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      Gear Reviews

      Nikon 14-24 F/2.8 S Z Lens - Astrophotography

      Nikon 14-24 F/2.8 S Z Lens - Astrophotography

      The Nikon 14-24 F/2.8G lens is a legend and one of the best zoom lenses of it's time but how does the new Nikon 14-24 F/2.8S lens built for the Z system compare? 

      Personal opinion, the stars are pinpoint corner to corner with next to no chromatic aberration. There is light fall off (Vignette) like all lenses however the Z camera can compensate for this and add it's own lens correction to remove the light fall off.

      However I'll let you be the judge!



      vImage Below - 14mm F/2.8 - ISO 3200 - 20 Seconds

      gImage Below - 20mm F/2.8 - ISO 3200 - 20 Second Exposure

      Image Below - 24mm F/2.8 - ISO 3200 15 Second Exposure

      IImage Below - 14mm F/2.8 - ISO 800 - 2 Minute Exposure




      Nikon 20mm 1.8s Vs Nikon 20mm 1.8G For Astrophotography

      Nikon 20mm 1.8s Vs Nikon 20mm 1.8G For Astrophotography

      Ever since the news of the Nikon mirrorless system was announced it was fair to say I was a little excited, then I had seen the changes to the lens mount and knew at an instant that this could finally produce the quality of stars across the frame of an image I was used to seeing from shooting with telescopes optimised for star quality corner to corner.

      It had taken a little while for the wide angle lenses to be released but when they did I jumped on them. The Nikon 20mm 1.8s lens is a stunning lens, much larger compared to the older Nikon 20mm 1.8G lens and the new 20mm 1.8s lens feels a lot more solid and better built.

      But let's bypass all the basic info about the lenses and get straight to business. When it comes to nightscape photography and analysing my own photos I can be a bit fussy. For me it comes down to three factors.....

      1. Can I shoot with the lens wide open
      2. Does the lens produce chromatic abberation wide open
      3. What are the stars like corner to corner

      Usually with lenses of the past I've been shooting around F/2.8 aperture due to the performance of these lenses...... but not anymore!

      So lets compare images... 

       As you can see in the above comparison the stars are sharper and more pinpoint across the whole frame, but lets have a closer look at the corners.

      Overall I believe the Nikon 20mm 1.8s lens is far superior over the 20mm 1.8g lens and the choice I personally made to switch over to the Nikon Z system for astrophotography was the perfect one to make.

      Celestron Electronic Focus Motor

      Celestron Electronic Focus Motor

      The Celelstron electronic focus motor has changed the way I achieve focus on my Celestron RASA 8.

      When you manually focus on in instrument like a RASA 8 it can be rather challenging, the faster the optics F/2 the more precise your focus needs to be. You can get very good focus by using the telescopes focus knob and doing it manually however I noticed a big difference since using the electronic focus motor.

      Not having to wait for the telescope to settle, then look at your focus, then adjust and wait for it to settle again. With the electronic focuser you don't have to wait for the telescope to settle because your not touching it and the fact you can make extremely fine adjustments to focus is exactly what I've been looking for, no need for me to purchase and install a feather touch focuser to the RASA 8 anymore.


      Telescope Compatibility

      The Celestron Electronic Focus Motor is compatible with the following Celestron telescopes....

      All 6" to 14" Celestron SCT and Edge HD telescopes produced since 2006 the focus motor will work with.

      RASA 8" and RASA 34 cm it is compatible with, the RASA 11" can be used however you need to by the Celestron adaptor kit for it.

      7" Maksutov-Cassegrain

      Celestron 5" or SCT's made before 2006 the focus motor will not work with.


      Installation and Thoughts


      Where to Purchase


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      Haida Clear Night Filter Review and Comparison Shots

      Haida Clear Night Filter Review and Comparison Shots

      For a while now I have been photographing with Haida products and I for one have noticed a big difference since the switch from Nisi. 
      As some of you may already know I started my photography in the category of astrophotography (Deep Space) and with that comes a lot of challenges. One of those challenges is light pollution. 
      We all want to capture those remarkable night sky images away from any kind of light source and why? Well darker skies improves the amount of detail in our night sky images.
      Sometimes you come across a scene and it just strikes you as being a great composition for the milky way but... your in a light pollution zone. 

      Well never fear, Haida is here! 

      The Haida Clear Night Light pollution filters are, well one word to describe them....awesome! I actually use them for every nightscape I take now regardless of light pollution. Not only do they block out that ugly unwanted yellow glow from light pollution but they actually enhance (contrast) other areas of the night sky like air glow!!! 
      It's fair to say I love capturing air glow in my images, and if you have a camera modified to capture the H-Alpha regions throughout the milky way, it helps with that too!
      All without taking away from the sharpness of an image.

      So in saying all this, what we really want is proof on how well the Haida Clear Night filter works. So why not some sample photos.

      Both images have been unprocessed, they are straight from my camera Jpeg files which came from a Nikon D810a coupled to a Nikon 14-24 F/2.8 lens using the Haida 150mm Filter System and 150mm Haida Clear Night Filter. No lens profile corrections, just reduced the image size. 


      (Image Details: Nikon D810a, Nikon 14-24 F/2.8G @ 2.8, ISO 10,000, 20 Second Exposure)

      As you can see from the image above, there is a lot of yellow in the foreground and the milky way is a little washed out.

      (Image Details: Nikon D810a, Nikon 14-24 F/2.8G @ 2.8, ISO 10,000, 20 Second Exposure, Haida Clear Night Filter, White Balance 5000K)

      Now as you can see the yellow from the foreground is all gone and the milky way stands out a lot more! The one thing you get from a Haida Clear Night Filter is a blueish tone so it pays to add a warmer white balance, this is why I shoot around 5000K. 
      So let's adjust the white balance to both images in processing to see the difference side by side because you could be thinking... well I can just shoot without one and adjust my white balance to try and remove the light pollution, well it doesn't quiet work like that.
      When I adjust the white balance all I'm doing is aligning the colours.

                        (Without Filter)                          (With Haida Clear Night Filter)

      As you can see just by aligning the colour channels you still have a washed out sky and there is still some yellow in the foreground. With the Haida Clear Night Filter the sky is darker and the milky way pops some more, also the yellow light pollution in the foreground is still gone.

      So let's see where else the Haida Clear Night Filter can improve your photography.... How about those cityscapes at night. Cities are full of light pollution but we all like a colourful city at night. Here are a couple examples of below.

      Without Haida Clear Night Filter

      With Haida Clear Night Filter

      These two images are slightly older and have been uploaded in a lower resolution however both straight out of camera Jpegs.

      Oh and here is one of my most recent images taken under dark skies using the Haida Clear Night Filter and a white balance of 5000K

      I hope this blog post has helped and if your ever in the market to purchase a Haida Clear Night Filter, you can do so by contacting your local photography store and see if they stock them, or you can contact me for a special price.

      Like always, happy shooting!


      Where to Purchase