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refractor telescope for astrophotography

Why You Should Start with a Refractor Telescope

|Telescopes|15 Comments

If you're getting started in deep-sky astrophotography, I believe that a compact apochromatic (APO) refractor telescope is the best possible choice. A compact APO refractor is portable and lightweight, making it a smoother transition from the camera lenses you may be used to. In fact, in many ways, a high-quality apochromat is very much like a telephoto lens.  If you're interested in photographing nebulae and large galaxies in the night sky through a telescope, this article should shed some light on the decision-making process ahead of you.  My first refractor telescope was…

Celestron RASA Review

Celestron RASA 8 F/2 Review

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The Celestron RASA 8 F/2 Astrograph is a modern astrophotography telescope with an optical design that allows you to collect deep sky images using short exposure times. Based on the popular 11" version, the 8” model is the most affordable RASA (Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph) in Celestron’s lineup. The RASA optical system presents a modern and practical approach to extremely fast deep sky astrophotography. I like to think of it as an evolved Schmidt camera for today's amateur astrophotographer. I should start off by saying that until now, I’ve never used an SCT (Schmidt-Cassegra…

RedCat 51

William Optics RedCat 51 Review

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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

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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…

DSLR camera and small telescope

Astrophotography with a DSLR Camera and Small Telescope

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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…