Cleaning telescope optics is a question that gets thrown about a lot. In truth cleaning our optics isn’t something that needs doing all that often. In fact over-cleaning them could be detrimental to their health. So clean the telescope lenses or mirrors only when they begin to get really bad, or begin to affect image quality. In this article I’ll share my workflow for how I treat my telescope lenses, filters, camera sensors and camera lenses.
The Optolong L-eXtreme Filter
The Optolong L-eXtreme filter is the bigger brother to the hugely popular and widely well received Optolong L-eNhance filter. The L-eXtreme is a duo-narrowband filter that lets through Hydrogen-Alpha and Oxygen-III wavelenghts.
The filter is used best on emission nebula and supernova remnants. I’ve had this filter for a while and used it between a DSLR and a dedicated astronomy camera. In this article I’ll be sharing my thoughts about this narrowband filter that was designed for use mainly with one-shot colour (OSC) cameras.
Using A Remote Telescope With Telescope Live
There’s been a particularly bad run of weather currently in Britain. I know that we’re famous for it, but it’s really been taking the cake right now. So when I was approached by Telescope Live to use some of their kit for a bit I couldn’t say no.
I was aware of remote telescope services already. I had even looked into one before but was quickly dissuaded by the price tag. Alex, from the Telescope Live team, made himself known, we had a call. Long story short you’re now reading a blog post about that experience. In this article I’m going to try and convey what to expect when you sign up to and begin using remote telescopes. Some of the best gear we can have access to, in some of the most pristine and darkest skies going. A way to access horizons and hemispheres we don’t usually get the chance to see.
Optolong L-eXtreme First Impressions
On Monday I took receipt of the new Optolong L-eXtreme Dual Narrowband Filter. This puppy lets through Hydrogen Alpha and Oxygen-III only. As luck would have it, Monday night was also clear. As was Wednesday and Thursday. So I screwed it onto my trusty Sky-Watcher Reducer Nosepiece and got ready for a night of astrophotography with this new Optolong filter.
L-eXtreme First Impressions
Like most gear, there’s a learning curve. Even a filter can take you a little bit to familiarise yourself with. As such, I chose a really easy target that absolutely lent itself to this L-eXtreme filter – NGC 6992 The Eastern Veil Nebula. This supernova remnenant primarily consists of Hydrogen Alpha and Oxygen-III. So it was the perfect candidate of low hanging fruit I wanted, in order toget used to a new filter.
Powering My Telescope With The Nevada PS-08
The Nevada PS-08 is a “regulated linear” power supply unit (PSU). It is used as a main power hub to power equipment. I’ve been able to use this now for a while, supplied from First Light Optics. Alongside the Nevada unit I was sent the Lynx Astro 4 Port Dew Controller. They now live in a box together and work alongside each other to get me going.
In this article I’ll be reviewing the Nevada PSU as well as the Lynx Astro 4 port Dew Controller which I used to power my equipment.
Optolong L-eNhance Narrowband Filter
The Optolong L-eNhance is a not-so-secret weapon in the war against light pollution. The enemy. The result of urbanization and un-optimal street lights. Every night when a lot of us try to view or take images of the night sky, we need to fight the pollution.
To that end narrowband filters are a great addition to the arsenal. The L-eNhance falls in more specifically as a multi-bandpass filter.
In this article I’ll be sharing my thoughts and feelings about this filter after having used it for several months. It was loaned to me from First Light Optics for review, and that’s exactly what I’m about to do.
When Retevis, a seller of SvBony products on Amazon, reached out to me and asked whether I would be interested in using their SV105 electronic eyepiece on the Moon. I thought that it would be a great idea, so I gladly agreed.
I reckon someone getting into Lunar photography will be interested in this affordable camera. So in this article I’ll be sharing my thoughts about this small camera and whether I think it’s a good starting point in your Moon journey.
The ZWO ASI 533mc Pro is a cooled, one-shot colour dedicated astronomy camera. Featuring an extremely sensitive sensor and two-stage cooling. This sub £1000 camera can help take your astrophotography to the next stage.
Taking the step up to a dedicated astronomy camera can be daunting and if you’re looking at getting the ZWO ASI 533mc Pro as your first camera, or maybe second or third, then in this article I’ll be sharing my thoughts and feelings about this cooled one-shot colour astro camera.
The first question people often ask is if you should go Mono or One Shot Colour. I’ve tried both and whilst mono definitely had some upsides, I’ve resorted back to OSC. If nothing else than for the convenience. This camera was graciously loaned to me from First Light Optics for review.
So let’s get into this review!
If you’re looking for a way to really add some bang to your emission nebula, then hydrogen alpha data is probably the way to go. To that end we have this offering from Astronomik. A 12nm hydrogen alpha filter that can clip into a DSLR camera body. Isolating a singular wavelength of light – 656nm – and then letting the sensor capture that can really make a difference in your astrophotography. Taking your images all the way up to 11.
There are several reasons why to invest in a hydrogen alpha filter, there are also a lot of filters out there to choose from at different wavelengths. But for now, in this article, I’m going to talk about my findings having used the Astronomik 12nm Ha filter which was on loan from The Widescreen Centre.
The Canon EOS Ra has just been announced! What is the EOS Ra? It’s a mirrorless camera aimed directly at the astrophotography niche. So you bet your jiffy that I’m going to be all over that and seeing what I can see about it. so let’s get focused in on the Canon EOS Ra.
This release was so quiet that I’m struggling whether to find if it was announced on the 5th or 6th November…
I’m about to scrape together what small morsels I can find about this new Mirrorless camera – and do my best to not refer to it as a DSLR. There’s a few images that have been released and an announcement video: which I shall share in due course.
One disclaimer: I don’t own any of the images I’m about to feature. They’re all published from Canon about the EOS Ra.
Canon EOS Ra
Building from the framework that is the Canon EOS R – a full frame mirrorless camera – Canon decided to re-enter the astrophotography camera scene again and have announced the Canon EOS Ra. This is a camera that has a modified IR pass filter already. The IR Pass filter is what we would traditionally open our cameras up to remove. But Canon now has decided to offer one with a pass filter that already has the sensitivity in place.
How much more sensitive? 4 times more sensitive. This means that the reds in your images will be more deeper and lush as Hydrogen Alpha sits in the red end of the spectrum over at about 656nm. The effect is similar to that of what we try to do anyway when we modify our cameras by removing the IR filters and either leaving them ‘naked’ or inserting a modified bandpass IR cut filter usually from Baader or Astronomik.