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Which One ? - WO 61 ZenithStar or AT60 ED with reducer ?

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#1 galacticinsomnia


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Posted 26 October 2021 - 07:21 PM

Looking to get either of these scopes.  Mostly for wide field imaging.  Any idea which would perform better on APS-C ...

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#2 terrypaula


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Posted 26 October 2021 - 08:11 PM

I've owned both and their optics are very similar.  I upgraded from the Williams to a ES 80CF.  From the Astro Tech I upgraded that to another AstroTech product an AT125edl.  Notice I stayed within the AT family for my upgrades.  Most of the AT lineup seems to come out to be a lot less expense for similar quality.  I entertained getting a reducer for each one and decided to go with a straight field flattener rather then a reducer flattener because I was already at 60mm why did I need to widen the view?

Edited by terrypaula, 26 October 2021 - 08:15 PM.

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#3 StevenBellavia


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Posted 26 October 2021 - 08:26 PM



When you say "with reducer" I assume you mean for either scope, since they both start off as f/6 ? (Well, f/5.9 for the ZenithStar 61 due to the 61mm versus 60mm).  They are both 360mm focal length.


The ZenithStar 61 comes with more "stuff", like a longer Vixen-style dovetail bar, guidescope bracket, Bahtinov mask and soft case. And it is $193 more than the AT60.


I own a 72mm f/6 refractor with FPL-53 and Lanthanum glass and I consider it excellent.  The ZenithStar 61 does not mention the other glass that is paired with the FPL-53.  I am guessing they are very similar optically. (?)


I have never owned either, so I will not make a specific recommendation.  But since this forum is sponsored by Astronomics, maybe give them them the business and get the AT-60?


Whichever you decide, I would try the scope with a 1.0X flattener and not the reducer to start.  If you are not happy with the image quality at f/6, it will likely get worse reduced.  And don't be afraid to image at f/6.  There are many targets that do fine without the extra speed, and you may prefer the image scale and quality, as well as easier focusing, at f/6 (or f/5.9).


Good luck, and please inform us of what you get and how it works.



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#4 vidrazor


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Posted 27 October 2021 - 03:45 AM

Optically and mechanically as far as I know these are identical scopes. The W.O. just has fancier packaging, some of it useful, like the extended Vixen bar and mount. The W.O. will also need the same flattener and/or reducer as the AT60ED, because they are the same scope. It's flatteners are the same as the AT60ED flatteners, just in nicer looking packaging with a rotating collar.


As far as using a reducer, you may get vignetting at the edges in APS-C. I'm not a fan of reducers because of this. Flats can compensate, but your edges will always have higher noise levels. Depending on the target, this may not matter.

Edited by vidrazor, 27 October 2021 - 03:48 AM.

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