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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Takahashi focusers
      #5601239 - 01/02/13 01:12 PM

I really hope Takahashi uses Feather Touch focusers or develops a new focusing system.

Their foucusers just aren't same league as their optics.
I had FS-102 and now I have TSA-102. Both focusers have noticeable image shifts. It is OK for visual but it isn't just ideal for imaging. Hack even for visual users should not suffer from the image shifts especially with these high end scopes.

I just read too many focser and CAA problems about TAK. Why does users have to tweak the fouser and CAA out of the box while paying that much money?
Also just see how many people (I included) use a Feather Touch micro focuser on their TAK focusers after paying so much money on their scopes.

At least I wish Takahashi gives us an option to buy their scopes without focusers so that I can save some money and use Feather Touch or Moonlite instead.

I love their scopes (I own three TAKs) but not the focuser.

Edited by Denimsky (01/02/13 01:33 PM)


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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5601257 - 01/02/13 01:23 PM

My 2005? FS128 NSV focuser left a lot to be desired. It had field rotation during focusing. That's how I ended up with this: http://www.pbase.com/mclemens1969/image/68846091/original
Fortunately, the NSV had tremendous in-focus so this worked well.


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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #5601274 - 01/02/13 01:37 PM

Quote:

My 2005? FS128 NSV focuser left a lot to be desired. It had field rotation during focusing. That's how I ended up with this: http://www.pbase.com/mclemens1969/image/68846091/original
Fortunately, the NSV had tremendous in-focus so this worked well.




Yes. Why do we have to do these? It is so frustrating.
I don't have much experience Asian focusers (like StellarVue, WO or Synta EON or Esprit ones) but I'm not even confident anymore that TAK 2.7" focusers are better than them. At least I don't see any image shifts from them.

I'm wondering TAK 4" is better but I also read the focuser flexure problem from another FSQ-106ED thread going on right now.

I think it is time to put some pressure on Takahashi (I don't think it will work though).

Edited by Denimsky (01/02/13 01:38 PM)


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5601307 - 01/02/13 02:03 PM

I had a chance to try some Tak scopes at ATT 2012 in Essen, Germany. The focuser on the 4" TSA-102 seemed to be superb, but the 4" focuser on the TOA 150 was, erm, not very impressive at all... The focuser on the FS-60 was also superb, but had very short travel. The focuser on the Sky-Watcher Esprit 150mm f/7 triplet was superb. I was also most impressed with the Astro-Physics rack and pinion focusers I tried.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5601365 - 01/02/13 02:37 PM

I have a TOA 150 coming for which I have already ordered the Feather Touch replacement. Just the cost of doing business I guess, but what a PIA.

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M44
sage
*****

Reged: 03/24/07

Loc: SoCal.
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5601538 - 01/02/13 04:25 PM

I do agree with 'OP'. When comparing 2.7" focusers of AP and Tak scopes, There is too much gap in the capabilities.

Instead of improving Taks by going for CAA and FT pinion assembly, I would rather purchase a 3" FT focuser to have meaningful improvement.


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RAKing
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5601781 - 01/02/13 07:19 PM

Quote:

I really hope Takahashi uses Feather Touch focusers or develops a new focusing system.

Their foucusers just aren't same league as their optics.
I had FS-102 and now I have TSA-102. Both focusers have noticeable image shifts. It is OK for visual but it isn't just ideal for imaging. Hack even for visual users should not suffer from the image shifts especially with these high end scopes.

I just read too many focser and CAA problems about TAK. Why does users have to tweak the fouser and CAA out of the box while paying that much money?
Also just see how many people (I included) use a Feather Touch micro focuser on their TAK focusers after paying so much money on their scopes.

At least I wish Takahashi gives us an option to buy their scopes without focusers so that I can save some money and use Feather Touch or Moonlite instead.

I love their scopes (I own three TAKs) but not the focuser.




Yup - been there done that.

I also love Tak optics, but not their focusers. I talked to the guys at TNR and they said I could send the scope back to them for shimming, but I felt like I was using an SCT and sent my money to Starlight for a new FT3545. When I sold the scope, I kept the FeatherTouch and used it on my new scope.

Cheers,

Ron


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Pete-LH
sage
*****

Reged: 03/25/09

Loc: Wilmington, DE
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5601866 - 01/02/13 08:07 PM

Donghun,
I am almost glad to read this with a misery loves company slant to it.
I have an FS-102. I had read other reviews that describe it as buttery smooth and that is true if you relieve the tension. But at that tension it will not hold a 2" lens like the 35mm Panoptic. I have almost reached a compromised tension but in cold temperatures there is enough dimensional change that it will slip. I tried the FT 2 speed but FT does not supply a pinion and uses the Tak pinon which is a very soft metal and is not usually true. So this causes and uneven movement. I finally went back to the original focuser and use it with tension that will hold a 2" lens but it is not buttery smooth.
I am contemplating buyiing the complete feather touch unit because I love the optics.
NOTE: I think the tight tension is what causes the image shift.

ALSO NOTE: I do not have enough in focus on my FS-102 to handle the two focuser solution shown above.


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Svezda
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/01/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Pete-LH]
      #5601946 - 01/02/13 08:52 PM

I have a 1995 FS-102 and the focuser looks and feels great...if you don't have an eyepiece heavier than, say, a 16NT5 + a diagonal in there...otherwise it slips down when the scope is aimed over, say, 35-45 degrees up (unless you tighten it up so much that you can't easily focus). These focusers look really high quality but the fact is that they will slip with heavier eyepieces with a diagonal. I wish we could get a special 'Tak look-alike' FeatherTouch model to replace them since I like the Tak looks and I don't think the FT is a good match aesthetically with Tak scopes.

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johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Svezda]
      #5601978 - 01/02/13 09:16 PM Attachment (95 downloads)

When I switched out my Tak focuser for an FT3545, I got lucky because Starlight Instruments had a special "shorty" adapter sitting around that they had made for a TOA130. It turns out the adapter was so short that the drawtube had to be sawed off an inch to prevent it hitting the last baffle of the TOA! After measuting the inside of my FS152 I realized the last baffle was inset at least 6" so I would have no problems. I have installed the FT3545 on my FS152 with this shorty adapter and could not be happier. Even with a standard "non-bino" tube I am able to reach focus with my MKV binos at 1X with 1/2" to spare... and with the long 4.5" drawtube I am also able to reach focus at 2.6X without adding an extension.

The focuser mechanically is perfect, a HUGE improvement over the stock Tak 4" focuse especially due to the ability to rotate the entire thing. It also has a beautiful finderscope holder that I have installed my Tak 7x50 finder into, and the finder rotates with the focuser. No image shift, no slop, this is one precision instrument. All for the same price of a 21mm Ethos.


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johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5601984 - 01/02/13 09:21 PM Attachment (100 downloads)

Closer view...

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Pete-LH
sage
*****

Reged: 03/25/09

Loc: Wilmington, DE
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5602353 - 01/03/13 04:37 AM

Has anyone tried or know of someone who tried upgrading an FS-102 with a Baader SteelTrack Focuser?

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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5602422 - 01/03/13 06:55 AM

Quote:

... but the 4" focuser on the TOA 150 was, erm, not very impressive at all...




Agreed. Not good at all. I replaced mine with a Feathertouch 3.5" dual-speed FTF3545B-A and the MicroTouch focusing kit. The conversion process, once I got the stock Tak focuser off (What a bear that was!), took only a few minutes. Yes, it was an expensive option to change it out, but what a difference the change made.


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: johne]
      #5602445 - 01/03/13 07:22 AM

Quote:

Quote:

... but the 4" focuser on the TOA 150 was, erm, not very impressive at all...




Agreed. Not good at all. I replaced mine with a Feathertouch 3.5" dual-speed FTF3545B-A and the MicroTouch focusing kit. The conversion process, once I got the stock Tak focuser off (What a bear that was!), took only a few minutes. Yes, it was an expensive option to change it out, but what a difference the change made.




Why was getting the stock Tak focuser off such a bear? Any tips about making that easier?


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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5602509 - 01/03/13 08:34 AM

Quote:

Why was getting the stock Tak focuser off such a bear? Any tips about making that easier?




According to Fred at Texas Nautical Instruments (TNR), it should not have been difficult. However, I bought my TOA150 used and who know what was done to it.

Fred suggested that I use a small-ish propane torch (like the small flame, refilable, hobby type torches) to warm the part of the focuser that screws onto the OTA. It worked like a charm and I don't see any permanent discoloration on the old focuser as a result of the warming.


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: johne]
      #5602617 - 01/03/13 09:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Why was getting the stock Tak focuser off such a bear? Any tips about making that easier?




According to Fred at Texas Nautical Instruments (TNR), it should not have been difficult. However, I bought my TOA150 used and who know what was done to it.

Fred suggested that I use a small-ish propane torch (like the small flame, refilable, hobby type torches) to warm the part of the focuser that screws onto the OTA. It worked like a charm and I don't see any permanent discoloration on the old focuser as a result of the warming.




thanks much! Never heard of that problem, but I like the solution.


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johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5602801 - 01/03/13 11:39 AM

I got my stock focuser off my FS152 with a leather belt.

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payner
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/22/07

Loc: Bluegrass Region, Kentucky
Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5602965 - 01/03/13 01:02 PM

I have a new TSA-120 and had it out for first light last night. I used a 21 mm ethos and was very pleased with the Tak focused; it has the 7:1 micro-focuser. I have a FT on my FS-152 and honestly the two are comparable in my estimation.

Best
Randy


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ryderc1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/15/06

Re: Takahashi focusers new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5603196 - 01/03/13 03:11 PM

I assume you loosened the tiny set screw on the outer flange of the Tak focuser housing before removing the focuser?


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

... but the 4" focuser on the TOA 150 was, erm, not very impressive at all...




Agreed. Not good at all. I replaced mine with a Feathertouch 3.5" dual-speed FTF3545B-A and the MicroTouch focusing kit. The conversion process, once I got the stock Tak focuser off (What a bear that was!), took only a few minutes. Yes, it was an expensive option to change it out, but what a difference the change made.




Why was getting the stock Tak focuser off such a bear? Any tips about making that easier?




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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: Takahashi focusers [Re: johnnyha]
      #5603227 - 01/03/13 03:24 PM

That's a dream setup!

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