What a Difference Experience Makes!

I thought it might be interesting to see the difference between one of my early images of the Horsehead Nebula with a more recent image of the same object. The difference in the two images is striking. Some of the difference is based on the learning curve (although I was quite pleased with the older image) and some is due to the remarkable improvement in equipment.

Very small field-of-view Horsehead Nebula

The first image was taken with the SBIG ST-7 camera with a 512 x 768 pixel sensor. The telescope was a Meade LX 200 f6.3 telescope with a focal length of 1600 mm. This combination results in a very tiny field of view.

Wider field-of-view Horsehead Nebula in center and Flame Nebula on right

The second image was taken with a Canon EOS Ra color Digital camera with a 6720 x 4480 pixel sensor. The telescope was William Optics FLT120 telescope with a focal length of 780 mm. The field of view is much larger because of the much shorter focal length and much bigger sensor.

I have seen marked improvement in both the technology and the quality of astrophotography equipment. Because of my experience, I thought it would be useful to share some of that knowledge with others who want to start out in the field of astrophotography. I plan on doing regular reviews of equipment, starting with what I have experience with. I will try to give unbiased reviews of astrophotography mounts and telescopes as well as other gear that can make the learning curve much more favorable to beginners in this hobby.

Use this tool to determine what the field of view will be with your equipment.

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