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DIY Solar Filters Which Work Best?

August 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Who else thought there was a TON of HYPE about the 2017 TOTAL ECLIPSE in the USA since February 26, 1979?  Initially I was thinking of sleeping in but fortunately a wonderful friend was SO enthusiastic about the whole astro-normous event that it was contagious.  So much so I went to a welders store on Saturday, two days before the eclipse, to purchase a piece of #13 Welders Glass for my camera.  It is doubtful that I will EVER use this piece of glass again unless I decide to take up WELDING.

Three of us photographers used different DIY hacks to jerry-rig our DSLRs for the event.  WE spent between $45 to $5 for our hacks.  Which performed best?  I'd have to say the $5 hack did best.  

A group of us trekked to the lovely and incredible venue at House Family Vineyards in our town of Saratoga where we experienced about 75% eclipse coverage.  Not bad for a 5 minute drive from home versus going to Oregon for the TOTAL eclipse.  Maybe we would not experience the crying, spiritual, life changing darkness, but we'd be able to do some grocery shopping and play with our dogs right afterwards.

Anyway, here are the 3 cameras and their jerry-rigged hacks.  WHO WORE IT BEST?

Who wore their DIY Solar Filter best?Three Canon's rigged Left to Right: With solar glasses and mylar; piece of #13 welders glass rubber banded to the hood of a 70mm-200mm lens; piece of telescope solar filter paper in a lens filter.Who wore their DIY Solar Filter best?

After seeing the results, I have to say the cheapest DIY using the solar glasses taped to mylar created astounding results.  Impressive.  The solar filter paper was quite sharp, and my #13 welders glass turned out to be decent.  I may not make a coaster out of it after all.

Next time (click here to see when) I'll be prepared for the next eclipse for under $5.  Maybe I'll even sell them online :)

Create a composite image in Adobe PhotoshopI learned how to do this from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D8kElSEFyE&list=LLCnLSA4PV31vIXNSaP_mJAg&index=1

I learned how to create this composite by watching this video by Shutter Muse.

iPhone 7 Photo

Not a bad shot above from my iPhone!

Jerry-rigged camera using solar glasses and mylar to cover any exposed areas.Jerry-rigged camera using solar glasses and mylar to cover any exposed areas.Jerry-rigged camera using solar glasses and mylar to cover any exposed areas.

THE WINNER: The HACK above on Jeff's camera had the best results in my opinion.  He used my solar glasses, placed it dead center on his lens, and then used mylar to cover up the open spaces so as not to fry the sensor.  Total cost: About $5.00

iPhone 7As the sun filters through the leaves it creates eclipse shadows!As the sun filters through the leaves it creates eclipse shadows!

Shadows from a nearby tree create very cool eclipse shadows.  

 


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