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08-11-2017, 10:18 PM   #1
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Do you think an Infrared Filter would be good for the upcoming eclipse?

Naturally I am going to make an attempt to take pics of the upcoming eclipse. Would an Infrared filter help much or better than nothing? There are various intensities of Infrared Filters, would a lower or higher number be better? As far as our Pentax Models that have a nite scenes feature, would this also be a plus factor or not? thanks.

08-12-2017, 02:39 AM   #2
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It may as well be nothing since all the experts vehemently say to use a certified solar filer.

(MYTH 1) The Sun is safe to look at during a solar eclipse.
(MYTH 1) The Sun is safe to look at during a solar eclipse.

Absolutely not. The Sun is a ball of exploding hydrogen 1,000,000 times larger than planet Earth. It's surface temperature is 10,000 F. A permanent image of the Sun can be burned onto the back of one's eye, destroying the rods and cones. Staring directly at the Sun can cause damage to your eyes even if one does not feel any pain. If the sun is low on the horizon or obscured by clouds it may not seem very bright, but the dangerous UV rays can still cause damage even though one feels no discomfort. Sometimes the damage will not become apparent until many years later. BE CAREFUL when trying to view the Sun at any time!

(MYTH 2) The Sun is more dangerous to look at during a solar eclipse.

Yes and no. During a solar eclipse, the Sun is NO MORE dangerous to observe. there are no special "eclipse rays" coming off of it which will damage your eyes very quickly.

People sometimes report silly fears about an eclipse. One woman called her local planetarium wanting to know if the eclipse was over - because she wanted to let her dog out of the closet. This illustrates the principle difference between people and animals. An animal will not stare at the Sun until it goes blind. Others have reported that local schools required students to go to great lengths to avoid the "eclipse rays." Some children were required to look at the ground and place their hands over their eyes while walking out to their busses at the end of the day.

Having said that, keep in mind that during a solar eclipse the Sun is NO LESS dangerous either. Viewing the direct, unfiltered rays of the Sun can cause permanent eye damage even if only a tiny portion of the solar disk is visible. Some people report eye damage after an eclipse because they VIEWED THE SUN UNSAFELY, not because their eyes were zapped by the "eclipse rays."
Observing Solar Eclipses Safely
How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse

Good luck finding a safe filter at this late date. Just about ever reputable vendor is out of stock/backordered. You might be able to find Welder's #14 glass though which is considered a safe filter for solar viewing.

Last edited by Not a Number; 08-12-2017 at 02:48 AM.
08-12-2017, 04:39 AM   #3
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An infrared, an ultraviolet, a polarizer, and an ND filter and and and...
Improvising is not a great idea, especially when things like camera damage or worse yet, eye damage can occur. There are a lot of online tutorials about different approaches to photographing an eclipse, check those out, and figure out which one will work best for you, according to the gear and tools you have. Good luck
08-12-2017, 04:59 AM   #4
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I was wondering the same thing, but I eventually figured that by the time I get the total light level down far enough to keep from hurting anything, I'll have a real trick trying to get the infrared part...

So I'm going to stick to visible light this time 🙂


08-12-2017, 06:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I was wondering the same thing, but I eventually figured that by the time I get the total light level down far enough to keep from hurting anything, I'll have a real trick trying to get the infrared part...

So I'm going to stick to visible light this time


I have photographed an eclipse with colour infrared film but still used a silver metallic filter which equally attenuates all light. An IR filter is especially dangerous as it fool the iris into opening up by blocking visible light while letting UV and IR wavelengths through in larger proportions which can damage the eye.
Take care

08-12-2017, 11:11 AM   #6
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An IR filter will block all incoming light except IR, and the camera's built in IR cut filter will block the IR. Maybe that is enough to prevent sensor damage, maybe not. If you try it, do NOT risk your eyes, use live view.

During totality, if you are in the path of totality, the sun's disk is fully covered, so just an IR filter would be reasonable, but you'd need long exposure times to compensate for the built-in cut filter, especially to image the corona in IR. A proper IR sensitive camera, or camera modification, would be a better choice to shoot IR during totality.

I think you'd be best off shooting visible light during totality only, unless you have a proper solar filter, or can manage to find at this late date. Use live view as well, as the end of totality WILL sneak up on you. It will be just about the fastest two-and-a-half minutes of your life.

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