I'll be graduating from lenses soon, and starting to look for a scope. I'm mainly being forced to graduate, I'll be moving soon and will lose my access to the fast 200-250mm high end lenses I've been using. All I have for a mount for the time being is a star adventurer, which I have to say has really impressed me. Now I know the golden rule is to splurge on the mount before anything else, but to be honest, It's just out of my reach for now. I've fallen into this hobby hand over fist, and I'll be darned if I'm stuck back with kit lenses after my move. I'll just be clear and say that yes, I know i'll never get the best out of any scope without a real mount. It's in my future (at least I certainly hope so). Now that that's been said, let's talk about the Z61. Seems like a good piece of glass, from what I can find. The only bad I've seen is that someone had some weird diffraction going on cause by screws protruding into the body (a lemon I hope). Anyone else heard this? I know people say aperture is king, but I've had good (to me) results with my little lenses so far, and I'm up for a challenge. I really just want to learn as much as I can while I save for a good mount/better scope. Is 61mm of aperture truly enough to get decent enough data to learn with? The 80mm scopes tend to be the first recommended to new guys, but unless I see one pop up here for close to the price of the z61, it's probably the class I'll be looking at. It seems to be a reasonable step up in focal length from what I've been using, and seems like one of the faster scopes (albeit small scopes) there is. Another factor in my decision is that I'll be using me star adventurer for a while still, so I need to be mindful of the weight of the scope I choose. Payload of the SA is only 11lbs. I check the classifieds each day after work, and all the new listings that are in my range are always already sold!
Since I've rambled on long enough, I'll let some of you make suggestions on scopes to research, and I'd love to hear from those of you who have owned z61's. Thanks as always!