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William Optics Zenithstar 61 APO Review

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The William Optics Zenithstar 61 is a doublet apochromatic refractor telescope that excels in deep-sky DSLR astrophotography.  The Z61 is the most portable telescope ever made by William Optics, a company with a reputation for building beautiful astrophotography refractors. In this review, I'll tell you why I think the William Optics Zenithstar 61 is a top contender when it comes to affordable astrophotography telescopes.  I'll cover the features and specs of the scope, and share some examples of deep sky images taken using this refractor. [caption id="attachment_7179" align="aligncent…

Collimating a Newtonian Telescope

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Collimating a Newtonian telescope is something every backyard astronomer should experience.  In this post, I align my 8" Orion Astrograph Newtonian for a night of astrophotography in the backyard.  My deep sky target is M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy - in the constellation Ura Major.  With a proper alignment of the mirrors in this reflector, I should be able to capture a new portrait of the galaxy with my DSLR camera. Spoiler - things do not go well. My Newtonian Reflector is Ready for Spring   The clouds finally broke (to a certain degree) last Saturday night, and being the d…

Top 10 telescopes for astrophotography

Astrophotography Telescope Buying Guide – Under $2000

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  Astrophotography Telescope Buying Guide So you're in the market for an astrophotography telescope, are you?  There have never been so many affordable options for the amateur astrophotographer on a tight budget.  I am often asked which telescope I use, and which one I would recommend for beginners.  The quick answer is a high-quality, doublet or triplet refractor.  Larger models can be very expensive (and heavy!) due to the high-quality ED glass used.  I think you will be quite surprised at the performance of a small 65-80mm refractor such as the Explore Scientific ED80 I current…