The Farpoint Special Edition Bat-inov Focus Mask is an ingenious new way to easily focus a telescope. Pavel Bahtinov, a Russian amateur telescope maker and astronomer, created this simple, very intuitive method and the device has universally been named after him: The Bahtinov Mask.
The Adjustable Special Edition “Bat-inov” Mask for telescopes comes with a dew shield or front-end diameter from 8.5″ to 10.5″
Attach a camera to the telescope, center a fairly bright star and achieve rough focus. Then place the mask over the front aperture of your telescope by “hanging” it on the plastic screws from the front dew shield. Take a short exposure. The image of the star will show diffraction spikes. The “center” set will most likely be shifted to one side or the other. This is showing the defocus.
Adjust the focus of the telescope and re-expose the star, once again showing the diffraction spike pattern. Iterate the process until the central diffraction spike is centered against the star and the other spikes. When a symmetrical pattern is achieved, the best possible focus is then reached. Simply remove the mask, center the target object and take amazing, sharp images.
Farpoint manufactures this astrophotography tool out of virtually indestructible ABS plastic, which comes in two major types and in a range of sizes. In addition to Bahtinov masks for telescopes, Farpoint also makes Bahtinov masks for DSLR camera lenses.