Review - Kendrick Self Adhesive Sun Finder
Posted: 15 July 2017
During my preparation for the 21 August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse I decided that I should add a Sun finder to my DSLR to assist in pointing the camera with a long telephoto lens at the Sun. I could have made one but in the interest of time and convenience I purchased a Self Adhesive Sun Finder from Kendrick Astro Instruments. According to the photos on their web site it appeared that I could easily attach the Sun Finder to my Thousand Oaks Optical Solar II Type 2 Plus solar filter. I had purchased this filter in 1998 for use on my ETX-90RA telescope. It still works well on the ETX, although now it gets the most use on my 70-300mm and 150-600mm DSLR lenses. For the Solar Eclipse I plan to use the filter with the D7200 DSLR and 150-600mm lens.
The Sun Finder comes with a sheet of instructions. Two strips of adhesive for mounting on a filter, telescope, or lens are already attached to the Sun Finder, which is made of aluminum.
I discovered that my solar filter mount diameter was such that the adhesive strips did not touch the filter ring:
The instructions actually cover this situation and suggest attaching additional double-sided foam tape to the Sun Finder. But I got to wondering if there was a better way that would make attaching and removing the Sun Finder easier while still keeping the Sun Finder properly aligned. I decided to try adding a small Velcro strip to the filter ring and to the Sun Finder:
Although the Sun Finder is a little wobbly on the filter it does stay put. So is the Sun in the camera viewfinder with this Velcro mounting? I first aimed the camera where the Sun Finder was showing the Sun. Wow, it was very easy to locate the Sun high in the sky using the Sun Finder. However, the Sun was not in the camera viewfinder on my initial look, although it turned out to be very close. I had to use a shorter focal length (150mm) on the zoom lens to locate the Sun and center it. Once I did that I was able to adjust the Sun Finder on the filter to center the Sun on the Finder and zoom to 600mm.
Here is my Sun imaging setup with the D7200 DSLR and 150-600mm lens mounted on the iOptron SkyTracker Pro:
Using the Kendrick Sun Finder the Sun appears as a bright dot that is visible from the front and back of the Finder:
This is our Sun on Saturday, 15 July 2017, f/6.3, 1/1000sec, ISO 400, FL 600mm:
Using a Sun finder really does help locate the Sun with a telescope or camera. The Kendrick Sun Finder is a simple, safe, and effective accessory to aid in viewing or imaging the Sun. The mounting method should fit a wide variety of devices, although you may have to use an alternative to the foam tape as I did. Using Velcro seems to be a better choice (for my purposes) than a permanent mounting using the adhesive strips. I like the design of the Kendrick Sun Finder in that you can view the Sun alignment from either side of the Finder. That is extremely convenient. I am pleased with the Kendrick Sun Finder and expect to use it everytime I image the Sun.
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