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videoing eclipse - looong lens
  • last eclipse I photographed was back in 1999, using a bolex with a sigma nikon mount 400mm lens. My rig was absolutely hopeless the images were pretty well unusable (but most of it was hidden by clouds, so I didn't worry too much :) )

    This time I'll be taking the same lens, on the GH2, with the tele crop I reckon the sun should just about fill the frame. Is the 7402/7401 up to the job? The midspreader version would be my preferred, but is possibly less stable than the other?

    Any other tips for super long lens shooting?

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  • @Gethinc I'll help anyway I can. I've shot eclipses, transits, sunspots and otherwise with everything from a 200mm to the Canon 600mm f/4 L.

    The number one thing to keep in mind is "do not underestimate the wind" - sandbags, best tripod you can get and do NOT touch anything once you start recording. I have no experience with the 7402/7401.

    Second thing is to make sure to test the heck out of your equipment (and hacked settings) for at least two days before the eclipse. If I had done that for my first such experience, it would have saved me a lot of pain and frustration.

    As far as ETC mode, it works great for those sorts of event.

    Here is some video shot with the 600mm on a GH2. I remember at least some of it was in ETC mode.

  • far out, i guess the wobble you can see at the end is just from heat haze!? this eclispe is very early in the morning - less heat haze but more atmosphere to shoot through. Getting the exposure right is going to require more research (the lens I've got is quite slow - I've got no idea what exposures I should be looking at to capture the corona).

    Sandbags on the ground probably not an option - do you think it would help to sandbag the tripod head? (The lens collar mount is a bit iffy on this lens)

  • @Gethinc I cannot get into specifics for approaches I have not tried, but I can tell you that even with a heavy lens like the 600mm f/4 (which was around 13 lbs or so) wind was a big issue at that spot. If you happen to be able to find a spot that is somewhat shielded from the wind, you will be ahead of the game. Other than that, anything you can do to stabilize things/weigh them down is worth a shot.

    A slow lens is NOT an issue for shooting the eclipse. It is bright - the light needs to be cut down. You will probably need a strong ND filter (I often use the Hoya 400x for various astronomical events) or to use a very fast shutter speed. Some people say that your sensor is safer if you use the ND filter. I have shot it both ways.

    If you want a 180 degree shutter, definitely find a good ND filter.

  • I shot the eclipse that happened here int he US this spring, using a 300mm lens stopped all the way down to f22 and then a vari-ND closed nearly all the way. it worked well .. my wife was with and discovered that if she looked through the back two windows of the car ( limo black tinted windows) it was a perfect way to look at it.. as the eclipse was happening as the sun set so it was low enough to do that..

  • This was shot with a GH2 + 14-140mm + variable ND filter. I think it was F22 1/4000th of a second even with the ND filter closed all the way down.

  • just realised I didn't day thanks for the replies! Off on the trip tomorrow. Ran out of time to get anything organised pretty much, I'm going to rely on sandbags. I've got a 10 stop ND, which I think will be overkill for the actual moment of eclipse. Thats the bit I'm not sure how to expose for. Hopefully therell be some other eclipse photographers around I can pick their brains. I'll take my 60d and do a timelpase with that too. will post the results here :)

  • Oh, any suggestions which hack to go for? I'll be shooting 1080p

  • heres what i did. In the end I got so caught up in the actual event (as the goofy soundtrack will show!) that videoing it became secondary. it was an amazing experience!

  • Great, well done!

  • Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed watching :)