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Canon EF 300mm F/4L

Using A Canon 300mm Lens for Astrophotography

|Nebulae|9 Comments

If you watched my video about Comet 46P Wirtanen, you may have noticed that my imaging gear included a Canon EF 300mm F/4L USM Lens. This may have seemed a little odd to those that are used to seeing me use a telescope for astrophotography, but a camera lens like this can be a great way to capture deep sky images. Over the years, a lot of people have asked me why they should invest in a new telescope when they already own a high-quality telephoto camera lens with a comparable focal length. After all, a prime lens like the Canon EF 300mm F/4L isn't cheap, and its got some seriously impressiv…

ZWO ASIair review

ZWO ASIair Review

|Camera|21 Comments

The ZWO ASIair is a smart WiFi device that allows you to control ASI astronomy cameras for astrophotography. This Raspberry Pi-based accessory allows you to run an imaging sequence, autoguide, and even plate solve using your smartphone or tablet. As many of you know, when it comes to capturing astrophotography images, I tend to do things “the hard way” more often than I should. This includes everything from a manual 3-star alignment to carrying my astrophotography gear in and out of the garage night after night. It’s because I’m old-school. When I started deep-sky astrophotogr…

light pollution

Deep Sky Astrophotography in Light Pollution

|Nebulae|9 Comments

If you’ve been following AstroBackyard on YouTube, you’ll know that I regularly shoot DSLR astrophotography images under the heavily light polluted skies at home. My night sky is classified as Bortle Class 8 in terms of sky quality, a white zone on the light pollution map. This certainly makes things more difficult in terms of collecting data and image processing, but I welcome the challenge. It’s true, there is no substitute for dark skies. But being able to set up a portable astrophotography kit in the backyard on a weeknight is pretty cool. I don't have to pack up heavy gear i…

ZWO ASI294MC Pro Review

ZWO ASI294MC Pro Review

|Camera|26 Comments

The ZWO ASI294 MC Pro is a remarkably capable one-shot-color CMOS camera for deep sky astrophotography. Whether you use it for broadband true-color images on a moonless night or ultra-long-exposure images using your favorite narrowband filter - this camera can produce insanely beautiful images. This is easily one of the best color cameras I have ever used for astrophotography, and my go-to choice for a night of deep sky imaging. Over the past year, I have used this camera extensively through a number of telescopes in the backyard and beyond. Here is a taste of what the ASI294MC Pro…

mono astrophotography camera

Why I’m Switching to a Mono Astrophotography Camera

|Camera|21 Comments

A mono astrophotography camera gives backyard imagers in the city the opportunity to collect dynamic narrowband images from home.  Although LRGB image acquisition using a filter wheel requires some extra setup time early on, the flexibility of this configuration is appealing. Up to this point, I have not experienced the joys of shooting through a filter wheel. But I have experienced the extraordinary power of a monochrome sensor through narrowband filters. My latest experiences in the backyard have me wondering if I should have switched to a mono astrophotography camera a long time ago…