"I highly recommend the Spike-a Bahtinov mask for all astrophotography systems that use electronic imaging systems. The mask is simple to use and users will quickly fall in love with the speed and focusing accuracy produced by the Spike-a Bahtinov mask. Every astrophotographer should have one."
- Robert Reeves, author of "Introduction to Digital Astrophotography" in Astrophoto Insight magazine, February/March 2009
Read Craig Stark's review from Astronomy Technology Today:
A Masterfully Executed Bahtinov Mask
reprinted with permission.
"Tired of Wasting Time Focusing When You Could Be Imaging?"
Let's face it. Achieving a good focus for astrophotography is a boring waste of time. Wouldn't you rather be spending your time choosing your objects and creating great images?
With a Spike-a Bahtinov Mask, you can.
How does it work?
Set up your telescope and imaging equipment as normal. Then simply locate a bright star (maybe Spica?) with your telescope, attach the Spike-a Bahtinov mask
to your telescope and watch the diffraction spike pattern around the star as you adjust the focus. When the middle diffraction spike
is centered in the outer spikes, you're in focus. Very little focusing travel is required to move the inner diffraction spike, which
means the focus is extremely accurate.
Seeing conditions will not significantly affect the diffraction spike pattern, which means the Spike-a is even useful for visual work.
A Better Focusing Mask
Unlike a Hartmann Mask which provides no visual cues on the direction of travel needed for focusing,
the Spike-a mask is a Bahtinov mask which clearly shows the direction of travel needed to achieve focus. Also, a Hartmann mask
doesn't provide the precision of the Spike-a. The pattern displayed in a Hartmann just gets slightly more in focus, which means
the true focus may be off by a significant degree. The Spike-a mask shows you exactly where the perfect focus point
is every time, regardless of seeing conditions. This unique design also allows more light gathering than a Hartmann
mask allowing you to focus on a much dimmer star.
Save Time AND Money
Don't spend hundreds of dollars on a focusing solution which only works with one type of camera, or
even more for a complicated computerized focusing solution. All of our masks cost less than $100.
In recent years, software has been developed to allow sub-pixel accuracy when using a Bahtinov Mask. Two programs which offer software-based Bahtinov assistance are
Niels Noordhoek's Bathinov Grabber and APT by Ivaylo Stoynov.
Quality Materials and Workmanship
The Spike-a Bahtinov mask is made from quality light weight aluminum and machined with
precision tools, then anodized black to eliminate light reflection.
The Spike-a attaches securely to your scope using nylon screws to ensure
the finish of your telescope is protected. The Spike-a mask will last you for a lifetime of imaging.
Custom Bahtinov Masks
We can build custom Bahtinov Masks sized to your specifications. We've built custom masks
for professional observatories and universities around the world. This picture shows John holding
an 18.5" and a 24" mask with room for a protruding secondary mirror holder. We can produce custom masks up to 45" in diameter
Hear what our customers are saying
"Just used a Spike-a mask for the first time...WOW ! This is what I've been waiting for...perfect focus in one minute through 8nm Ha filter...made my night! Pavel Bahtinov deserves a medal...and our sincere thanks"
-L. Hilborn, Ontario Canada
"Just used my Spike-a Mask last night and could not believe how effective it is. This mask is a must have accessory for anyone, either visual or an imager. I am impressed."
-D. Singer, OR
"I took some images of M33 and the Flaming Star Nebula (IC-405) with my Orion Starshoot Pro CCD camera through my Televue 102iis refractor. I used the small mask to achieve focus, and it was very easy to use and produced great results. Thanks for the great product!"
-M. Borman, IN
Tired of Bloated Stars? Order Your Spike-aTM Bahtinov Mask Today!
You may also mail or fax your order to us. Click Here for a printable order form.
Note that orders will be processed by All-Pro Software, LLC. Contact information:
P.O. Box 149
Mineral Point, WI 53565