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Moonlite v Feathertouch focusers.

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On 28/04/2019 at 15:38, alan4908 said:

I upgraded my SW ED80 with the Moonlite focuser and my SW Esprit 150 with a Feathertouch.  Both are very good but I would say that the Feathertouch is better, although more expensive.

One item to watch for (if you are into imaging) is to ensure that your focuser supports an all screw connection, this is important for minimizing camera tilt.

Alan

 

19 hours ago, Jkulin said:

I have Moonlite, Feathertouch Crayford and Feathertouch R&P.

The Feathertouch Crayford is is certainly not in the same league as the Moonlite or the Featherlite R&P.

The R&P Focusers that came with my Esprits are really exceptional and certainly approaching the quality of the Feathertouch R&P

I find the backlash with the moonlite is really quite good, but the Feathtouch R&P is 50% better.

I quote you both on this question:

I have two Esprits (100 and 150) and have no issue with the focusers so far. Why do people spend a minor fortune to replace them with Feathertouch focusers? I see that TS even sell their own version of the Esprit 150 with a Feathertouch focuser. Am I missing something?

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13 minutes ago, gorann said:

I have two Esprits (100 and 150) and have no issue with the focusers so far. Why do people spend a minor fortune to replace them with Feathertouch focusers? I see that TS even sell their own version of the Esprit 150 with a Feathertouch focuser. Am I missing something?

Because the Skywatcher focuser sags slightly with a big camera.... SX-46 and FW... why waste that lovely flat field! (well mine does)…  

Edited by Laurin Dave

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The Esprit focusers are very good, but I had a moonlite left over from my old ED80 and chose to use that rather than buy a new controller and motor. The Featherlite for my 10" RC was a necessity as the GSO is rubbish.

If I was starting again, I would keep the SW Esprit focusers and just buy new for the RC's

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1 hour ago, gorann said:

I quote you both on this question:

I have two Esprits (100 and 150) and have no issue with the focusers so far. Why do people spend a minor fortune to replace them with Feathertouch focusers? I see that TS even sell their own version of the Esprit 150 with a Feathertouch focuser. Am I missing something?

Hi Gorann

When I was imaging manually, I noticed that my ED80 focuser was prone to both sag and slippage hence my decision to upgrade to a Moonlite when I decided to implement an automated set up.  When I purchased the Esprit 150, I decided to also purchase the Feathertouch upgrade, simply because of my previous experience.  However, the Esprit 150 focuser does seem a much higher quality than the focuser which came with my ED80.   FYI I know that @steppenwolf  who has also implemented an autonomous imaging setup also took the decision to upgrade to a Feathertouch focuser on his Esprit 150.

Alan  

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8 minutes ago, alan4908 said:

Hi Gorann

When I was imaging manually, I noticed that my ED80 focuser was prone to both sag and slippage hence my decision to upgrade to a Moonlite when I decided to implement an automated set up.  When I purchased the Esprit 150, I decided to also purchase the Feathertouch upgrade, simply because of my previous experience.  However, the Esprit 150 focuser does seem a much higher quality than the focuser which came with my ED80.   FYI I know that @steppenwolf  who has also implemented an autonomous imaging setup also took the decision to upgrade to a Feathertouch focuser on his Esprit 150.

Alan  

Hi Alan,

I think there is a big difference between the ED series and the Esprits, somethings have to make up for the 3x price difference and part of that will be the focuser. I do not think there are any similarities between the ED and Esprit focusers.

Edited by gorann

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22 hours ago, Piero said:

 

To be honest I think the above post is very misleading.

I do believe that the FT design is better than Moonlite, but stating that Moonlite are poor or even useless with some weight is pure misinformation. 

I have loaded mine with 1kg eyepieces and never found image shift or miscollimation.

Have you tried it with with heavy CCD cameras, motorized focuser and filterwheel? Any focuser should certainly be able to lift an eyepiece, for sure. A friend had the misfortune to buy three of these focusers for a triple imaging rig and had to dispense with them. The traditional Crayford design of driving the smooth flat surface of the drawtube is not adequate for modern imaging applications. This is not misinformation in my view.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
Typo
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9 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

Have you tried it with with heavy CCD cameras, motorized focuser and filterwheel? Any focuser should certainly be able to lift an eyepiece, for sure. A friend had the misfortune to buy three of these focusers for a triple imaging rig and had to dispense with them. The traditional Crayford design of driving the smooth flat surface of the drawtube is not adequate for modern imaging applications. This is not misinformation in my view.

Olly

I have to agree with Olly that holding 1kg is not enough when it comes to imaging, so the Crayford design of Moonlite is not ideal. Still wonder if anyone have had any problem with the Esprit r&p focusers for imaging, since some seem to "routinely" replace them with Feathertouch. Mine seem just fine.

Edited by gorann

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Just out of curiousity has anyone used one of the Baader Hyperion 3” R&P focusers? Similar price to the equivalent FeatherTouch.

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22 hours ago, TakMan said:

I have experience of three focusers:

The Tak rack and pinion with MEF-3 microfocuser on a visual TSA and the more robust version on the FSQ. If you didn’t have any experience with other focusers, you’d be more than happy.

The Feathertouch on the TEC140 is superb and ‘better’ than those of both my Taks.  I think as Ollie explained, if you want a secure focuser that has that ‘pull and hold’ for a heavy load (be it eyepieces or cameras), then the rack and pinion variety is the way to go. It has an underlying sure-footedness. The scale on the drawtube is also useful. Personally, for a refractor, that is the way to go in my opinion.

On my OO dob, I have a Moonlite CR2. It is superb for this application. It moves with a deftness of touch that doesn’t induce vibrations as you tweak focus. It holds my paracorr and 31mm Nagler or 21 MM Ethos with ease (but gravity is not working against it so much as the focuser is at 45 degrees). It just somehow feels right on this instrument and if someone was to ask which focuser I’d want on my dob, I’d say I prefer this, even over a Feathertouch!

Just my pennies worth!

Clear skies...

Damian

Mick, i can echo the thoughts of Damien exactly.

I have the Moonlite CR2 as well on my OOVX12, and as you've seen it will support a 1.8kg binoviewer set up quite happily.

 

If it was me, WITH YOUR SETUP, with lightweight Clave eyepieces, i would be inclined to think a big 3" + Feathertouch may be overkill,

although it would perform exceptionally well of course. But unless you're planning on hanging a load of weight on there in the future, i'm sure a Moonlite would do the job very well.

I would give Ron at Moonlite an email and see what he thinks, and also i'm sure they'd be the correct adapter available to fit your tube.

They also do different length drawtube options to cater for whatever focus travel requirements you need.

I have a non standard 60mm drawtube on my Newtonian so i can comfortably focus with the 3 'Powerswitch' settings on the bino.

 

I used to have the FT3545 on my FLT132 if you remember ?

Perhaps the very best focuser on the market. I shall be reacquainting myself with one again fairly soon hopefully.

 

I also owned a used FLT98 briefly that had the FT3035 focuser that John posted earlier.

Very nice as well, however i personally didn't like the rotator design on that which was controlled by 3 nylon tipped screws

against the drawtube. I found them prone to slipping  no matter how tight i tightened them. The 'Captains wheel' on the 3545 is in another league.

 

Whatever you choose, the scope will look great with either, and perform likewise. ?

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ollypenrice said:

Have you tried it with with heavy CCD cameras, motorized focuser and filterwheel? Any focuser should certainly be able to lift an eyepiece, for sure. A friend had the misfortune to buy three of these focusers for a triple imaging rig and had to dispense with them. The traditional Crayford design of driving the smooth flat surface of the drawtube is not adequate for modern imaging applications. This is not misinformation in my view.

Olly

 

How many people attach heavy CCD cameras + CCD? In addition I doubt that this the purpose of the OP.

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1 hour ago, Piero said:

 

How many people attach heavy CCD cameras + CCD? In addition I doubt that this the purpose of the OP.

Lots of people, but I don't know how the OP aims to use the focuser.

Olly

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I'm a bit late to this having been away. I have owned and used a Crawmach focuser (on my Istar 150mm F/12) and it was decent but nothing outstanding I felt. It did the job for visual observing, which is all I do. I have a number of Moonlite's and generally like them. They are a nice step up from stock crayfords by Skywatcher, William Optics etc. I have a Feathertouch Crayford on my TMB/LZOS 130 F/9 triplet and that is a dream to use - another step up again from the Moonlites and it seems completely unbustable as well as being wonderfully designed and put together. Even an engineering ignoramus like myself can see why FT are more expensive. On my Vixen and Tak refractors I'm happy with the R&P's by those companies because, IMHO, they suit the scope they are on well and, again for visual observation, do the job that I ask well.

I might not be the most reliable souce on focusers though because I can get by (and have) quite happilly with a well tweaked and re-lubed Skywatcher R&P focuser. No class but they move the eyepiece in and out and hold them in the right position, even the 21 Ethos and 31 Nagler.

 

 

 

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This gives an idea of how well implemented these Feathertouches are put together. No corners cut with design or materials used.

The FT3535 has a 3.5 inch diameter drawtube with amazingly intricate baffling (just in case the ones in the scope are insufficient)

They really are works of art, and are a thing of beauty.

20156476576_e83bb50aa6_b.jpg

Edited by Tubby Bear
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I upgraded my ed 120 with a moonlite.and it's amazing. 

I was told a feathertouch would have been better for A.P.

But for viewing I can't fault the moonlite. 

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Moonlite are a def step up from stock I’ve had several and been pleased also the Baader Steeltrack is very good but if you can afford the Best Buy Feather-touch they are in a class of there own 

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Im strictly visual only, and I've a Feathertouch on my 15", and it is beautiful and smooth.  It handles this no problem :)

IMG_20170106_210338258.jpg.575786daced81d03dd8165484efc5b77.thumb.jpg.a8365bca7d1cea2712fbcbfb2043abb9.jpg

I've a Moonlight on my 50mm Lunt, and it is a pleasure to use - I'm only lightly loading it on that scope.

The FT would be an investment if you can afford it.

 

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There will be no imaging at all, the scope is F15 so will only be used for visual. The eyepieces hanging off the back will be pretty lightweight as well but in time I'm investing in a TEC turret so the weight will be the turret plus 5 Clave' eyepieces. Thats a great photo Rob really shows the workmanship of the Feathertouch.

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The FT3545 is far and away the nicest focuser i've ever used. 

It transformed my old FLT132. I got it at a bargain price too.

19204784074_1609c88925_b.jpg

Mick : the current refractor focuser  from FLO looks mightily impressive.

Its only listed as an upgrade (with relevant adapter) for the SW Esprit series though.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/moonlite-focusers/moonlite-cf-crayford-focuser-for-refractors.html

 

You may need to speak with Moonlite in the US to get the right adapter for your scope.

Do you know what size and thread it is ?

And if they don't have it, i'm sure they would custom make you one to fit. Moonlite are excellent to deal with.

And i think the same could be done at Starlight instruments if you go with them.

 

http://focuser.com/products.php

http://www.starlightinstruments.com/store/index.php

Edited by Tubby Bear
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And this Mick......

I'm interested in your TEC 'turret' idea....

FYI.......i don't think TEC make them anymore. I seem to remember reading that Yuri said they were discontinued.

I know Teleskop Express have them listed, but if i was after one, it may be advisable to invest in one sooner, rather than later.

They are not cheap of course.....

Another option (bit more expensive !!) is the nPAE turret.

http://www.npae.net/product/6061-turret/

 

This is perhaps a better option as it has 2" eyepiece availability as well as filter + camera options as well.

But its a step up in weight too at 2.3kg unloaded. Which means potential balance issues. If i was going down that route, i'd want the FT3545, because fully loaded

you could be up to 5kg quite easily.

 

AND BE CAREFUL : with a turret there may be a big possibility of you running out of in-focus, which would mean having to cut an inch or two off the tube.

Probably not something you want to do with a classic and rare refractor.

 

Food for thought. (i'm not trying to burn a whole in your wallet, i promise !! ?)

 

Edited by Tubby Bear
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I have Feathertouch and Moonlite.  They are both superb IMO.  FT is if you want the best of the best - at double the cost.  If you just want extremely good then you won't go wrong with Moonlite.

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Thanks for all the info Rob.

The Turret will be a secondhand TEC. What I'm aiming for is my Clave 80/1203 F15 scope combined with a Feathertouch 3.5" focuser, a TEC Turret, and a complete collection of Clave eyepieces.

Happy days.

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If you can put that little lot together, that will be quite a setup ! ?

Be aware of the back focus requirements though, if you are planning a Turret and a big Feathertouch.

 

 

 

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