In this article, I will talk about what gear you need for a successful photo of the eclipse. There are two solar eclipses in North America in the next 7 months. The Annular Total Eclipse tracking from Oregon to New Mexico on Oct 14, and the Total Eclipse running from Mazatlán to Maine, April 8, 2024.
For more information about these events go to: https://eclipse.aas.org/eclipse-america-2023-2024
Also note that I am hosting workshops to both of these events. I have a waiting list for the Mazatlán April eclipse, for more information about that trip go to: https://coldsnapphotography.com/product/total-solar-eclipse-mazatlan-2024/
First and foremost, you must take precautions when viewing and photographing an eclipse. Failure to do so can result in eye damage or even blindness! As far as your camera goes you can severely damage your camera’s sensor without proper protection (see filter section below).
You cannot look at a solar eclipse without eye protection. You will want a pair of eclipse sunglasses; they are inexpensive cardboard frames with a strong filter mounted in them. Regular sunglasses are not strong enough!
In order to photograph the sun or the eclipse of the sun you need a special solar filter.
You will want a filter for each lens you plan to photograph the eclipse with. In other words, if you plan to shoot both a wide-angle and a telephoto shot of the eclipse make sure you order a filter for both lenses.
Solar Eclipse filters are specially designed filters to filter out the harmful wavelengths and enhance the image quality of the photograph. Typically, they are about 20 stops of neutral density. You should note that simply stacking 20 stops of regular neutral density filters doesn’t achieve the same protection as a solar eclipse filter and you can potentially damage your sensor by not using the correct filters.
What sort of image you want to capture will determine what lens you’ll want to use.
If you want the spectacular image of the sun disk at full eclipse, you’ll want as long a lens as possible. The minimum would be 200mm, better to have something around 1000mm. For most people that means using a teleconverter.
If you have a second camera body (and tripod) you’ll want to set up a wide-angle context shot. Something that includes the surrounding landscape to give context to the eclipse. 24-70 or equivalent will be good for this.
You’ll want a good study tripod for each setup.
Regarding purchasing your filters, you can go online to purchase these filters, however, I recommend calling Alan Samijlan of Hunt’s Photo & Video, directly. I’ve been working with Alan for close to 20 years. His service is fantastic, and he has me in his database, he knows what cameras I use and keeps track of any specials that relate to my needs, and contacts me when they are available. If you order from Alan, he will provide you with the same great service.
Alan Samijlan (781) 462-2383
For information on the solar eclipse filters from Hunt’s Photo & Video go to: https://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/responsive/searchlisting.cfm?criteria=WBLIST%2055767%2055766%2055765&startrow=1&show=10&sp=fTZA3