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This book is intended to take the novice by the hand and rapidly get him or her taking good astrophotographs right from the beginning. The big difference between this book and all others is that for the first time an exposure system is presented that enables you to move between different lenses/telescopes, films and astronomical subjects and still get good photographs — something that the experts used to advise against. It would have been no trick at all to make this book a truly dazzling visual treat, using professional observatory photographs taken with the world's greatest telescopes. That temptation has been scrupulously resisted.
In fact, even photographs produced in amateur observatories have been avoided, as have photographs produced using customized equipment fabricated by skilled craftsmen. Instead, what you will find in this book are photographs (many good enough to have been published in leading astronomy magazines) taken by amateur photographers/astronomers using standard, commercially available, portable equipment: in other words, photographs that could be taken by you.
Dennis di Cicco reviewed the First Edition of this book in the December 1983 Sky and Telescope saying:
" . . . Perhaps the most innovative section of the book is Gordon's approach to determining the correct exposure. He has developed what he calls the 'fx system,' whereby the basic elements of film speed, exposure duration, and f/number are assigned simple numerical values . . ."
"Overall, Astrophotography is an excellent book with a lot to offer. The fx system is one of the best methods I have yet encountered for determining exposures. It allows the photographer to mix and match lenses, films and exposure times and still have some idea as to how well an astronomical subject will turn out. There are 75 photos, 36 tables, 12 figures and 8 Appendices plus detailed bibliography to Sky and Telescope and Astronomy photography articles. This book will show you how to take beautiful astrophotos right from the beginning. You don't even need a telescope to get started --- only camera, film and tripod! And, this for less than the price of two rolls of color film and processing plus much, much more . . ."