2017 Total Solar Eclipse Photo Guide Safe Camera Solar Filters

Equipment Dealers

Astronomy Equipment Dealers

Here are links to the major astronomy dealer’s websites. These dealers stock everything astronomy related – telescopes, mounts, cameras, adapters, accessories, etc. Each site may have their own branded equipment and stock items from various manufacturers.


When it comes to cameras, accessories, tripods and everything camera related, you can’t beat B&H Photo and Video


There are many, many choices out there in a wide range of prices. See the Eclipse Photo Guide – Telescopes for more information on good scopes for the eclipse. Here are a few suggestions.

iOptron 80mm White Light Solar Scope – 400mm, f/5, comes with solar filter, eyepieces, works well on iOptron’s altazimth mounts, $179

Vixen ED80SF Refractor – 80mm apochromatic, 600mm, f/7.5, plate, rings, finder, diagonal, $749

Orion EON 65mm Apochromatic Refractor – 560mm focal length, f/6.6, high quality optics, $1,999

Telescope / Mount Packages

Celestron Eclipsmart Solar Scope 50 360mm, f/7, solar finder scope, solar filter, eyepiece, tripod, $99.95

Meade EclipseView Reflector – 450mm focal length, f/4 Newtonian reflector; tabletop swivel mount, $189.99  There are several options for tabletop scopes from Meade, Celestron, Orion and others

Orion AstroView 6 EQ Reflector Telescope6” Newtonian reflector (750mm, f/5), EQ mount with slow motion controls, 2 eyepieces, finder scope, etc., $449

Orion AstroView 120ST EQ Refractor Telescope Eclipse Kit achromatic 5” refractor, 600mm focal length, f/5; EQ mount with slow motion controls, eyepieces, solar filter and more, $679

Celestron SkyProdigy 130 Computerized Telescope5” Newtonian reflector (650mm focal length, f/5), tracking/go to computerized mount, $699

There are many computerized, go to scopes / mounts similar to the SkyProdigy; the Celestron NexStar and Meade ETX series packages offer many options; many have Schmidt-Cassegrain or Maksutov scopes – be aware, these have long focal lengths (> 1250mm) and slow optics (f/10 or greater)

H-Alpha Solar Scopes

These scopes offer detailed views of the sun’s surface and flares / prominences

Coronado Personal Solar Telescope with AZS Tripod & Mount – 400mm focal length, f/10, H-Alpha telescope, $788.99

Coronado Solarmax II H-Alpha Solar Telescope400mm focal length, f/6.6, H-Alpha telescope, $1,499


B&H Photo stocks tripods, heads and accessories from many manufacturers, in every price range.  They also carry binoculars, telescopes and mounts.

B&H Tripods

B&H Tripod Heads

B&H Binoculars

B&H Telescopes / Mounts


Trackers are portable and mount on tripods.  They can handle 6 or so lbs. of equipment and lenses up to 200mm when aligned.

iOptron Skytracker Pro Camera Mount with Polar Scopeholds up to 6.6 lbs camera / lens, easy setup & alignment, $299

Vixen Polarie Star Tracker Solar Kitholds up to 6 lbs. camera / lens, $499


See the Scopedawg Eclipse Photo Guides for information on different types of mounts that can be used for catching the eclipse.  Again, there are many options out there, here are a few suggestions.

Non-Tracking AltAzimuth Mounts

Orion VersaGo II Altazimuth Telescope MountHolds up to 15 lbs, $179.99

Astro-Tech Voyager II AltAzimuth Mount holds up to 18 lbs, slow motion controls, $199.95

Vixen Porta II Alt-Az Mountpayload 20 lbs., slow motion controls, $299

Non-Tracking Equatorial Mounts

Bresser Exos-1 EQ Mount with Tripod holds up to 15 lbs., slow motion controls, $219.99

Orion SkyView Pro EQ Mountholds up to 20 lbs., slow motion controls, $329.99

Tracking AltAzimuth Mounts

iOptron CubeProaltazimuth tracking mount, payload 8 lbs., $428

iOptron AZ Mount Pro with TripodEasy setup, tracks very well, internal battery lasts 10-12 hours, $1,299

Tracking Equatorial Mounts

iOptron SmartEQ Pro 11 lb. payload, $499

Orion Sirius Equatorial Mount 30 lb. payload, $1,199

Orion Atlas Equatorial MountMid Range EQ Mount, handles up to 40 lbs, $1,399


Adapters / Accessories

Essentials for photographing the eclipse

T-Mounts (T-Rings) required to mount DSLR to a telescope, brand specific!  Here is a Celestron T-Mount for Canon EOS, as an example, $9.79 from B&H

Camera Adapter you will also need an adapter that attaches to the T-Ring and fits in the telescope’s 1.25” or 2” focuser; here is a
Celestron Adapter that fits most Refractors & Reflectors; note that Schmidt-Cassegrains require different T-Rings and Adapters.

Celestron DSLR Adapter with Integrated 2x Barlowthis adapter includes a Barlow lens that double the magnification, $39.95

Digiscope Smartphone Adapters – adjustable adapters that put your smartphone at the telescope eyepiece, many choices out there

Meade, $19.99

Orion Steady Pix EZ, $89.99

Televue PhoneMate, $95

Intervalometers – Intervalometers allow you to set exposure, intervals and number of pictures for automatic operation of your camera.  Like the T-Rings above, they are brand specific.  Here is one from B&H (they carry all brand compatible versions) – Vello Shutterboss II Timer Remote Switch for Canon, $49.95


Selection of software that will help you snag your eclipse calendar shot

Starry Night – A great planetarium and telescope control software, it comes in several versions (prices).  Planetarium software greatly facilitates the planning of composite and sequence shots.

Stellarium – I use Stellarium when astro-imaging, nice graphics and easy interface.  Like Starry Night, it can project FOV on the sky for different telescope / camera combinations.

Solar Eclipse Maestro – Xavier Jubier’s software for planning and camera control, just for solar eclipses.

The Photographer’s Ephemeris Software that helps you plan outdoor scenes with sun and moon calculators for any location.  Available as mobile apps as well


Rely on your local weather radar when we are closing in on the big day, but here are some other informational sites you need.

Eclipsophile A comprehensive forecast and statistical website by Jay Anderson and Jennifer West.  This links to the landing page for the August 21st eclipse, select a state to zoom in on your info.

National Weather Service – I find NOAA’s website fairly reliable for 5-10 days out.  The Forecast Maps zoom to regions in the country with a wealth of weather data.

ClearDarkSky.com – A favorite among amateur astronomers, the chart is an accurate forecast 48 hours out and includes transparency and seeing indices.

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