While my C8 was busy last week grabbing photons from the NGC 7331 Group of galaxies, my travel imaging rig was busy staring at the Helix Nebula. This setup, a Sky-Watcher Evolux 82ED refractor (with reducer) on an iOptron GEM28 mount, is quite a bit more portable than my other equipment and is something I can tuck into our RV for travels. I can shoot either mono or color with it, even narrowband. This shot was taken using an Optolong L-eXtreme dual narrow-band filter with an ASI533MC Pro OSC camera. I managed to grab 7.5 hours of 5-minute exposures over two evenings (I can only shoot this target for about 4 hours a night from my location). I processed it in PixInsight and Affinity Photo, but I didn’t try to do any pseudo-Hubble palette this time. It’s not an ideal target for a small refractor but it turned out okay.
The Evolux 82ED seems like a serviceable refractor, although it’s only a doublet. I think the optional 0.9x corrector is really required equipment for imaging, and shooting narrowband helps to hide any remaining flaws. The iOptron GEM28 is a nice little mount. I initially had some intermittent problems with it (it would stop tracking for no reason) but I think a faulty USB cable was to blame. Guiding isn’t perfect but I can generally get 1 arc second or better.