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WO Z61- good beginner scope?

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#1 kyle528


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Posted 18 March 2019 - 08:23 PM

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!

#2 Gipht


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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:01 PM

What camera are you using Kyle528?  Given your situation, this choice seems like a good one for you, provided your interest is in wide field objects.  I regularly use a 71mm f/4.8 telescope  and enjoy the wide fields,  and forgiving tracking at that focal length.  Soon galaxy season will be upon us, and the available nebula type targets will diminish.  At the very least, you have time to consider what the best option would be.  The possibility of a lemon,  with many telescopes in that price  range is real, but with the reputation of Williams Optics,  I can only imagine that any problem would be addressed promptly.

#3 terry59



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Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:48 PM

I had one and it worked fine





Edited by terry59, 18 March 2019 - 10:50 PM.

#4 jiawen


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Posted 19 March 2019 - 07:34 AM

I still have one and it's works quite well. It's my main imaging scope, in fact.


Not sure about putting it on an SA, though. I also have a Star Adventurer, on which I primarily use lenses of 180mm focal length or less. I don't have the Astrophotography package, just a ballhead, but I suspect my SA would not give great subs if I put the Z61 on it.


Remember that with longer focal length/F-ratios, you need longer subs. So with my Z61, I need considerably longer subs than with the 180mm. That exacerbates any mount issues. The longer the subs need to go for, the more chances for wind or whatever to mess up the subs -- and the bigger the errors will be.


My Z61 gives much better color than my 180mm lens, though. The 180mm has definite color issues, with purple halos around anything bright (at least once lots of images have been stacked). I don't mind that too much, but your mileage may vary.


So I guess my recommendation would be, it depends on what your standards and preferences are. If you want good color, small targets, and don't mind/can work around potential mount issues, go for the Z61. If you want easier imaging, better stability and larger targets, go for a lens.

#5 OldManSky



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Posted 19 March 2019 - 07:46 AM

Yes, it's a good scope.  I adore mine.

And the price is very reasonable for such good performance.


Trevor at AstroBackyard used one on a Star Adventurer with very good results...




I've got mine on a CEM25P iOptron mount, and it's a great combination. smile.gif  Just be sure you get the flattener that goes with it, either the WO one or the Astronomics AstroTech version.



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