Is there a best way to locate galaxies/nebulae?

Started 5 months ago | Questions thread
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JamminHyaku Regular Member • Posts: 402
Is there a best way to locate galaxies/nebulae?

I have a lot of respect for people locating constellations and then pinpointing in on small nebulae. People who do it with long focal length telescopes, I'm not sure how they even manage!

I simply use camera lenses, generally a 70-200 or 100-400 that I start at the wideend and then zoom as I center the target. However, I find this very difficult even at say 100mm. Perhaps it is because I use a mirrorless camera with liveview (the screen is very noisy, and stars blink in and out) but it is very difficult to locate constellation pieces, or specific stars around a galaxy in order to find said galaxy.

I am curious why in 2020 we arent able to just punch in our coordinates, and get angles for each target out there, and then have dials and levels to just set the camera to the correct orientation... all of this star searching can be kinda BS. I imagine it would be a lot easier with a DSLR, but I already am quite heavily invested in the mirrorless market, and love it in terms of every other respect than this. Is there any secret or trick to locating things in the sky, or any tips people have?

Just spent 3 hours trying to dial in on a galaxy, and just as I had it, I realized that I'm cold, miserable, and don't feel like waiting an hour or two to take a bunch of exposures, so I just packed it up and went home. I think this hobby is incredibly interesting, I started recently with Andromeda, but I almost feel M31 is bait. It is incredibly easy to locate and image, no wonder everyone starts with it, but everything else I have tried since is so difficult to get centered and image!

(I do also own a tracker already) Any advice or tips would be appreciated! Thank you in advance

 JamminHyaku's gear list:JamminHyaku's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 FE +7 more
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