Custom counterweight

I like Questar's counterweight design because it will lie flat for packing and take almost no space. The factory Questar counterweight was too heavy for my lightweight mirrorless camera. Here's how I made the perfect one for me, plus a bonus weight for a heavier camera, with a design that closely echos Questar's own.

Materials for 2 counterweights:

  • 1 ft square 1/32" lead sheeting (found on Amazon)
  • 10"x30" of leatherette upholstery material (local fabric store)
  • 18" of 1" wide Velcro hook fastener sew on
  • 18" of 1" wide Velcro loop fastener sew on
  • 8" of 3/4" wide Velcro loop fastener adhesive backed
  • 12" x 2" x 1/8" Plexiglass or acrylic strip (local hardware store)

I folded the square lead sheet into thirds. Breaking off 1/3 for a 10 oz weight and 2/3 folded for a 20 oz weight. Both will be 4" x 12", which is the perfect length to wrap around the Questar dew shield.

Folded lead sheet ready to fit upholstery fabric sleeve

Cut the leatherette material in half (10x15). Fold each half in half lengthwise inside out. Run a seam down the material to form a sleeve for the 4" side lead weight. with just enough room to slide a weight in once you reverse the fabric to right side out.

Center the weights in the two sleeves. Run seams cross wise at the two ends to hold the weight in place.

Folded lead sheet weight sewn into upholstery fabric sleeve

Cut the two pieces of Velcro sew on fasteners in half (about 9" long. Wrap the ends of each sleeve with the Velcro, trim to fit, and sew into place. You should have one end with hooks and one with loops for each weight, so that you can close the weight around the telescope tube. The loop material should be on top so that it can also mate with the hook material on the bottom of the plexiglass retaining strip.

A way to holding the heavy counterweight and the Questar dew shield in place is also needed. Without it your balance may shift or your dew shield slide off and crash to the ground. Drill a 1.25" hole in one end of the plexiglass strip. This will allow your eyepiece to slide through and hold the counterweight in place with the Velcro. Trim the sharp corners of the plexiglass to a pleasing shape. I tapered it to 1 1/2" width at the far end. Stick the adhesive Velcro strip to run down the far 2/3 of the plexiglass strip.

Finished weights and retaining strip

You now have two wrap around weights for your Questar. One is the right weight for a light weight mirrorless camera and the other (or both) for a heavy DSLR.

Content created: 2016-06-23




Submit comments or questions about this page.

By submitting a comment, you agree that: it may be included here in whole or part, attributed to you, and its content is subject to the site wide Creative Commons licensing.