestro is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bojan View Post
Anyone could suggest some rule of thumb exposure times ? (I know I can determine this in situ, but some guide values would be also helpful).
Solar Eclipse Exposure
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 27-06-2012, 09:26 AM
bojan's Avatar
bojan
amateur

bojan is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mt Waverley, VIC
Posts: 5,858
Quote:
Originally Posted by EclipseMaestro View Post
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 27-06-2012, 07:50 PM
RobF's Avatar
RobF (Rob)
Mostly harmless...

RobF is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 5,458
A presentation at Qld Astrofest on scripting for the eclipse would be very well attended I suspect?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 27-06-2012, 11:19 PM
AstroTourist's Avatar
AstroTourist (Terry)
Show me the universe

AstroTourist is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 111
I have suggested to the astrofest committee that I do such a presentation/workshop.
Regards,
Terry
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 28-06-2012, 08:06 PM
Peter Ward's Avatar
Peter Ward
Galaxy hitchhiking guide

Peter Ward is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Shire
Posts: 6,570
I've been to 4 total solar's.

While I have hauled a good deal of gear on some, my most successful was Lybia using nothing more than DSLR, Baader film (for partial-phases) Manfrotto triopd and a William Optics 80mm refractor.

First you need to decide what you want to record.

Extended corona?
High-res inner corona?
Partial phases?

It will be hard to run multiple focal lengths...IMHO you'll be more like to bugger that up rather than do one FL very well. Longer focal lengths usually mean more gear....ie tracking head, counterweights, batteries, etc.

Same with filters.... partial phases in H-alpha might be nice, but again, it's hard to switch to un-filtered multi-second long exposures without losing focus, framing or both.

I'm still to decide what scope or lens to pack, but I am gravitating to my trusty Manfrotto tripod, 501 head, and Losmandy Starlapse as a core system.

If you are flying to Cairns most airlines charge excess baggage after 23kg
(read: about two G-11 counterweights)

Camera will be my Canon 5dMkIII for sure...pity they weren't available in 2006!

Lastly, set-up and test everything before you go....the moon won't wait
for you to sort out any last minute technical hitches
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 07:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Australia
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Celestron Australia
Advertisement
Meade Australia
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement