Using the Canon RF 800mm for Astrophotography

Astrophotography has a high skill ceiling, particularly when you start to introduce trackers. In this video, a veteran astrophotographer takes on a challenge and has a few learning experiences.

Astrophotography at its most basic level is not all that difficult. In fact, with a wide-angle lens and a modern camera, you could take a reasonable shot by just knowing the rough settings to use. However, as you hone the craft, you begin to realize that there is a lot of nuance and know-how necessary to take truly great images.

In this video, Brent Hall, a long-standing and highly experienced astrophotographer, attempts to shoot the Lagoon Nebula with the Canon RF 800mm f/11 telephoto prime. If you have any understanding of photography, you'll know just how difficult that will be for one key reason: light. The lack of light will be so profound with that focal length, the time of night, and the geographic dark spot, that you would need a tremendous amount of help from ISO and exposure length to get the shot. Also, to avoid the subject moving as a result of the Earth's rotation, a star tracker is necessary.

This is a technically challenging shot and Hall makes some mistakes. It is refreshing to see photographers showing their errors and talking through what went wrong; it's as useful, if not more useful, than videos of successful shoots.

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1 Comment
Edward BIake's picture

Gooood grief, trying to use a star adventurer for that long a focal length with that slow an aperture sounds like torture. I guess it makes for some YouTube content and that keeps people employed. But yikes.