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Equipment

Astrophotography in Costa Rica (Carina Nebula)

|Nebulae|11 Comments

I’ve just returned from a vacation to Costa Rica with the goal of capturing some astrophotography images from the resort. Being so close to the equator, the night sky featured many new southern hemisphere deep sky targets I had never seen before. Aside from astrophotography (including an impromptu Facebook Live stream from our balcony) my wife and I also enjoyed a private birding tour and some much needed relaxation. The average temperature from home in Canada was around -10 degrees Celsius, in Costa Rica, 33. Despite the pleasant temperatures and impressive number of clear nights duri…

Astrophotography Gear Update

|Blog Updates|8 Comments

Despite the excitement of a moving into a new house under Bortle Class 6 skies, I've had a rough start to the new year in terms of astrophotography. The weather has not been friendly, from -30 C nights to consecutive weeks of precipitation and clouds. However, this has given me some time to get my astrophotography gear organized in the garage for my next imaging session. My weather app shows that Saturday has a chance of clear skies for about 2 hours, and I'll be ready. In this post, I'll provide an update as to the astrophotography gear I'll be using next. My goal is that you find some…

RedCat 51

William Optics RedCat 51 (First Look)

|Telescopes|18 Comments

William Optics is a company known for creating high performance apochromatic refractors, and constantly updating and refining their designs. The RedCat 51 Petzval APO is the latest creation from the company that can't sit still, and it is bound to shake up the industry once more. I am fortunate enough to have been granted early access to this exciting Petzval apochromat that debuts in early March 2019. What makes the William Optics Redcat 51 so special? The 4-element Petzval design, unique focal length and helical focuser. The sleek red finish of the RedCat 51 signals its individuality a…

Celestron CGX-L computerized mount

Celestron CGX-L Telescope Mount – First Look

|Telescopes|13 Comments

The Celestron CGX-L is a robust, professional grade computerized equatorial mount with an impressive 75-lb payload capacity. The deep sky astrophotography potential of the Celestron CGX-L is obvious, and I intend to experience this benefit first-hand. The CGX-L is the largest equatorial telescope mount I have ever used for astrophotography, with payload capacity that surpasses the incredible iOptron CEM60 (by 15 pounds). The added stability will come in handy when using the largest telescopes in my inventory, such as the William Optics FLT 132 refractor. Later this year, I will run a com…

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…