Find us on Google+ Astronomy Box: Merry Cosmic Christmas and Happy Astronomical New Year!

4 January 2012

Merry Cosmic Christmas and Happy Astronomical New Year!

Happy 2012, Astro fans!

What a happy holiday it was. Family, food, and astronomical pressies! Yes, Christmas is the amateur astronomers best friend. Evidently I was a very good boy and received a brand new Crayford focuser for my telescope.

Here it is, the new William Optics DDG Synta focuser, the DDG standing for digital display gauge. The DDG tells you precisely, to two decimal points in millimetre, how much you've pulled the focus. Along with the 10:1 gear ratio focusing knob, this focuser really is fantastic!

William Optics say on their site; "Solid as a rock, smooth like a feather". Apart from being brilliantly cheesy with their wording, they are not wrong. The motion when pulling focus really is silky smooth and there is absolutely zero wobble or travel in the tube. In short, it's miles ahead of the stock rack and pinion focuser supplied with the Celestron Omni XLT 120mm refractor.

As you can see, it is a much more substantial focuser and looks stunning. A couple of minor niggles I'd have with it is that the focus tube is a little on the short side which does adversely focusing with a barlow lens. This problem however is easily remedied with the use of a simple extension tube. There is also no finder scope shoe on this focuser like the stock Synta model has but this can also be corrected buy procuring a standalone one and fastening it to the telescope somewhere.

Another plus on the other hand, is that the left focusing knob is actually a handy thermometer. Presumably for those with temperature sensitive equipment or who like to brag about their ability to withstand extreme environments.

All in all, I'm extremely happy with Santa and I can't wait to start shooting some ultra sharp images with my new toy. I will of course be detailing my thoughts on this fantastic focuser as I use it. Ten out of ten and smiles all around.

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