Photographing the Sun with a D70s

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Robert, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. Robert

    Robert Guest

    In a few days, I will be photographing a solar eclipse's progress taking
    successive shots of the sun being partially eclipsed before and after
    totality. The filter is removed from the camera while the sun is totally

    For practice, I've been photographing the full day sun with various manual
    settings using a Nikon D70s, CPU(D) lens, and a Black Mylar filter. I did
    get a few proper shots with the sun totally orange without any orange rays
    extruding from the sun, but most of the shots of the sun are blown out white
    with a thin yellow glow at the edge of the sun.

    Does anyone have any advice as to what shutter speed, aperture, and ISO
    would be best to use when the sun is partially eclipsed? I'm running out of
    time to experiment, and an overcast of clouds can show up at home in the
    USA, or in Libya.

    Robert, Mar 22, 2006
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  2. Robert

    RichA Guest

    Bracket it to Hell, and use the lowest ISO you can.
    Try this website:
    The sun is still the same brightness even if part of it is
    covered up. BTW; Look through the black mylar (highly unsafe) at your
    peril. The only suitable materials are:
    Astronomical mylar filters available from various sources, the best
    being Baader Solar Film,

    chrome or stainless coated glass filters from companies like Thousand
    Oaks Optical or no#14 welder's glass, though that materials is
    optically useless for photography.
    RichA, Mar 22, 2006
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  3. Robert

    Robert Guest


    Thanks for the info!

    The filter I have been using is a 67mm black mylar screw on filter from a
    local company named "Hands On Filters" that sells glass filters mostly for
    telescopes. I'll check out "Thousand Oaks Solar Film" for a stainless
    coated glass filter. May be they can ship it express.

    I have glass welder goggles that I have used for other eclipses that worked
    quite well for viewing, but as you say they were not any good for a camera

    Robert, Mar 22, 2006
  4. Once I used an exposed and developed black&white film as a filter -
    I think the following photo was taken using this setup

    Of course, this was no DSLR and I am no pro (actually the
    camera was on a mini-tripod in my sleeping room :D) - for
    making a 67mm one would need an x-ray film or something
    like that.

    Stanislav Meduna, Mar 22, 2006
  5. Robert

    Jeff R Guest

    Hi Robert.

    FYI, some of my solar stuff:

    Total eclipse, slr+ colour transparency film:

    Partial eclipse, digital P&S:

    Transit of Mercury, slr + 100ASA print film:

    Transit of Venus, both slr + colour transparency film and Sony Mavica:

    Filters used:
    1000 Oaks - silver colour image
    Baader mylar film - orange image.
    I wouldn't consider using any filter not *specifically* designed for solar
    use. You can't see UV.

    TTL meter works fine, but bracket like crazy.
    Sunspots (if present) should be dead-easy to capture.

    Index to lots more astro stuff:

    ....and to stay on topic for the group:
    Many of the shots linked to in the above index were taken with a Pentax
    I'm busting to try out my Nikon D50 on some similar astro targets.
    Jeff R, Mar 22, 2006
  6. Robert

    Eager Guest

    In addition to the rest of the info people have supplied, the D70
    series has a bug which creates a blown-out band that stretches to the
    edge of the frame if you shoot directly into the sun at shutter speeds
    above 1/1000 sec. Keep the speed under 1/1000 and you'll struggle with
    controlling the light but you won't get that band...

    Eager, Mar 22, 2006
  7. Robert

    Rich Guest

    If they're selling it is a solar filter material then I assume it
    safe, no company would risk the lawsuits otherwise. Thousand Oaks
    and Astro-Physics (USA) both sell material specifically for
    photography that is lighter than the visual stuff, so you can't view
    through it, but even the normal density material will allow exposure
    times of 1/250th of a second or better so there is no need to shoot
    without the filter except at totality or near totality and ONLY when
    the eclipse is complete and not annular (an annular eclipse is where
    the Moon only covers the center of the Sun leaving an exposed ring,
    this is where the Moon is closer to Earth).
    Rich, Mar 22, 2006
  8. Robert

    JPS Guest

    In message <4421456a$0$7533$>,
    Neutral density doesn't block IR very well, either.
    JPS, Mar 23, 2006
  9. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Well, today at noon I made several shots of the full sun with a clear sky
    with good results. The pro camera man going on the eclipse tour said I
    finally got it right. The sun in the photo was a nice round circle filled
    with an orange color about an inch in diameter. The background sky all

    The camera settings of the shots were as follows:

    Camera D70s
    Black Mylar Filter
    ISO = 200
    Shutter Speed 1000
    Aperture 4.5
    Full Zoom in on the sun
    Manual focus
    Time of day 12:45 PM

    Tomorrow we leave for Libya, and will be shooting the partial eclipse views
    of the sun using the same settings. When the sun is totally eclipsed, the
    filter will be removed and different camera settings used.

    Robert, Mar 23, 2006
  10. Robert

    Sheldon Guest

    Here's one tip: The only total solar eclipse I shot I almost missed. When
    it finally went total I was just looking at it with my mouth hanging open
    until my friend got my attention and I started shooting. So, aside from the
    technical aspect, keep your wits.
    Sheldon, Mar 27, 2006
  11. Robert

    Sheldon Guest

    What settings will you use during totality?
    Sheldon, Mar 27, 2006
  12. Robert

    Paul Furman Guest

    Another cool effect is to see the crescent shaped circles of light that
    filter down through trees. You might have a second P&S camera handy to
    snatch some of those, it's really strange and unusual to see.
    Paul Furman, Mar 27, 2006
  13. The dynamic range in the corona from the bright inner ring to the
    delicate outer filaments is far beyond the capabilities of any camera.
    You should go systematically through as many exposure settings as you
    have time for. No one exposure can catch all the detail.
    Jeffrey Jones, Mar 28, 2006
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