On August 21 2017 the “Great American Total Eclipse” hit the US crossing the States from nord west to the east coast. Living in Massachusetts, it didn’t allow me to see the total eclipse, but I enjoyed a nice partial eclipse (around 63% coverage).
As always, I didn’t prepare myself in time, and, the day of the eclipse, I decided I wanted to take some photos of it without having any proper tool. Actually, I just needed two: a photocamera and a solar filter. The photo camera on the smartphone is not good enough, not having any optical zoom. Fortunately, I had a compact digital camera having a nice 14x optical zoom, which can go up to 54x digitally. Still, the digital zoom is not great as the photo loose resolution with it (optical zoom is much much better).
Second, the solar filter. Obviously, a proper filter for photocamera was too expensive and was also not attachable to my camera. The second solution was to use the solar eclipse glasses and just put them in front of the camera. Unfortunately all shops already run out of them. The solution I found was to use the magnetic disc of old floppy disks I found in the office. This is not a good solution as floppy disks are not a safe filters at all, but to use in front of the camera should be good enough (never use them to look directly at the sun!). After few tests I noticed than only one disk was filtering too few light, two or three disks was fine, four too much. The photos below are obtained with the magnetic disks of two floppy as filter. Fortunately, at the end my boss lend me some proper solar eclipse glasses, so I was able to both see at the eclipse in a safe way and try to make some photos with both the glasses and the floppy disks.
Here some photo I made. On the left I used the solar eclipse glasses as filter, on the right two magnetic disks from floppy disks. On the top I use only the 14x optical zoom, on the bottom the full 54x digital zoom.
The last photo is the closest to the 63% maximum coverage.