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I originally had no plans on photographing the eclipse, so I didn’t purchase a solar filter. Of course, as the day approached, I changed my mind. Rather than worry about damaging the sensor on my mirrorless camera, I chose to use *gasp* film. I had a roll of Ilford HP5, so paired the Yashica TF-Electro X with a Rextar 300mm f4 lens and an old aluminium tripod.

I thought through the process a few days in advance. In order to see the sun in the viewfinder, I had to use solar glasses. This would render the camera’s light meter unreadable, so I used my mirrorless camera with ND filters to get the approximate aperture and shutter speed settings. Since I’m using 400 ASA film, the ISO was fixed.

The process of composing was a bit tricky. Looking through the viewfinder with solar glasses, I centered the sun in the frame. I locked the tripod, then attached stacked 10 stop and 4 stop ND filters.

I varied the shutter speeds between 1/60 and 1/125 with the aperture between f8 and f11, a sweet spot for most lenses. Since the camera is completely manual, you need to check everything before opening the shutter.

We had passing clouds, so I had to re-frame the sun several time, repeating the process above.

I took this selfie and you can see the setup in the background.

I shipped the film off and got the negatives and CD this week. I took 17 exposures; these are the best two of the lot. This is my contribution to Skywatch Friday. I’m pretty pleased considering this camera is close to 50 years old. I’ll be ordering more Ilford film as I really enjoyed the other shots from the roll.



6 thoughts on “eclipse

  1. Lady Fi says:

    Ha ha – wonderful!

  2. MP UPPAL says:

    Very well executed!

  3. Yogi says:

    Clever you, great planning and execution. I love shooting my old film cameras but have not in a while.

  4. Peter B. says:

    You’re totally rockin’ those glasses! I’ve seen a lot of posts about eclipse photos, but this is the first using film. Awesome job!!

  5. Amy says:

    lol nice selfie, you’re lucky you got to see it, it was way too overcast here…

  6. Patrick says:

    I like them! Nice to see your “selfie” also.
    We didn’t even get a peak of the eclipse here. Too many clouds.