After having a few months under my belt doing planetary photography I am starting to understand the benefits of shooting at prime focus, specifically having a long focal length mak. I know people take outstanding photos using Barlow lenses and I make an effort to take a set of barlowed photos everytime I go out. But here is the rub, I rarely see more detail in a barlowed image versus a resized/cropped prime focus image. My frame rate is much faster at prime focus,x2 or better, Also better creative control as far as being able to crop to the right scale to minimize bad seeing or focus issues. Having the option to include moons or not etc..... Also noting that because my frame rate is faster I can have more frames to stack before rotation becomes an issue... able to keep the moons from elongating and still have enough frames for a clean image to apply wavlets to. I may try barlowing some more if I ever get a night of exceptional seeing but I am not yet convinced spreading the disc over more pixels is going to overcome the inherent disadvantages of a Barlow. ( I know this opinion mainly applies to long focal scopes, others don’t really have any choice on whether to Barlow or not, but it’s definitely dropped off my required list of ensuring I get the best images during my session.
just adding a photo from last night, seeing was not great so not much detail but it is much better than the barlowed image I took mainly because of frame rate and a suspicion that during bad seeing the stacking programs deal with motion better on a smaller disc (speculation)