Can I watch the lunar eclipse on my iPhone screen using the camera without burning my eyes out?

boltjames

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 2, 2010
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So we want to watch the lunar eclipse but the ISO glasses we wanted to buy online are either sold out, or way overpriced, or we can't trust because we are concerned about counterfeits as Amazon has warned.

Does anyone know if it is safe to hold up the iPhone with the camera on and watch the eclipse on the iPhone screen? Seems to me the phone would be big enough to block the sun from reaching our eyes and give us a nice look on the screen while recording it too. Thoughts?
 

bslow1

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2017
48
29
I bought some solar eclipse glasses at my local 7-Eleven today. $3 for two pairs. Give them a try.

As for the iphone idea, my guess is that the camera will adjust the exposure to make looking at the eclipse through the camera safe. But who wants to look at it through a camera?? That would suck...
 
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styymy

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2014
66
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USA
So we want to watch the lunar eclipse but the ISO glasses we wanted to buy online are either sold out, or way overpriced, or we can't trust because we are concerned about counterfeits as Amazon has warned.

Does anyone know if it is safe to hold up the iPhone with the camera on and watch the eclipse on the iPhone screen? Seems to me the phone would be big enough to block the sun from reaching our eyes and give us a nice look on the screen while recording it too. Thoughts?
Here's a list of retail establishments (hopefully) in your area that you can pickup glasses to watch the eclipse. Also some public libraries have the glasses for free as well so you might want to check local library branches too.
 
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Kyotoma

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Nov 11, 2010
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Carnegie and Ontario
So we want to watch the lunar eclipse but the ISO glasses we wanted to buy online are either sold out, or way overpriced, or we can't trust because we are concerned about counterfeits as Amazon has warned.

Does anyone know if it is safe to hold up the iPhone with the camera on and watch the eclipse on the iPhone screen? Seems to me the phone would be big enough to block the sun from reaching our eyes and give us a nice look on the screen while recording it too. Thoughts?
One: stay in school, kids:

Two: NO. It is NOT safe to point the iPhone camera at the sun.

Three:
Here's a list of retail establishments (hopefully) in your area that you can pickup glasses to watch the eclipse. Also some public libraries have the glasses for free as well so you might want to check local library branches too.
These are great, but as a rule, remember: the lens(es) should be dark enough that you can ONLY see the sun through them. If you can see anything else through the lens(es), they are NOT dark enough and your eyesight could potentially be damaged!!
 

masotime

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Jun 24, 2012
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San Jose, CA
These are great, but as a rule, remember: the lens(es) should be dark enough that you can ONLY see the sun through them. If you can see anything else through the lens(es), they are NOT dark enough and your eyesight could potentially be damaged!!
Yup, I got some glasses from B&H Photo Video. They were practically pieces of black paper as lenses, until I looked at the sun in the afternoon. That was the only way to tell it was possible to see anything at all through those glasses, everything else was practically invisible.
 

Gav2k

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Jul 24, 2009
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Buy a cheap welding mask or if you can just get the glass then buy that. It’s cheap and it works great!
 

jdechko

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Jul 1, 2004
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Three:
These are great, but as a rule, remember: the lens(es) should be dark enough that you can ONLY see the sun through them. If you can see anything else through the lens(es), they are NOT dark enough and your eyesight could potentially be damaged!!
Also, make sure they are ISO Certified 12312-02. Might be too late to find some decent glasses at a good price. But I'd be wary of the glasses without checking them out first.

Several sellers on Amazon were selling fakes or ones that didn't meet the spec. Amazon has warned its customers and given them refunds, FYI.
 
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boltjames

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Original poster
May 2, 2010
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I appreciate all the advice, but it's not that simple. The glasses are now being price gouged everywhere, what once cost $2 per pair now costs $25 or more because of Amazon's panic. And those that are cheaper online, well, I'm concerned that they might be counterfeit because of Amazon's panic.

So....if we want to use our iPhone's as a shield from the sun while peeking only at the screen, the screen should be showing us the eclipse indirectly and it should not harm us, right?
 
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Newtons Apple

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Mar 12, 2014
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Jacksonville, Florida
I appreciate all the advice, but it's not that simple. The glasses are now being price gouged everywhere, what once cost $2 per pair now costs $25 or more because of Amazon's panic. And those that are cheaper online, well, I'm concerned that they might be counterfeit because of Amazon's panic.

So....if we want to use our iPhone's as a shield from the sun while peeking only at the screen, the screen should be showing us the eclipse indirectly and it should not harm us, right?
So to save $25 you are willing to fry your phone sensor? Are you reading anything above? Multiple people have told you.
 
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v0lume4

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
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I'd be worried about you still getting UV rays in your eyes, even while holding your phone between your face and the sun. Despite having your phone in front of your eyes, you'd still be looking almost directly at the sun. I wouldn't recommend doing that.
 
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Givmeabrek

macrumors 68040
Apr 20, 2009
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NY
I'd be worried about you still getting UV rays in your eyes, even while holding your phone between your face and the sun. Despite having your phone in front of your eyes, you'd still be looking almost directly at the sun. I wouldn't recommend doing that.
Maybe close one eye. At least you would still have one good one....
 
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