Telescope focusers – Buying guide & Comparison
One of the best ways to improve your stargazing experience is to get a good telescope focuser. With it, you benefit from improved and more accurate focus so that you can admire planets and other celestial objects in higher detail. Not only can a good focuser dramatically improve focus, but it can also eliminate frustration associated with cheap focusers which can take a lot of time to acquire decent focus on a target. Thankfully, we have scanned the internet to find some of the best focusers so that you get to enjoy a great addition to your telescope without spending days doing the research. So if you plan on upgrading your focuser, then the Orion 2-Inch Crayford-Style Focuser is the best of its class. It is small, light and easy to use, compatible with 8 to 12 inch telescopes. However, for the chance that this model is sold out, another great choice is the Meade Zero Image Shift-Electronic Micro-Focuser.
Our Top Choice
Made of high-grade aluminum tubing, this model is one of the highest rated focusers of its type. With a high-quality construction and accepting both 1.25” and 2” eyepieces, this device enhances the overall stargazing experience. The premium bearings ensure a smooth rolling action for precise focus in no time.
Given its sturdy construction, this item is rather heavy, so you need to pay attention to any balance issues when you use it, since you don’t want to risk damaging any of the other equipment.
Overall, this is a great device that will help you achieve the desired results in no time, while ensuring very smooth movement and no wobbling.
If you want to enjoy an ultra-smooth action, with precisely-machined elements that work seamlessly together, then this model is the one for you. Ideal for astrophotography or time-lapse photography, the focuser ensures sharp images. You can use the electronic controllers included for other devices as well.
As is the case with this type of products, you should carefully read the instructions provided to make sure that it’s fully compatible with your devices. This way you avoid any potential issues.
This focuser is a wonderful instrument to use for your late night observations, so it can surely make it to the top of your favorites’ list for future purchases.
This model is ideally used with reflector-type optical tubes, as it enhances their focusing capabilities. Made of anodized aluminum, this precisely constructed adapter is also resistant to corrosion. Available at an affordable price, the focuser works well with the 203mm and 254mm reflector tubes from the same manufacturer.
According to some users, it can feel a little lighter than it should, compared to other similar products, so if you know that you have a preference in this sense, keep it in mind.
As it offers many benefits, this adapter is most probably one of the easiest gadgets you can use to get the extremely accurate focus that you need, every time.
You don’t have to be an astronomy expert to enjoy viewing the Moon, the planets in our solar system or far away objects such as the Crab or Pillars of Creation nebulae. However, unless you have a decent telescope focuser, you won’t be able to view them in high detail. With a cheap focuser, images might appear unsharp, wobbly, and using it might turn out to be more frustrating than enjoyable. The good news is that there are plenty of great models out there, and you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get one. These can improve focus and provide you with clear and crisp images of your favorite celestial objects.
The importance of getting a good focuser for your telescope
No matter how much money you invest in a telescope, it will only be as good as your focuser. Even the most expensive mirrors and the widest apertures won’t help you much if you can’t get proper focus. High resolution doesn’t mean much when the object you’re viewing is out-of-focus, with fuzzy edges and blurry details.
This is why it is important to find a good quality focuser for sale, so that you get to benefit from a fast and smooth focusing ability and spend more time admiring or studying celestial objects rather than struggling to acquire decent focus.
Many models on the market come with high-grade bearings, precise focusing knobs and some even have electronic modules such as Orion’s Autostar, which help immensely in getting the celestial object you want in focus without wasting half an hour to get it.
Make sure you get the right type
While this might seem obvious, you want to make sure that you get the right type of focuser. Some are compatible with reflector-type telescopes, others with Dobsonian focusers. Many adapters are designed for a specific diameter mount, such as a 2” or 1.25”. You also want to check which eyepieces it can fit, so that you don’t hamper your magnifying ability by getting the wrong adapter.
You might also want to check electronic focusers. These can command a higher price, but they can come in quite handy, since you’ll be spending a lot more time admiring sharp and highly-detailed views of planets, stars and galaxies instead of fumbling with the focusing knob for minutes at a time.
Improve your astrophotography with the best adapters
If you’re a passionate photographer, it’s not a bad idea to try to get the best telescope adapter that’s specialized for cameras. These can allow you to obtain great results and capture distant planets and colorful nebulae in amazingly high detail, and all that with a minimum investment.
Don’t forget to check the type of adapter and to make sure that it fits your camera model. For example, for a Nikon D3 you could use a Solomark 42mm adapter, while a new Canon model could require a totally different gadget with a smaller/larger diameter.
5 Best Telescope Focusers (Reviews) in 2020
We know that doing proper research on important gadgets such as focusers can take a lot of time, and this is why we have taken the responsibility to compile a list of the best 5 telescope focuser reviews, so you get to pick the best model and enjoy fast and extremely accurate focus for amazing views of the solar system and beyond.
1. Orion 13039 Crayford Style Telescope Focuser
Perhaps the best telescope focuser of its type, the Orion 2-Inch Crayford-Style Focuser is a great addition to Orion Dobsonian telescopes between 8 and 12 inches. Made from high-grade aluminum tubing, this focuser will enhance your stargazing experience by providing you with unmatched focusing.
This focuser is designed to replace 2-inch rack and pinion focusers, and accepts both 1.25” and 2” eyepieces. Thanks to the use of high-grade bearings, this focuser can provide an extremely smooth rolling action and help you acquire precise and accurate focus in no time.
The internal tube of the Orion 2-Inch Crayford-Style Focuser is painted with a special black paint in order to improve contrast and help you focus even faster on your favorite celestial objects.
You can also enjoy seamless celestial observations with zero image shift and smooth control thanks to the fine adjustments that are easy to use.
This unit is suitable to be used with reflector telescopes, and it is said to accept both 2″ and 1.25″ eyepieces. As a plus, the body of the unit can accommodate 8″ to 12″ reflector telescope tubes.
Because of the roller-bearing design of the device, this focuser can supply the users with zero image-shift through focusing range. Therefore, it has an improved performance when compared to rack and pinion models.
This item comes fitted with focus knobs that have rubber grips for easy control. So, you won’t have troubles when it comes to adjusting the focus of your telescope.
According to the seller, this product allows one to achieve sharp images at high magnifications easily.
One user noted that this model is rather heavy and not particularly suitable when used with small scopes.
Besides, the choice comes with a 1.25″ adapter that isn’t threaded for 2″ filters. Hence, utilizing it can be a tad problematic.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($76.49)
2. Meade 07080 Zero Image Shift Electronic Micro-Focuser
The Meade Zero Image Shift-Electronic Micro-Focuser 07080 is the perfect focuser for your Meade LX200-ACF, Meade LS or LX600 models. You get to enjoy ultra-smooth action thanks to the precisely-machined parts which work seamlessly with each other.
This model is ideal for astrophotography or time-lapse photography and it can ensure crisp and sharp images every time. This model comes with an included thread-type adapter that you can use to easily mount it on your telescope.
With the help of the electronic Autostar 2 and Autostar 3 handbox electronic controllers, you don’t just get extremely accurate image focus, but also an integrated platform that you can learn and use on your other telescope models with ease.
You can also obtain conventional focus by using the knob for accurate mechanical focusing. However, you get faster and easier image focus via the handbox keypads without producing shake or image shift.
This item is meant to be used with modern LX200-ACF telescopes that come provided with the highly appreciated AutoStar II hand controller. Moreover, the choice is also compatible with LX200GPS models.
When shipped, the unit includes special adapters that you can use with any Meade LX200-ACF or LS models, as well as with a cord that you have to use and plug into the focuser port of the device that you own.
This alternative accepts 1.25-inch and 2-inch eyepieces as well as extra accessories that can help you get clear images.
Plus, the unit helps you obtain precise focus, and it is easy to use, even by beginners.
The item can only be used with specific models. Therefore, it can not be considered versatile.
Although most buyers liked and recommended it, some argued that it is a little expensive when compared to other models also available.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($206.89)
3. Orion 5122 Long Adapter for Crayford-Type Telescope Focuser
The Orion Long 2-Inch adapter is designed to work with 2” Crayford-style single-speed focusers to provide fast and accurate focus for your favorite planets and stars.
This adapter is ideal to use with reflector-type optical tubes, enhancing their focusing abilities while also keeping prices low, so you don’t have to buy the most expensive focuser on the market to enjoy great nights outdoors under the starlit sky.
Made from anodized aluminum, this adapter is not only precisely machined but also resistant to corrosion, while its dark color helps increase contrast and thus provide better focusing, especially in darker environments.
This adapter also works well with the 203mm and 254mm Orion reflector tubes, providing them with extra height as well as better focusing abilities. With one of the lowest prices in its class, the Orion Long 2-Inch Adapter is surely one of the easiest gadgets to provide you with extremely accurate focus every time.
This model was designed to be utilized with the Orion 2″ Crayford-type focuser.
Even more so, this item is said to provide the user with the extra height one might need when the single-speed Crayford focuser is used with Orion 203mm f/4 and 254mm f/4.7 reflectors.
If you intend to use the focuser on Orion Dobsonians, you should not invest in the adaptor as it is not necessary.
Because it is made of anodized aluminum, this option is quite durable and likely to pass the test of time.
It has been pointed out that this model does not come equipped with a compression ring. Still, not many considered this a significant drawback of the product.
The item is, according to some, a tad expensive given the features that it includes. However, many buyers are content with its performance and they consider that the investment was worth it.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.79)
4. Solomark Precision Ultrawide 42mm Camera Adapter for Nikon Dslr Camera
If you plan on using your Nikon DSLR camera to take great pictures of the night sky, then you should definitely get the Solomark Precision 42mm. Made from precisely machined aluminum, this model is extremely durable, yet very light and easy to mount.
The barrel is threaded so that it works with most 2-inch telescope eyepieces, and it’s a great addition to anyone wishing to try out astrophotography.
Made especially to work with Nikon cameras, this adapter works great with most digital models, from the old D1, D2, D200, D3000 and D5000 to D4, D3200 and D800E.
With the Solomark Precision 42mm Camera Adapter you get to connect your camera to your telescope and capture your favorite celestial objects in awesome photos for posterity. You get instant connection between your camera body and your 2-inch eyepiece port for a seamless experience.
This device has a threaded barrel so that it can be used with two-inch telescope eyepieces as well as with astronomy filters.
Additionally, the product is said to be able to accommodate most Nikon film SLR or DSLR cameras on the market. A complete list of the models that it fits is provided by the seller.
The choice was constructed using precisely machined aluminum, a material that is known for its durability. So, you should not worry that the item is prone to break easily.
By using it, you can connect your camera to your telescope and, consequently, capture clear and unique images of the celestial bodies that you love to observe.
A small number of buyers claimed that they received defective products. Still, not many similar issues have been reported.
There have been owners that noted that this choice was not a perfect fit for their cameras, which is why they considered the model unusable for astrophotography.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($30.29)
5. Orion Reflector Telescope Optical Tube Assembly
Especially if you get one of the 2-inch adapter models, the Orion 203mm f/4.9 Reflector Tube is a great stand-alone telescope which can provide you with eye-popping images of planets, stars and galaxies, whether you’re on a long trip or relaxing in your backyard.
With a 203mm or 8-inch aperture and 1000mm (39.37 inches) in focal length, this model will provide you with a wide field of view, allowing you to observe galaxies such as Andromeda, star clusters and nebulae in awesome detail.
You get everything to assemble your telescope fast, including a dust cap, a collimator cap as well as a dove-tail base to help you mount your favorite finder scope.
With the Orion 203mm f/4.9 Reflector Tube, you also get a Crayford focuser to help you focus on distant planets or stars accurately and fast. This model is recommended for passionate stargazers who wish to try astrophotography and especially time-lapse photography.
This model has a 203mm aperture and a 1000mm focal length, and it is said to provide its users with unobstructed views of the deep sky and the celestial objects.
Moreover, the item can also be utilized as an astrophotography telescope that one can use to shoot wide-field subjects.
The item comes fitted with a 2″ Crayford focuser, and it includes a step-down adapter so that you can use it with both 2″ and 1.25″ eyepieces.
Because this reflector optical tube only weighs 16.5 lbs., it can be considered easy to carry around when on the go.
Some buyers noted that the quality of the focuser that this device includes is not satisfactory. However, not many agreed with this statement.
Given that the diagonal mirror incorporated in its design is only 7 inches, it is prone to dewing up on humid nights. Yet, you can remedy this by adding a dew shield.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($249.99)