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05-01-2012, 01:48 PM   #1
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What would be the best way to capture Venus in front of the sun next month?

New to photography in general, but I would love to capture this moment as best as possible. Not sure what filter or settings to use, and as this is a pretty infrequent event I'd like to not screw it up that bad.

Thanks!!

Venus to appear in once-in-a-lifetime event

05-01-2012, 04:14 PM - 1 Like   #2
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You'll need a telescope with a camera mount and of course a solar filter for the telescope.
This transit is not something you will see with your kit lens pointed at the sun; the transit will be a little black speck in front of the sun. You'll need a very long focal length (hence the telescope with a camera mount) and unless you want to fry your sensor and your retina, make sure you use the proper solar filter (for example Celestron Solar Filter (CPC1100, CGE 1100 )) to avoid serious eye and camera damage. I can't urge you enough to make sure you shield your eyes and camera sensor by using the proper filters, DON'T try DIY solar filters.
05-02-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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Not sure how this would work with venus, because it is relatively small compared to the sun's apparent diameter in the sky, but for a lunar eclipse, i made a pinhole camera, effectively by putting a tiny hole in a card, and then in the shadow of the card where the pinhole was visible, you could see the image of the sun, with the moon cutting across the surface. I then photographed this image.

I can imagine, if you have a room with a window facing the right direction, you could cover the window opening with a sheet of opague material and put a pin hole in it. then the projection screen can be moved back until you can resolve the image of venus in front of the sun

This is a totally safe way to do it where you never actually look at the sun, but really the shadow cast by what ever is in front of it.
05-02-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I'll look into both and will definitely stay away from DIY filter kits, however if the weather keeps up like this I won't get to see it anyway. I live by the beach in supposedly sunny So Cal but it's been ugly here for almost a month. Starting to forget what the suns looks like...

05-02-2012, 12:43 PM   #5
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With the small sensor you can use 600mm of lens combo or a telescope. Baader solar film visual #5 is very safe. Using a 600mm telescope with filter, you will want to stay at about f6 or f4.
You'll want to shoot in manual, manual focus, with tripod if possible.
05-02-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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You guys rock. My father has a nice telescope so I'll look into it.
05-03-2012, 04:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by PushTheRedButton Quote
You guys rock. My father has a nice telescope so I'll look into it.
This should get you started.

Photograph the Solar Eclipse and Transit of Venus - Homepage Observing - SkyandTelescope.com
05-05-2012, 02:51 AM   #8
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Here is what I got at the 2004 transit using a telescope (meade LX90) and my Pentax *istD, More can bee seen here

05-05-2012, 04:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jaspa Quote
Here is what I got at the 2004 transit using a telescope (meade LX90) and my Pentax *istD, More can bee seen here
Very cool.
05-05-2012, 04:28 AM   #10
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Just came across this widget for the DIY inclined. I saw one in operation tonight on the moon (image was dim but the guy was showing the principles of safe solar viewing) and am thinking of building one for the transit.

http://cdn.transitofvenus.org/docs/Build_a_Sun_Funnel.pdf
05-05-2012, 06:09 AM   #11
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You can always do a little diy to put together a video setup. Lens, webcam and a laptop. Oh yes, you still have to have the solar filter in front.

Last edited by wildlifephotog; 09-27-2013 at 07:21 AM.
05-07-2012, 05:02 PM   #12
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Local transit times
Local transit times | Venustransit
05-10-2012, 05:41 PM   #13
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Someone already mentioned Baader Solar Film. Place it over the front of a telescope or a telephoto lens. Secure attachment is a must - if it falls off while pointed at the sun it may fry your sensor or your eyes.

Thousand Oaks Optical sells the film as well as glass filters. The film has a very slight IQ advantage. I prefer glass because when glass breaks it is obvious. The film can have a hidden tear that allows unfiltered light to pass. Always inspect any solar filter before use.

More advanced options for telescopes include Herschel wedge and Ha (hydrogen alpha) filters.
05-11-2012, 05:46 AM   #14
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OK, gave a quick try today with a pin hole camera.

Looks like with a roughly 0.5mm hole, you can get an image of the sun projected out to about 6-7mm on a sheet of paper before you begin to suffer from loss of resolution due to the size of the hole.

With a macro lens, 6-7mm at 1:1 is about 40% of the width of a DSLR sensor, this should be enough to capture the passing, and see a dark shadow where venus passes the sun.

I will try to do a photo later, but the reason for using this approach is simple, you don't need to purchase anything if you have a macro lens and second, you are never looking at the sun, only the light it casts through a hole, and the shadow of venus. this makes it 100% safe.

I used this to watch a 100% lunar eclipse in the early 1990's and the only thing I am not certain about is exactly how big you can project the image and retain enough resolution to see the relatively small spot of venus on the surface. the moon, being , in the image, the same size as the sun made this simple.
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