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Equipment

RedCat 51

William Optics RedCat 51 (First Look)

|Telescopes|20 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|14 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…

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…

Optolong L-Pro filter review

Optolong L-Pro Filter Review

|Star Clusters|11 Comments

I’ve recently had a chance to review the Optolong L-Pro filter (2 types) for astrophotography from my light polluted backyard in the city. Unlike many of the filters I used in the past, the L-Pro is suitable for both stock and astro-modified DSLR cameras. (It includes a UV/IR block). I've always had trouble collecting images with an accurate representation of star color when imaging from the city. It's something I spend a lot of time correcting during the image-processing stage of my projects. My hope is that the Optolong L-Pro filter lives up to its description of allowing more starlight…