Dithered Imaging with Fujifilm X-T1 by SS-one KODO

•August 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

These days I’m really enjoying the result of the dithered imaging by SS-one KODO. This was taken last night with a stocked Fujifilm X-T1. I don’t think I could get this level of S/N with a stocked DSLR at my backyard at hot summer time, without dithering. BTW, my backyard sky brightness seems to be upper 18 SQM reading, according to the map.


BORG 55FL F3.6 + Fujifilm X-T1, 20 x 4′ dithered by SS-one KODO/EM-10

This is a new 55FL system I’m currently using.


I use M77.6 R&P focuser. It’s very good. I’m having very positive feedback on this focuser from visual observers too. But still replaceable with FTF-M57 if the motor control is preference.

One of good features for SS-one/EM10 is a built-in polar camera. Unlike the external polar camera, it eliminates 3-point alignment once done, so that I can finish the polar alignment within 30-second. The controller allows to pre-set various locations, so no GPS needed either. It’s fun!




Mars & IC1805/1848

•August 4, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I missed the Mars opposition since I was in Japan. So I spent the time for observing the Mars & the Saturn last night. I think 90FL BINO has been since the last year’s total eclipse.

0804a I noticed the Saturn was nicely tilt to see the surface details now. It was very clean and surface details through 90FL bino with Vixen HF 2.5mm eyepieces.

Mars was a bit too bright. I felt the less brightness allows to see more details. Anyway, I had wonderful time for planet observing.


BORG 55FL F3.6 + Stocked Fujifilm X-T1 + LPS-V4 & VR3XII filters, 12 x 4′ dithered by SS-one KODO + EM10

IC1805 & 1848 are basically the autumn targets. I tried to shoot at my backyard until the moon was coming up. The time given to me was very short and targets were still too low though. The above frames were taken just above the neighbor’s roof. I thought 200mm f.l. was good length covering both nebulae with APS-C sensor. Yes, as expected, it was perfect.  Again Fuji’s X-mount camera is very enjoyable for astronomy too. Only one wish is more liveview magnification. Anyway I plan to use it under the dark sky soon.

BORG 55FL AStrograph & IDAS LPS-V4 (Tri-Color Narrowband Filter)

•August 3, 2018 • Leave a Comment

One of serious BORG users, Mauri Rosenthal keeps updating his image gallery.


His picture on a front page of newsletter. Click to download PDF file.





(Mauri’s comment)

By the way all of these are from my backyard, which is in a red zone just outside NYC.  The Flickr descriptions of the images include the technical details.  For anyone seeking information on red zone performance of the LPS-V4, my SQL readings on the best nights range from about 18.6 to 19.1.   I am looking forward to trying the filter in Manhattan, I think I’ll get an excellent M27 and pretty good veil images before the season ends in October, but at outreach we’ve been focusing on the planets so far this summer.  I have yet to get much decent imaging time in with the D-2 filter.

55FL F3.6 (200mm f.l.) and four thirds sensor look the perfect wide-field imaging combination. It covers entire the Veil and N.A.&Pelican in one frame respectively. Also as expected, LPS-V4 is working very well under the bright sky. Yes, it’s a kind of must-have item for my backyard too. It effectively isolates Ha and OIII & Hb from background noise. Also unlike Ha filter, LPS-V4 is carefully considered for the weights of R, G and B channel. So I can say it is the tri-color narrowband filter too. But it’s not extremely narrow bandwidth. More balanced for the richer color finish.

All crispy sharp and colorful finish, Mauri

ps. His imaging technique intrigued me. 8-second exposure each live stacking with unguided alt-az mount. Quite new at least to me. I’m still an old school minded guy. Equatorial mount with long exposure.

New Filters Now Available

•July 25, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Following filters are now in stock.


Astro filter for a stocked camera


VR3XII-48 : $169.00

VR3XII-52 : $169.00

VR3XII-77 : $269.00

The concept for this filter is to reduce the transmission of the visual spectrum region, so that a stocked camera’s Ha transmission turns almost same level as others. (Fuji X-mount camera seems to have 50-60% transmission at Ha) As a result, this allows for longer exposure time while minimizing B & G channel saturation.

Keep in mind, these are the interference type of filters. So there is the light angle issue in front of lenses. When a filter is set in front of a lens, 85mm or longer focal length for full frame camera should be used. APS-C is 50mm or longer.

We plan to carry following lens holder. Unlike current model, it doesn’t require replacing a bayonet plate of camera body. SONY E-mount and Fuji X-mount models will be available.


And finally IDAS LPS-D1 for Nikon full frame cameras is in stock as well.


LPS-D1-NF (for D810, D800 and D600) : $310.00


BORG 55FL F3.6 – 2 with Heavy Camera

•July 19, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I made further weight balance test.


Quite easy with Fuji X-T1. Still a plenty of extra room on a plate.


With Cooled 6D. Camera weighs 1.5kg

I don’t remember I used 55FL with this 6D before. Might not. At least I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable even I did. But as shown the above, finally I found out the comfortable setup with a heavy 6D.

QSI WSG is 1.3kg according to their web site. Adding a guider, looks almost same weight as my 6D. So I’m sure this setup allows to equally use QSI camera too.

If someone who own heavy or large camera bodies are looking for the high quality wide-field imaging, this is it. 200mm focal length comes with a camera rotator, which allows to orient a camera body without the interference with a plate.

Further more,  if necessary, you can set more accessories on one of mounting rings as the counterweight too. So there are a lot of options for the weight adjustment. Indeed, BORG mounting rings are very clever design.

New BORG 55FL F3.6 System

•July 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

BORG 55FL F3.6 is the most challenging optical system as mentioned here several times. Shorter optical length, harder mechanically. But trying to figure out best possible solution is a kind of fun part as hobby too. And eventually I think I reached the final goal…..


Original 55FL objective assembly


Remove a dew-shield and attach a special lens cell adapter designed by BORG

BORG mechanical designer – Ishizuka san is genius. One day I asked him to consider the best solution for longer Series 80 tube with 55FL. This was his answer. It didn’t take time much to send me 3D CAD drawing. So I made the one for testing purpose. This adapter’s big features are to convert into Series 80 tube and to allow to use a longer main tube. Very clever idea. This gave me the advantages at various points.

Here is final and real setup. Generally weight balance is way back heavy in small objective lenses. But this still allows to set in balance and rotate a camera without interfering with a plate. And no lens squeezed either because the lens is isolated inside a tube.


I tried to play around several different systems so far. But I believe I have reached final goal eventually. This M77.6 focuser is smooth and solid enough, and very reasonable cost compared with FTF in quite similar quality and performance. I love this system.

I have decided to go ahead commercially making this adapter and will add this system as one of standard packages shortly. Yes, commercial units have the anti-reflection finish.


Looking For IDAS Filter Testers

•July 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I’m looking for planetary imaging enthusiasts who are interested in making the image with following IDAS filters.


Click for filter details

UV372, BE410 and VE-1 are available at 1.25″ size each. Unfortunately BPF is currently out of production.  To someone who are interested in this offer, feel free to e-mail me. I’m happy to send it to you any time.

One of BORG serious users – Steven Bellavia created up his recent astro camp story. It’s fun to take a look at. Enjoy his nice slideshow entire his trip!

—- This was my 17th trip to Cherry Springs, and perhaps the best yet, as I had four perfectly clear nights in a row, which has never happened. (It was actually perfectly clear the night before I arrived, and I think several more after I left, all around the new moon).

I was also able to observe many daytime object, such as Venus, Mercury, Arcturus, and Regulus (my dimmest daytime star so far).

I also got to see a mother bear, with her two very tiny bear cubs, climbing down from a tree and going deeper into the woods.

It was cold at night, dipping into the forties, and comfortably warm and dry in the day. For the first time, I used the sandy beach and took a swim at the lake/reservoir, at Lyman Run State park, 6 miles away, which is another beautiful camping park.

A photo summary of my trip, along with images of celestial objects, both daytime and night, can be found here: 0713b




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