Photographing the Sun

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by boblalux, May 17, 2009.

  1. boblalux
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    boblalux New Member

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    I wish to photograph the Sun. Can I do this by reducing the strength of the lighting by using 2 semi-crossed polaroid filters?
  2. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Do you just want a blob of light or do you want some detail like sunspots?
  3. Josh66
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    Josh66 Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in this too...

    I have a pair of solar binoculars (Coronado BinoMite II), I'd like to find the filter they have on them (white light solar filter, pretty much looks like a mirror; I'd also be interested in other solar filters too, Hα maybe) for my lenses. No luck so far.

    Something like this, but for a camera lens.
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  4. dxqcanada
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    dxqcanada Well-Known Member

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  5. Battou
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    Battou New Member

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    I'd send a E-mail to Hoya offering it as a suggestion if they can not be found.
  6. Josh66
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    Josh66 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link. Now that I know the part number to look for, maybe I can find one.

    Not a bad idea, but I wonder how large of a market there would be for this? They might not see enough money in it to start production...
  7. Battou
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    Battou New Member

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    That is a destienct possibility but, if no one shows an interest in something like that to beginwith the odds of it ever happining drop dramatically.
  8. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Solar filters for telescopes are pretty specialized. You can get them so they transmit very specific wavelengths of light like just the hydrogen-alpha line.

    But that is to see details of specific parts of the Suns upper atmosphere.

    If I want an image of the current sunspot activity I just project an image of the Sun onto a dark background through a pinhole and photograph that.

    By adjusting the pinhole to background distance I can control the size of the Suns image. That's essentially what they do at the McMath Solar Telescope on Kitt Peak. Their projected image is 3 feet across though.
  9. LarryD
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    LarryD New Member

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    There are plenty of good quality welders glass available to shoot through..
  10. Dwig
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    Dwig New Member

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    This isn't something a beginner could pull of, but it is something to strive towards:

    The Online Photographer: Sic Transit

    the post contains a link to a source for the appropriate filters.
  11. Joves
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    Joves New Member

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    Thousnad Oaks is the best out there. I took this shot with my Coolpix 995 a few year agot through my telescope using a Thousands Oaks filter. Taken during an eclipse and I was luck to even get that shot that day because, the wind was bad as usual in Flagstaff.
    [​IMG]
  12. astrostu
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    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    I have a Thousand Oaks filter, too.
  13. Josh66
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    Josh66 Well-Known Member

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    Joves, what focal length telescope was that taken with?
    (Just trying to get an idea what I could expect from my telescope.)

    The moon is roughly the same apparent size as the sun in the sky, right? Would it be safe to assume that the level of magnification I would get with the sun would be similar to photographing the moon with my telescope?
  14. astrostu
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    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Yes.
  15. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    Short answer: Don't!

    Solar filters are very specific for a reason, much of what is emitted by the sun which is capable of damaging eyes is not in the visible spectrum. Polarisers are spectrally variant. The ones for photography do a great job for the visible spectrum but there is little data to how it handles infrared or UV light. This means when you look through them your pupils may dilate while not realising the very thing that could cause blindness has not been reduced. There have been plenty of cases of people going blind looking at solar eclipses by using photographic ND filters, or looking through floppy discs or that sort of thing.

    Do yourself a favour and get or build a solar filter, don't risk your eyesight.

    The camera should be fine.
  16. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    That is a pretty darn neat shot too. I was at first thinking to myself "why??", your shot answered that for me quite fast. I still prefer to take a shot of a person, but I can see the value. :)
  17. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    That was in the back of my mind too.

    Would the sensor not be in danger of any kind from frying a few pixels or something? I thought I read that somewhere :confused:
  18. Gecko23
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    Gecko23 New Member

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    You definately want to use a filter that is explicitly intended for solar use, anything else is potentially going to lead to serious injury.

    Coronado Instruments is a big name in solar scopes, filters, etc. They sell direct as well as through most of the major astronomical retailers.

    Another popular alternative among amateurs is the use of Baader film, also available at many retailers, to make your own filter. Its cheaper than coated glass filters, but far more fragile.
  19. Joves
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    Joves New Member

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    Was taken through my 8" f/6 or 1220mm Newt with a 40mm eyepiece. I haver drilled holes in mine to move the mirror cell forward to shoot at prime focus when I built it. I like to shoot afocally. The best book to get for the set up is Edmunds Scientific's book All About Telescopes. It has been reprinted so many times and, sometimes they are out of it but, it is worth the wait.
  20. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    I thought normally yes but the wavelengths that typically do that are the visible as the glass in the lens would naturally cut a lot of UV, the dual polarisers would cut most of the visible, and then the infra-red would be taken care of by the sensor's own low-pass filter. So the parts which may damage the eye are taken care of in camera by other means.

    Personally I wouldn't put this to the test though :)

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