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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|18 Comments

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 astrophotography back in 2011, there weren’t nearly as many dedicated astrophotography products available to automate the imaging experience as there are now. Powering up my laptop computer inside of a weather-proof plastic bin has always been a part of…

light pollution

Deep Sky Astrophotography in Light Pollution

|Nebulae|7 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 (Color Astrophotography Camera)

|Camera|23 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 6 months, I have used this camera extensively through a number of telescopes in the backyard and beyond. Here is a taste of what the ASI294MC…

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…