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Upgrade from my William Optics ZS61 options

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I have got into Astrophotography properly back in December 2019 when I purchased a used EQ5 from here and also went for a WO ZS61 scope. I soon migrated away from using my Sony A6300 as it could not be automated very well and then the usb connection broke so I moved onto a ASI183MC which I have really enjoyed. I knew that I wanted to upgrade the quality of the mount so sold the EQ5 and went for an EQ6-R PRO and have really enjoyed the experience. I know that if I went Mono with filters then I would get better images as the trouble is now I want truer colour than the ZS61 can provide and can see that not all colours are getting to the sensor in equal amounts and when I look at the wavelength diagrams I can see why this is so. I am staying OSC for now as my wife says I spend too much time on this as it is!

So I am looking at moving over to a triplet and am looking at options between 70mm upto 100mm depending upon price but it would seem that the market is shifting at the moment.

There is the usual triplet seems to be where the objective lens is FPL-53, but now it seems to be the fashion to be using two ED or super ED lenses inside the triplet.

There is also the issue of the fact would prefer to go for a scope that has a matching flattener in 1.0x and 0.8x as I do not trust that I would be able to adjust a universal flattener to get the best images.

So I am now looking at the following options and trying to see which ones are better and wondered on what opinions or experience others have had.

  • Sharpstar 94 EDPH with f4.4 flattener (would require 74mm to 68mm adapter to fit the TSFlat2.5 for 1.0x)
  • Askar FRA400 (built in field flattener) FRA72 0.7x reducer
  • William Optics GT-81 IV with 0.8x FLAT6AIII (no 1.0x flattener available Hotech SCA Flattener?)
  • StellaMira 85 (not sure if the 1.0x and 0.8x flatteners can be screwed onto the focuser as I do not like compression fittings) long delay on supply
  • Skywatcher Esprit 80 or possibly the 100 much larger and heavier than my ZS61
  • TS CF-90 Some suggest this the the same as the FLT91 but it has a 2.5" focuser and FPL-55 lenses
  •  William Optics FLT91 with 0.8x FLAT6AIII (would have to remortgage for this one! But it is really nicely made)

With all the supply shortages it is not a very good time to be deciding to buy but at least it allows me to make a less rash decision.

Anyone else got any thoughts that could help me?

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  • 2 years later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I went with the William Optics GT-81IV with Flat6AIII. I also got the Hotech SCA Flattener as well. Although I think since then there have been some other scopes released and I think the Askar PHQ range look really good and would now be an option in this range.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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