Total Solar Eclipse 2017


Total Solar Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will occur and the entire sequence of totality will be visible from North America.  For amateur astronomers, this will be a big event.

How does it happen?

When the moon passes between sun and earth, and blocks all or part of the sun, a solar eclipse occurs as the moon’s shadow is cast on Earth.

eclipsesHOWPicture form NASA

Path of totality

The path of totality is a relatively thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, which will cross the U.S. from West to East. You will need to be within this path to see the full eclipse, and observe its interesting phenomena.

nasa_eclipse_mapPicture form NASA

Time schedule

If you wish to observe the eclipse in totality, the following table of eclipse times for cities in the path of totality should help you plan:

Table 1Picture form NASA

Safety notice of solar photography

When photographing a solar eclipseyou will need a very strong filter to reduce the bright, intense light of the sun. Photographing without a proper filter could result in damage to your equipment. AstroSolarTM 5.0 and 3.8 are very popular choices.  For best results, an H-alpha solar telescope will be some astronomer’s new favorite.


Which ASI cameras are highly recommand for solar eclipse photography?

ASI071MC-C  (Our Ratings: ★★★★★)

Discount Price:  1480USD  1380USD

SONY IMX071 color sensor (APS-C)

10FPS@4944*3284 (16 Mega Pixels)

ASI071 has a big sensor, and very nice color performance. You can use this camerato record all the phases of the eclipse. Especially to capture the vividmoments of the Diamond Ring, Baily’s Beads and the solar corona. This camera is most suitable for Live Webcasting as well.

ASI071 and 600mm focal length telescope will have best FOV performance:


ASI174MM/ASI174MC (Our Ratings: ★★★★★)


Discount Price:  599USD  549USD

SONY IMX174 mono sensor (1/1.2 inch)

164FPS@1936*1216 (2.3 Mega Pixels)



Our mono ASI174 camera is a best match for Lunt or Quark solar telescopes if you intend to take wonderful Ha images. It has a high 164FPS frame rate for high detail images.


Discount Price:  599USD  549USD

SONY IMX174 color sensor (1/1.2 inch)

164FPS@1936*1216 (2.3 Mega Pixels)

Our color ASI174 camera has a high 164FPS rate, much faster than theASI071 and ASI1600. Only a few seconds of high frame rate exposure will stack into high quality images.

佳能300mmNikon Lens Adapter

Nikon Lens Adapter for EFW

Canon EOS Lens Adapter

Canon EOS Adapter for EFW


ASI174 should be paired with a very short focal length. The Canon EOS 300mm f/2.8 would be a perfect match! The global shutter in this camera will prevent any issues with camera shake.


ASI1600MC- Cool/ASI1600MM-Cool (Our Ratings: ★★★★☆)


Discount Price:  999USD  949USD

Panasonic MN34230 color sensor (4/3 inch)

23FPS@4656*3520 (16 Mega Pixels)



Discount Price:  1280USD  1180USD

Panasonic MN34230 mono sensor (4/3 inch)

23FPS@4656*3520 (16 Mega Pixels)



ASI1600MC-C has a relatively large 4/3″ sensor. It is not as big as the ASI071, but larger than other ASI cameras mentioned so far. TheASI1600 can reach 23FPS, which means you can capture more frames in one second than the ASI071. ASI1600 pairs better with a shorter focaltelescope or lens than the ASI071. After eclipse, 1600 cooled camera can continue using for DSO imaging.

ASI1600 uncooled version is also good for eclipse, we make a discount for uncooled version too.



Discount Price:  999USD  899USD

Panasonic MN34230 mono sensor (4/3 inch)

23FPS@4656*3520 (16 Mega Pixels)



Discount Price:  699USD  649USD

Panasonic MN34230 color sensor (4/3 inch)

23FPS@4656*3520 (16 Mega Pixels)

ASI1600 and a 420mm focal length telescope will have the best FOV performance:


If you only have, or can only afford, a basic ZWO planetary camera such as the ASI290MM or ASI224MC, this is not a problem. You just need a shorter 135mm DSLR lens to take a photos of the eclipse.

ASI290MC (Our Ratings: ★★★☆☆)


Discount Price:  349USD  299USD

Sony IMX290 sensor

170FPS@1936*1096 (2.1 Mega Pixels)



佳能135mmNikon Lens Adapter

Nikon Lens Adapter for EFW

Canon EOS Lens Adapter

Canon EOS Adapter for EFW


ASI290 with 135mm DSLR lens will have best FOV performance:


ASI224MC (Our Ratings: ★★☆☆☆)


Discount Price:  299USD  269USD

Sony IMX224 color sensor

150FPS@1304*976 (1.2 Mega Pixels)





Nikon Lens Adapter

Nikon Lens Adapter for EFW

Canon EOS Lens Adapter

Canon EOS Adapter for EFW

ASI224 with 135mm DSLR lens will have best FOV performance:



Best way to do solar eclipse photography

Perpare for eclipse

First, you need to acquire a proper filter, telescope or other device to protect your eyes and camera from the intense light of the sun. Even during an eclipse, the sun’s light can still be quite intense. Usually, we at the very least need a solar filter such as Baaderfilm; ERF would be a good option as well. A Hershel Wedge is another option. Finally, a Lunt Ha telescope is very popular, too!


Second, for photography, you need to use an IR-cut filter to prevent the strong infrared light of Sun from reaching the sensor. Filtering out this unnecessary light will make the pictures to be clear with nature color.

Third, polar adjustment will need to be done before eclipse. Proper polar alignment will ensure tracking is correct and steady for the duration of the event. Best to do polar alignment the night before the eclipse if possible, as once the sun rises, you will be unable to see any stars to properly align.

Most importantly, if you want to make a proposal to your girlfriend, take her to the path of totality. I swear the possibility of success is over 100%! 😀

Option 1: Single shot

Single shot is just like DSLR. We suggest using SharpCap or FireCapture to get single shot images.

Time interval

Partial Eclipse-2min will be sufficient

Baily’s beads-1~2sec

Total eclipse- No interval, take photos as much as you can

Exposure time:

Depends on your equipment, avoid overexposure.

Remember to use 16bit RAW.

Highest Dynamic Range Setting (gain:0 offset:8 for ASI071) will have a very widedynamic range.

You will need to get more single shots in total eclipse phase.

Exposures of 0.01s, 0.05s, 0.1s, 0.2s, 0.5s, 1s, 3s& 5s will all pick up different details of the corona and solar prominence when in totality phase.


Easy to handle, fast to adjust exposure, and you can see the pictures immediately.

Additionally, the total data volume is small, so you can save disk space.

Option 2: Short videos

As in theprevious chapter, we recommend using the Highest Dynamic Range setting(gain:0 offset:8 for ASI071) to get very widedynamic range.

Regarding software, I suggest FireCapture to record videos. For the partial eclipse, record 5-10s videos (exposure will be less than 1ms, exactly what depends on the target brightness). Stack all the frames in the video as one image to produce an image better than a single shot. You can sharpen the image to bring out more details.

Thiseclipse will only remain in totality for approximately 2min. So we don’t have much time to adjust shooting setting. If you wish to try several settings to extract the most detail, these can provide a starting point:

0.5s exposure,10second video X 1
1s exposure, 10 second video X 1
3s exposure, 10 second video X1

With several different exposures like this, you have the option of creating an HDR image to make faint and bright details look better.

Option 3: Delay time videos

Delay time video is a single video using a low frame rate to record the complete solar eclipse. When we play such a video back at 30fps, we can see the eclipse played back much more quickly.

It is possible to use SharpCap for delay time videos. There is a Frame rate limit option, if we use 1 fps, it mean the camera will only take a frame each second. A frame rate of 1fps should be sufficient to create a delay time video of the eclipse.

For this option, you will want to record the entire eclipse. This will take 2 hours and 35minutes, which equals 9300 seconds. In turn, this means the video will have 9300 frames.

If using the ASI071 or ASI1600, (16bit raw, high speed mode off) it will use about 250GB data on disk.

Most importantly, as with prior options, use Gain:0 to get the Highest Dynamic Range, and Auto exposure to reduce the hassles of adjusting exposure as the eclipse progresses.
















The time is very near, everyone is planning for eclipse. A good camera and a wise way to shoot is most important thing for success. We hope to recommend some ways for everybody who saw this post to photograph the eclipse, and we are glad to hear your suggestion and ideas!

God Bless us to have clear sky to shoot this eclipse!