The Baader FlipMirror II (BFM II) in action
Baader FlipMirror II Star Diagonal (#2458055, € 195,-)
is not only an accessory for "experts" but also a useful tool that makes the work of every amateur astronomer – especially the astrophotographer – easier. First and foremost, the BFM II is designed to fully replace your standard star diagonal so that you can continue to observe as normally with any good star diagonal. But with the BFM II you also have the freedom to create your own photo system immediately – or step by step – and have it ready for immediate use on the telescope.This saves a lot of time and nerves. We would like to introduce to you the countless possibilities of this new product in several blog posts in loose order. We start with the field of application for which there is certainly the most interest: Deep Sky Astrophotography.
Deep Sky Photography with Off Axis Autoguiding
The FlipMirror II star diagonal is far more than a simple flipmirror, as these accessories were known in the past. Thanks to the very high-quality, fine-optically polished mirror and the large T-2, M48 and S52 connection threads, as well as the connection possibility on four sides, it offers completely new possibilities to the astrophotographer to make the work easier.
Of course, the connection to any desired telescope of any size is possible. The same applies to cameras. All conceivable camera models, DSLR as well as bridge, system and astro cameras of almost all manufacturers can be attached.
In the picture on the right the camera is mounted at the rear end of the FlipMirror II, so that the light from the telescope can come in straight and unreflected when the flipmirror is "flipped up". If the hinged mirror is "flipped down", the light from the telescope is directed into the eyepiece instead of to the camera. With a variety of T-2 tubes and adapters, the eyepiece can be placed at the same distance as the camera so that the image is sharp in both the camera and the eyepiece. This means that the eyepiece can be used to center the object for the camera and (pre-)focus it for image acquisition.
Usage with Off-Axis-Guider
An Off Axis Guider can be attached to the lower end of the BFM II (e.g. Off Axis Guider for Baader FlipMirror II (BFM-OAG) (#2956951, € 98,-) ). A small prism protrudes from the BFM-OAG into the FlipMirror II, which is located below the hinged mirror. The prism directs a small part of the telescope's field of view, which is not captured by the camera, to an optional guiding camera - regardless of whether the mirror is flipped up or down.
In this way you can use the Baader FlipMirror II Star Diagonal (#2458055, € 195,-) for Off Axis autoguiding on every telescope. This also works if you want to work with narrowband filters, whose image is usually too dark for autoguiding. But due to the flexible connection possibilities of both the FlipMirror II and the Baader UFC system, filters can even be mounted behind the FlipMirror II, i.e. directly in front of the camera and not in front of the autoguider.
The FlipMirror II is a multi-purpose tool which provides many options and ports. It spares you a guiding scope as well as continous changes of eyepiece and camera. What could be more useful?
Coming Soon: Planetary imaging with the FlipMirror II star diagonal
About the author
Michael Risch has been interested in astronomy and spaceflight, since he saw the last moon landing as a child. In 1981, he became a member of the Association of Amateur Astronomers in the Saarland and, as a member of the board, accompanied the establishment of the Peterberg Observatory. As co-founder and first webmaster of www.astronomie.de, he contributed numerous ideas and reports on astronomical and spaceflight topics to the first German astronomy portal. He has been practicing planetary, comets, solar, deep sky as well as TWAN style photography, and has been on many long distance trips, among others to 7 total solar eclipses. As a long-time science editor, he has led "Northern lights and stars" trips to the Arctic Circle. Michael has published many of his own photos and articles in professional journals and has written chapters for the books chapters for the books Fotoschule (Photo School) and Extremfotografie (Extreme Photography) with his colleague Martin Rietze for "Color Foto".
At Baader-Planetarium he is part of the observatory project team and is booked for lectures in Germany and abroad. Furthermore, he is an expert consultant for observatories, domes, high end mounts, telescopes and much more.View all posts from