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  #21  
Old 28-06-2012, 08:17 PM
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From what I've read on eclipse photography, I believe you're advice is sound Peter - it's certainly the track I'll be following.

DT
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  #22  
Old 28-06-2012, 09:53 PM
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Peter's advice is spot on.
If this is your first eclipse then keep it simple and most importantly don't be so focussed on the photography that you miss the awsome spectacle.
Having been to and imaged 11 totals and 5 annulars I have lots of personal stories of how to stuff it up.
And trying to do too much is very close to the top of that list.
If you plan on doing anything other than Point n shoot, then preparation and practice are essential.
Terry
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  #23  
Old 29-06-2012, 04:28 PM
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[QUOTE=Peter Ward;868466]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.



Good advice Peter.

I have a Manfrotto tripod but I found with the Venus transit I spent a bit of time mucking around getting the sun framed because I was using a ballhead and a TEC110 which whilst not a heavy scope was heavy enough. I think a light weiht tracker like that would make life a lot easier.

Greg.
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  #24  
Old 29-06-2012, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroTourist View Post
Peter's advice is spot on.
If this is your first eclipse then keep it simple and most importantly don't be so focussed on the photography that you miss the awsome spectacle.
Having been to and imaged 11 totals and 5 annulars I have lots of personal stories of how to stuff it up.
And trying to do too much is very close to the top of that list.
If you plan on doing anything other than Point n shoot, then preparation and practice are essential.
Terry
11 totals and 5 annuals.

Do you like eclipses then?
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  #25  
Old 29-06-2012, 07:57 PM
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11 totals and 5 annuals.

Do you like eclipses then?
Beware - eclipses are highly addictive.

But also a fantastic natural display, the challenge of being in the right place at the right time and successfully dealing with the weather, an excuse to see a new place, and best of all a great imaging challenge.
Terry
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  #26  
Old 29-06-2012, 08:07 PM
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Beware - eclipses are highly addictive.

But also a fantastic natural display, the challenge of being in the right place at the right time and successfully dealing with the weather, an excuse to see a new place, and best of all a great imaging challenge.
Terry
I just look at all the far off and wonderful places that an eclipse gives you the justification to visit! I had an excuse to visit a Pacific Island on business recently - would never have gone their as a tourist, and am unlikely to go back, but it was somewhere "different"!

DT
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  #27  
Old 29-06-2012, 08:21 PM
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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/tot2012/tse12intro.htm

Greg.
Greg, I recall at NACAA that Terry said that the tide will be coming in, resulting in little beach left to use. You wouldn't want to get caught up in the retreat. Also, don't forget about the thousands of others who will be looking for that same little bit of beach. And another thing - don't expect to be able to relocate any time until well after the eclipse is finished!

And one final thing - apparently there is some major sporting event like a triathalon or similar, that will start during the eclipse!

I'm still considering a strategy to get on top of all this...
Chris
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  #28  
Old 29-06-2012, 10:32 PM
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The Eclipse marathon starts from the southern end of Port Douglas beach and third contact is the starting signal. So it will probably be quite crowded in that area. But there are plenty of other beaches.

The beach certainly has an attraction but there are reasons for looking at alternatives. A well chosen beach should provide a good a good view towards the east, an attractive scene of the Sun rising out over the ocean, the beach atmosphere, palm trees etc.
But the tide will be coming in, it will be high tide round about 9 am and it will be one of the highest tides of the year. So at total eclipse time the tide will be coming in quite quickly and all those other people on the beach will be edging back towards your carefully chosen higher up spot.
Add to that the fact that most beaches are tree lined greatly restricting the view around and behind you. So it will be harder to find a spot to appreciate the all round sunset effect and quite difficult if not impossible to get an appreciation of the approaching shadow.
There is the balance of weather prospects on the coast or inland.
No place is perfect and you usually have to accept some compromise. Depends on what you are looking for out of the eclipse.
Terry

Last edited by AstroTourist; 29-06-2012 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Add name
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  #29  
Old 30-06-2012, 07:36 AM
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I can see the potential for fisticuffs, when the retreating observers back into those who setup further up the beach!

DT
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  #30  
Old 04-08-2012, 08:37 AM
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About exposure times again...
I intend to use MTO-1100A on LXD75, with Canon 60D in live view mode and I am wandering, if it's worth to risk and set it to AV mode.. so exposure time is supposed to be determined automatically.
This setting works pretty well on my 400d with manual lenses (and no live view of course), with -2 correction for terrestrial photos (if I remember correctly).
Any thoughts/experiences about it?

Last edited by bojan; 04-08-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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  #31  
Old 04-08-2012, 08:57 AM
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About exposure times again...
I will use Canon 60D, in live view mode and I am wandering, if it's worth to risk and set it to AV mode.. so exposure time is supposed to be determined automatically.
This setting works pretty well on my 400d with manual lenses (and no live view of course), with -2 correction for terrestrial photos (if I remember correctly).
Any thoughts/experiences about it?
Not sure about the 60D but I know some use a D800 set to auto ISO, minimum shutter speed and AV. Apparently that works well.
In that case the shutter speed and ISO varies to suit the metered scene.

I imagine with an eclipse you will want your camera able to take in the widish range of light levels from bright to twilight type conditions and back again without requiring fiddling with settings with a few minute window of opportunity.

I'd experiment with settings outside on a bright day then take it inside and make it a bit dim and see if it still handles that without changing anything.

Greg.
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  #32  
Old 04-08-2012, 09:04 AM
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Hmm..
Thanks Greg for ideas..
I am now thinking about making a mask out of black paper with strong back light, to simulate the scene (chromosphere) with prominences and test.
Hopefully 14 bit ADC of 60D may be able to handle the actual dynamic range...

Last edited by bojan; 04-08-2012 at 09:32 AM.
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  #33  
Old 04-08-2012, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
Not sure about the 60D but I know some use a D800 set to auto ISO, minimum shutter speed and AV. Apparently that works well.
In that case the shutter speed and ISO varies to suit the metered scene.
That can work well when shooting wide angle during totality. However do bracket by up to two stops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
I imagine with an eclipse you will want your camera able to take in the widish range of light levels from bright to twilight type conditions and back again without requiring fiddling with settings with a few minute window of opportunity.

I'd experiment with settings outside on a bright day then take it inside and make it a bit dim and see if it still handles that without changing anything.
Greg.
With the exception of a wide angle view of the landscape and sky, automatic exposures might not produce good results.
When the eclipse is partial it should work well. When zooming in on the Sun make sure the camera is in spot metering mode.

However during totality, particularly when zooming in on the solar corona, manual settings are far superior to automatic, and using software to automate the whole process is by far the best method to capture all the dynamic range. Don't forget that no single exposure can capture its full dynamic range.
The best strategy is to choose one aperture and bracket the exposures over a range of shutter speeds (i.e. 1/1000s to 4s). That way a composite image will be able to reveal the structure of the subtle corona.
Usually what you do is, start with a very short exposure time, the one that was used for the partial phase and/or Baily's beads, and then increase the exposure time with every exposure up to about 4 to 8 seconds, this will capture Earthshine on the Moon as well, before decreasing the exposure time down to the one used for the Baily's beads and/or partial phase.
During the about two minutes we'll have next November two complete sets can be captured.

You can use this exposure guide to have a better idea of the exposure times. And don't forget to always bracket the exposures.

Last don't forget to look at the event naked eye as no picture will do justice to the sheer beauty of a total solar eclipse...

For those attending the QLD Astrofest, I will be there from Aug. 16 to 19th and will participate with Terry to a talk addressing this topic and others on Friday Aug. 17th.
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  #34  
Old 04-08-2012, 10:07 AM
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Hopefully 14 bit ADC of 60D may be able to handle the actual dynamic range...
Not enough for the dynamic range of the solar corona. There is no camera that can do it with a single exposure.
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  #35  
Old 04-08-2012, 10:37 AM
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...and using software to automate the whole process is by far the best method to capture all the dynamic range....
This is for Mac .. anything in existence for us w'dowers ?
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  #36  
Old 04-08-2012, 10:53 AM
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This is for Mac .. anything in existence for us w'dowers ?
For Windows to control a Nikon or Canon DSLR you can use
Eclipse Orchestrator
or SETnC, Canon only

For Mac, Solar Eclipse Maestro, Lunar Eclipse Maestro and Mercury Venus Transit Maestro will control Nikon and Canon DSLRs, SBIG CCD cameras with their filter wheels and bring a lot more features as well that you won't find anywhere else...
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  #37  
Old 04-08-2012, 11:20 AM
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Hi Xavier,
Thank you for links.
SETnC seems to operate my 400D, but there are some difficulties with 60D.
So I'll control it manually (with 300mm lens, for wider corona),

400D will go on MTO-1100A, and will be controlled by SETnC
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  #38  
Old 04-08-2012, 11:38 AM
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SETnC seems to operate my 400D, but there are some difficulties with 60D.
Robert will most likely release an update supporting the 60D before next November.
You can always send him an e-mail.
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  #39  
Old 04-08-2012, 04:49 PM
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Robert will most likely release an update supporting the 60D before next November.
You can always send him an e-mail.
I just asked him and he said he won't.. he actually stopped work on SETnC (for now, I hope).
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  #40  
Old 06-08-2012, 05:17 PM
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I just asked him and he said he won't.. he actually stopped work on SETnC (for now, I hope).
Well, he did it: my 60D now works with SETnC (v2.11, uploaded this morning on his website)
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