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Telescopes

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…

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…

Elephants Trunk Nebula

Photographing the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula

|Nebulae|14 Comments

As the season transitions from summer to fall, the nights have become longer and cooler in the backyard. This is beneficial for deep sky astrophotography for many reasons, with more time to capture exposure time on incredible targets like the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula being one of them. For those that have been following my YouTube Channel, you’ll know that I’ve been testing out a new APO refractor telescope, the Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 ED. I was shocked to see just how many of my subscribers were already using and enjoying this exact telescope for astrophotography. In the following pos…

The Explore Scientific ED140 Apo Refractor

|Telescopes|4 Comments

I am thrilled to tell you that I recently got my hands on a brand new Explore Scientific ED140 CF APO Triplet Refractor. If you've been following AstroBackyard for some time now, you'll know how I feel about APO refractors in terms of astrophotography performance. The refractor telescope design has many unique advantages when it comes to deep sky astrophotography. Specifically, an air-spaced triplet apochromatic optical design will share many of the same characteristics you'll find on a high-end telephoto camera lens. The biggest difference is - they usually reach much further. (The ED140…