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Which lens to use for total solar eclipse?


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I currently have a Canon T6 with a Opteka 500mm f8 lens ($87) that I use for lunar and solar photography. I recently purchased a full frame Canon EOS R and am thinking about getting a 800mm f11 Canon RF lens ($899). Will the quality on the new canon lens be significantly better than my Opteka lens? Is it worth the upgrade? Also, should I use my new full frame or my crop sensor (1.6 factor) to shoot? I want to get the best quality possible. 

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Well hello. Some profile picture, sir! I haven’t got a clue about any reply to your question (visual only).

But welcome and I hope you have a lot of fun getting the answers you need. 🙂

(And you’ll probably need to change your clothes!)

Edited by Floater
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realistically you are going to need more than a canon 800mm lens.


IR/UV cut filter on the objective is a must.


2x teleconverter is a must.


Name on the lens doesnt mean much, and picture quality is never ever ever reflected by price in the camera industry.       How well does  your camera focus on the moon?   That is kind of more important than the canon lens.    


So to answer your question.

The canon lens is only 400mm better.     So this factor alone makes it.    



If you want to capture magnetic field lines you are going to need something with great fine focus.


What part of the eclipse is your main goal?  That is also important because it does take along  waiting for maximum darkening.   That totality is where everyone gets confused too, suddenly you forgot to adjust a setting.   (alot of people use two cameras because of this)



Dont forget you need a neutral density,  probably nd500 minimum


Edited by Kitsunegari
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On 18/11/2020 at 19:38, billyb93 said:

Will the quality on the new canon lens be significantly better than my Opteka lens?

The Canon RF lens would be great with the full frame sensor, it would give better contrast than the mirror lens and would be much easier to focus precisely.

However, I used a 500mm F8 mirror lens with a Canon 450D at the 2008 eclipse in China and managed to get some fairly decent images. 

It all depends on whether you have a spare $900 to spend 😄





Edited by Debo
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