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William Optics Star 71 First light

astrophotography dslr imaging refractor
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#1 Astrofotografen

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:25 AM

When I was scanning the market for a small lightweight photographic refractor, my attention was drawn to the new astrograph from William Optics.

The Star 71 Astrograph seemed to contain every aspect I was looking for:

  • Lightweight (OTA with rings and dovetail only 5.3 lbs / 2.4 kg)
  • High optical and build quality (FPL-53 glass, 5 elements in 3 groups)
  • Small size (Only around 330 mm / 13 inches long)
  • Flat photographic field (Covers 45mm full frame imaging circle!)
  • In addition, the focuser is an R&P design which mean there is now risk of slippage during photography and an EOS adapter is included in the delivery.

So I decided to order one from Ganymedes Optics in the Netherlands and received it a couple of days later.

 

Delivery/unpacking:

The scope arrived in a well foamed cardboard box. This inner box was placed inside a second cardboard box. The packaging felt very secure.

 

Lifting up the telescope from the box, the feeling of it was that it is very solid. I get a feeling of high quality in every detail of it. Focuser is very distinct as are the rotation of the camera mount. No plastics anywhere and the little gem has the same good looks as all the other white and gold scopes from William Optics.

 

Photographic tests:

As I had bought this astrograph mainly with a thought as traveling scope in mind, I was of course eager to know how it would work on my Astrotrac with a Canon 5D MkII so this was to be my 1:st test.

Putting the package on the Astrotrac, presented of course no large problems. Just the ordinary balancing issues.

Focusing the astrograph is extremely easy. Just centre a medium strong star in the camera and use LiveView. The focuser (with its 10x reduction) is very exact and have no play. The star is well defined and exact focus very easy to reach. (Easier than on my Canon 300/f:2.8 set at f:4).

There are no visible focus shift when locking the focuser or rotating the camera.

 

Images:

As I live in the north of Europe, the sky during summer doesn’t really get dark during July and I had to keep the exposure times to a maximum 2 minutes but in my opinion, the imaging quality look promising.

Attached are my first two images together with a picture of the setup used during the evening..

  • Double cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884), 2014-07-22, 8x2 minutes.
  • M31, 2014-07-22, 10x1 minutes.
  • Astrotrac mounted on a Manfrotto 055B tripod. Canon 5D MkII mounted on the Star 71 astrograph.

Attached File  Setup Small.jpg   212.45KB   1 downloads

Summary:

As you understand from the text above, I am very happy with my Star 71 but there are maybe two issues that could be improved.

I look forward to working with this little gem and see what it can deliver.
Positive:

- Large flat imaging field with pinpoint stars.

- Good and solid mechanics.

- Small and light. (Perfect travel scope!)

Can be improved:

- Too short dew shield. (Especially in my climate, this will need to be solved.)

- I would rather have a M48 to M42 male or M48 to T2 male adapter instead of the Canon adapter. (This would make it easier to connect other imaging equipment).

 

My impression coincide very much with Charlie Bracken’s. Read his review here:

 

http://digitalstars....ging-refractor/

 

Best Regards

 

Jonas Carlsson
Sweden

astrofotografen@gmail.com


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#2 Astrofotografen

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:26 AM

Double cluster

Attached Files


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#3 Astrofotografen

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:27 AM

M31

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#4 Astrofotografen

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:49 PM

Hi,

Some more pictures taken 19th of August.

Most of the images were taken with a (unmodified full frame) Canon 5D Mk II except one of the M31 images where a modified Canon 60D were used.
The comet and double cluster pictures each consist of between five and eleven stacked 1 minute exposures, the full frame M31 consist of five 2 minute exposures and the 60D M31 consist of six 3 minute exposures.
All taken with the Star-71 mounted on a Astrotrac. I used ISO 1600 in all images.
Just moderate image processing were used. Stacking and DDP with ImagesPlus and final processing in PaintShopPro.

https://dl.dropboxus...CFSMsmaller.jpg

https://dl.dropboxus... CFMsmaller.jpg

https://dl.dropboxus... CFMsmaller.jpg

https://dl.dropboxus... CFMsmaller.jpg

https://dl.dropboxus... CFMsmaller.jpg

Regards

/Jonas


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#5 zsb04

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 10:03 PM

looks awesome, just got my star71 today can't wait to try it


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#6 Astrofotografen

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:23 AM

Thanks. I think you will be very happy with the scope.

Regards

/Jonas



#7 timmbottoni

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:34 PM

Fabulous pictures!!!!

 

I really like mine, but I wish I could catch a break and get some clear skies over a weekend.

 

Timm


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#8 John Anthony

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 09:18 PM

  Very nice, just read the review in ATT, I have never had the opportunity to use a scope from William Optics but I must say they sure are some nice scopes, congrats and thanks for sharing. 


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#9 Astrofotografen

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:03 AM

Thank you guys!

Until now I have used it on the Astrotrac only which mean moderatley short exposure times.

I hope to get some clear weather this week and shoot some autoguided pictures.

Regards

Jonas



#10 Astrofotografen

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 05:09 AM

Here’s a few more pictures taken with it. This time the Star 71 is mounted on my SW EQ-5 Pro Synscan but unfortunately I have severe problems with balance on the setup. The Star 71 is sitting on top and the (heavier) guidescope is mounted on the side of the rig.
Normally perfect balance when I mount a 6” R-C on top. I need to make a new rig for the Star 71 and guidescope ....
M31 is 8x5 minutes with a Canon 60Da at ISO 1600. LPR filter was used.
NGC 7000 is only 1x7 minute with a Canon 60Da at ISO 1600. LPR filter was used.
Veil complex is 3x7 minutes with a Canon 60Da at ISO 1600 LPR filter was used.

 

https://dl.dropboxus...M31CFMsmall.jpg

 

https://dl.dropboxus...smallesscol.jpg

 

https://dl.dropboxus...il CFMsmall.jpg

 

Regards

 

Jonas


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#11 Balok

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:21 AM

Hi Jonas, thank you very much for your excellent WO 71 review and great imagery.

It helps me decide my next wide field decision.

 

The focuser sounds like it makes the grade .

 

Regards,



#12 Astrofotografen

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 10:09 AM

Thank you!

I'm glad the review was helpful.

Regards

Jonas







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