Sun Shots

I have a new toy!!
Well actually it is a solar filter from Thousand Oaks Optical and is a 58 mm screw-in type filter. It simply screws into the lens as would any other filter. It’s coatings only allow 1/1000th of 1% of sunlight to pass through, and the filter material gives the Sun a yellow-orange color. The filter is a visible light (light that we see) filter so in addition to decreasing the light intensity, and filtering out UV and Infrared, it allows viewing of the photosphere (what is usually called the Sun’s surface), its granulated texture, as well as sunspots.

Click on picture to see it full size.

Click on picture to see it full size.

I am still experimenting with camera settings to find a balance between showing the granular appearing surface and especially the sunspots. So far the pictures look okay under various settings however I find that the images require some after tweaking in a graphics program which is why some of my pictures will look different.
This picture is a merged or stacked set of 3 pictures. Each picture had a different aperture setting but used the same shutter speed and ISO. The ideal setting seems to be an ISO 200; shutter speed 1/40, and aperture around f10 to f15.
So what is my setup? I use a Canon Rebel T3i, a 50-255mm lens, and a solar filter as described above. Once I am aimed at the Sun and satisfied with the focus I then control the picture taking from my laptop using software that came with the camera. The one thing I cannot do from the computer is adjust the focus. The cardboard shoe box top is for shading the camera to help it stay cool. I usually have a the laptop under a box shade as well, or use the table umbrella for shade.

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