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light pollution filters

10 Light Pollution Filters for Astrophotography in the City

If you shoot your astrophotography images with a color camera in the city, there is a good chance that light pollution filters can make your life a little easier. How? By ignoring specific wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum associated with artificial light sources such as a streetlamp. The best way to test if a particular filter is a good fit for your skies is to review examples taken by others from similar conditions.  A quality light pollution filter will allow the important colors and light emitted by your astrophotography subject to reach the camera sensor, without th…

astrophotography images

The Gear Behind My Best Astrophotography Images

|Blog Updates|8 Comments

In this post, I'll share my 10 best astrophotography images of the year, and the complete list of gear used to take them. I completed roughly 40 projects this year, and it was difficult to choose my favorite 10 images from the bunch.  The selection process involved remembering why each photo was so special. Why each one of these astrophotography images made me say "wow" as I opened the picture files on my computer. You may find it useful to see the exact imaging configurations used for each photo, as the gear used was deliberately selected to best capture each deep-sky object. …

ZWO ASI533MC Pro Review

ZWO ASI533MC Pro (First Look)

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The ZWO ASI533MC Pro is a one-shot-color (OSC) dedicated astronomy camera designed for deep-sky astrophotography. Over the past 8 years, I have had the pleasure of testing many astrophotography cameras, from entry-level DSLRs to cooled, monochrome CCD's.  The camera you choose for astrophotography will determine the types of subjects in the night sky that you will photograph. In the case of the ZWO ASI533MC Pro, the subjects will likely include deep-sky objects including large nebulae.  ZWO reached out to me directly with an opportunity to test an early version of the ASi533MC…

refractor telescope for astrophotography

Why You Should Start with a Refractor Telescope

|Telescopes|22 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.  In 2020 I worked with Radian Tele…

Canon EOS Ra

The Canon EOS Ra Announced

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On November 5, 2019, the Canon EOS Ra was announced and is now available for pre-order at various retailers including B&H. This is a 30.3 MP full-frame mirrorless camera designed specifically for astrophotography.  The Canon EOS Ra shares nearly all aspects of the EOS R camera body, with 2 key differences for astrophotography. Increased sensitivity to the 656nm (h-alpha) emission line, and a 30X live view focus mode. For a niche hobby like astrophotography, the Canon EOS Ra has sure attracted a lot of attention from the photography world. I pleaded my case to my contact at Canon…

Sky-Watcher EQ8-R Pro

Sky-Watcher EQ8-R Pro (First Impressions)

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A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to receive a very large package in the mail, the Sky-Watcher EQ8-R Pro. Some people get excited about the arrival of flowers or perhaps a new book from Amazon at their door. Me? I prefer over 100 pounds of deep-sky astrophotography equipment. The brand new EQ8-R Pro is an observatory-class equatorial telescope mount capable of handing advanced astrophotography equipment, and one of the heaviest objects I have ever attempted to lift on my own. I'd like to think that deadlifting the heaviest of astronomy equipment is something I'll always be able to do,…

Star Adventurer Pro Review

Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro Review

|Equipment|27 Comments

The Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro is an extremely popular portable star tracker designed for astrophotography. After using iOptron star trackers for deep-sky astrophotography exclusively, it was time to see what all the fuss was about. In this post, I'll share my unbiased opinion about the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro, and actual images I was able to capture using it. The setup I used was the Pro Pack version, that comes with the counterweight kit, latitude EQ base, and fine-tuning mounting assembly. Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro Review If you would like to get a good look at t…

star trackers

Choosing a Star Tracker for Astrophotography

|Equipment|24 Comments

When it comes to astrophotography, a star tracker allows you to take better images. Your exposure lengths are no longer limited to 30-seconds or less due to a moving sky, and you can dial back camera settings like ISO and F-stop. Equatorial camera mounts are designed to align with the polar axis of the night sky so you can take long-exposure images that are free of star trailing. Astrophotography demands long-exposure tracked images to collect as much signal (light) as possible, and that is exactly what a star tracker allows you to do. I recommend the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer 2i (Pro Pack…