•February 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Now IDAS LPS-D2 48mm and 52mm are commercially available.


Here is the actual measured production data. I’m not sure other suppliers publish “measured production value”. As far as I saw, mostly “designed value”. The design value is the good hint of its filter performance. But that doesn’t describe the “actual performance” as the commercial unit we receive. So production value is much more important for us.


Sorry, this is a temporary image. Too many curves in one place. We are preparing for the more viewier-friendly version for all 4 LPS filters, which allows us to see each lamp emission separately without clicking. Please wait for that.

Following plots show how LPS-D2 works with high pressure mercury emission lines. It is not intended for thought, just for your info.


As shown above, D2 doesn’t block Mercury’s 436nm and 547nm lines. The imaging sensor has good sensitivity around this region. So if your sky is dominant by high pressure mercury vapor, LPS-P2 and LPS-D1 are still good choice for you. Meanwhile your sky is heavily polluted by high sodium vapors and/or white LED, LPS-D2 should be perfect solution. I will test and show you soon. The filter choice depends on your sky condition. Anyway, our new page makes it to see easier. BTW low pressure sodium vapor is blocked by all 4 filters including LPS-V4.

Finally IDAS LPS-D2 should be the 1st filter in our industry to be considered for the modern light – white LED. I applause IDAS to prepare the possible future light pollution now as the market leader.



IDAS LPS-D2 Filter

•February 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

1st lot of this new filter has been set to be ready for shipment next week. Thanks all of customers for ordering already. All dealers who placed the order should receive 1st lot end of this month. So please contact your local dealers as well.

Here is part#, price and availability.

LPS-D2-48 : $189.00

LPS-D2-52 : $189.00

Above two sizes will get ready next week.

LPS-D2-EOS : $199.00

LPS-D2-EOSF : $289.00

LPS-D2-A7 : $289.00

Above 3 items are scheduled to be available in April.

As shown below, LPS-D2 effectively suppresses high pressure sodium vapor (HS) and white LED spectrum while completely blocking low pressure sodium vapor (LS) lines (589.0nm & 589.6nm).


Now we have 4 different LPS filters. LPS-P2 and LPS-D1 completely blocks LS too. They partially do HS, but not much. They were more intended to suppress the mercury vapor emission lines.  So to make things clear and simple,  now I describe each filter as follows.

LPS-D2 : LPS filter for high/low sodium and white LED

LPS-D1 : LPS filter for mercury and low sodium

LPS-P2 : LPS filter for mercury and low sodium

LPS-V4 : LPS filter for nebulae (only passing Ha, Hb and OIII)

Each LPS has pros and cons, and there is no perfect and one-piece solution. The complete solution is to simply block all of light pollution spectrum. But we lose most of astronomical photon too. So think about the best possible compromise.

BTW, the difference between LPS-D1 and LPS-P2 is


Also before I summarized each filter feature as follows

IDAS comparison

Finally following list is categorized by size/type.

IDAS specs021318

New IDAS Filter – LPS-D2 & Good-bye My SONY Camcorder

•February 9, 2018 • Leave a Comment

IDAS LPS filter were first designed as LPS-P1 in 1999. This was the industry-first multi-bandpass technology coating and really advanced design and concept that time, but isn’t obsolete even today at all. This must be still best as a broadband filter in the market. Several thousands high-end customers are currently using all over the world to improve their image under the light-polluted sky. I’m proud of providing this kind of premium quality filter into our community.

Also keep in mind, we have never had the quality issue from the beginning of the business. Nil!! That’s amazing. And all productions are so consistent in quality and performance. Very well controlled at Japanese factory all the time. I’m proud of that too! Thank you so much, IDAS and Aonuma san.

Now IDAS, a pioneer of the advanced filters, has made an another milestone in our industry, called LPS-D2. This new member of LPS family effectively suppresses high pressure sodium vapor lines and white LED spectrum. See following response curves. LPS-D2広告用0180209White LED is a new monster we, astronomers have to fight with. This is IDAS answer. This should be an another industry-first astronomical filter considered for the modern light pollution – white LED. You can see how LPS-D2 is blocking white LED spectrum.

One extra benefit is this filter reduces blue cast. See following my previous image.

0122aThis RAW image was taken with ASI 183MC without any color balance pre-setting. Probably most of one-shot CMOS cameras might be similar at color balance standpoint. LPS-D2 should decrease blue channel value, so that we can positively increase the exposure time. So I think this filter should work as UV/IR blocking filter even under the dark sky. I will test and see once I get 1st production lot.

LPS-D2 will be first available at 48mm and 52mm,  probably within a couple of weeks. Some other sizes/types are planned as well. Please stay tuned here for more details.

I “supposed to shoot” the video this morning as well. The camera was looking good and showing “recording”, and I achieved much larger image scale Jupiter finally. Adding 2nd scope was somehow helpful for the entire operation.


Now I realized there is no image data on the tape at all!! This was same tape as yesterday. I tested now. Same, no image. Probably recording head might be dead. This might be my last analog device. Good-bye oldies and thanks for letting me enjoying video shooting before. I wished to see today’s result at least since preview was looking good.

After using an old camcorder, I realize I like the consumer camera. Plan B is Panasonc mirrorless camera.




Jupiter This Morning

•February 8, 2018 • 6 Comments

I start practicing the planetary imaging. This was this morning’s result. Tiny!! This is 640×480 full resolution frame from an old cassette tape camcorder anyway.

jupiter020818BORG 107FL + Pentax XP-14 + SONY DCR-PC101 Camcorder at 37mm f.l.

I understood this was too short overall focal length. Just start up to learn.  If I calculate Jupiter’s size at 40″,

(600 x 40″) x (37/14) / 205265 = 0.31 mm

Camcorder’s maximum focal length is only 37 mm. Yes, I wanted to increase the magnification. But problem is the sensor is very small, quite hard to center the target in with a shorter eyepiece. I have to think about having more skill for centering myself.



Motorized BORG R&P Focuser

•February 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

BORG rack & pinion is known as a good focuser. Yes, I agree. Solid and smooth,  not as smooth as FTF, but close. But unfortunately there is no motorized option commercially available. One of recent BORG 90FL customers – Federico Spotti, an excellent mechanical engineer, added the motor unit and controller onto his BORG focuser by himself.

Probably he is 1st BORG user who has retrofitted the motorized option, as far as I know. According to him, the housing was made by 3D printer and electronics was build up based on a following publicly-available DIY project site.

0206f Very interesting site. I don’t think I can do myself. But there are so many numbers of smart engineers or skillful technicians in our community. Those people should be able to handle this kind of work. So I wanted to share this info with other BORG users here.

Federico also cut a drawtube himself to allow to use BORG 0.72x super reducer. Another drawback of BORG R&P is a length of drawtube. It’s too long for a reducer. Unfortunately the drawtube front end blocks the light into the reducer. (I was strongly requesting BORG to make a short version available from the beginning. Unfortunately not done yet….. this is the reason why there is no R&P Focuser set as astrograph package)

Well done, and he says everything is mechanically and electrically working fine as expected. Congratulations !! Now he is ready for astro imaging with the reducer and the motorized R&P focuser. Enjoy imaging with your own-made items, which must make you happier during focusing too. You did really nice work.



Mars 08/24/2003 & SONY Camcorder

•February 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

This was the Mars closest approach last time, 2003. I found out a cassette tape recorded that time. Here is the raw video. Fortunately one of my Windows XP machines has DV – 1394 port and XP Window Media Maker imported from this kind of old data on a tape. This was taken with BORG 150ED and SONY camcorder(Mini DV cassette!), but I’m not sure what eyepiece was used.

The camera says the video signal is NTSC. So I guess the analog recording and digital output. Probably this might be a camera in analog-to-digital transition time.

I didn’t do anything after taken. I recall I watched the video by CRT TV once.

BTW, according to camera specs, a sensor size is 3.8 mm (=1/4.7″ type). Probably it should be in diagonal of total 1M pixels. But in video mode, it is 690,000 pixels. So I guess the diagonal is approx. 2.66 mm in video mode. In above video, the Mars relative size against the diagonal looks 3 : 16.  Image scale is 0.5 mm!!, if my understanding and calculation is correct. Really tiny.

Anyway, this is my 1st processing attempt. I really appreciate Registax.


BORG 150ED + Eyepiece?? + SONY Handycam DCR-PC101 + BORG 7410 Adapter

I think the video was taken upside down. So this should be right.  Now I feel the collimated method is the another realistic option since camera’s optical zoom should be convenient. See the following setup. This was actually what I did 2003. Thank you BORG! They still have various “digi-scoping” adapters.


The SONY Handycam – DCR-PC101 still shows the modern industry design (at least to my eyes) even we see today. This camera must be the best example of SONY proprietary “mecha-tronics” product those days. Everything was packed in a small body. There are so many number of small mechanical moving parts inside to handle a cassette tape. A Lithium Ion battery pack is surprisingly still alive. Touch LCD screen. All are still fully functional. Carl Zeiss branded lens looks good as well. Only obsolete component might be an imaging sensor.

For a while, I will play around with this old SONY Handycam while listening the old-fashioned mechanical sounds. Unfortunately I threw away a memory stick already……

EMS Black

•February 2, 2018 • Leave a Comment

EMS – the Erecting Mirror System invented by Tatsuro Matsumoto in Japan is now available in black color. The black body is at this moment only available as a pair of binoscope set.


I took 71FL Bino out and fine-tuned the platform today. Without adjusting mirrors, the platform allows to perfectly and quickly collimate two scopes. Now ready for high magnification binoscope viewing night time.

Personally I like EMS’s round-shape bodies instead of machined straight-cut types. See perfect match with Black BORG 71FL BINO.


A pioneer of the unique EMS – Matsumoto san continues to do the great job for providing the fine products to our industry.

Let’s enjoy observing the true (non-mirrored) faces of planets and all others. Memorizing right faces of the Mars this year will be very important.

PS. Attention to users who receive EMS BINO 1st time. 

Please avoid touching the mirror collimators during the initial telescope collimation alignment. As long as you use AOK Swiss’s platform, you don’t have to adjust mirrors under the low power viewing. My recommended steps are

  1. Align two scopes with AOK’s platform daytime as much as possible without touching mirrors. Straight shape structures like a house roof or an electric pole etc are relatively suitable.  You may increase the power for more fine-tuning. Why straight shape? This makes relatively easier to check image rotation. It’s not the case when you use 1st time though.
  2. Ideally under the night sky, better to double check with the infinity targets. The target distance is the matter for the collimation. So please finally re-tune with the infinity targets. If necessary, adjust the platform vertically and horizontally again.
  3. Then, time to have fun. This allows to enjoy high power planetary viewing at 200x and 300x magnification (in my experience). Theoretically more should be possible.

Keep in mind, mirrors are very delicate items and precisely aligned at the factory.  Don’t over-turn them. The key is how to minimize using mirror collimators. Please don’t under-estimate the platform. This is an anther key item for the binoscope success as well.

And keep EMS in good condition and enjoy high power binoscope viewing long time.

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