I live in extremely light-polluted skies. I’m really hoping that Optolong’s L-eXtreme filter might be the imaging answer for me. But I have concerns as to how much this filter can actually help me.
Here’s my imaging environment…
- Bortle 10 skies (yes I’m off the chart) giving me a LM of just 3.0-3.5.
- Telescope is a 20cm SCT at F5.7. It has a small fixed 15x23 arc/min FOV.
- Mono camera for mono imaging only.
- My telescope tracking accuracy yields a max exposure of only 2 secs before trailing occurs (2-sec exposures have always been otherwise sufficient for respectable deep-sky photos with 10 mins of integration).
- Extreme sky brightness requires my camera to use a gain of 90% for that 2-sec exposure (to detach it from the left side of the histogram).
Here are my L-eXtreme filter concerns…
- Even with “Precise GoTo” my target is outside the FOV one-half the time. I then try to locate it by mapping the visible stars (plate-solving not available). With this filter’s light transmission of just 3.8%, how can I continue to map the mostly gone field stars in order to find my target?
- Wouldn’t my finished photos look unnatural having a strong emission target sitting in a very low count star-field?
To summarize, if my camera gain is already at 90% and I can’t expose for longer than 2 secs what can I do about finding my target that is missing most field stars for navigation and about the resulting low star-field photos that may be lacking real-world aesthetics?
I sure would appreciate some guidance before I invest in something that might not work very well for me.
Any thoughts please?