SS-one Real-time Dark Subtraction & M16 by BORG 107FL

•July 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

One of key features for SS-one ZWO image capture is the real-time dark and flat processing while taking light frames. I activated it first time. It’s so cool and convenient. See my result. Very clean image. Since each image was saved after automatically applying the dark, it allows me to directly go to Photoshop to create time-lapse movie. It makes processing quite easy.

Following is a screenshot of dark/flat activation.


This is really nice feature. I love this function.

I tried to shoot M16 and its surrounded area with BORG 107FL. I’m not sure this is a proper finish. But more nebulosity than I expected.


BORG 107FL F6 (w/7108) + Cooled Canon 6D + IDAS LPS-V4-52

These were 20 x 5 minutes. I should have taken more frames.

This non-cropped image shows how well 7108 (1.08x field flattner) flattens the image field entire full frame sensor. So we don’t have to hesitate to set the targets the edge of image field. This gives us more composing options. It’s fun.

IDAS D1 Filter Availability & Panasonic GX8 HDR Brackets

•July 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Now I can specify the shipping schedule for IDAS filters. Following ones begin being shipped by end of this week.



LPS-D1-EOS (for Canon APS-C body)

D1 82mm and 77mm were out of stock more than half year. I sincerely apologize to all of customers and dealers who were waiting for. Finally they gets back to the market.

Now the rest of filters which are not available are for SONY and Nikon. We are doing maximum efforts to make all ready early of next month. Please wait for our next announcement. Sorry to SONY and Nikon users. At this moment, SONY HEUIBII filter is only in stock.
Some asked me to show how Panasonic GX8 worked HDR bracket with Promote Control. So I prepared the video.

It’s 12-stop(2-step each) brackets in 5-second interval. This is what I’m planning to do for the totality. I’m not sure it works. Also I might make mis-operation. That’s fine. There is nothing beyond human eyes.

Keep in mind, it’s not mute sound recording. You can see completely vibration-free bracket shooting. Thanks for mirrorless and electric shutter.




Cocoon Nebula & SIGMA 20mm/14mm ART with IDAS Body-mounted Filters

•July 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I think this target might be 1st attempt for me.


BORG 107FL F6 + Cooled Canon 6D + HEUIBII-52 Filter

Today’s SIGMA ART is really high performance lenses. I love them. I’d like to applaud to SIGMA optical designers. But 20mm and 14mm are so critical in its back focus distance. When a filter is set between a lens and a sensor, the light path gets a bit shorter than original design’s. IDAS’s body-mounted filter is 1.1mm thick. It’s relatively thin. But still affected by light path change – 370 micron!! Very sensitive.  So if someone wish to use these lenses with a body-mounted filter, you will have the issue. The camera’s flange back has to be set at 44.00mm as designed, with a filter or without. As far as my experiences goes, 35mm or longer focal length are OK. Only issue is for 14mm and 20mm.  It doesn’t improve even if the aperture is stopped down. So hard to deal.

Your options for the solution are

  • To use 20mm and 14mm without a body-mounted filter (not allowed to set in front of lens physically and optically either)
  • To extend the camera’s flange back distance 370 micron further (In this case, body-mounted filter is set all the time) If you specify that when you order the pre-modified camera from us, we set the flange back based on that – 44.370mm for IDAS filters.
  • To use other brand of lens. I understand these ART lenses are excellent performance though.

My cooled 6D is always used with one of IDAS 52mm filters. It’s 2.5mm thick. So I mechanically adjusted the distance. Now my current 6D’s flange back is 44.83mm.  Then, it works with my SIGMA 20mm well now.




Stand-alone AG Set

•July 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Last night I tested several things. Since I’ve never used PM-1 in dual-axes guiding mode, I wanted to test for eclipse trip rehearsal purpose. All went well. Especially what surprised me was SS-one 75mm lens. Very bright! It captures a lot of stars. I was using Kowa 75mm/F2.5. Obviously much more stars at same exposure and gain.


Good thing is the system is pre-focused at the infinity. So it’s actually ready-to-start condition. Here is AG Element screens during guiding.

0721a2-second exposure. At beginning, graphs show the calibration movement. Once the calibration is done, it automatically starts guiding. So this 1st guiding is done after just pressing one button – Calibration without focusing and picking a star.

Generally I prefer the longer exposure to reduce the affection of scintillation. But it seemed to be too bright. I just used the star the controller picked. I should select dimmer star or lower gain. Probably dimmer star should be better.

0721b 1-second exposure guiding. The star still might be too bright. But looks better than 2-second. Overall, DEC looks very stable as expected. that’s good.

When I was using Kowa 75mm, I didn’t see such number of stars. So I was surprised when 1st screen showed up. I feel this is very good lens as a guider.

0721cThe Mount was working as expected. I also made power test. I wanted to check how this small USB 5V battery handles all including dew-heater. It did. The battery provided the 5V power to the mount motors, AG Element, camera and dew-heater (thru AGE and camera). All still worked properly. I’m glad to know that result.



SS-one Autoguider & Intelligent Camera Controller

•July 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Finally SS-one AG lens kit is in stock. Everything is solid. Lens is 75mm/F2.8 with a built-in dew-heater hood.  Very nice! Nakazawa san


To customers who were waiting for a lens kit, sorry to have kept you waiting. We now start shipping to all of customers who have placed the order already. You will receive shipping confirmation shortly. Thanks for your patience.

About the total eclipse, as mentioned several times, my primary goal for the eclipse is to view the totality with 90FL binoscope. I’m excited at the prominence view through binoscope. So I wasn’t seriously considering how I shoot during that. I just planned the video in auto exposure mode. That’s quite easy and gives me the concentration for visual observing. But recently a close friend – Dave showed me his nice controller, called Promote Control“. This controller is very intelligent and gives us many different camera controls. Too many features to describe here. Please visit their web site for more details. One of most interesting things to me is HDR bracket in time-lapse mode. Fortunately a controller supports Panasonic GX8. So I decided to buy for the solar eclipse.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA So what I plan for the eclipse is

  1. Time-lapse shot in partial phase with a regular controller (left)
  2. HDR bracket time-lapse shot during the totality with Promote controller

What I surprised are it allows for almost limitless(or more-than-enough) EV-step and number of steps. I feel HDR range is huge. Anyway, according the astro book, 12-stop seems to be good number for covering prominence and outer faint corona. Also the book says the EV difference between D5 filter for partial phase and prominence is one step. Usually I’m shooting the sun through IDAS D5.2 with Panasonic GX8 at 1/6400″ and ISO800. So I’m leaning to set 1/8000″ to 1/2″ in 7 brackets (each 2 EV step). GX8’s electric shutter is completely silent and of course vibration-free. So I can’t notice anything during bracket shooting. So no mirror and no mechanical shutter concern at all. I’m glad to picked GX8 before although I didn’t intend to use for the eclipse at all. Tilt-EVF is very convenient for focusing too. This was primary reason to select for the sun. Also this camera has 20MP in M43 sensor size. So it should be equivalent to over 50MP in full frame sensor. Very good number of pixels in its class.

I made some initial test. At least I can manage to use two controllers while maintaining two cables and powering on two controllers all the time. Only two-time human jobs are needed before 2nd contact and after the 3rd. After the 3rd is not important moment. So critical job is once just before 2nd contact. I have decided to go this way for imaging.

Now I need some practicing for pressing button and quick release filter etc.

I’m sure this HDR time-lapse function should be useful for Ha time-lapse movie for both prominence and chromosphere. I will try one day.


BORG with Fujifilm GFX50S and Super Reducer for 107FL

•July 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

GFX50S’s key device is 55mm diagonal G-format sensor. Following images were pasted from Fuji’s web site.


BORG starts field testing with this camera. Since it is a mirrorless camera, it doesn’t look large format sensor camera. It looks like regular full format DSLR cameras.

Some initial shots are as follows

55FL F3.6 (w/7880)


71FL F5.6 (prime focus)


Yes, all are cropped. As always, Fuji-like color depth.  great Fuji’s image processor.

BORG plans to release GFX50S adapter. Also 107FL super reducer will be capable of handling this size of sensor too. The optical design has been already done. Its specs are really fascinated. But please don’t ask me for more details. I will announce them at right time. Please stay tuned here.


IDAS HEUIBII Filter for Canon & Nikon/Sony Body-mounted Filter Update

•July 17, 2017 • 1 Comment

Fraser Gunn in New Zealand shared his recent gorgeous astro photography taken by Canon 6DH and body-mounted HEUIBII filter. I envy he can shoot these targets without the annoying city light(probably).




Great imaging technique, quality night sky and high performance equipment. All factors are combined into one.  As mentioned several times, HEUIBII filter neutralizes a modified DSLR’s background color while fully passing Ha emission. So faint Ha region is well isolated from the background. As result, it makes post-processing relatively easier. Body-mounted filter allows to use wide-angle lenses, which are nice for milky way shots. Fraser, please keep updated on your beautiful pictures.


About Nikon body-mounted filter. We are getting now close to set the schedule to resume the shipment. At this moment, HEUIBII for D5100 is in stock. D1 for D5100 should be soon. Other models will be sometime August. N1(for D40/80/90) is no longer available. We focus on only D5000 series and D7000 series from now on.

Filters for SONY will be available early of August.


Sorry again to all of customers who are waiting for these filters. I will announce here once I can let you know more specific time of shipment.


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