View Full Version : Luna eclipse 2-20

02-19-2008, 06:37 PM
I am going to try to take some pictures of the lunar eclipse tomorrow night. What settings should I try? I hope we get a clear night. I will post my pictures right after. Anybody else that gets any pictures please post here.
Thanks Frank

02-19-2008, 08:01 PM
As I recall, the eclipse will seriously change the amount of light available to the sensor. I caught one back in September of 2006. Standing out in the parking lot of Randhurst SHopping Center ... I realized what was happening and just happened to have my EOS 20D, 200-500mm f/5-6.3 and tripod in the truck.

The moon moves fast, so long exposures are really rough. You really need to calculate your exposure ... and I didn't, because I was rushed due to the low apex of the event. In other words ... the moon was sinking fast.

My personal partial lunar eclipse shots start were these settings:

1/4 sec.


It's not sharp.

After rethinking this shot ... I should have gone to

1/60 sec or 1/30 sec

It would have been a lot sharper, due to reduced motion-blur.

02-19-2008, 08:24 PM
Thanks Don
I am going to try to take alot of images from when it starts till it is over. Should I shoot in RAW?

02-19-2008, 09:05 PM
If You Are Using A A100 It May Lock Up If You Go To Fast...mine Always Did

02-19-2008, 09:12 PM
Thanks Don
I am going to try to take alot of images from when it starts till it is over. Should I shoot in RAW?

RAW can slow you down. You know the light temperature is 5600K (sunlight), so just set the camera's WB to 5600K. Then, shoot JPEG ... without worrying about color cast.

In the menu:
Image Size: L:10M
Quality: FINE
Noise Reduction: On

I have to ask ... are you thinking the moon is going to change that much during this event? Just concentrate on getting clear shots. Take it easy ... make sure your focus is tight, by checking it every few shots (use those magnification buttons)


and the focus is in MF ... so it doesn't try to refocus with each shot. You know the moon is at "infinity" focus ( ∞ )... so leave the lens there ... just make sure the lens does not "creep" on you as you shoot.

Again ... you may want to check your focus if you try to use a 1.4X or 2x T/C during this.

α100 sporting a 2x T/C + 70~300 f/4-5.6 making it effectively 140~600mm f/8-f11

If the moon looks "fuzzy" at infinity focus, forget it ... because the T/C is interfering with your infinity focus. With a shot like this ... that is not a good thing to have happen. Infinity focus is critical for a sharp image.

But, if you are going to sacrifice it all to the photographic gods ... why not the ultimate photographic sacrilege?

I give you the 1.4x T/C + 2x T/C + 70~300mm f/4-5.6 combo ... effectively 196~840mm f/11-f/16


This is an attempt at sadness you have never known. LOL Not only is your image quality (if you could even call it that) comparible to a 500mm f/8 reflex lens ... it is extremely hard to use the manual focus (autofocus isn't even possible ... the aperture starts at f/11!). It tends to bind on you. But, everybody has to try it. It defines the old saw ... "Going from BAD to WORSE."

02-20-2008, 07:44 AM
Thanks Don
I meant I wanted to take the different stages of the eclipse. I was going to try to make a panogramic in PS. It is not looking good for the weather tonight. they are calling for snow. I will have to wait and see.

02-20-2008, 08:54 PM
Well, I finally realized why I have my setting was so slow ... and it was because the eclipse has two different aspects to it:

1) the actual light from the sun
2) the shadow of the Earth.

Obviously, we all know what the moon looks like with the sun baking it ... it's what's in the shadow that is of real interest. So ... you need to leave the shutter open longer to get it. Screw the sunny-side, so to speak.

Anyway ... here's tonight's offering, before I got so cold I wondered what I was up to. Brrrr ... a nippy 9 degrees out there, for an hour. Enough is enough. 2 hours? Not this guy.

LUNAR ECLIPSE 2-20-2008 - 9:17PM (CST)
EXIF: 500mm - f/6.9 - 0.7 sec - ISO=800 - Manual - Natural illumination

02-20-2008, 09:21 PM
Here is my attempt.
f/9 3.2s iso 400


02-20-2008, 10:09 PM
Wow, great shot, Sparkie.

02-20-2008, 10:10 PM
Good show! You got a nice clip!

I'm using a very old lens for this ... 1984 TAMRON 200-500mm f/6.9! I just cannot get the sharpness I want with it ... at infinity. I tweaked and tweaked ... no go ... I need a little more past the stops ... and cannot get there. It just may need alignment and I'm debating a better one ... but, I really want to use the 1900mm telescope. It's a $1000 investment, but it is times like this ... you realize it would have been very cool.

Good job, Sparkie. LOL

02-21-2008, 06:50 AM
Don you are the man. I have to give credit where credit is due and Don has been giving me pointers along the way. I have alot more I have o look at to see if they are better.


PS Don when is the class on solar eclipse. LOL

02-21-2008, 03:39 PM
PS Don when is the class on solar eclipse. LOL


Hey, I am glad to try an help. We're kind of in this together ... as interested parties to enjoy our craft. It takes real work to get some of this done ... and sometimes, it's just experimental for the fun of it. A voyage of discovery that, with the advent of digital imaging, is a heck of a lot cheaper and quicker than it used to be.

Solar Eclipses are of far shorter duration than the lunar two-and-a-half-hour panacea. That ol' Moon, she be a flyin'! You really have to have your ducks in a row to do it and I have not shot one, directly, ever. I've always used a "pinhole" projector/camera because it is far cheaper and kids love it.


The last time I was involved in it was when my son was 3 or 4-years-old (14-15 years ago). We (he and I) constructed a pinhole camera from a large cardboard box, some tape and a piece of white paper.

It was an interesting event ... once again, I was thankful it went fast, because a 3 or 4-year-old's attention span for these kinds of things was about 6/10s of a second. LOL :D

02-21-2008, 05:07 PM
I thunk I will pass on that.

02-21-2008, 06:08 PM
Fair enough ... I'd hate to think how easily a sensor could get sizzled with all that concentrated UV light pouring down through the lens. It's one thing to smoke a frame of film ... but, the digital sensor ... that's forever!

Anyway, I found this online from the 1995 Total solar eclipse and thought it was a kind of cool looking and well-thought out exposure.


Or this one from 1999

And a close-up ...

Anyway, the next TSE ... will be Aug 1, 2008 ... but as you can see ... where you have to be to observe it is a little off the beaten path. LOL :D
China, Siberia, Upper Greenland ... god forbid ... The Yukon Territory of Canada! :eek: Hiya, Nick! :p


02-21-2008, 06:20 PM
Thats good enough for me. I don't think it makes that good of a picture anyway.
Thanks again

02-22-2008, 08:12 PM
it was -6f here... i tried but it froze me and the camera in 5 minutes

02-22-2008, 08:45 PM
Yeah ... shooting cold-d-d-d is no f-f-f-f-fun!

I should have dropped the idea of using the TAMRON MF 200-500mm f/6.9 (Although I suppose it could just be the adapter ring-spacing that threw the focus off. Adaptall2's may be a bit susceptible to these slight variations).


Add the 2x Adaptall2 T/C and you have one monster looking 400-1000mm f/12 lens ... with a minimum focus length of nearly 10-feet ... and no infinity focus at all. This is a perfect example of "looks can be deceiving."


Makes you appreciate this lil' guy. In fact, I probably should have gone with the Tokina ATX-840 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 instead.


It's a lot less trouble at infinity focus. Well, next time, then ... in 2010 ... a Space Oddity.