Returning to Astrophotography: Andromeda

We’re now in into mid September and we are unfortunately still waiting for the remaining 30 kg of weights to arrive so we can use our 16 inch Astrophotography setup. Frustrating beyond belief as you can well imagine given the investment and time we have put into it so far! Anyhow, the forecast for this evening (09/09/23) was excellent so i thought we would take the Skywatcher GTi mount out with the Canon R6 and a 100-500 F4.5 – 7.1 lens

I have not used or taken an astro photograph in 10 years and the last time i did this it was with a Nikon D7100, (a mirrored middle of the range camera in 2012) Noise reduction levels, photon capture technology and camera technology as a whole have come on an exceptionally long way since then, and the Canon R6 is probably a good comparable for 2023, so, good weather and access to a farm with a quiet and comparatively dark skies was inviting us to go and give it a go.

I’d forgotten how much pain in the backside it is to setup a telescope! Obviously first port of call was to align to polaris. Finding polaris, very easy, aligning scope to polaris, in the pitch black, not so easy. What didn’t help either was the telescope mount was either too high or too low for me to comfortably get under the polar scope and use it. Given i didn’t have a ladder, the alternative was to lie in the flat grass and use what little stomach muscles i have to hold me up whilst aligning it! Anyway, eventually got this done, mounted the camera on top and then focused it. What the R6 doesn’t have is a 20x zoom which unfortunately meant the focusing on the picture i took was slightly out of focus. Annoying, but this is the first photo in ten years! We aligned the scope and sent it on it’s way to Andromeda. 78 photos later and we had a picture. I’m quite pleased with it, what do you think?

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