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Hi all,

I'm a long time lurker but now I need some help.

I would really appreciate some opinions on 2 scopes:

WO Zenithstar 61 f5.9

TS ED (APO?) 70 f6


From what I've read, the TS isn't a "proper" APO (on the telescope itself there is no mention of APO, just ED) whereas the Zenithstar is, my question will then be, in terms of purely astrophotography (both with DSLR and CCD) will the TS fall short even given the larger aperture?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts :)

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I've owned the ZS61 and the  now defunct TS65Q which  has the field flattener built in.  Can't speak about the TSED70 but the TS65Q does have a successor in the TSED70Q which might be worth investigating, although it is more expensive. But you get some of the cost back on the flattener not required. 

Optically both were excellent. Used visually, the ZS61 had slightly more contrast and sparkle, but field curvature was noticeable with longer top-notch eyepieces. But, to my eyes, no 60mm scope is impressive visually..they serve much better as astrographs. I'm not that fastidious about pixel peeping, as far as I'm concerned both were fine to the corners of a APS-C sensor. 

The ZS61 was the lighter of the two but a bit more clumsy to set up with the flattener, with the usual spacing accuracy issues. It fitted very well on a star adventurer mount with a Canon DSLR. There is no finder foot and the mounting look a bit weedy with a single foot compared to a pair of rings and a dovetail. Having said that I was never aware of any flexure, but I never used it with an autoguider. You can get red dot finders that clip on to a camera hotshoe. You have to reverse the mounting foot to get the scope+flattener+camera to balance. 

The TS65Q was the most intelligently designed scope I personally have ever owned from the astrophotography point of view. The focuser was rock-solid ( not that the ZS was in any way deficient), you could rotate the camera, there was a mounting foot for a finder. The TS65Q had a pair of FPL-53 elements in it and the image plane was indeed flat and well corrected on CA. The dewcap also has a locking screw so it won't drop down as it gets looser with age. The whole scope is built like a Panzer tank and weighs more than the ZS61, and I found it too heavy for the SA mount. Mine is on a MK1 Sphinx. 

The WO ZS71 5-element scope was around at the same time which put the TS65Q somewhat in the shade. There were early production problems with a pinched element (very easily fixed) but i expect TS lave learned the lesson by now. 

I sold the ZS61 but have kept the TS65Q which must say something. 

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Thanks for your replies, unfortunately the TS 65Q doesn't seem to be in production and the other quadruplets they do produce are out of my budget!

I might just settle with the TS 70/420 and look to see if there are coma issues that can be corrected, it would run cheaper than the alternative TS 60 with the FLP-53

Seems like I'll have to keep looking!

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