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ZenithStar 61

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Hello all,

I am new to the Forum. I am planning on getting this after seeing a review of this.

Small, portable appeals to me.

But since I am a novice, I need advice. I have Nikon D850. I do not plan any changes to the Camera, as flower photography and landscapes are my first love..

I plan to get the following..imageproxy.php?img=&key=bdf8b2134cef9d8bimageproxy.php?img=&key=bdf8b2134cef9d8b

ZenithStar 61

Flat 61, i Optron Sky guider Pro, Remote shutter release, T mount for Nikon

Pardon me if this looks as if a really naive question, but what eye pieces do I need to get?

Do I need an extension tube? (although I am still trying to figure out the reason why)

Do I need a Star field 50 mm guide scope.


I also need a suggestion on good tripod, as I am not sure mine can hold all the extra weight.

Thank you all in advance..Here is my recent photo or two..imageproxy.php?img=&key=bdf8b2134cef9d8bimageproxy.php?img=&key=bdf8b2134cef9d8bDSC_6718.thumb.jpg.16c3b14ba96cc172aa2c797178189be3.jpg





StarTrailsJune2018, Acadia.jpg

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Hi, and welcome to SGL.

The zenithstars are nice scopes. The only thing I would say is that, once you add the 61flat, the distance from the flattener to the chip on your camera becomes critical. You may need some sort of extension tube to make it fit.  I'm not sure on that, but it will be worth checking the distances and if you need one first.

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I don't know how serious or how big is your interest in AP.
If I were you, I will do this:
- Start with Orion Sirius & small triplet refractor (no more than 480mm)
- Learn how to precise polar alignment, and take a bunch of 1-2min unguided exposure with SGPro+PlateSolve2
- Learn how to process the image with Astro Pixel Processor or PixInsight
- Next...add a guide system and learn PHD2
- Next...monochrome + lrgb & nb filter
- Mini ROR Obs maybe...
- Next...the best part in this hobby, swap to CEM60 or GM811G or big jump to Mach 1 + bigger aperture scope



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Hi Radha a a very warm welcome to the Lounge.

You will find, as you grow into this "hobby" needing more and more specialised equipment, some of which Rigradio has kindly listed. Getting back to your current issues. Adding any form of flattener or reducer onto your scope will affect your F/L critical zone.


All you will require is an adaptor to attach your Nikon camera.


I can see you are very adept in processing landscape photographs as your skills have certainly showed. But, processing  astro photographs, especially long exposure photographs is completely different animal altogether.  One suggestion to help in understanding the processing skills required is to look at youtube processing videos on the subjects you wish to image yourself. As you will be using a DSLR as your imaging camera, may I also suggest you look at this great little forum. It regularly issues an imaging challenge. You process your version of the image and post it on the forum. It is then critiqued, in a friendly manner and, most importantly, guidance given to help increase your understanding and hone your skills:-




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Thank you Steve..I will also look into your suggestions. I am beginning to understand that there is a huge learning curve here.. It may take  years to grasp the basics.. I will start with something simple and see, whether it is viewing or imaging.. There is a wealth of information here that my neurons need to work on..?

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I have a similar set-up to what you are looking at, with the ZS61 on top of a SkyWatcher Star Adventurer (similar to iOptron Sky Guider), with a Sony A6000 connected to the Flat61.

As others have said, no eyepieces are required. You probably don't need a guide scope just yet. I can get 90s subs on my setup which is mounted on a metal Manfrotto 055 tripod unguided with reasonable polar alignment.

As for extension tube(s), you may need some. The spacing has to be quite accurate, with the sensor 54.8mm from the end of the Flat61. I had to play around with some extension tubes as the t-ring required for the A6000 was larger than for most DSLR's, but because the camera is mirrorless there is less distance from the mount to the sensor. It was a bit of research and a bit of trial and error really.

P.S. The ZS61 is a lovely piece of kit.

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