Celestial Toolbox

Shooting for the Stars: Canon EF 75-300mm Zoom Lens

07/11/2016 // 11 Comments

  Fall in line, trooper! Are you going to cry? Or is that the stellar glimmer of hope shining within your squinting eye? Tuck in your shirt, stand up straight and grab your standard issue Canon EF 75-300mm zoom lens! I’ll see you on the training grounds.   Canon’s EF 75-300mm is a popular lens of choice these days, especially among young soldiers becoming indoctrinated in the art of DSLR photography. This long-range kit lens may come bundled within specialized camera boxes—if you’re willing to exchange your blood, sweat, and tears into monetary [Click Here To Read Article...]

Secret Photography Hack: Variable Camera Adapter and Filters

08/05/2015 // 6 Comments

  Shhhhhh…hey…hey…yeah—I’m talking to you. Come closer. Closer. …A little more… …Stop…if you want to get any closer…buy me a drink. Or something. My secret involves a universal camera adapter and filters. I discovered a way to use them simultaneously, but don’t worry! It’s a very simple technique, which is limited only by your unrelenting imagination. Here’s what you will need:   Orion Universal Camera Adapter Any 1.25” filter Eyepiece (optional) T-Ring   That’s it! If you happen to own the [Click Here To Read Article...]

Canon EF-S 18-55mm Kit Lens: How To Focus Stars

06/11/2015 // 0 Comments

Focusing stars can be quite the chore with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm, especially if you don’t know what a focused star looks like! Do you know what a focused star looks like? Come on! Let’s take a gander!   Focus On The Stellar Spheres   When I first started aiming my camera at the night sky, I didn’t exactly know what a focused star looked like. I mean, I thought I knew, but nope. Wrong. The camera’s viewfinder is not the best tool to use, when it comes to focusing stars. Why? Because it’s too dim. Most stars will not shine through the viewfinder, but I [Click Here To Read Article...]

Celestial Toolbox: Orion Multi-Use Finder Scope

03/02/2015 // 3 Comments

I planned on reviewing Orion’s Multi-use Finder Scope about two months ago, but decided to hold off. I wanted to gain some legitimate experience with this particular finder scope, otherwise, I would be barfing up a list of stats, which you can easily read on Orion’s website. Don’t worry! I’m still going to regurgitate a list of stats, but it will be smothered in a mucous coating of [Click Here To Read Article...]

Celestial Toolbox: Orion EZ Finder II

12/17/2014 // 0 Comments

I’m not sure how to start this post. I was going to say Orion’s EZ Finder II is an optical dog turd, but that would be rude… …I can’t come with anything else: optical dog turd. Where was I? Right. The Orion EZ Finder II is without a doubt, verifiably, positively…ummm…the worst reflex sight. Ever. Period. End of story. I acquired this “finder scope” when I purchased the Orion Observer 70mm refractor. I own Orion’s EZ Finder Deluxe, which kicks ass…so…I don’t know. I’m confused. The two reflex sights are [Click Here To Read Article...]

Celestial Toolbox: Orion Highlight 40mm Eyepiece

11/17/2014 // 0 Comments

 **DISCLAIMER: Item currently discontinued** If there’s one eyepiece I’ll never regret purchasing—it’s the Orion Highlight 40mm. Everything from the mechanical construction, to the performance, to the rigid sex appeal, oh yeah, you want this eyepiece, don’t you? And you can have it! For about $40. If you’re lucky. The original price is well worth what you get in return. As I said, the over-all mechanical construction is admirable. The anodized aluminum body feels appreciable in my hands, compared to a standard Plössl—Orion’s 40mm Highlight wins the [Click Here To Read Article...]

Shooting for the Stars: Canon EF 50mm Macro (Part 2)

11/11/2014 // 7 Comments

The Canon EF 50mm macro lens is the gift that keeps on giving! Not only is it possible to use this lens as an entry-level macro lens, you can also use it to image stars. I already reviewed this particular lens some time ago, but I’m not satisfied. I still use the Canon EF 50mm macro lens for imaging stars, although I wouldn’t use it for long exposures—more on that later. Let’s take a gander at the tale of the tape, shall we?   Canon EF 50mm Macro Lens Focal Length – 50mm Aperture – f/2.5 Angel of View – 46º Image stabilization – No Filter [Click Here To Read Article...]

Shooting for the Stars: Canon Rebel XSi

07/31/2014 // 5 Comments

Is that thunder I hear? FlyTrapMan constructed a thoughtful review on the Canon Rebel XSi in terms of using it for basic astrophotography! After months and months of procrastination—the day has finally arrived. Prepare thyself! First things first: Let’s take a quick glance at this camera’s specs:   12.2 Megapixel CMOS chip 3.0 inch LCD Monitor Live View Function 3.5 fps Continuous Shooting ISO 1600 Canon 18-55 kit lens (optional) Price $450-600 Body alone – $189.00   Although the Canon Rebel XSi is a bit outdated—don’t underestimate what it can accomplish [Click Here To Read Article...]

Shooting for the Stars: Orion Epic II ED 18mm Eyepiece

06/02/2014 // 5 Comments

For awhile now, I been in the mood to up-grade my 25mm plossl eyepiece. But my heart is now broken! You see, I plan on hunting for globular clusters as summer begins to constrict its sweaty palms around New England. As I was strolling through the grocery store, I happened to turn my head and see an Astronomy Magazine next to a box of condoms. Guess what? The issue happens to be dedicated to globular clusters! A strange coincidence, indeed. It appears Orion has discontinued the line of eyepieces I was looking for!!! I know what you’re thinking: Well, did you check Amazon? The Lord of [Click Here To Read Article...]

Shooting for the Stars: Orion Apex 102mm

04/14/2014 // 6 Comments

  What if I told you it is possible to own a telescope that can fit in your pocket? Figuratively speaking (unless you have a big-ass pocket). I’m not talkin’ about some plastic sculpture in the shape of a telescope you can purchase at Toys “R” Us with your lunch money. I’m talking about the Orion Apex 102mm maksutov! Sold for about $299.99—it comes with a walnut blue stock and a hair-trigger… …just kidding. But if you have a deadite problem, I suggest the sporting good’s department at S-Mart. You got that? Anyway, the Orion Apex 102mm [Click Here To Read Article...]