Today’s Prominences

•August 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

When I started looking at the sun this morning, the prominences had been already big. Although I wanted to keep shooting longer, unfortunately E-M5 camera battery got dead. So this was the end today. This was about 2 hours session – 5 minutes interval. 

I’m becoming every day’s solar activity watcher. It’s so fun to record its activity. The sun shows us difference face every day. 

I’m still using equatorial mount. So unfortunately I’m forced to flip the scope at the meridian. My goad is to keep shooting through the meridian. That should be nice.

Partial Solar Eclipse in October 23rd

•August 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Partial solar eclipse can be viewed in entire North America on October 23rd. You can check the eclipse simulation at your location at following page.

eclipseNow we have simulated how Hinode SG – solar guider would be affected by the shape of the sun during eclipse.The sun will be shifted based on the shape of the sun. But fortunately, non-eclipsed portion will be kept at the center all the time. Don’t worry, the sun doesn’t go away at all.

hutech(Click and scroll the page down to the bottom)

Eclipse is the long run – looks like 2.5 hours at my location. So auto guiding is a kind of must-item, which especially allows us to concentrate on enjoying visual observing. Manual corrections are so painful. I had such struggling experiences in previous Annular eclipse and Venus transit. Even if I tried to keep centering the sun, still the sun were moving around much on the sensor. To especially create long-run time lapse movie, I don’t hesitate to say auto guiding is needed or practically very comfortable if setup will be done in daytime, as one of the struggling-experienced astro users.

Enjoy visual observing during the eclipse as well as comfortable imaging with Hinode auto guider at same time this year!!

For visual observing, I highly recommend image-stabilizer built-in binoculars such as Canon. Those are very comfort in viewing. And use high-quality eye-safe solar filters which fully block or absorb the heat wavelength – infrared.

IDAS Type 4 RGB Filter Reproduced

•August 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Unique IDAS Type 4 RGB filter has been reproduced. Now RGB 3 filters are available as set at each size of M28.6, 36mm unmounted, M37, 49mm unmounted and 52mm. All are 2.5mm thick. This is produced by  IDAS proprietary multi-band technology which allows to enjoy several different types of RGB imaging such as regular VIS RGB with regular UV/IR blocking filter, NIR RGB with VIS blocking filter and VIS/NIR RGB. This unique optical design should give you the new world of astronomical RGB imaging.



Today’s Solar Activity

•August 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Since it cooled down a bit these days, I restarted taking time lapse movie.

DSCF5001Solarscope Ltd 50 + BORG 50FL + Full Spectrum Olympus E-M5, guided by Hinode SG

This is just this morning session. Unfortunately not big activity there. I expected the prominence was growing up at the start. But unfortunately it was being shrunken down. Here is 3 hours session. To use Feather Touch focuser, I converted the system to Series 80.

So far, modified Olympus E-M5 might be the best camera option for me. Tilted EVF is very comfortable to use.

FLIR – Thermal Imaging Camera

•August 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

FLIR, as well known as the manufacturer for thermal imaging cameras for defense or some special applications, converts their technology into consumer product using with iPhone. Fortunately, my wife owns iPhone 5 (5 and 5s only work with this device at this moment). I instantly clicked to buy since the price was surprisingly consumer level.

flirFLIR0014Canon 6D after 10 minutes exposure – camera inside is heated up as expected.

FLIR0013One of very interesting features (I didn’t notice when I bought) is two sensors (=I guess) capture two images at same time and combine into one, so that we can see object’s outline as well as thermal graphics like above. This is really nice feature!! I like very much. I will play it around for new world. I hope I can find out some interesting applications in our industry.

FLIR Web site


Sony Alpha 6000

•August 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I start playing around Sony Alpha 6000. Before modifying a camera, I wanted to take some test shots. Fortunately, AC adapter and remote timer controller are now available from 3rd parties. So ready to go for astro photography.

DSCF2039m45BORG 90FL F4.7 (with 7887 reducer) + A6000, 16 x 3 minutes at ISO1600, dark frame applied

I have some notices on camera performances.

1) I have little experience for astro photography by the stocked cameras. So hard to say the performance as the stocked camera in my mind. But this image shows me more internal reflections than I experienced before. This is not conclusion though. Anyway, after removing Sony filters, I wonder how modified 6000 shows clean stars. I’ve never taken M45 with modified 6D. Probably I guess Canon 6D doesn’t have such level of halos at similar bright stars at least. But I have no experience by the unmodified 6D. So this level of reflections might be common in stocked cameras.

m31aExactly same imaging data as M45

Basically I bought this camera for solar imaging. I thought this level of reflections should degrade the image contrast in solar imaging. So this result has encouraged me to remove optical filters ASAP.

2) Again no direct comparison. But I feel the camera is a bit noisy at ISO 1600 in my mind. This is summer time. But surprisingly temperature was cooler than normal in southern California last weekend. Dark was applied by same way usually I do for 6D. So at least processing way should be equal or very similar.

3) One good thing I noticed for recent Sony cameras is to allow to adjust shutter speed even in video mode, up to 1/4th”. So I’m curious how good this feature is for such meteor events, for example This camera is not as sensitive as 7S. But I want to try videography in low light condition.


A6000 + E-to-EF adapter + Sigma 50mm/F1.4

Mount adapter allows to control the aperture electrically and set IDAS MFA filters. So IDAS HEUIB-II filter turns normal color balance for modified video camera. This should be the way to go for astro videography with modified camera.



•August 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This is 1st appearance for 55FL.


55FL Objective + 7057(M57 iris) + 7861 + 7205 + 7885(0.85x reducer) + Sony Alpha 7S


No cropped, full frame size at F3.8

DSC07393sIn-body cropping mode to APS-C at F3.8

While the dedicated reducer is prepared for 55FL, we want to see how current 0.85x reducer works. Since the reducer was designed for APS-C sensor, the severe light drop-off can be seen in full frame. APS-C shows good performance in entire frame more than expected. Although astro result is not done yet, we realized 7885 somehow works with 55FL for up to APS-C sensor as designed. These shows fluorite-like quality.


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