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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…

light pollution

Deep Sky Astrophotography in Light Pollution

|Nebulae|9 Comments

If you’ve been following AstroBackyard on YouTube, you’ll know that I regularly shoot DSLR astrophotography images under the heavily light polluted skies at home. My night sky is classified as Bortle Class 8 in terms of sky quality, a white zone on the light pollution map. This certainly makes things more difficult in terms of collecting data and image processing, but I welcome the challenge. It’s true, there is no substitute for dark skies. But being able to set up a portable astrophotography kit in the backyard on a weeknight is pretty cool. I don't have to pack up heavy gear i…