Solar Eclipse 2017 – Backyard Observation from the Niagara Region

Welcome to Solar Eclipse August 21st, 2017!

With all the buzz about the solar eclipse I had to do a short blog about all the fun!

I literally was not planning on shooting the event, mainly because i thought i lacked the gear to do it safely!

As it turns out, i managed to scramble together some gear that did a fairly good job!  I was cautious as I only have one main Canon DSLR that is both feeding me (on occasion) and keeping me creating the visuals that you guys look forward too! Scary stuff pointing your camera at the sun!

but i said to myself, this event won’t come around again until 2024 (check back here, i will be capturing that one because the eclipse will be a full one in the niagara region in 2024!)

I decided to take the risk!

I didn’t have a specialized a Solar Filter or film on hand and didn’t have the time to buy it so i used components i already owned.


  1. My Tiffen 77mm Variable ND filter
  2. My Polaroid 67mm Variable ND Filter
  3. My old 70-210mm Vivitar Canon FD Series 1 Zoom lens (circa 1970s)
  4. Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter (1.26X focal correction)

  5. An old Toshiba 67mm filter (came with the lens)
  6. My trusty Canon T6S
  7. My Gopro Hero 4 Silver
  8. Manfrotto Befree Traveling Photography Tripod
  9. SLIK 700 Pro DX Tripod
  10. Benro S4 Video Head

My actual focal range ended up being aprox 423mm in Full frame terms on my canon crop body sensor.

Shy of 500mm to 800mm range (which would have been outstanding) i’m happy with the results.

I’ve read a lot of comments about not using ND filters on your camera and pointing them at the sun. There is merit in that warning with cheaper filters… however with the combination of two variable ND filters and having a glass one on the front (some NDs are plastic, be careful), working in tandem i was able to get effective 18-20 stop light reduction (2 x 10 stop filters)!

Combine that with Shooting at F22 on the lens and an ISO of 100 and you get a decent image and the sensor was protected.

Now for all you optically sound people, yes this isn’t the best way to go for optics. i would love to have shot at F4 or 5.6 however i did not have the ND filter power to protect against that amount of light so the image isn’t the clearest i could possibly get. I also had some atmospheric distortion as well and some lens distortion. In some of the shots there was some Chromatic Abberation due to the extra glass being added and some really outstanding flaring, but hey it’s the sun !

For lens, I used my old Vivitar Series 1 FD lens 70-210mm f3.5 as it was the longest focal length i had with the best Optics. My thinking here was that the lens itself isn’t worth much so if I destroyed it it I wouldn’t be that much money out of pocket. As it turned out it was the perfect choice because I didn’t need any autofocus (this lens is a pain to work with for focus) and the imagery even at F22 was decent! My Canon EF 55-250mm with Image stabilization wasn’t near as clear!

Check out my Instagram pics in the Gallery section to see all of the photos !

Please leave comments and Enjoy the video!





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