We are eagerly awaiting customer reviews of SAFIX to be published in newsgroups and review sites.

In the meantime, here is a short review by Sol Robbins, of the pre-production version: 

This is hard to describe in words.

I mostly used the SAFIX in SCTs. I guess the best way I can describe
it is the difference between average seeing conditions VS. good seeing
conditions. Obviously the latter description will show a better, cleaner
image. This was apparent to some degree in every scope I tried the SAFIX
in. Quick comaprison was easy due to finding the correct SAFIX setting
and the adjusting it to zero.

This all comes down having consistently better images with the SAFIX.
Additionally, scopes that ranged between 1/4 to 1/6 wave SA showed
the "best" improvement in image clarity. Sometimes folks expect some
kind of optical miracle out of the stuff they acquire. The SAFIX
won't show anything that is not there to see. It will enhance the
clarity of images and make borderline details easier to see.

Thanks, Sol Robbins


March 7, 2003 SAFIX & Ronchi grating status:

SAFIX sets ($450) and Ronchi gratings ($75) are IN STOCK and AVAILABLE NOW. No more waitlists, at least for the time being.

Note: At the present time, all available SAFIX sets have visible cosmetic blemishes in the paint (chips, scratches, or touchup) of one or more of the three extension tubes. I am trying to resolve this as a potential warranty replacement/repair issue, but until ARIES provides me a satisfactory answer, I must begin selling SAFIX with no warranty on the extension tube cosmetics.

Chromacor-II-O1 is in stock and available for $895 (new, of course)

Chromacor-II-N is available for rental at $150 per month, or purchase for $795 used.

The fine print: Astrobuffet reserves the rights to, at its sole discretion, do any, several, or all of the following:





Product Summary


The ARIES SAFIX is a revolutionary new product released in quantity to the amateur astronomy community in December 2002.

In the right hand photo above, from left to right are the SAFIX, the 3 included extension tubes (one with not-included eyepiece in it) and the optional Ronchi grating with yellow filtering built in.

Please also take note of the higher-quality photos of a prototype SAFIX which I took, at the top of this web page. Other than some added engraving, the physical appearance of production models has not changed.

As you can see in the photos above, SAFIX installs much like a Barlow lens, between a 1.25 inch diagonal and 1.25 inch eyepiece. On an SCT or MCT, you can often get away with using a 2 inch diagonal and 2-1.25 adapter, but it is recommended to use a 1.25 inch diagonal to keep the SCT nearer its design focal length. On other scopes there would typically be a greater back-focus issue, similar to the situation with binoviewers. On some scopes, the back-focus issue is more serious than on others. For instance, in Newtonians, a low-profile focuser, or moving the primary mirror up the tube, may be necessary, just as with a binoviewer. On refractors, a shorter focuser, or tube shortening, or diagonal modification might be undertaken to avoid needing to view straight-through with a stock focuser lacking sufficient inward travel.
There are too many combinations of scopes, focusers, diagonals, and eyepieces, to generally give a definitive answer on exactly what actions, if any, will be required to reach focus on a particular scope. As more customers announce results on their various scopes, expect us to develop and post reference materials.
SAFIX is provided with three different-length extension tubes, for telescopes of different focal ratio ranges. See the photo above.
SAFIX allows you to vary the spherical aberration of your telescope. Obviously, most people will want to "vary it" right down to zero, after a suitable period of playing with the device.
Markings on the SAFIX allow you to switch the SAFIX between all your different scopes, and dial in the proper correction on each of them to the null setting for that scope without the original amount of fiddling around.

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Key Features

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Variable spherical aberration correction

SAFIX allows you to vary the spherical aberration of your telescope. Obviously, most people will want to "vary it" right down to zero, after a suitable period of playing with the device.
To make the "playing phase" more fun, and to positively confirm the exact setting where spherical aberration is minimized, ARIES and Astrobuffet recommend the purchase of a custom Ronchi grating. It goes into the scope just like an eyepiece. The lines which will be visible in it become straight when spherical aberration is zero. Valery has taken care of all the details on this custom grating, from the line spacing to the ratio of widths of the light and dark lines, to adding some color filtering to make the result on achromatic refractors more accurate without affecting results on other scopes.
In short, I believe this is the finest and most versatile Ronchi grating ever produced for use in amateur telescopes which take 1.25" eyepieces or larger.
Markings on the SAFIX allow you to switch the SAFIX between all your different scopes very easily. You later just re-dial the proper correction for each scope without the original amount of fiddling around.

SAFIX weight

A few customers have asked what the SAFIX weighs, so they can figure out their balance situation. If you do the algebra, you'll find that the following numbers must have a couple of grams of total roundoff error, so are probably accurate to approximately 1 gram:
1. All 4 pieces of SAFIX kit: 332 gr.
2. SAFIX itself : 198gr
3. SAFIX with F/5-7 tube: 236 gr
4. SAFIX with F/8-9 tube: 244 gr
5. SAFIX with F/10-15 tube: 248gr

SAFIX barrel, eyepiece diameter, weight carrying capacity:

Standard 1.25 inch barrel and 1.25 inch eyepiece holder.
At low power with 2" eyepieces, SAFIX would serve no useful purpose. Also, a 2" SAFIX would have cost much more.
Not designed to carry the weight of cameras, etc. although an accessory to do so (with SAFIX enclosed in it) was earlier said to be under design consideration.

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Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.