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Well, the eclipse is already almost a week ago and I had the time to start processing the data. Somehow I succeeded in getting exactly the image as I wanted it. I'm really happy with this result...
This image shows the totality phase from start to end, about 2 minutes 16s caught in one image. The images were taken with a Nikon D810a with a Nikon 300mm f/4 lens and a Nikon D5100 with a Nikon 70-200 f/4 lens on a Skywatcher Star Adventure mount.
The central image is a HDR composition consisting of 8 images taken during totality.
Totality Eclipse 2017 Grand Teton by Andre van der Hoeven, on Flickr
I live in NC but in the 98% area so I travelled to my brother-in-law's house near Clemson where it was 2min 33sec of totality. Setup is a Celestron C6, filtered and 6.3 focal reducer, 2" star diagonal and Nikon D3400. I shot filtered until just at 2nd Contact, got Bailey's beads, then popped the filter off and got immediate totality. Reversed that at 3rd contact, managed to get a Diamond Ring and more Beads. This was my first attempt at eclipse photography, and I'm satisfied with what I got. I shot over 150 images, from 1st contact to 2nd contact at 10 minute intervals and varying shutter speeds. I left my ISO at 800 for the duration. I got about 20 images during totality, shooting constantly and changing shutter speeds. After 3rd contact I shot for another ten minutes, maybe 30 more images, then quit. I figured the rest was like the first, only backwards.
Note: Can someone explain the artifact I got in my Diamond Ring shot? I'm thinking diffraction and/or coma from glare on the primary mirror at the moment of 3rd contact, but tell me if that's wrong.
My family and I are planning to visit our friends in South Carolina next year for the solar eclipse. Seeing how this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity I figured I should put some money on the table and buy a proper imaging rig to capture the rare event. One problem I have is that I need to be able to take the whole equipment with me on an airplane, so it needs to be sturdy enough to take a beating and small enough to comply with airline regulations. Another problem is that most of the H Alpha telescopes I have been looking at over the past few days may produce some awe-inspiring images, their price however is way beyond what I would ever pay for a piece of equipment with such limited use. Furthermore, I feel like a solar eclipse does not look all that pleasing in H-Alpha. So, after seeing this amazing image of the 2006 solar eclipse I figured my best corse of action would be to capture the solar eclipse in white light. Given the limitations I have to work with - and the fact that I would probably want to use my dad's SW Star Adventurer as a mount - I came up with the following imaging setup:
- Skywatcher Esprit 80
- Baader Herschel Prism
- Baader ERF
- Zwo ASI 1600 MM-C
Keep in mind that I choose the rather expensive Skywatcher Esprit 80 and Zwo ASI 1600 MM-C because I could also use them for deep sky imaging. Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on my setup and whether there are better options out there. I am not dead set on a white light set up but all the H-Alpha options that I have looked at were either to expensive or to unreliable and therefore not something I would want to use for a solar eclipse.