Shooting sun and moon

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by JohnR66, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. JohnR66

    JohnR66 Guest

    I got a decent shot of the moon:

    ....But the sun is terrible. The color is exaggerated as I was really
    punching up the contrast to get the sunspots to show. I thought the moon
    would be more difficult to shoot, but the sun is impossible to get a sharp

    Both were shot with the Canon 300 f/4 L and the 2x converter. The moon was
    shot one stop open from the 'Sunny 16' rule. With the sun, I tried various
    settings. I had a dark filter made of acrylic over the front of the lens. It
    gave a brownish color cast. Perhaps it is distorting the image somehow. Any
    tips for better sun shots?

    Thanks, John
    JohnR66, Jun 17, 2005
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  2. JohnR66

    Ken Tough Guest

    I have many pieces of #14 welding glass, some fairly large ones
    (about 8x11 cm). I use them over the objective of my 9x60
    binoculars. With a filter size of 77 mm that would just fit
    your lens with a little jerry-rigging. They only cost me about
    two bucks each, and I've used them at 2 solar eclipses as well
    as two planetary transits, so I think they've paid for themselves!
    Ken Tough, Jun 17, 2005
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  3. JohnR66

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Not bad at all, IMO. Getting clear pictures of the sun is really hard.
    I've used a 2540mm telescope with a 10 inch aperture and had results
    that weren't a lot better.
    A plastic filter? Hmmm. Try a pair of crossed polarizing filters
    (make sure the front one is a linear polarizer - not circular).
    Midday. Don't do it any time in the morning or afternoon as the
    Earth's atmosphere will distort the image. The daytime atmosphere is
    a lot more turbulent than nighttime, so you want to shoot when things
    are clear and steady.

    Not much you can do about the solar atmosphere short of spending a few
    thousand for a hydrogen alpha filter.
    Ray Fischer, Jun 17, 2005
  4. JohnR66

    Patty Winter Guest

    Yeah, I've tried photographing the sun at nighttime when the atmosphere
    is clear and steady, but that darned 8,000 miles of solid earth keeps
    getting in the way. :)

    Anyway, for the OP, Kodak's famous Astrophotography Basics tech bulletins
    are available on the Kodak website at:

    [mind the wrap]

    A bit of the Getting Started page and the partial phase information
    on the Solar Eclipse page have good info about photographing the
    uneclipsed sun. The folks on sci.astro.amateur should have some
    good advice, too.

    Maybe we'll get you hooked and you'll start chasing eclipses, thusly:`

    Patty Winter, Jun 17, 2005
  5. JohnR66

    Pete D Guest

    You could also try a Nuetral Density X400 filter, it will give 9 stops with
    little distortion.
    Pete D, Jun 17, 2005
  6. JohnR66

    Colin D Guest

    As kids, we used to get a piece of glass and a candle, and smoke the
    glass with the unburnt carbon in the candle flame, then use it to look
    at the sun. Was quite safe, since the black coating stopped IR and UV
    as well as visible light. An old UV filter, or even a good one, could
    be used for this, since the soot will wipe away cleanly when you are

    Colin D, Jun 17, 2005
  7. John-

    I wonder if you could rig-up some kind of pinhole camera big enough for
    you (or at least your camera) to be inside?

    If you photographed the projected image resulting from a small pinhole in
    a foil sheet, it should be reasonably sharp (diffraction limited?). The
    brightness would be reduced and image size would be determined by how far
    it is between the pinhold and the projected image.

    Fred McKenzie, Jun 19, 2005
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