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During 1998 he replaced his Tamron 300mm lens with Nikon 300mm and 400mm lenses and upgraded my hypering kit to support high vacuum film hypersensitisation. During his first two years of experience in astrophotography he became increasingly aware of the need to cover focal lengths in the 1000mm range. Therefore late in 1998 heI made two major acquisitions: an AP 900 GTO mount and an AP 155 EDF f/7 refractor with 4" Field Flattener (shown to the right)

A little later he also acquired a Pentax 6x7 camera to enable medium format photography with the new refractor. At this time most of his photography was done on either gas hypersensitised Kodak Ektapress Multispeed film, or Kodak GPY 120 format (in the case of medium format).

In October 2000 he replaced his 10" LX200 OTA with a 12.5" Ritchey-Chretien from RC Optical Systems to support higher quality in wide field photography. The RC has other advantages, such as 1/6 wave optics, a superb focusing system, and very good thermal stability (the focus does not shift during the night). A little later, in February 2001, he made a move into CCD imaging with the purchase of an SBIG ST-8E camera. Unusually in this case, an OAG was being used in conjunction with the ST-4.

In 2007 he replaced the SBIG ST-8E with the STL-11K. In 2008 he acquired the Takahashi FSQ-106ED with f/3.6 reducer to cover the all-important range from 300-500mm!

Background Image: M20 - Trifid Nebula - Sagittarius

Object Data: Messier 20, (NGC 6514), the Trifid Nebula, is a bright nebulous region in the western part of Sagittarius, about 1.3 degrees to the north of the Lagoon Nebula. This spectacular object is a rare combination of very bright emission and reflection nebulae
Members and non-members alike will be interested to know that you can purchase many of Philip's images in large format by clicking HERE

Philip Perkins - Understanding the Universe

Philip has been interested in astronomy since about the age of twelve, and can remember reclining full length on the dew-laden lawn of his parent's house in Parkstone, Dorset, trying to spot the polar caps of Mars through a 2" non-achromatic refractor he was given for his birthday. His interest waned somewhat during his later teens, 20's and 30's, but re-emerged strongly in 1988 when he purchased his first 'real' telescope - a Meade 8" LX3. It was with this telescope that he started to dabble in astrophotography, but went on to more serious things in 1994 with the acquisition of a Meade LX200 10".

He started to become seriously involved in astrophotography in December 1996. To support the quality he required he started making regular astrophotography trips to the south of France, however many of his images are taken from the back garden of his house in Wiltshire.

Horsehead Nebula - Orion

M16 - Eagle Nebula - Serpens

M42 - Great Orion Nebula

Pleiades - M45 - Seven Sisters

NGC1977 - Ghost Nebula - Orion

Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) - Orion
Click on the illustrations to see the larger picture
You can see more of Philip's work at: Astrocruise

M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

M81 - Bode's Galaxy in Ursa Major

M33 'Pinwheel Galaxy' - Triangulum