Total Solar Eclipse Planning Page


Set up T5 on ST80 and 'manual' and 100 ISO and 1/1600
Set up D7000; Program / ISO 800, 'menu'/ 'camera icon'/ 'interval timing shooting' / start time 'now' (cross right) set interval to
00 00 02 and 120 x 1 (the 200 is arbitrary; 200 x 2 sec gives 240 sec of real time and 200 shots


Then 'cross right' to get to 'on/off' and set to 'on' ONLY WHEN READY TO START SHOOTING

10:16:53 partial eclipse begins, shoot occasional with filter on ST80, ISO 100 at 1/1600, ramping to 1/400 at deep partial (limb dark)
11:27:00 start scene video with T5 with kit lens on wide
11:27:30 move ST80 T5 to 1/400 sec
11:29:00 start fisheye intervalometer on D7000 'menu'/'interval timing'/right cross over to 'on' and 'set' button starts it.
11:34:20 last partial shots, then 'menu' and then 'Q' button which engages the Cross button to let you navigate to 'continuous', then up Cross to get back to ISO set 400, and then exposure wheel RIGHT to 1/4000 sec
11:34:37 'menu' twice to wake up camera
11:34:43 remove filter, push remote down shoot burst of continuous shots still at 1/4000 up to 1/500 diamond ring fades, then exposure wheel RIGHT to
* exposure wheel LEFT to ramp up exposure length up, push and hold for a ~half dozen shots, then up another length and another half dozen,

11:35:00 Push 'continuous lock' with 1 sec exposure length, get up and binocular and look around

* binocular view!
11:37:00 'menu' twice to wake up, 'Q', Cross nav to highlight exposure, 'set', wheel RIGHT for shorter 1/4000, continuous till past diamond
11:37:20 end of totality, replace filter , set ISO to 100, 1/400, then eventually to 1/1600 ~10 min later
* get up, take shots of whatever
11:40: end D7000 video, swap in zoom lens, shoot whatever
* end video on 'scene'
* finish partial shots.

Very similar setup to mine; f 6.5 refractor 420mm


My general plan: Note Rebel T5 is 18MP vs D7000 is 16.1MP, so about the same.

* Use Nikon D7000 with fisheye on tripod to capture shadow moving across the land
* Unse Nikon D40 with zoom lens to capture Teton's up close, or reflections with mountains, etc. manually.
* Use Canon T5 on ST80 scope for totality. Perhaps HD video mode? Must practice on moon and compare with e.g. continuous 3/sec shooting to see which is better and whether shake happens w/ continuous shooting.
* Use Canon T5 in video mode to capture the scene

Canon EOS Rebel T5 instruction manual

Several sites still in the mix for deciding where to observe from. Here's the cloud forecast for 10:30am MST (=11:30am MDT which will be clock time) eclipse time (in red) from Jay Anderson's page.

Wyoming Eclipse Path . Duration is 2min 20sec at path center through western Wyoming. Totality from Moose starts at 11:34:59am



Cloud cover along Oregon-to-East Coast for historical Aug 21 . This map is taken from this longer narrative on weather for Wyoming. looks like a little over 40% cloudcover, maybe a bit more given we're so close to the north end of the Wind River Range at Steve's cabin. But weather odds look better at 34% from the plains below the Tetons in Grand Teton National Park. Clouds like to form over the mtn ranges, less over the flat inter-range plains. Teton's view from Centerline

From Grant Teton National Park

Street view from Antelope Flats Rd twin turnouts shown at right, looking towards barn and Grant Tetons

Twin turnout on Antelope Flat Rd. Totality 2m18s


Optics Plan/ Notes:

Video notes: * may have to push the red button twice. Once to engage, and once to start recording. MAKE SURE the RED DOT is in on! (upper right of lcd screen)
3:00min of HD 1920x30fps video with Rebel T5 is 1.0 GB. Camera will only record 4GB at a time, so that's 12 minutes, then it starts a new file.

same focus setting as vid at right, a straight 'manual' no autofocus shot to compare apples/apples on stills vs HD video frames. Aspect ratio not same it seems. This captured more vertical.

Video frame still, screen captured off Windows Pictureviewer and straight 'save to web' in Photoshop. Vid settings on -1 expCom in prep for eclipse


w/ T5; in video mode too; half depress shutter to autofocus then move camera to desired framing and it won't re-autofocus when you push red button. Sounds better than manual focus.

The Rebel T5 75-300mm lens has very bad chromatic aberration at 300 but oK at 75 daylight landscape,and useless for close-up eclipse work.

Cropped Sensor cameras like the Nikon D7000 and the Canon T5 Rebel Guides
The ETX 90 scope is f/13.5 or 1242mm focal length. For a cropped sensor DSLR the frame size is 0.75deg x 1.15deg
The ST80 ShortTube is f/5 so that's 400mm fl so for a cropped sensor DSLR the frame size is 2.3deg x 3.4 deg
The moon and sun will move 15" per second of time. Now, 5,000 pixels across for the D7000 so that's 12,240"/5000px or 2.45"/px image scale. So the image crosses a pixel in 2.45/15sec = 0.16 seconds for the ST80. So maximum expsoure length w/o blurring is about 1/4 second

Sun moves 15"/sec or 120 sec per diameter. Diameter on ST80 is about 600 pixels or about 1/2 pixel per second. So max exposure is 1 sec w/o trailing. So at ISO 400 can do 1 sec and get r=8 solar radii of corona, and earthshine.

ETX 90
*And for the ETX 90 the image crosses in 0.16sec x 1.15/3.4 = 0.05 or 1/20 of a second so the maximum acceptable exposure w/o noticable bluring is about 1/10 second
* So, you can get out to 0.5 radii of the corona at ISO 400 with 1/16s exposure

Test Shots

daylight shot through 400mm fl ST80mm with Canon T5 Rebel. Manually focused best I could, in a bit of a rush. Did not "live view" or zoom in and check it was the best focus possible. Only adjusted 'levels', nothing else. This is the true image scale

A second attempt at the same, moments later, fresh focus attempt.

A cropped version of the second shot. Chromatic aberration is slight, compared to the awful CA in the Canon 300mm zoom and the RF800 videocamera on max zoom. Not very sharp, but maybe I could take more time focusing?

This is a shot using the Nikon D7000 and 10.5mm Sigma fisheye. From the right-bend in the Hwy 20 mi north of Jackson, the sun-to-Grand-Teton angle is 100 degrees. From the ponds near Moose, the sun-to-Grand-Teton angle is 135 degrees. Just barely do-able in the fisheye. I'll have to check if the fisheye is on the D40 instead of the D7000. Notice the yellow dot at upper right, adjacent to Nunki (= Sigma Sagitarrii). That's about the size of the corona. The dark moon circle will be a little smaller than that. The distance from Nunki to the star above it is 2.37 degrees.


the ETX 90 is a non-starter; the motors slip badly, much too hard to point and aim and get filter on/off in the precious time of totality. Skip it!

De-Pixelating Images Making the sun or moon a nice size in Photoshop from the ST80 gives pixelation pretty obvious, for the Canon T5. I suppose for the Nikon D7000 as well.


From Steve's Friend's Ranch SE of Jackson

The turnoff into the valley

The ranch cabin is at center, at the end of the forest road. Elev 6884 ft.

Google Earth view of the 10,800 ft mtn at north end of the valley. Peak is 3.88 mi away in Az 59, and 11.0 deg above astronomical horizon.

Contact times for the ranch cabin


To Get at Cabrillo
* binocs 7x50
* Deliver old white computer
* 2 Velbon V450 tripods taking adapters
* ST80 box
* stove, 11lb gas

See Spring w/ iPhone

Print maps, race info.


Eclipse Photo Plan

In DayPack: D40 w/ Fisheye, 2xRebelT5's, one with kit short zoom.

* D40 with Fisheye lens, will do automated shots (1/sec?) for 4 min centered on totality
* mount filter on Orion ST80 and photo partial phases, some reflection etc shots of mountains in dimming light w/ D7000
* 5 min before totality, start video of us w/ sound using Rebel T5
* 2min before totality, start D40
* Just 15 sec before totality, remove filter and start ST80 auto sequence on 'Program' mode for Rebel T5
* binocular view!

To Bring


Pikes Peak Ascent Info

Sunshine Blvd takes you down to Memorial Park. Packet Pickup closes at 7pm Friday