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Total Solar Eclipse 29 March 2006

Prominences and inner corona


Prominences and inner corona [Hacibektas, Turkey, 2:03:34pm Wed 29 Mar 2006; Canon EOS 10D digicam]

This shot was taken in Hacibektas, Turkey with a Canon 10D and Tamron 500mm lens. The RAW image was decoded on a Mac and then processed in Photodesk using a combination of linear equalisation and gamma adjustment.

As 2006 was a quiet sun year there weren't many prominences visible but these ones did put in an appearance.

Some notes on the photographic setup

The camera was a Canon 10D digital SLR. The lens used was the same one we used on our trip to Zambia, a Tamron 500mm catadioptric. Because the 10D's sensor area is smaller than a 35mm film camera, you get a 'free' extra 1.6 magnification on lenses, which has the happy effect of making our 500mm lens equivalent to an 800mm lens on a 35mm SLR. (The downside of this is that wide-angle lenses on digital SLRs tend to be rather more expensive, though we're very happy with our Sigma 12-24mm.)

The Tamron can't be attached directly to a Canon EOS mount. In fact, you can't (easily, anyway) even get an adaptor for EOS cameras to Tamron lenses. What you have to do is get a Tamron-to-Pentax adaptor, then attach that to a Pentax-to-EOS adaptor. Then you can attach the lens to the camera. What's amazing about this, of course, is that it works at all.

We shot the eclipse pictures in RAW mode. A 512MB card can store perhaps 70 of these, quite enough for an eclipse (we had other cards for the rest of the holiday). We exposure bracketed each shot, which was made easier by using the TC80-N3 programmable remote timer - the shooting sequence reduced to (1) turn exposure dial, (2) press Start (3) repeat. Something we thought even Chris could manage during an eclipse.

Well, that was the theory. But eclipses are very emotional phenomena, and we feel it's much more important to experience them properly - humanly - than worry overmuch about cameras and lenses. So of course things didn't quite go as planned ... Chris missed out on the long exposure shots, and the focus wasn't of the best.

But we don't really care. We did get some half-decent photos.

Image details

Photographer: Chris
Taken: Hacibektas, Turkey, 2:03:34pm Wed 29 Mar 2006
Original format: 3072 x 2048 RAW, 5 Mbytes
Camera: Canon EOS 10D
Exposure: 1/1512 sec * ISO200
Focal length: 500mm (= 800mm on 35mm camera)
Photodesk processing: Scaling, gamma adjustment

© Lee Montgomerie / Chris Terran 2005
All images are copyright and may not be reproduced without permission

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