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William Optics Zenithstar 70


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Hello everyone,

I originally posted this in equipment discussion - but thought I should post it in the 'review' section too!

I have seen this telescope mentioned a few times on line, but never saw any sort of review on it. So... here goes!

I had been looking for a portable travel scope for a while and the Zenithstar 70 seemed to fit the bill very nicely.

What is confusing is that William Optics also offers the Megrez 72 at a higher price. The Megrez 72 has exactly the same OTA and the same focuser. It differs from the Zenithstar 70 only in that it has 2mm extra aperture and uses 'slightly' better glass (somewhere between FPL51 and FPL 53). According to WO, the Megrez 72 has 'slightly' better colour correction, while the ZenithStar 70 has slightly sharper optics.

Anyway, Ian King was selling a Zenithstar package for 293 quid (OTA, Hard Case and WO Carbon 1.25 inch Dielectric Diagonal). This seemed like the best deal available anywhere... so I bought it.

When it arrived, I was immediately impressed by the sheer quality of the construction. It is a magnificently well made telescope - completely over engineered for its small size and cosmetically very attractive. The dual speed focuser is very smooth and I have had no difficulties achieving razor sharp focus.

As for the optics, these are also very nice (ED glass -Japanese Ohara glass, FPL51) ... although mine does show overcorrection in a star test (diffraction rings outside focus are very thin and sharp, inside focus somewhat softer). At low powers I see very little false colour, but at higher power it does display some chromatic aberration (especially on bright Venus at the moment, which is probably the harshest test - it shows a soft blue/purple halo at high power 7mm with TV 2.5x powermate) At the price point, though, I cannot really quibble with the results - especially for an f6 refractor.

I have yet to take the scope to real dark skies, but I have been very impressed with the quality of the view that I get from it - razor sharp at low and high power. Using a Meade 4000 series UWA 6.7mm eyepiece on the Pleiades was a real revelation (64x) - almost the whole group in the field of view and all stars tack sharp across it.

I have yet to try any imaging with it, but suspect that it will perform pretty well.

All in all, a great telescope with good but not perfect optics. Overall I would say that optical sharpness is its main characteristic. A brilliant grab and go scope.

Hope this helps anyone considering buying this scope,



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Great review Alexander.

I have the Megrez 72 APO which I thinks is fantastic - makes a great grab and go scope. Like your Zenithstar 70, it is as you say a little over engineered, but hey all the better for that.

I too have found some chromatic aberration with the 72, but not enough to worry me. I have seen far worse in other refractors.

You can read my review of the WO Megrez 72 APO together with the Celestron SLT mount here:-


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