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Which telescope ? WO ZS71 ? LightWave D/T ED80?

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I have been observing for just over a year.

I own

a Goto 6Se

celestron travel scope 70mm on a first horizon scope 8115 with friction clutches, (great for open star clusters.)

8mm x-cel eye piece + celsestron eye piece set.

After a bit more practice with the travel scope, I intend to upgrade the travel scope 70mm to a higher spec.

in order to increase the number of stars observable/better optics.

I am a visual observer only and like the portability and the altazimuth horizon tripod.

I live in a light polluted area and choose the darkest section of the sky above my house, and pick a goal.

(dark enough to see the ring nebula M57 with the 6Se.)

I have looked so far at :

Williams optics ZS71 (about 420mm tube length) aprox 2.5kg tube

Light wave ED80 doublet (about 420 tube length) aprox 2.8kg tube

Light wave ED80 triplet (about 430 tube length) aprox 2.9kg tube

skywatcher equinox/evostar ED80 (about 500mm tube,length) aprox 3.0kg tube

I am determined to use my horizon 8115 alt azimuth photo tripod (rated 3.58kg) and wondering which one! - they all look really good!

I like to think they can all be held /balanced ok on the horizon 8115 tripod.

Has anyone got any experience of the above scopes or equivalents and will they all attach directly on to

on to my tripod using the standard 1/4" thread?

Any information and advice will be very helpful.



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My APM 80mm Triplet is essentially the same as the 80mm Triplet in your list. In my experience, these do not sit well on a photo tripod: they are seriously unbalanced, because the centre of gravity is way above the altitude axis. By all means get a quality scope, but also get a suitable mount. I built myself something better out of wood, but several decent, portable mounts exists (the Mini Giro looks very nice, and could be fitted to the tripod you have)

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+1 for the Mini Giro. I was just talking to the head of the Astrograph (UK distributor of APM telescopes and Tele Optic Mounts) and he said the Giro Mini was more than up to the job. The picture on the website shows the APM 80 mounted. If you wanted to keep the weight down, it will operate without the counterweight, but would be smoother with. Link below for the Giro Mini and the picture holding the 80mm triplet.


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I agree with Michael. Telescopes tip backwards pretty hard as you approach the zenith with camera tripods because the altitude axis needs to a 'virtual' one passing thorough the scope. An axis beneath the scope can be pretty nasty.

My own portable scope is a second hand TeleVue Pronto which cost less than the scopes on your list but cost about £1000 new in the nineties. I'd have another one tomorrow, no doubt about that!


Edited by ollypenrice
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Thanks for the response - Mini giro - brilliant solution!!

Am i correct in thinkung, I screw the mini giro on to the first horizon 8115, attach the tube via the dovetail bar allowing the the tube to be balanced, in order to point at the zenith, then use the 8115 controls to move the scope horizontally & vertically? or is it converted to equitarial? (either one is ok.)

Which means I can choose any one of the 4 in the list to work on the 8115 tripod?



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You are correct that the Giro Mini is 3/8" threaded so will just attached to the standard photo tripod screw. And the scope is held in place using a standard vixen style dovetail. The Mount itself has freedom of movement in the 2 axis of motion (altitude and Azimuth) and when correctly balanced you simply nudge the scope by hand. No need of the controls on the 8115. I currently use a big brother of the Mini and comfortable track objects by hand at 200x plus, and I am told the movement is just as smooth on the Mini.

Should you choose, as per the website, you can mount it as an equatorial, but no need. I find for visual only use, Alt Az is more than sufficient.

Clear skies,

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