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peterstrapp

TS 65Q vs ZS71 ED 2013

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I'm trying to decide between these two small telescopes to add to my portable setup. I'm hoping to mount it on my new SkyWatcher Adventurer mount. The mount seems capable of carrying a scope of this size (Lacerta 72mm APO - http://www.astronomieforum.at/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8327).


Having trawled the forums and various sites for weeks this is what I've leart: 



TS 65Q

Apature 65mm

F6.5

FPL53 glass

Triplet

Integrated full frame flattner

Vixen dove tail bar (£20 extra)

Standard finder shoe

Weight 1.8kg

2-inch to T2 extension tube needed for connection to DSLR (£20 extra)

£540


Known issues:

Potential astigmatism problem when cold (fixable by slackening lens), 




ZS71 ED 2013

Apature 71mm

F4.72 (with reducer/flattner)

Doublet

FPL51 glass

Seperate APS-C frame flattner

Very short intergrated dovetail bar

No finder shoe

Weight 1.9kg (with reducer/flattner)

T2 connection on reducer/flattner

£460


Known issues:

Short dovetail can make it back heavy

Blue star blooming

Potential slop in rotatable focuser




The WO ZS71 has greater apature and is faster but is a doublet with lower quality glass (more prone to blue star blooming). The 65Q can suffer from an astigmatism problem and is £80 more but seems to handle blue stars well and I've seen some stunning flat images from it:





This recent review indicates that the astigmatism issues of 2011 are now cured:





I'm leaning towards the TS 65Q but would like to know others thoughts. Without a push in one direction or another I'll likely roam the internet researching scopes for months to come.


Thanks,

Peter.

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Q stands for quadruplet, surely? It won't be a triplet. The advantage is a naturally flat field so there is no hassle respecting chip distance from the flattener.

Olly

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Hi Peter, I thinks the figures you have for the weight of the ZS71 are incorrect it is around 2.9Kg with the FF/FR so that with a camera might be tight for the Adventurer mount.

I have not noticed a problem with the rotatable focusser but again i never use this feature so it is locked tight but the mounting foot is a bit of a problem so i reversed mine it helps (this could be more of an issue on your Adventurer mount if you need more front weight to balance) but does mean the focusser cant be rotated anyway (the camera orientation is still easily achieved by rotating the FF/FR).

From personal experiance I have not had too many problems with blue bloat but I use an unusual focussing technique that might be helping, i dont know if this may be more of an issue with a modified camera.

Alan

Edited by Alien 13

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For me the blue issue decideds it, I have had both scopes and prefered the TS Quad

The pinched optics issue is an old issue and resolved from what I have heard I never used mine in the cold so cannot pass on first hand experience.

It is slower though, but fast and well colour corrected does not come cheap in refractors, as with most things its compomise to fit in the budget.

Build quality I felt the TS had the edge and comes with tube rings rather than the foot, which may make mouting issues easier for some.

Not having to worry about spacing issues is also a strong selling point in my book as I really hate faffing to get spacing, good corners and a flat field, it can be soul destroying.

They are both good in fact great scopes for the money, its just where you finally decide your priorty issues are.

Edited by Earl
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Olly, your right, it is a quad, I listed it as a triplet with flattner as an easy way of comparing it against a doublet with flattner. That may be under-selling it though, as you say, being a quad it takes away the hassle of a separate flattner.

nmoushon, unfortunately the ED80 weighs around 4kg. The SW Adventurers limit is 5kg (I assume this includes counter-weights).

Alan, oops, yes that should be 2.9kg. I am a bit concerned about weight. I wonder whether I could attach a 3.5kg object to the mount to test it's capacity before shelling out on the scope.

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Not having to worry about spacing issues is also a strong selling point in my book as I really hate faffing to get spacing, good corners and a flat field, it can be soul destroying.

This is so true you would think that you screw the canon T ring to the FF and thats it nooooo i needed another extra 1.2mm spacing on mine not 1.1 or 1.3mm, sub millimeter perfect is the name of the game.

Alan

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I must have miss read and not realized you where going with a specific mount. My bad.

If this is a portable set up and you're sticking with that mount then I would go with the lightest scope. As mentioned above CC comes at a cost (especially if you want faster native optics) so unless you got the money I think that takes a back seat to weight. I would suggest the TS65Q. The fact that is a quad and weights that much less is a biggy in my book. You could always add a reducer to make the scope a bit faster as well. Though you would have a pretty wide field kit at that point. Not sure if thats a plus or minus for you. You would also have to consider spacing but thats the price to pay if you want a faster scope and not pay the premium of faster native optics.

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Also if you are going to be using a DSLR (assuming your are) have you thought about possibly going with a lens instead? I think it could be a bit more suited for the size of the mount. Not sure the weight on those as I know some are extremely light and some are extremely heavy. Would have to do some research.

Also if you go with a smaller lens you could possibly replace the DSLR with a mono CCD and filters and still be within the weight limit. Just something to consider.

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I'm in the same boat as I'm waiting for my star adventurer to be delivered when they are back in stock.

I've pretty my decided on the canon 200mm 2.8 L lens but I keep going back to looking at scopes.

As I will also be using a guide scope, I've really got to think about the weight of whatever I use.

Edited by hobsey

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I'm in the same boat as I'm waiting for my star adventurer to be delivered when they are back in stock.

I've pretty my decided on the canon 200mm 2.8 L lens but I keep going back to looking at scopes.

As I will also be using a guide scope, I've really got to think about the weight of whatever I use.

An OAG on the 65 will provide no spacing considerations and save weight.

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An OAG on the 65 will provide no spacing considerations and save weight.

Oh come on, stop making my decision even harder to make.
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an informed decision, never the less is always better :)

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After much thinking last night, the problem I see with mounting the TS 65Q on the Star Adventurer is trying to get a proper balance of the scope.

The TS65Q is mounted using a proper dovetail and suggests to me that you need a dovetail saddle and there is no way of mouting one on the tiny mount.

Now, the ZS71 as a smaller mounting shoe which also allows you to use it on a tripod which means its been designed to have better balance on a smaller area.

If that actually makes any sense at all.

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After much thinking last night, the problem I see with mounting the TS 65Q on the Star Adventurer is trying to get a proper balance of the scope.

The TS65Q is mounted using a proper dovetail and suggests to me that you need a dovetail saddle and there is no way of mouting one on the tiny mount.

I'd be surprised if the dovetail doesn't have a 1/4" thread machined into it. That's allow it to easily mount onto the Star Adventurer.

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I can't quite put into words what I mean so I will keep quiet for now and carry on scratrching my head on what to do.

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I have found a picture to help explain (I hope)

If you look at this picture, the tripod head is quite long allowing most of the dovetail to sit on it

quadruplet-apotele-420mm.jpg

The Star Adventure is mainly designed to be used with smaller ball heads so if you use a smaller ball head with that dovetail then this will cause the scope to pivot up and down as there will be less support.

Where as the ZS71 shoe is smaller meaning it needs less support so you can get away with using a smaller ball head.

Or and I still talking non-sense?

Edited by hobsey

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I came across a post by Yarosia last night that shows a TS65Q used on a Star Adventurer. It does appear that it can be mounted using a dovetail bar with a 1/4 inch thread, though only the back portion of the bar would be in contact with the mount.

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/215957-skywatcher-star-adventurer/page-2#entry2407676

He's had some success which resulted in a nice image of the north american nebula, however he had to throw away a lot of subs with non-round stars.

I spent last night researching lenses. There are very few options for the price of an TS65Q. The 200mm 2.8 L is interesting but even the largest objects would appear quite small using it.

I have an old low quality 70mm - 250mm lens that I tried on the mount last night (through the clouds). Wobble from the mount is extreme even at 250mm, there's night and day between this and my HEQ5. I'm starting to think I'm expecting too much from it. I think getting an object lined up in the frame at 420mm (65Q) would be quite a task. And I'm really starting to doubt whether round stars would be achievable without a lot of luck.

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Well done, I searched high and low for a TS65Q on this mount.

Looks like he is using straight on to the L bracket and not on a ball head.

I may leave it a while until I see more examples of setups and succesful results and just play with the camera lenses I currently have.

Edited by hobsey

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I came across a post by Yarosia last night that shows a TS65Q used on a Star Adventurer. It does appear that it can be mounted using a dovetail bar with a 1/4 inch thread, though only the back portion of the bar would be in contact with the mount.

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/215957-skywatcher-star-adventurer/page-2#entry2407676

He's had some success which resulted in a nice image of the north american nebula, however he had to throw away a lot of subs with non-round stars.

I spent last night researching lenses. There are very few options for the price of an TS65Q. The 200mm 2.8 L is interesting but even the largest objects would appear quite small using it.

I have an old low quality 70mm - 250mm lens that I tried on the mount last night (through the clouds). Wobble from the mount is extreme even at 250mm, there's night and day between this and my HEQ5. I'm starting to think I'm expecting too much from it. I think getting an object lined up in the frame at 420mm (65Q) would be quite a task. And I'm really starting to doubt whether round stars would be achievable without a lot of luck.

Thats a great post. The couple of times that I've played with mine I found framing to be a bit of a pain (and that was at 70mm), mainly because moving the head moves the polar alignment. I cant imagine trying this at 465mm

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Thats a great post. The couple of times that I've played with mine I found framing to be a bit of a pain (and that was at 70mm), mainly because moving the head moves the polar alignment. I cant imagine trying this at 465mm

In that case. looks like the Canon 200mm 2.8 L is the better option and I will wait until I move somewhere with a garden where I can purchase a larger scope and start imaging with the CG5.

Looking at some of these examples, I would be more than happy using the 200mm

http://www.astrobin.com/gear/3568/canon-ef-200mm-f28-l/

Edited by hobsey

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In that case. looks like the Canon 200mm 2.8 L is the better option and I will wait until I move somewhere with a garden where I can purchase a larger scope and start imaging with the CG5.

Looking at some of these examples, I would be more than happy using the 200mm

http://www.astrobin.com/gear/3568/canon-ef-200mm-f28-l/

Nice images in that link i do love my ZS71 but personally i would worry fitting it to an Adventurer mount it really is heavy and a lot of the weight is at the camera end even with the foot reversed.

The big bonus with that mount and camera lens is that you get to use it in the daytime with its timelapse features.

Alan

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I came across a post by Yarosia last night that shows a TS65Q used on a Star Adventurer. It does appear that it can be mounted using a dovetail bar with a 1/4 inch thread, though only the back portion of the bar would be in contact with the mount.

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/215957-skywatcher-star-adventurer/page-2#entry2407676

He's had some success which resulted in a nice image of the north american nebula, however he had to throw away a lot of subs with non-round stars.

I spent last night researching lenses. There are very few options for the price of an TS65Q. The 200mm 2.8 L is interesting but even the largest objects would appear quite small using it.

I have an old low quality 70mm - 250mm lens that I tried on the mount last night (through the clouds). Wobble from the mount is extreme even at 250mm, there's night and day between this and my HEQ5. I'm starting to think I'm expecting too much from it. I think getting an object lined up in the frame at 420mm (65Q) would be quite a task. And I'm really starting to doubt whether round stars would be achievable without a lot of luck.

I think you've come to the cross roads that I was afraid of. I thought with the smaller scopes you could get away with the smaller mount. But looks like it might be a lot of work to get it to work right. BUT there is evidence out there that it does work so their is still hope. You will just have to gauge how much work you want to do to make this work right. If you are ok with throwing out 1/3 to 1/2 of your subs for the sake of portability then it might be the setup for you. But if you are willing to make that sacrifice then maybe you might have to reconsider some things. So I think you really have 2 options left for you. (In my mind anyways, not saying they are your only options)

Option 1: Stick with this mount for your original purpose of portability. But you will have to go ultra light weight which means scopes are out. This means getting a lens instead. I don't think this is such a bad thing though. From that astrobin link posted above you can see that you can achieve some very very nice images with that f2.8 200mm lens. You might have to wait and save a bit more if you want the focal length to be closer to that 200-300mm range. I think, even with a lens, trying to get to 400mm+ in FL is a bit too much for this mount. Now if you don't want to save a bit more or can't afford more period then you can drop down to a smaller lens with a shorter FL. I'm thinking 100-200mm range. There are some really high quality lenses you can get in that range that I would think would fit in your budget. If you look around at a lot of portable setups most of them have short FL, especially if the budgets aren't a million bucks. I think if you are going to stick with this mount you are going to have to drop to a shorter FL. Even if you could get a ultra light weight scope with 400mm+ I think the mount might not be up for the tasl of giving consistant perfect subs. Also note that there are a LOT of large DSOs out there that would fill or nearly fill the frame even at the 100-200mm range. Especially if you start doing mosaics. Now if you are really set on the 400mm+ range then you will have to upgrade your mount which is your next option.

Option 2: I know the appeal of the Adventure is its ultra portability but you might have to step up the mount to be able to use the TS65Q or the ZS71. I havent done much research on it but i think the ZEQ25 is about the smallest mount I can think of that would be suited for light weight AP. Its a bit more pricey than the Adventure but thats the first one that came to mind. Maybe someone else has another cheaper idea for an AP mount? There is also determining your definition of portability. I find my HEQ5 portable because I can easily throw it in the trunk of my car and drive anywhere I want and have it all setup in less than an hour right next to my car. But if your definition includes climbing a mountain trail with everything on your back then no way in hell is my HEQ5 portable anymore lol. So if you are wanting to climb a mountain with your gear then I would suggest going as light weight and small as possible. If you are going to setup right next to your car then I think you have some other options in front of you that might work.

My 2 cents. Hope it helps.

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Hi Peter,

I still have no idea if I'm going to go with a small scope or a prime lens.

While I'm sitting here impatiently waiting for the Star Adventurer to come into stock, I wanted to see what sort of weight of lens/scope I can get away with with all the other gear I will have on the mount.

With my 2 ball heads, guidescope with my heavy poor man guide rings, camera and guide camera comes to about 2kg.

20140913_121846.jpg

20140913_121520.jpg

I reckon I could get the weight down with proper guidescope rings and mini dovetail which are a bit more light weight.

Just though I would share my finds with you to see if it will help you decide.

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I have a TS APO65Q. Although I have not been able to use it for imaging, I have used it for observation and I am very much pleased with it. I have not detected any problems with stars, the appear round, no color fringing even at high power. It is a great little scope. I do recommend it.

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