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Hello Everyone,

I'm new here and new to telescopes and everything related. I've always loved space and related T.V. shows and have finally decided I wish to get into staring at space a bit closer and astrophotography. Anyways to the good stuff, I've been doing a lot of research and while I still don't have that much knowledge I think I have an idea of what I would like, but not sure what I all I need or what may go together good/great. The telescope(s) I've been looking at are Z61 or the Z73, I don't have thousands to spend but wish to get something good and I'll be able to get more stuff for later down the road to make even better. I am not set on the WO's either, I just found an article from astrobackyard that recommended it and it was the cheapest on the list. I saw on highpointscientific that the Z61 is discontinued is this true? Since the WO Zenithstar don't come with almost anything other than the OTA, below I've listed other things I think I'll need to get started right away. I understand these telescopes have a wide FOV, but don't understand how/why the eyepieces take an effect on the FOV or even some that I've seen some provide a FOV number related to that eyepiece. 

Star diagonal: WO-diagonal

Eyepieces: I believe I'll need 2" unless I can (believe) get a star diagonal ^ that has a converter to 1 1/4 (I think would rather have 1 1/4 due to cost differences?): Celestron-1-1/4 or Celestron-2

Mount:  Not really sure about this one.. Again wish not to spend a lot of money, want to get the job done successfully.

Camera: Was wanting to get one that I could hook up to a computer, but a family member has a Canon Rebel XS DSLR which I believe will work? Do I need a special T ring to hook this up?

I can't seem to think of anything else I may need at this time, am I missing anything else that is a must? I'll get a case for it as well since of course, I'll want to protect my investment.

Any feedback is appreciated and welcome :-)

Jonathan Sloan


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Hi Jonathan and welcome to SGL

I know WO change their scopes with the weather but the Z61 has only been out a short while surely they can't discontinue it already ?

There is a limit to how much magnification can be applied to a given focal length of scope so the shorter the focal length scope the quicker you run out of usable magnification so that limits you regards usable shorter focal lengths of eyepiece.

I have a WOZ61 and use it on a Sky Watcher Star Adventurer with DSLR, it may come with a Canon adapter some seem to and some don't.

It should come in a nice case with space for accessories, you may need the dedicated flattener for imaging.


Edited by Davey-T

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Hi Jonathan,

Welcome to the forum. Can you tell us what your primary interest is, imaging or visual? The smaller scopes would work well for imaging, and are still lovely for visual but run out of steam in terms of resolution and brightness quite quickly. For visual they are great for wider field views, but for planets for example they would be limited and also for smaller deep sky objects.

Don't get me wrong, they are lovely scopes and I would have one quite happily, just wanted to make sure you buy the right thing, which is difficult without having experienced them first.

Have you thought of joining a club or going along to an outreach session near you?

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Hi Jonathan,

As I was asking exactly the same questions only 5 months ago I am not really in a position to fully answer your questions. However, the post caught my eye as after a lot of time on this website and other research I bought a WO Z73.

What I did learn quite quickly is there is really no such thing as an ideal scope for imaging and observing and I did decide that if I were to try to buy one for both I would probably be disappointed on both counts.  Also if you are not careful I would say astrophotography could cost serious money depending on what you want to achieve and also by buying the wrong stuff due to lack of knowledge. So in the end to satisfy my eagerness I bought a 2nd hand Dobsonian for very little to get on with visual and then took a bit more time over getting equipment for imaging. 

Also if like me you are new I would recommend a lot of reading up and searching on the web about imaging. For me things are starting to drop into place and my understanding is better but still so much I do not know. Depending on what you want to achieve imaging is quite involved especially the DSO stuff. Take your time before spending your well earned cash. I certainly would recommend starting with observing which can be done relatively cheaply and will keep you busy and interested whilst you sort out any imaging equipment.

Another thing I also learnt quickly was that if it is imaging you want to do then the mount is where you start. This is where a good percentage of your outlay needs to go on a good steady mount capable of being guided to follow whatever you are imaging.

As many will recommend the book "Making Every Photon Counts" is a must and explains really well in terms someone without a degree in astronomy, or photography, can understand.


Oh and keep asking questions. I have probably annoyed the hell out of other members by all my newbie questions but it is a great forum and full of very knowledgeable, friendly members willing to spend time giving their advice. :thumbright:


Edited by teoria_del_big_bang
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Thank you all for your replies much appreciated! There is the Astronomical Society of Kansas City (ASKC) that I believe is fairly close to me actually (I'm new to the area :-/). I plan on joining or at least attending one of their monthly events which should shed some light and use the Powell Observatory. My interests would be more observing DSOs vs our own solar objects, but I like to be able to view it all. To some degree, astrophotography is more of a 'pipe dream' likely at this time, since to do it right simply is going to cost. I suppose I'm likely trying to spread it too far out with a single 'all-in-one' which like Steve said will disappoint. I've got an itch for a telescope but want to make a smart decision so probably should continue to do my research.

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9 minutes ago, jsloan117 said:

To some degree, astrophotography is more of a 'pipe dream' likely at this time, since to do it right simply is going to cost. I suppose I'm likely trying to spread it too far out with a single 'all-in-one' which like Steve said will disappoint. I've got an itch for a telescope but want to make a smart decision so probably should continue to do my research.

The WOZ61 / DSLR / SW Star Adventurer combo is a good and relatively cheap entry level into astro' imaging.

A bit of research will quickly show that to emulate all those "pretty pictures" in astro' mag's and on forums requires a few different scope / camera combinations :grin:


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