The SBIG FW8-8300 is an 8-position filter wheel for the SBIG ST-8300 and second-generation STF-8300 8.3 megapixel CCD cameras. This allows an astrophotographer to have a standard LRBG filter set and a narrowband (H-alpha, OIII, and SII) filter set loaded in the filter wheel at the same time. This eliminates time-consuming filter changes in the middle of an imaging session, and eliminates the possibility of dropping a filter in the dark.
When used with a fast focal ratio telescope, the typical 27mm clear aperture of standard 1.25” mounted filters will usually vignette the image on the large 3326 x 2504 pixel CCD detector used with ST/STF-8300 cameras. Instead of 1.25” filters, the FW8-8300 uses 36mm unmounted drop in filters for un-vignetted imaging with any focal ratio scope. Complete LRGB and narrowband unmounted 36mm filter sets by Baader Planetarium and Astrodon are available from SBIG. However, for those astrophotographers with a long focal scope, SBIG offers optional inserts for the FW8-8300 filter wheel that will accommodate 1.25" mounted filters, if desired.
The FW8-8300 has a small footprint, only 6.3” by 8.1” (only about an inch wider and longer than the 5-position wheel) and weighs only 830g (approx. 29 oz.). The thin design of the SBIG FW8-8300 – the same thickness and front cover design as the 5-filter wheel for the 8300 cameras – allows the use of optional Nikon and Canon EOS lens adapters with this filter wheel. It uses the camera’s I2C port for power and commands, so no additional cable to computer or power supply is required.
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