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The power of dark skies and fast optics

I am going through some files on my hard drive. Two years ago I made a trip to La Palma with a rented Canon 300mm f/2.8 lens, a star tracker (Astrotrac) a dslr and a intervalometer. 

This is one of the images as a result. The lens was used wide open. The camera was a Canon 5ds. 50 megapixels per shot (which is nice and the Astrotrac could handle that unguided for up to two minutes), but a lot of banding noise and not very sensitive to red. 40 times 90 seconds exposure at iso 1600.

For the record: This lens (wide open) has "dark lighthouse beam" artefacts on stars. I have corrected it for Rigel as I found it distracting. All the other stars still have this artefact (e.g. lop left).

 

I certainly will return to La Palma when the situation normalises.

IC2118-3600s.jpg

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Thanks all!

As for La Palma. The fun fact is that it is a regular touristic destination. So cheap flights and often cheap accomodation (I am speaking of the recent past..for now you cannot go there). Add a car and you are all set. There are many dark places to image (or observe). The top of the volcano (Roque de los Muchachos) is very dark and above the inversion layer. It might not be the best spot though. It often is very windy (there is a reason the pros have their equipment in big domes up there). 

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