Having been given a nice wide SharpStar 61EDPH2 telescope to review, as well as a ZWO ASI183mm Pro – a cooled mono camera – I thought I’d love to try a SHO image again. After having a browse about in Stellarium, I decided I was able to frame up the Tadpoles, Spider and Fly nebula. So with clear nights being in short supply, I set to work.
Well, what a year 2020 has been. Aside from the state of the world, the year has been a bit up and down with astrophotography also. From a nice beginning with the 533mc Pro, a scorching summer and an abysmal winter. In this post I think I’ll take some time to recap, to look back over the year, and my images. So feel free to tag along for a trip down this year’s lane as we bid farewell to 2020, and welcome in another year of opportunities, targets, and incessant cloud cover.
2020 In Review
At the beginning of the year I was still using the ZWO ASI 533mc Pro that was on loan from First Light Optics. It was actually the first piece of equipment they had loaned me. I also had the Astronomik 12nm Hydrogen Alpha filter that was loaned to me from the Widescreen centre. It was certainly strange getting items sent to me, and definitely took some getting used to. The relationship with Widescreen Centre didn’t go anywhere, however I did get on board with First Light Optics as a reviewer and I couldn’t be more thankful for such an opportunity.
The key images I took early on in the year included the Rosette Nebula, Comet Atlas and M81 & M82. These were exclusively shot with the 533mc Pro and then I was able to make my review. Which was my first camera review. I think it came out well.
2020 also included a house move from one town in Northamptonshire to another. I also moved in with my partner so I actually missed a couple clear nights during that transition period. Trying to move house, sort internet out, unpack and image deep space was too much to do at the same time really.
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.
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.
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.