Officina Stellare produces some of the most exotic looking and exotic performing telescopes on the planet. Its new RiFAST300 is no exception.
The new astrograph is designed by Officina Stellare’s Massimo Riccardi to represent a milestone in the company’s approach to astrophotograpy. Compared to its truss predecessor, the new version has a closed carbon tube, a simpler mechanical design that, at 18 kilograms (40 pounds), weighs 6.0 kilograms (13.2 pounds) less and incorporates a new tip-tilt with a mechanical zero position.
Each of those improvements is, alone, significant, but those are not what distinguishes the new version. What does is that it operates at three advantageous focal ratios: (1) Its native focal ratio of f/3.8, which produces an extraordinarily-expansive flat imaging field up to 60 mm in diameter, (2) at f/3 using a dedicated 0.78x reducer (XTFR078), or (3) f/5.7 when fitted with a dedicated 1.5x extender (XTFE15-300), both of which extremes deliver a still-generous corrected field of 42 mm. In short, the 2018 RiFAST300 is three astrographs in one capable of imaging at effective focal lengths of 889, 1140 or 1710 mm.
Bottom line: No other single instrument, in the 300-mm class, can do that.
Other features of the RiFAST300 include a low expansion glass optical set, carbon/aluminum tube design, computer designed light baffle, lower Losmandy dovetail (an upper is optional) three cooling fans and primary cell that is detachable for an easy mirror cleaning.