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shooting for the stars

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...]

Shooting for the Stars: Canon EF-S 18-55 Kit Lens (Part 3)

06/10/2015 // 0 Comments

The Canon EF 18-55 (kit lens) is a versatile piece of glass, which many people begin their photographic journey with. The convenient twist of a barrel provides an assortment of useful focal lengths—depending on the situation—you can easily adjust the angle of view. A zoom lens (18-55) can fill a temporary astronomical niche role: Wide-angle Constellation Portraits Milky Way Imagery Lunar Scenic Landscapes Recording Meteor Showers Recording Satellites Recording Planets Recording Comets Solar Imagery (Proper filter only!!!) Atmospheric Phenomenon (sun dogs, rainbows, moon halos…) Star [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 EF 18-55 Zoom Lens (Part 2)

08/21/2014 // 6 Comments

I mentioned that I was going to write about this particular lens again, but never committed myself. Until now. Prepare thyself! Grab your Canon EF 18-55 zoom lens—I’ll meet you outside. I don’t want to simply repeat myself, so I’ll try to keep this article as fresh as possible. I’ll go over a few basics, such as: Focusing Angle of view / speed Exposure lengths   Other than that, I’m going to explore the creative aspects of this lens. Feel free to read my first post on this particular lens—here. First things first: Let’s take a gander at the tale of [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 // 4 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...]

Shooting for the Stars: Canon EF 100mm USM

03/19/2014 // 0 Comments

  Yes, my friend! You read that correctly; it’s possible to use the Canon EF 100mm macro lens for astrophotography. I haven’t used this lens too much for night sky work, but from my little experience, the Canon EF 100mm USM macro lens is certainly viable. The lens is an F2.8—fast enough to capture starlight without the process being too much of a pain in the ass. However, do to its focal length (100mm), unguided exposures need to be kept relatively short compared to a wide-angle lens.   Rough Exposure Guide   14-24mm = 30sec. 50mm = 10sec. 100mm = 5sec.   To [Click Here To Read Article...]

Shooting for Venus: A Perspective on Planetary Photography

11/13/2013 // 0 Comments

  Venus is the goddess of beauty, so it’s only natural that you want photograph her. Oh. Wait. We’re talking about the planet. Nevermind. Venus (the planet) is a -4.6 magnitude object, and it’s about 18x brighter than Sirius, which is the brightest star in the night sky! In other words…Venus is pretty damn bright! and that also means it’s not difficult to photograph Venus. Any manual control camera will do the job. Crop or full sensor DSLR will be the most versatile option. Prime focus astrophotography is also a viable option.   ** Rough Exposure Guide [Click Here To Read Article...]

Shooting for the Stars: Opteka 500mm (Mirror/Lens)

10/25/2013 // 3 Comments

Sit. Allow me to share with you a story about love and hate. A curious thought invaded my mind: Are there any mirror/lenses available for DSLR’s? You see…I’m a fan of telescopes that utilize both a mirror and lens. These types of ‘scopes are known as catadioptrics. What did I do? Well…I did what any sensible person would do—an internet search. Low and behold, I came across the Opteka 500mm.  All the stats fueled an unjustified crush. The price also helped: $89.99. Plus…the lens comes with a 2x converter, effectively doubling the focal length to a 1000mm. [Click Here To Read Article...]