John Davis' Celestron Imaging Setup
April 20, 2013
Renowned astroimager John Davis first got his start in astroimaging by connecting a Nikon D80 DSLR camera to the prime focus of his Celestron CPC 800 telescope. Since then, he's amassed a collection of advanced Celestron imaging equipment that he uses to create his signature night-sky mosaics.
Here's some of John's must-have Celestron gear:
Celestron's largest and most advanced optical tube is the perfect light-gathering instrument for capturing the finest details of dim molecular clouds and deep-sky objects in John's astrophotos.
Since John frequently stitches multiple astrophotos together to create large mosaics, it's crucial that his telescope render consistent star images from the center of the frame, all the way to the edge. Designed and tested for pinpoint stars on all parts of the imaging sensor, EdgeHD can meet John's strict demands.
To achieve a wider field of view, and reduce exposure times, John's EdgeHD 14 is equipped with the Starizona Hyperstar accessory. Hyperstar is one of the most popular imaging accessories for EdgeHD and Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, as it dramatically cuts down on time spent imaging the same target. It also turns the EdgeHD 14 into an ultra-fast lens, capabale of imaging at speeds up to f/2.
For advanced astroimaging, a solid foundation is one of the most important components. Whether he's imaging at star parties like the Texas Star Party, from his home in Dallas, or at his BuckSnort Observatory, John uses the CGE PRO mount.
CGE PRO holds a maximum weight capacity of 90 lbs, so it can easily handle John's heaviest telescope along with a camera, filters, guidescope, autoguider, and more attached.
CGE PRO's tracking accuracy means that John can image the same target multiple times throughout the night. It also features meridian tracking, so he doesn't need to interrupt his imaging session to perform a meridian flip. Although the night skies are typically good in the Texas Hill Country, John can image near the zenith for the best possible results.
Celestron's premier deep-sky imaging camera is another of John's favorites. It features the acclaimed Kodak KAF8300 CCD sensor. Nightscape is also the perfect fit for John's imaging setup. The form factor of the Nightscape cameras was designed as the perfect complement to Hyperstar imaging setups, with minimal obstruction. With Nightscape, you won't get interference that comes with a DSLR's rectangular-shaped body.
In addition to his Celestron gear, you'll also find that John carries a Nikon DSLR and tripod to every imaging session. While his computer and telescope are at work, he sneaks off to capture beautiful nighttime shots featuring boulders, hoodoos, and more against a background of stars.