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Skywatcher 150p vs Zhumell z130

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23 replies to this topic

#1 RFJ

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 05:34 PM

Title says it all really. But…

I get these types of questions are asked often but I haven’t seen many comparisons of these two specific scopes.

I’ve been researching for about the last month. Prices on scopes have increased since most of the recommendation threads you will find online. Case in point - on Amazon the Zhumell z130 retails currently for $349.00. Due to this I had decided I was going to go for the AWB OneSky 130p. Currently priced at 249.00 on the AWB website. However, I recently noticed B&H has the Skywatcher Heritage 150p on sale for $310.

I have ruled out the 130p as a result of the B&H pricing on the 150. However…

I decided if I’m going to pay $310 for a scope it’s not that far off from the Amazon price of the Zhumell. Any man that would pay $310 for a scope would certainly pay $349 for a better option.

I understand that aperture is king, as some would say. I’m just wondering if the better build quality and focuser on the Zhumell is better to pay attention to than the greater aperture on the 150p?

Would the image on these two scopes (z130 / 150p) be vastly different? I suppose if with the 150p I could see greater detail in Saturns rings and the bands of Jupiter the 150p would be the way to go.

But then again if the difference would be marginal at best perhaps the Zhumell should win out for the ability of using heavier accessories if I wanted to and the overall general increase in quality of build.

I live in a suburb of San Diego, skies are relatively clear, and behind my house there isn’t too much light pollution. At lease in the way of street lights, traffic lights, etc.

Thanks everyone!
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#2 SteveG

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 06:53 PM

Very subtle difference between a 5" and 6" f5 reflector.

I have the OneSky for its portability, which is a big factor here.


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#3 RFJ

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 07:26 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Sounds like then, if portability isn’t a requirement for me, maybe the z130 is my best bet. That way I wouldn’t have to make a light shroud and all that jazz?

You have the 130 or the 150?

#4 RFJ

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 07:26 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Sounds like then, if portability isn’t a requirement for me, maybe the z130 is my best bet. That way I wouldn’t have to make a light shroud and all that jazz?

You have the 130 or the 150?

#5 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 07:52 PM

If you don’t have ambient lights, then not much need for a shroud. I suspect both scopes have relatively flimsy focusers that won’t handle heavy eyepieces well but the helical might be more sensitive to weight. Views will be about a third brighter in the 6” so noticeable but a fairly subtle difference.

Scott
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#6 sevenofnine

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 08:26 PM

I vote for the One Sky at $249. It's a tried and true scope on this forum. Many use it as their camping scope it seems. At that price there's more room in your budget for accessories. They add up you know. borg.gif


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#7 rollomonk

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 08:28 PM

If it were me, I'd get the 150 due to the brighter views as well as ability to handle a bit higher magnification. In my experience a 20mm increase in aperture at these small sizes is noticeable and, to me, worth the extra $$.


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#8 vtornado

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 08:44 PM

The 150 will be slightly brighter and more detailed than the 130 but only slightly, not vastly.

The helical focusers are actually easier to focus than the low cost r&p focuser.

However, they can't take heavy loads, and zoom eyepieces can be hard to use.


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#9 spaceoddity

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 09:28 PM

If you're looking to maximize portability then the AWB one-sky is the way to go, but if this is going to be used mainly at home and be your only scope then I'd go for the more aperture of the 150. I wouldn't even consider the zhumell at that price. I have a bushnell 130mm table top with a plastic helical focuser and, while not the greatest, it works well enough and can handle just about any 1.25" eyepiece. I've used 82 degree eyepieces in it such as a 16T5 Nagler, 4mm Stellarvue, 4.7, 5.5, 6.7 and 8.8 Meade UWA's, ES82 11mm and it handled them no problem. For a shroud you can build an elaborate one that slides in and out when the scope is collapsed but you don't have to. Some craft foam and electrical tape works too.


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#10 spaceoddity

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 09:34 PM

The 150 will be slightly brighter and more detailed than the 130 but only slightly, not vastly.

The helical focusers are actually easier to focus than the low cost r&p focuser.

However, they can't take heavy loads, and zoom eyepieces can be hard to use.

Yeah a zoom would be tricky with a helical and maybe too heavy depending on the zoom. Some of the shorter and mid focal length 100 degree eyepieces that are 1.25" would likely be too heavy, but most 1.25" eyepieces that are 82 degrees or less will work fine.


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#11 RFJ

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 10:37 PM

Awesome. Really grateful for all the wonderful, informative feedback. I had a Z130 in my cart at Amazon but something was telling me to just make an account here before hitting the buy button. Really glad I did.

I think I’ll go with the 150p then! Last question….

Lots of talk all around about dew getting on the mirror. I’m going to make a shroud but I’m curious - can you just wipe the few off the mirror or will that damage it? Total newbie question there but I think it’s important to know.

Again, thanks so much for the great feedback.

#12 rollomonk

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 10:48 PM

Lots of talk all around about dew getting on the mirror. I’m going to make a shroud but I’m curious - can you just wipe the few off the mirror or will that damage it? Total newbie question there but I think it’s important to know.

I would NEVER wipe a mirror even with a very soft cloth -- it can scratch easily. A shroud should help but if dew is an ongoing problem, a dew heater can really help.


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#13 RFJ

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Posted 04 December 2022 - 11:05 PM

Figured as much.

Thanks for taking he time to let me know.

#14 rhetfield

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Posted 05 December 2022 - 12:48 PM

Awesome. Really grateful for all the wonderful, informative feedback. I had a Z130 in my cart at Amazon but something was telling me to just make an account here before hitting the buy button. Really glad I did.

I think I’ll go with the 150p then! Last question….

Lots of talk all around about dew getting on the mirror. I’m going to make a shroud but I’m curious - can you just wipe the few off the mirror or will that damage it? Total newbie question there but I think it’s important to know.

Again, thanks so much for the great feedback.

As noted by others, do not wipe the mirror.  Do make the craft foam shroud - that will help with both dew prevention and contrast.  Mine does not dew up very often.  Also look at the different methods for "greasing" the threads of the helical focuser described in the thread.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ithout-borders/

 

I have never had an significant issue with focuser flex with my OneSky.  What I have noticed is that any significant focuser flex would also affect the single stalk secondary on the OneSky.  The 150p is a traditional spider mount secondary and should be less susceptable to flex as a result.  Look into getting parfocal rings for your eyepieces.  This is a great help with a fast scope like the 150p.  Also pushes the focuser closer to in-focus, which helps with it's stability.


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#15 SteveG

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Posted 05 December 2022 - 01:05 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Sounds like then, if portability isn’t a requirement for me, maybe the z130 is my best bet. That way I wouldn’t have to make a light shroud and all that jazz?

You have the 130 or the 150?

I have the 130. You will need a light shroud for this scope (or the 150).

As noted, either focuser is not the best, but they are both useable. I use heavy grease in mine, with removes the play and makes it function much smoother. Avoid heavy eyepieces, as the truss will flex. Optics are reported as very good with all 3 scopes being discussed.


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#16 MikeTelescope

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Posted 05 December 2022 - 03:48 PM

I would go for the larger aperture.  Everything else can be managed: focuser, shroud, secondary heater..  But you can't increase your primary mirror's aperture. 

 

The Heritage 150p can benefit from a light shroud.  But more important is a light shield extension opposite the focuser.  I have the 130p version of that scope, and the biggest weakness I have found is stray light that comes in opposite the focuser and beyond the opening of the front of the scope.  It really hurts contrast.  But it's solvable with a bit of foam to extend beyond the end of the scope.  


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#17 RFJ

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Posted 06 December 2022 - 01:05 AM

Thanks again to everyone for the continued feedback on this topic. Just today I ordered the 150p. Going to call Gary at Russell Optics tomorrow to see about ordering a high quality but reasonably priced mid-power eyepiece. I hear for quality and price, he’s the best.

Look into getting parfocal rings for your eyepieces. This is a great help with a fast scope like the 150p. Also pushes the focuser closer to in-focus, which helps with its stability.

Parfocal rings? Obviously I’m new here but this is the first I’ve heard about these and I’ve probably read 100 threads over the last month, lol. Going to look into these and learn about them. I assume they are a spacer of some kind?

Edited by RFJ, 06 December 2022 - 01:05 AM.


#18 UnityLover

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Posted 06 December 2022 - 12:07 PM

Z130 is solid tube, minimal stray light. Has Rack and pinion. 150p has a helical focuser, and needs foam shroud.



#19 SNH

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Posted 06 December 2022 - 01:09 PM

Since RFJ already put in his order, I'll just say this: I've only owned the Z130. Last month a neighbor asked me to pick out a telescope he could learn to use with his oldest grandchild (9yo). I asked him his experience level in astronomy and he said, "zero". I asked him for his spending limit and he said, "under $500". I thought long and hard about this problem because what telescope do you have someone buy that doesn't know anything about collimation, stray light, ect.

 

I know the Z130 was about $150 more than when I bought it two years ago, but it can't be beat for a total noob. With a solid tube, it doesn't lose collimation nearly at all. So I could set it for them and they'd be good for a year. It doesn't have a wobbly tripod. It is as close as it comes to using binoculars for the simple "push-to" effect. It's compact and stores fine.

 

I'll just finish by saying that the H150 is probably a good telescope, but it isn't for a total noob. You'll want to know a few things because you'll have to collimate it more often than the Z130 and need a light shroud for sure.

 

Scott H.


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#20 rhetfield

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Posted 09 December 2022 - 12:27 PM

Thanks again to everyone for the continued feedback on this topic. Just today I ordered the 150p. Going to call Gary at Russell Optics tomorrow to see about ordering a high quality but reasonably priced mid-power eyepiece. I hear for quality and price, he’s the best.

Parfocal rings? Obviously I’m new here but this is the first I’ve heard about these and I’ve probably read 100 threads over the last month, lol. Going to look into these and learn about them. I assume they are a spacer of some kind?

Yes, they are a spacer.  They let you adjust how far into the focuser the eyepieces go so that you do not have to adjust focus when you switch out eyepieces.  Many eyepiece lines will state that they are parfocal, but in a fast scope like the z130 or 150p, they end up not being.



#21 Ionthesky

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Posted 09 December 2022 - 02:15 PM

RFJ, any of these scopes will provide you with a lot of enjotenjoyment...welcome aboard!

 

I have the OneSky and really enjoy it, but I bought it primarily for its portability and because it was a nice way to support AWB.  The OneSky monster thread also was (is) a great support resource.  If I was looking at the choices you're considering today, I'd opt for the 150p or for the Virtuoso 150 (with go-to and tracking).

 

The Z130 is a really nicely built scope and, because it has a solid tube, it doesn't need a shroud, as has been discussed.  My personal preference would be for a rack & pinion focuser like the Z130 has, but I'm happy with the helical of the OneSky and Heritage scopes, too.  Another nice feature of the Z130 is that it's mounted using tube rings.  This makes it easier to rotate the tube to place the eyepiece in a more favorable position, which is really handy if you decide to put the scope on an EQ mount, without going to the added expense of buying a set of rings.  When I bought a set of rings for my OneSky earlier this year, they cost me about $60.  Suddenly, the Z130 seems more economical...

 

Again, this is moot, as you're getting the 150p, but I thought I'd mention this for the benefit of anyone else weighing the same options.

 

Regards, 

Dave 



#22 spaceoddity

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Posted 12 December 2022 - 05:47 PM

Thanks again to everyone for the continued feedback on this topic. Just today I ordered the 150p. Going to call Gary at Russell Optics tomorrow to see about ordering a high quality but reasonably priced mid-power eyepiece. I hear for quality and price, he’s the best.

Parfocal rings? Obviously I’m new here but this is the first I’ve heard about these and I’ve probably read 100 threads over the last month, lol. Going to look into these and learn about them. I assume they are a spacer of some kind?

The scope should come with 2 plossl eyepieces - 25mm for low power and 10mm for medium power. A 2X barlow such as the GSO model would be a good purchase to give you a high power option. That should be plenty to get you started. 

 

https://agenaastro.c...arlow-lens.html


Edited by spaceoddity, 12 December 2022 - 05:54 PM.


#23 spaceoddity

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Posted 12 December 2022 - 05:52 PM

Not sure if this scope comes with a collimation tool but if it doesn't you will need one. Here is a simple cheap one that works pretty well. https://agenaastro.c...t-eyepiece.html



#24 rhetfield

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Posted 13 December 2022 - 10:04 AM

Not sure if this scope comes with a collimation tool but if it doesn't you will need one. Here is a simple cheap one that works pretty well. https://agenaastro.c...t-eyepiece.html

OneSky does come with a cheshire combo tool.




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