I just got off the phone with Starlight Instruments and we are getting the first Feathertouch focusers with the built in Paracorr corrector in them. They will be delivered mid August.
For those of you who have not heard, the new Paracorr is going to be available in two versions, one model is mobile just like the old unit; you drop it into any 2" focuser and place your eyepiece on top. The other will be attached to the back of a specially machined Feathertouch focuser, and will be left in place. David Nagler says the new unit is a 3 group, 5 element array. The new focuser will only be available in 1.5" travel.
Pro and Cons:
1. The mobile model can be used in all of your scopes, the mounted model is just going to work with one. You would save money with the mobile model if you have more than one fast scope.
2. To collimate, you will need to remove the lens group from the back of the focuser.
3. To use a binoviewer with the built in unit, you are going to have to remove the Paracorr lens. This is going to be a little extra work.
4. The built in unit will have a one time calibration, then you will never again have to adjust it for any eyepiece in your collection. A nice time saver (and you don't have to remember what eyepieces are #5 or #1)
How do I do the one time calibration?
After installation, you simply place a piece of frosted tape across the opening of the focuser. Adjust for a pin point of light from a star and lock it down. This will be done already if we do the install for you.
Do you need it?
The old Paracorr works just fine down to f/3.5 , if your scope is faster than that, you need it.
The choice of mobile or built in is totally up to you, based on how many scopes you want to use it on and maybe how heavy of a binoviewer user you are.
Can you add it to an existing Webster scope?
Yes, it looks like the current design has the exact same bolt pattern if you want to add the built in model. Preliminary pricing for the Feathertouch and built in Paracorr is $700.
How will it affect collimation?
You will remove the lens group from the back of the focuser before collimation. It will unscrew with an O-ring to keep it from simply falling out
Do you want it?
If you are getting a scope delivered soon, and you want a built in unit, kindly let us know in an email. There will be an upcharge to cover the difference between the standard focuser and the Paracorr unit. Preliminary pricing makes that difference about $350, but we won't know exactly until they send us an invoice.
We will keep you posted on any late breaking news.