47 Tuc in a 127mm FCD100

One of the telescopes that we demonstrated at the recent open night was the 127mm saxon FCD100 triplet refractor. This is an astounding piece of equipment (people probably noticed me hogging it all night).

I'd actually taken it home to do some testing on it previous to the open night. After all, I can't properly demonstrate something I haven't used, can I?

One of my favourite test subjects was 47 Tucanae. It's bright and not hard to photograph, but it's complex enough to show up any problems with your equipment such as chromatic aberration (or coma if you're using a Newt). These photos were taken from my front yard in suburban Kew, so light pollution was always going to be a major problem.

This is the image I got, without much processing. All I did was boost the whites (but not the highlights because I didn't want to overexpose the stars) and deepen the blacks (to get rid of the worst of the light pollution). It's fairly heavily cropped.

To give you an idea of the whole field (combining the saxon refractor with my Pentax K3-II DSLR), here's the whole field as it came out of the camera. You can see that the field is very wide, and the globular cluster itself appears fairly small in the frame.

This is what you get with a 5" triplet refractor!