Jump to content


Star Adventurer and a small refractor

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

I recently purchased a Star Adventurer and have been having plenty of fun with some prime lenses using my recently modified Canon EOS600d (when the weather plays ball).

I'm now turning my attention to getting a small refractor where I have the WO Zenithstar 61 APO in mind. I would be interested to know from members with a similar setup on what realistic subs I can expect with this scope and mount unguided for objects like the Andromeda Galaxy as an example.

Whilst on the subject of scopes, I would appreciate any advice on other small refractors that would suit the Star Adventurer with similar aperture and focal length as the 61.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

|I use the WO 66 which is great.

Consider using the proposed scope to Sharpcap polar align to increase your sub length.  I used Sharpcap polar align on my Astrotrac at Kielder as a proof of concept and it worked. My only let down was the camera i was trying to use was very old and not sensitive enough. I now know it will work with Astrotrac and SA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a 72mm f6 with the SA and had decent results from it. Subs are at 60sec and can keep around 60% of the images, sometimes less sometimes more depending on PA and in what part of the sky I'm imaging I believe. 

I've done up to 180sec with the scope but then maybe 3/10 images are keepers with perfect pin point stars.

60 sec with the z61 is very doable I think and would aim for that. 

I have some asrto images uploaded on flickr, if you want I'll send you a link.

(You may want to ask member "johngm"  the Altair Astro 60EDF and was going to do a review on the scope here)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use the WOS61 on my Star Adventurer, haven't pushed it to see how long an exposure it can do but should be around the same as a 300mm lens which can do 90sec's comfortably.

It's a good idea to get the dedicated flattener which adds a fair bit to the total price but makes a really solid all screwed connection.





  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Al,

I had a similar question a few months ago, and did some research at the time.

Trevor from Astrobackyard made an interesting review of the WO 61, which your can find here. You can check the Youtube video in the article as well, it should give you a better idea of what the scope looks like. Trevor's using an iOptron SkyGuider though, but it is very similar to the Star Adventurer mount in terms of specs, so I think it's safe to assume you can get the same results.

I don't have other scopes in mind, but you might also want to consider some of the Canon lenses out there. After a lot of reading, I finally settled with the Canon 300mm f/4L (non-IS), which I can also transform into a 420mm f/5.6 thanks to a teleconverter (1.4x), and it works very well! I posted a picture of Andromeda with this lens here. I'll need some further testing, but so far, so good.

I have also seen awesome pictures taken with the Canon 400mm f/5.6 lens, which has a similar focal length as the WO 61.

Hope that helps!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Pierre,

Sorry for the late reply. That picture you took of Andromeda recently with your lens is a real stunner!

After much deliberation I ended up purchasing a Canon 70mm - 200mm F4 L lens which I got second hand at a good price. I felt it worth getting to grips with a focal length that is quite forgiving on PA. I've only got to use the lens once attempting to image in HA the nebulosity surrounding Sadr in Cygnus. Unfortunately I experienced issues with stray light which I now believe was due to the clip in filter not having been clipped in properly on my DSLR. Despite this set back the RAW images I got at 200mm are pleasing (I am yet to stack and process them) but just as importantly I found operating the lens to be much easier and forgiving than my old Sigma 70mm - 300mm which was subject to lens creep when attempting to image the same area of the sky.

I feel there is a lot I can cover with the new Canon lens whilst I still get to grips with the Star Adventurer which I've only had for a few months. I'm sure at some stage I will opt for a small refractor to get the most out of this setup. Perhaps once M42 is in a better position for me to image from my location.

Changing the subject slightly, I see in your signature that you have a SkyWatcher 102mm mak. Do you mount this scope on the skyguider pro? If so does it handle well? I've been thinking about the same scope for my SA to use on the moon but not convinced the SA would handle the size of the scope.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Al! 

I read very good things about the Canon 70-200 f/4. As a daylight photographer, I consider this kind of lens a better investment than a telescope, as it allows me to take pictures of wildlife as well, which I really love. And they can be used for astro, which makes them very versatile.

To be honest I haven't tried putting the little Mak on the SkyGuider yet. In the meantime I got my Canon 300mm lens, and I was really excited about it. Besides, my mount had a problem and I had to send it for repair.

I did some tests though. The Maksutov is about 2 kg, and you'll need to add an extra weight to balance it properly (the one provided with my mount is only 1.3 kg I think), but the whole setup should be below the payload limit anyway (5 kg).

I'm also considering getting the Sky Watcher AZ-GTi mount to pair with the Maksutov, mainly for observing, but also for planetary imaging. The Sky Guider is a nice mount, but without GoTo, it's not always easy for me to find the targets. Also, the AZ-GTi seems 

There are interesting kits sold by SkyWatcher (AZ-GTi mount + Mak 102mm + tripod), perhaps it's worth considering? Here it is: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi/sky-watcher-skymax-102-az-gti.html

Anyway, it's a nice little scope! I have yet to try it for planetary imaging and more general observing, but I'll never forget the first time I saw Saturn's rings from my balcony! :) 

Clear skies!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.