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Thoughts on the WO Z73

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#1 GabrielxBaker

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 06:01 PM

I was looking to grab one but was told not to unless I wanted  to roll the dice on iron cross stars, build quality, and aberrations undecided.gif 
 

Whats are your thoughts on this scope?


 



#2 russell23

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 07:22 PM

I have the smaller Williams Optics Z61.  I haven't seen any iron cross stars with mine.  The build quality is outstanding.  IMO the 2" focuser is the smoothest I have ever used.  As a fast refractor it does put a strain on eyepiece edge performance, but that is known going in.

 

If the Z73 has the same good build quality and optics as the Z61 then I haven't seen anything that you should worry about.  I do remember reading something about iron cross stars recently but I don't remember what thread and I recall it being about older WO models.


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#3 OldManSky

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 07:23 PM

Let me guess...the expert who told you this has never owned a WO scope, and has read something somewhere?

 

I have the Z73’s little brother, the Z61.

Great optical quality (star test and image analysis).

No “iron cross stars.”

Build quality, like everything WO, is outstanding.

Some WO scopes come with the lens cell screws protruding into the FOV enough to show diffraction spikes. It’s an easy fix if it occurs.

If optical quality is off, William will send you a replacement - though other than scopes damaged in shipping I don’t know of any where that was the case (it’s certainly possible but unlikely).

William has a well earned reputation for quality and value. For good reasons.


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#4 petert913

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 07:39 PM

 

William has a well earned reputation for quality and value. For good reasons

waytogo.gif


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#5 GabrielxBaker

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 09:59 PM

Let me guess...the expert who told you this has never owned a WO scope, and has read something somewhere?

 

I have the Z73’s little brother, the Z61.

Great optical quality (star test and image analysis).

No “iron cross stars.”

Build quality, like everything WO, is outstanding.

Some WO scopes come with the lens cell screws protruding into the FOV enough to show diffraction spikes. It’s an easy fix if it occurs.

If optical quality is off, William will send you a replacement - though other than scopes damaged in shipping I don’t know of any where that was the case (it’s certainly possible but unlikely).

William has a well earned reputation for quality and value. For good reasons.

That about answers my question! thanks bunches,



#6 davidparks

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 08:57 AM

William Optics has great quality control.  They test every scope to meet their standards.  The Z73 is a great scope, and WO has certainly made me a loyal customer.  I hope the same for all WO owners.

 

Diagram 1

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#7 Noobulosity

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 10:22 AM

I've been looking at the Z73 and new Z81.  I've heard nothing but good things about their newer scopes.  (Which is good, because this would be my first real telescope purchase for AP.)  I'm holding out to see how much the new guide scope, field flattener, and rings/dovetail will cost.  Hopefully that will be announced soon.



#8 keano

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 09:16 AM

I love my little Z73, build quality is awesome, my lad even but an unboxing video on youtube take a look. 

 

You should consider the flattener at the same time.


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#9 lakerunr

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:24 PM

I have a Z73 and Flat73. Got it last fall, used with DSLR, now with ASI183MM and filter wheel. Added a WO 50mm guide scope with an ASI290MM-Mini for guiding. I have also used it for visual observing with 2" WO diagonal and some ES 82degree EPs. Great performance for both visual and AP. Great build quality. Very impressed with William Optics quality.

 

Plan to be a loyal customer. Considering a Red Cat and/or a Z126... 


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#10 David Moulton

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 10:56 PM

I love my Z73. It's my first short refractor. Great quality in my opinion.

 

M42 27exp 60s iso800 031519 modified

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#11 davidparks

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:01 AM

@DavidMoulton:  Love that shot!

 

Here is a similar one, it's my first blend of shorter and longer exposures, trying to show the nebula without blowing out the core.

The Z73 at 430mm focal length has a great field of view for framing many objects!

 

M42 Blend
 
Horse 12fx120s 1440s
 
M31 WOZ73 294 20180917

Edited by davidparks, 16 May 2019 - 09:01 AM.

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#12 AdamJ

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 11:54 AM

I was looking to grab one but was told not to unless I wanted  to roll the dice on iron cross stars, build quality, and aberrations undecided.gif 
 

Whats are your thoughts on this scope?


 

A friend has one of these and the optics were horribly pinched, but I have seen others who have them and they are great. Like you I have seen images posted with the Iron Cross stars too...although I suspect that has an association with the IMX183 chip.  

 

The fact is that at this end of the market you will not see 100% quality control and even if they were perfect when they leave WO things shift in transport. 

 

For me it matters more that if you "role the dice" and get a dud one then it will be sorted out. That depends on the manufacturer but also your chosen retailer. 

 

Another friend has a GT71 which he used for over 2 years and its only now that he has become a proficient imager that he has noticed / understood that the collimation is way out and that going back through his images over the last two years its always been out since day one. He contacted William and they told him they would sort it despite it being out of warranty. 

 

So while I think that you would be a little gullible to believe that all WO scopes are made perfectly and without issues the same goes for every make and its more about how your lemon of a scope is dealt with if your unlucky and it does happen.  

 

Adam



#13 OldManSky

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:32 PM

The "Iron Cross stars" issue takes about 30 seconds to fix.  Sometimes before shipping, they tighten down the front lens cell screws (which hold things in place, they don't affect collimation) too much.  So the ends protrude into the light path.

Unscrew the dew shield, get a tiny screwdriver, loosen each screw about 1/4 turn.

Problem solved.

 

Having the customer do this tiny adjustment is better (IMHO) than the lens cell bouncing around during shipping...



#14 AdamJ

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 05:37 PM

The "Iron Cross stars" issue takes about 30 seconds to fix.  Sometimes before shipping, they tighten down the front lens cell screws (which hold things in place, they don't affect collimation) too much.  So the ends protrude into the light path.

Unscrew the dew shield, get a tiny screwdriver, loosen each screw about 1/4 turn.

Problem solved.

 

Having the customer do this tiny adjustment is better (IMHO) than the lens cell bouncing around during shipping...

So it says in the manual that you need to loosen the collimation screws on the front lens element before use.......? 

 

An alternate theory might be that they are trying to get an extra 1mm out of the aperture in comparison to others that use the same lens manufacturer and so its more likely that the lens clips end up in the light path.



#15 rcg

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 06:26 PM

Don't know of any manufacturer that hasn't had some issue with their product. Most probably attributed to rough handling or just something got missed. As has been said customer service will be the deciding factor. With closer and closer tolerances trying to achieve the perfect combination of quality fit finish and collimation, newer cell materials etc. probably will happen occasionally in spite of best efforts.



#16 OldManSky

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 08:02 PM

So it says in the manual that you need to loosen the collimation screws on the front lens element before use.......? 

 

An alternate theory might be that they are trying to get an extra 1mm out of the aperture in comparison to others that use the same lens manufacturer and so its more likely that the lens clips end up in the light path.

It’s not “lens clips.”

It’s hold-down screws.

 

Who gives a $*#% if it’s in a manual or not? 

Mine protruded a bit after shipping across half the world. It took me a few seconds to back them off. My scope performs outstandingly. That’s what I care about.



#17 frito

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 11:52 AM

I used to own a WO 66SD doublet and it was top notch, i currently own a WO FLT 110 triplet which has not disappointed one bit outside of its stock focuser but i remedied that with a 2.5" moonlite but my issues were lack of motor focus options and the fact that i have a lot of imaging gear so the focuser needs to be pretty decent so really not a huge surprise that i replaced it so fast, if it was for visual use it would have been just fine. 



#18 BinoGuy

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 05:14 PM

Hmm, surprised I haven't commented yet.  I have had a Z73 for over a year.  I consider myself a dedicated amateur and I think I spend enough time reasearching* that I have a functional understanding of optical qualities  I find the WO build quality to be solid and my rudimentary optical tests show this is a high-quality build. 

 

So far, my only complaints are that the paint job collects schmutz and one of their aftermarket dovetails is a few mm too narrow for my ADM clamps.  Also, I really wish they had placed the focuser tension screw on top of the OTA; it sticks down too far to allow for easy balancing with a camera and filter wheel mounted,

 

 

*my test bench should be set up this week and I'll be cracking the textbooks again for the maths.



#19 impateint_astronomer

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 12:50 AM

William Optics has great quality control.  They test every scope to meet their standards.  The Z73 is a great scope, and WO has certainly made me a loyal customer.  I hope the same for all WO owners.

 

HI David, 

  Happy new year to you and I hope you are well.

i do have a similar set up. I am having issues with 50mm uniguide scope and 290mm mini cam.

when I connect the cam to my laptop, I either see a black view or a white view when pointing towards a source of light.

could you please let me know if you did add the extended tube to the 290mm mini cam? It’s been 3 days and I haven’t been able to figure this out yet.

 

thanks

LIO 



#20 davidparks

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 12:09 PM

If WO's new 50mm Uniguide is the same as the 50mm guide that i have, it does appear to be so, then you just need to get the backfocus distance right.  The ZWO ASI290mm Mini is a great little guide cam.  I use the 1.25" extender "nosepiece" that came with the camera which allows the camera to slide into the rotolock to that point approximately where the black nosepiece is fully inserted, but the black  sensor cover is just showing outside the rotolock.  Hopefully you can see that in this picture:

 

The red camera body, including just a little bit of the black end/sensor cover, is visible behind the rotolock of the guidescope.  Once you have it near or close to that position you easily see star images.  The very tiniest of movements in or out should bring the stars into sharp focus, at which point you can lock down the rotolock.

 

Diagram 2

Edited by davidparks, 08 January 2020 - 12:12 PM.


#21 jag32266

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 11:51 PM

Hello, In reading this post I'm a little behind you two (David Parks& LIO) in setting up the guide camera,..

 

In the process of trying to hookup a SSAG (Orion) to my WO ZS81 guide scope as well and was concerned about the back focus issue. I was able to find these specs on the Uniguide which caused me concern but apparently it's nothing but just to pass it along should it help.

 

>>"The Guiding scope included in my ZenithStar 81mm kit specs state- Important Note: This guider has only 6.2mm of back-focus available. Hence, it can only be used with 1.25" cylinder-type or "Mini" cameras from QHY, ZWO, SBIG, etc."<<

 

so I sent an email to WO and got a link from WO to go to this for info-

https://williamoptic...5-inch-rotolock

 

if that doesn't work try this-

https://bit.ly/39TVyfu



#22 davidparks

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 11:43 AM

Thanks for the info @jag32266!  It appears the Uniguide has some focus adjustment at the Dew Shield, which is a great improvement over my older 50mm guidescope.  The optics are still the same 50mm x 200mm f/4, so I will assume the same backfocus distance, however the front-side (lens/dewshield) can now be moved in addition to the backside (camera/sensor) relative to the OTA body.

 

I should think you could start with the Dew Shield adjustment at minimum, and camera body very near to where mine is at to achieve focus, and then, if needed, move the Dewshield outwards towards maximum and the camera body inward correspondingly if you either want more material for the rotolock to "bite" onto, or you have rearward space considerations behind the camera...  for example, you may have a rotator or filterwheel (as I do now) that could befuddle the USB cable coming out of the guidecam, and need to shift the cam and dewshield of the guidescope forward a bit.   I actually had to do this, but without the dew shield focus ability, i had to move the whole guidescope forward in it's rings... only to find out i still didn't have enough room.. and had to move the rings forward on the main scope... which then didn't allow the main scope dew shield to retract back quite as far... which made the whole unit not quite fit into it's foam fitted case for storage... OMG The Nightmare never ends trying to just get focus on my guidecam!   Anyway, i got it worked out, but this shows the value of the Dew Shield Focus on the new Uniguide model waytogo.gif


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#23 impateint_astronomer

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:43 AM

If WO's new 50mm Uniguide is the same as the 50mm guide that i have, it does appear to be so, then you just need to get the backfocus distance right. The ZWO ASI290mm Mini is a great little guide cam. I use the 1.25" extender "nosepiece" that came with the camera which allows the camera to slide into the rotolock to that point approximately where the black nosepiece is fully inserted, but the black sensor cover is just showing outside the rotolock. Hopefully you can see that in this picture:

The red camera body, including just a little bit of the black end/sensor cover, is visible behind the rotolock of the guidescope. Once you have it near or close to that position you easily see star images. The very tiniest of movements in or out should bring the stars into sharp focus, at which point you can lock down the rotolock.



Thank you! That worked!!

Edited by impateint_astronomer, 14 January 2020 - 10:43 AM.



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