Due to the large size of the 3326 x 2504 pixel CCD detector used in the SBIG ST-8300 cameras, the typical 27mm clear aperture 1.25" filters in cells that are used with other cameras are just too small to fully cover the ST-8300 sensor without some vignetting. While this may be acceptable at f/7 or longer focal ratios, at shorter focal ratios the vignetting becomes obtrusive. For this reason, this new SBIG #CFW83NF 5-position filter wheel mounts on the front of the ST-8300 and holds optional larger diameter 36mm unmounted filters for use with fast focal ratio reflectors and refractors.
Full sets of 36mm LRGB and narrowband filters from Astrodon and Baader Planetarium are now available and a new set from Custom Scientific will be available in the near future. In addition, Astronomik intends to make filters in the 36mm size, so there is a wide variety of filters available. This #CFW83NF filter wheel is also available with a complete 4-filter set of 36mm Baader LRGB filters (#CFW83) at a savings of $95 over the cost of buying this empty filter wheel and the Baader filters separately.
The #CFW83NF filter wheel is a single carousel design with a new filter retaining system that makes changing filters easier than using individual retaining screws for each filter. The entire carousel is also interchangeable for swapping between a standard LRGB set and a narrowband filter set all at the same time without having to mount and dismount individual filters.
This filter wheel has a small footprint, only 4 x 5 inches. Its thin design adds only 20mm of backfocus, so that the total backfocus for an ST-8300 with this filter wheel is only 38mm. The #CFW83NF plugs directly into the I2C port on the ST-8300 camera and does not require separate power or control cables. Fully automatic functioning of the filter wheel is controlled by the same software that controls the camera. An optional Nikon lens adapter (#CFW83NIK) is available that connects to the filter wheel to let you use Nikon 35mm and DSLR lenses for extremely wide field imaging.
In addition, for those who may already have 2" filters, SBIG has designed an optional adapter plate to mate the ST-8300 camera to the SBIG #FW8-STL 8-position 2" filter wheel. The FW8-STL holds both 2" filters in threaded cells and 50.8mm round unmounted filters.
Finally, for those users with slower focal ratio optical systems, standard 1.25” filters may be acceptable. In this case both the CFW9 and CFW10 filter wheels will fit the ST-8300 camera and these too will operate automatically by plugging into the I2C port on the ST-8300 camera.
The images show the #CFW83NF mounted on an ST-8300.
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