Very achromatic 80mm refractor (400mm focal length), unmodded t3i, SGP. 1 1/2 hours from the city (Bortle 7) and the rest from Bortle 1. I believe this image shows that small telescopes are more than capable of making nice images from targets that are usually considered unsuitable for the focal length such telescopes have.
I'm in the process of editing my take on the pinwheel (northern) too... also using modest 400mm Canon lens (f5.6, so around 71mm) and SGP. It looks quite nice I think! These smaller lenses can do ok, just won't be very zoomed in on the subject. Can crop tightly to get a good view of the galaxy or present in full frame when screen resolution allows to see all the other little galaxies caught in the frame. Actually, as a test, I've imaged M101 now several times with a few combos... 400mm, 400mm w/ 2x teleconverter, and bigger 300mm f2.8 with a 2x teleconverter. Still processing all the data to compare. But looks like they all produce decent images.
I think your biggest disadvantage is bortle 7... but if you can get time at bortle 1 that is amazing.
Edited by T~Stew, 11 April 2021 - 11:11 AM.