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Samsung S21 Ultra 5G (and eventually S23) - Safe filter for taking Solar Eclipse shots?

(Topic created: 10-07-2022 11:09 AM)
EwanRGR
Asteroid
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Galaxy S21

Annular Eclipse about this time next year in Texas, and a full-on eclipse in 2024. I have an older camera I have been holding onto because I wasn't sure if there was anyway to get a decent eclipse shot with the S21 I have, or the S23 I am expecting to get next year.

Wondering if there is a filter system that can be placed over the entire camera bump that would allow for a safe pic?

FWIW, I have a 77mm solar safe filter that works with the old camera. I've looked to see if there is something that would go over the camera block since that is large enough to cover all the lenses. But so far, no luck.

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EwanRGR
Asteroid
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Galaxy S21

So I ended up with two solutions. One of which is decently cheap (and works ok) and the other which is rather spendy, but works much better.

Solution 1 was to find a S21 Ultra Phone case that has a sliding cover for the phone block. This gives enough "depth" to cut a sheet of Solar Black Polymer and tape to the inside of the case so that the tape doesn't block the cameras at all. Put camera in case, and you can take so-so pictures. Even at 10x, the sun just isn't all that big. I'm sure that it would still look "ok" for some uses, but since the 10x only gives a 10mp image, you can't really crop further.

So we come to solution 2 - a pair of astronomical binoculars (20x70) with a smartphone adapter - and then solar filters for the binoculars. Am still working on getting a decent shot with this (Autofocus is a bit of an issue here), but I like that this should also give me a better solution for some moonshots and other astronomy.

I do wish I were part of the S23 beta program (hint, hint) so I could see what a 200mp camera could do in this setting. But for now, I think this will work.

 

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11 Replies
Mikeso3691
Galaxy
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Galaxy S21
Will digital filters not work?? Make your own here, I love this feature for many reasons.

https://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00086009/
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LongHiker
Epic Samsung Care Ambassador
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Galaxy S21

@Mikeso3691 "Will digital filters not work??"

No. Digital filters is all about post processing after the sensor has captured the image.

Pointing the sensor directly at the sun for extended periods of time can damage the sensor. You need a physical filter to greatly reduce the amount of light going into the sensor. 

Mikeso3691
Galaxy
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Galaxy S21
I did not know this, thank you for explaining that.
user751201tmO21
Honored Contributor
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Galaxy S21
Agree with @ LongHiker

Even with the professional grade cameras (we're Nikon fanatics here) we have , we always use physical filters to avoid damage
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EwanRGR
Asteroid
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Galaxy S21

SO, appreciate that we have all come to the conclusion that I need a physical filter for the S21 cameras. Can anyone recommend a filter set that will work? I did see that Samsung at one time offered a frame for the phone that could hold a filter, but it's not showing as available anywhere. Fotodiox has their "Ninja" accessory that is essentially a magnet with a circular top to screw a 77mm filter onto - but it looks like you have to pick which camera the hole in the back of that goes over. Anything actually made to properly cover the square photo "bump" so you can use all of the cameras?

 

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LongHiker
Epic Samsung Care Ambassador
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Galaxy S21

@EwanRGR Moment is a big innovator in lenses for mobile phones. It looks like Moment makes a case for the S21 Ultra. They make several lenses. Maybe they have one appropriate for solar photography. 

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EwanRGR
Asteroid
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Galaxy S21

Unfortunately, it does not seem like they offer a sufficiently dark (ND10000 or above) filter for taking a safe shot of the sun. Nor do they appear to offer an M-Series lens that would take such a filter. Thanks anyway...

 

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bill-e
Samsung Care Ambassador
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Galaxy S21

Could you hold a welders glass lens in fron of the lens.  Years ago I popped the lens out of a welding helut and used it for an eclipse photo.  I was young and don't recall how well it worked. 

 

 
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Bill
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Galaxy S21 Ultra 512g(VZW), Galaxy Book (original, VZW), Tab S8 Ultra, Tab S4, Galaxy Watch3(VZW), M8 Smart Monitor
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EwanRGR
Asteroid
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Galaxy S21

Yes, you can hold the 77mm filter in front of the cameras. The problem is you now need one hand to hold the filter, one hand to focus and steady the shot, and one hand to hold the phone. That's one more hand than I have 🙂

Below shows what happens when you try - you'll notice that there is enough of a gap even holding it against the camera that you get some light reflections from the other cameras on the camera block. Hence why I am looking for a better solution.

20221009_085827.jpg

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