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H-Alpha

astrophotography lens

Real Results with a Budget Astrophotography Lens

|Camera|3 Comments

A great astrophotography lens is only as good as the images it produces. Not all camera lenses are created equal, and imaging a night sky full of stars has a way of pushing your photography gear to its limits. On a recent astrophotography session in the backyard, I discovered how enjoyable it can be to squeeze in a brief mid-week session using a camera lens in place of the telescope. For this imaging run, I used the refreshingly simple and affordable Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 lens. The lens was attached to my Canon Rebel T3i DSLR, which rode atop an iOptron SkyTracker camera mount. (Tho…

Short Nights and Hot Sensors

|Nebulae|2 Comments

The hot nights of early summer astrophotography start late and end early. The warm temperatures at night make their presence known in my DSLR images in the form of noise. My latest deep sky project involves capturing data on NGC 6888 in H-Alpha with a DSLR.  My highly portable astrophotography equipment allows me to move the entire rig around the yard based on my imaging target. This month, I have been getting a head start on summer Astro targets in Sagittarius such as the Omega Nebula. This means waiting until after midnight for my targets to rise high enough in the Southeast for a…

Deep-Sky Astrophotography During a Full Moon

|The Moon|11 Comments

The clouds have parted, and I have enjoyed 2 cold, clear nights of astrophotography back-to-back! This is a fortunate occurrence that doesn’t come very often, especially during a Canadian winter. However, the moon is nearly full, rising in the late evening in it’s waning gibbous phase. This reminds me of a question that comes up time and time again. Is deep-sky astrophotography during a full moon a waste of time? The moon reflects bright sunlight into the sky for about a week on either side of a full moon.  This moonlight floods the sky and is so bright that it washes out faint deep-sk…

DSLR camera Ha filter

How a DSLR Ha Filter can Improve your Astrophotos

|H-Alpha|11 Comments

Some of the most incredible DSLR deep-sky images ever produced, likely combined regular RGB data (A typical color image) with images using a Ha filter.  A clip-in filter for your camera such as the Astronomik H-Alpha 12nm CCD filter makes it easy to start gathering Hydrogen-Alpha images with your existing DSLR. When it comes to astrophotography from a city backyard, narrowband filters such as H-Alpha allow you to collect detailed photos of many of your favorite nebulae and galaxies. The resulting greyscale images can then be applied to any existing full-color data you may have for an eve…