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AstroFin

William Optics Zenithstar 61... or something else?

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Hi everybody!

As summer is finally beginning to reach Finland and it no longer gets dark at night, I’ve begun to look for a new grab and go telescope for next season. Previously I thought about getting a Maksutov, but due to the required cool down time and cold Finnish winters, I’ve decided to go with a small APO refractor. My current (and only) scope is a Celestron CPC 800, which is fantastic, but definitely not something you can put to your backpack and walk to the nearest park with. 

I already had my mind set on Sky-Watcher Evostar ED72 but then I came across with WO Zenithstar 61. I know WO has a higher build quality (and price...) and is more compact than the Evostar but how about the views? Has anyone used one of these for visual? I currently have a WO 2 inch diagonal and a Baader Hyperion Zoom eyepiece, do these short refractors cope well with Hyperions? Does the 11mm make an enormous difference? Am I better off with the ED72 after all? Any other alternatives? 😀

I will be doing some imaging with the scope later on (my astro club has a Star Adventurer that I will be borrowing) but 90% of the time it will be for visual only. I will also be getting a field flattener eventually, no matter which scope I choose.

Clear skies!

Tomi

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I couldn't live with field curvature on Altair 60ed which is the same scope. Also build quality is not that much better than SW 72ed. If you like observing the Moon though the little 60ed is much, much better. Absolutely no CA while on SW 72ed I can see tiny yellowish ring. It's not always visible and with mirror diagonal somehow goes away but I can still see it and it disturbs me.

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I have the WO61 and i am surprised at the comments that suggest you should possibly choose something else.  Build quality is excellent, and it is a flat field, even with the SW flattener  rather than the WO one- i never tried it without as for imaging you need a spacer, or a FF to get focus, so i always have it in the imaging train with a DSLR.

My only issue is the light gathering capability, but then i am comparing it to sessions with my 10" reflector, so it's not really fair.  

It fits the SW Star Adventurer well, and is easy to carry in a backpack if travelling

for me it rates 9/10

hth

Mike 

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Posted (edited)

I have a Photoline 72 f5.5 linked above, and I just love it! 

It's so compact and lightweight that the Star Adventurer perfectly supports it, and using FPL53 it's virtually free from chromatic aberration, even better than my ED80, which is f7.5.

I have found enthusiastic reviews of the WO ZS61, yet my view is that, while for photo the aperture difference is negligible (shorter focal length), for visual already 72mm is quite small. 

I don't want to start the FPL53 vs whatever quarrel, but I think that the SW 72ED is slightly less corrected than the others. 

Fabio

A field flattener is in order for all of them, for astro photo... 

Edited by FaDG
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1 hour ago, mikeyj1 said:

I have the WO61 and i am surprised at the comments that suggest you should possibly choose something else.  Build quality is excellent, and it is a flat field, even with the SW flattener  rather than the WO one- i never tried it without as for imaging you need a spacer, or a FF to get focus, so i always have it in the imaging train with a DSLR.

My only issue is the light gathering capability, but then i am comparing it to sessions with my 10" reflector, so it's not really fair.  

It fits the SW Star Adventurer well, and is easy to carry in a backpack if travelling

for me it rates 9/10

hth

Mike 

The OP speaks of 90% visual. Light gathering capability of 72mm vs 61(60)mm is immediately visible. Don't get me wrong, the building quality of 60ed clones is very, very good. What I tried to say is that cheap SW is not far behind ;)

Another thing. When I speak of field curvature I am talking about visual. And it bothers me a lot. When I compare the two side by side and for visual for me personally there is no comparison. SW 72ed all the way...

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Posted (edited)

This is my first reply and post on this forum☺️ ,hello everybody!

Anyways on to the topic, I can't speak about the other scopes mentioned but I have a WO z61 and the dedicated flattener since July 2018. I have used it quite a lot for photography and astrophotography. The quality is very high in my opinion, solid build. I have traveled with it in a back pack along with the Star Adventurer full package, both are a great match.

Optically, the scope (with flattener) haven't let me down at all for terrestrial and astrophotography. I can't speak for visual use per say, as I've always used it attached to a Canon DSLR.

I've attached a image of Andromeda (compressed for instaspam) taken with the z61, the field of view is quite nice IMO. Hope this helps ☺️ 

(Editing could be better, some awesome examples in other threads on sgl👍)

Autosave015BBBBBB.jpg

Edited by hennyvenom
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Wow! I've never done imaging (apart from smartphone) but even I can see that's a cracking image henny!

Oh and welcome aboard SGL! :)

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5 hours ago, Geoff Barnes said:

Wow! I've never done imaging (apart from smartphone) but even I can see that's a cracking image henny!

Oh and welcome aboard SGL! :)

Cheers Geoff! I've been lurking in the shadows 😉

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Thanks for all the replies! I have to say that I’m quite impressed by the positive comments regarding the SW 72ED. For it’s price it seems to be very capable. 😁 As I said before, the scope will be mostly for visual. It seems that for imaging the z61 might be the way to go, but for my needs the ED72 would be sufficient. Now all I need to do is to find a good alt-az mount for it! 🙂

BTW, that’s a stunning image @hennyvenom !

Clear skies,

Tomi

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You would be surprised. I still can't comprehend how this scope is only like 262 new. And it looks good too. As for the mount. Well, AZ GTI is perfect for it. Even with the stock tripod when focusing it hardly moves because the focuser is smooth. If you want manual then that little thing from Altair and TS (az6 something) would be perfect. Or pretty much any of the usual suspects like Porta II, AZ5 from SW, etc...

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Posted (edited)

Wow , I've just got my Z61 and I will be imaging (hopefully ) for the first time tonight . I looked at the SW 72ED and was almost swayed but I fell in love with the compactness of the WO Z61 , and visually it gives  fantastic views. We are truly blessed to have these small refractors to choose from and whatever you chose I'm sure you are delighted . I will use the AZ GTI as recommended by Heliumstar … after all these scopes are designed to be ultra portable and a clunky mount really serves no purpose in this case .

By the way , Hennyvenom , that image alone is worth buying the scope for . Hope I can produce a photo as cool as that !

Edited by Stu1smartcookie
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