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Equipment

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|22 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|14 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…

telescope mount for astrophotography

The Foundation of Every Great Deep Sky Astrophotography Rig

|Equipment|22 Comments

Over the past 8 years, I’ve had the pleasure of using a number of telescope mounts for astrophotography. Some of them were substantial imaging platforms that included features such as autoguiding and periodic error correction (PEC), while others simply tracked the night sky at sidereal rate in a compact and portable package. The payload capacity and features of the telescope mounts available today vary, but their level of importance in regards to your overall astrophotography goals remain constant. After many years of enjoying backyard deep sky astrophotography, I can safely tell you that…

DSLR camera and small telescope

Astrophotography with a DSLR Camera and Small Telescope

|Telescopes|18 Comments

This week, I returned to my roots and enjoyed some deep sky astrophotography using a DSLR camera and small telescope. Don't get me wrong, dedicated astronomy cameras and heavy duty mounts are great, but my latest imaging session in the backyard was a breath of fresh air. In this post, I’ll share my early results with a new compact refractor telescope, the William Optics Zenithstar 73 APO.  I’ve managed to collect some exposure time on a number of deep sky objects using a crop-sensor (modified) DSLR. My experiences with the Z73 have reminded me how much I enjoy deep sky imaging t…