How should I prepare for the August 21, 2017 eclipse?

slapple

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 25, 2008
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I want to try use my iPhone SE to take photos of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Unfortunately I am not in the path of totality, so it's going to be about an 85% partial eclipse for me.

What will I need besides my iPhone SE?

Do I need an eclipse filter? I already bought a few of those $2 eclipse glasses from Lowe's. Couldn't I just put one of those in front of the iPhone lens instead of buying an actual $30 eclipse camera filter?

What about a telephoto lens attachment - would that help at all?

Also, are there any camera apps that would be better at taking photos of the sun instead of the built-in iPhone Camera app?

Anything else you would recommend? Thanks!
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
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15,217
Jacksonville, Florida
No mater what do not aim your camera directly at the Sunday without proper filtering. I am only guessing but the filtered eyeglasses should provide the decrease in light transmission required.

The iPad lens is not really going to,do,a,good job here and a telephoto lens, properly filter would show the eclipse better.
 
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rugmankc

Contributor
Sep 24, 2014
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As stated by Newtons Apple use proper lens filters and do not look at it thru just the view finder. I believe you could even damage the camera lens. I don't think a smartphone is going to do a good job. Just enjoy it thru the proper glasses. IMHO
 

Reno Raines

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2015
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Where I live in Ga we are supposed to get a 95% eclipse. Can't wait to experience it. My wife ordered us those eclipse glasses so we don't go blind looking at it. I am sure almost everyone will be trying to capture it on their phones making this thread quite prescient.
 

JohnApples

macrumors 65832
Mar 7, 2014
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As Newtons said, your best bet would be to use a telephoto lens and a certified filter.

I snagged a telephoto lens that's clips on to the 7 Plus and enhances the built-in telephoto lens. I'm going to try my best to position it toward the sun , through an extra pair of eclipse glasses. No idea how it'll turn out, but worth a shot.
 

Zxxv

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2011
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UK
Has anyone actually ever gone blind from looking at the sun? I know no one. An eclipse is way less light.
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
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Has anyone actually ever gone blind from looking at the sun? I know no one. An eclipse is way less light.
My understanding is that normally when you look at the sun it's actually the UV light that damages our eyes. The same is true during an eclipse, but the difference is that since most of the sun's visible light is blocked we don't have our natural reactions when looking at a painfully bright light, such as pupils dilating, squinting, or just looking away because it hurts. So while looking at an eclipse, your eyes are still getting a full dose of damaging UV light while doing nothing to protect themselves because they don't detect anything bright. I believe this has in fact resulted in permanently damaged retinas.
 
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JohnApples

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Mar 7, 2014
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My understanding is that normally when you look at the sun it's actually the UV light that damages our eyes. The same is true during an eclipse, but the difference is that since most of the sun's visible light is blocked we don't have our natural reactions when looking at a painfully bright light, such as pupils dilating, squinting, or just looking away because it hurts. So while looking at an eclipse, your eyes are still getting a full dose of damaging UV light while doing nothing to protect themselves because they don't detect anything bright. I believe this has in fact resulted in permanently damaged retinas.
This isn't entirely correct. You CAN safely look at the eclipse for a brief moment during the actual total eclipse. This is according to NASA's website.

If you're not in the path of totality however, you should not look at it any any point without the special glasses.
 
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FriendlyMackle

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2011
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NYC
Where I live in Ga we are supposed to get a 95% eclipse. Can't wait to experience it. My wife ordered us those eclipse glasses so we don't go blind looking at it. I am sure almost everyone will be trying to capture it on their phones making this thread quite prescient.
Just be sure those glasses are made by a reputable manufacturer -- I read that there are some companies producing fake 'eclipse glasses' that won't actually shield your eyes properly from the sun!
 
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rugmankc

Contributor
Sep 24, 2014
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Has anyone actually ever gone blind from looking at the sun? I know no one. An eclipse is way less light.
Doesn't work that way. Looking at the sun will burn your retina. The brightness (rays) is too much with no eclipse and you turn away quickly. With the eclipse there is less brightness and you can look longer. Minutes. Even being partially blocked that extended time will also burn the retina. Looking thru cameras, telescopes etc will intensify the burning effect. During the total part, if you are in that band, it may be ok. The damage you can receive is called solar retinopathy.
 
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Gathomblipoob

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Mar 18, 2009
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Doesn't work that way. Looking at the sun will burn your retina. The brightness (rays) is too much with no eclipse and you turn away quickly. With the eclipse there is less brightness and you can look longer. Minutes. Even being partially blocked that extended time will also burn the retina. Looking thru cameras, telescopes etc will intensify the burning effect. During the total part, if you are in that band, it may be ok. The damage you can receive is called solar retinopathy.
Agreed. As a guy who has had eight or nine major eye surgeries, the light from even a mostly occluded sun can do tremendous damage to your retinas.
 
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