Conditions were perfect the other night for imaging the Triangulum Galaxy, M33 from my back yard. I could see Polaris over my neighbours’ houses and the constellation was almost overhead. I had my usual sh*t show setting up and the only thing i ended up with was the last of my setup shots: 20 seconds at f/5.6 ISO 1600 with my 18-55mm lens fully zoomed. I shot a full session with the 50mm lens after that but the focus was out. Anyway, Astrometry confirmed that I was pointed to the right part of the sky. which is between Triangulum and Mirach in Andromeda. In the image above from astrometry I added the “M33” text to show where it should be.
Looking real hard at the area the eye of faith says there’s a smudge but really nothing to be sure of. M33 is just a bit dimmer than M110 which shows up as a puff in shots taken with my 50mm lens 60 seconds f/3.5 ISO 800. So I was more or less exposing the same but for only 1/3 of the time.
So, for next time: check that the battery is in the camera(!); make sure the headlamp works; remember to pre-focus the 50mm lens and tape it; check that all the screws are tight on the mount and tripod; and try for 60 seconds, f/3.5 ISO 800 with the 50mm lens.
UPDATE: processing the image a bit more subtly with something called Rawtherapee I’m morally sure there’s a faint puff at the right spot so next clear night should do it. I can still see it in the cropped shot below but mostly because of the star patterns around it.