William Optics Zenithstar 61 Review [Astrophotography]

The William Optics Zenithstar 61 is a doublet apochromatic refractor telescope that excels in deep-sky DSLR astrophotography.

This is NOT a paid endorsement!

Full Review: https://astrobackyard.com/william-optics-zenithstar-61-review/

The “Z61” is the most portable telescope ever made by William Optics, and quite possibly the most user friendly astrophotography telescope I’ve ever used.

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.


vroom says:

Excellent content. I watch every episode you release. A question. This should work well with a cooled ASI camera as well? I have a ASI071MC Pro coming in soon and would love to do widefield with it.

Tempus Fugit says:

Great publicity for WO…. for the sake of being transparent you should clarify if you bought the scope or it was offered to you.
I have always enjoyed your videos and you have been an inspiration over the past but this one feels like advertising.

Frank Mraz says:

I noticed that you used the DSLR in this video. How would using your Altair Hypercam 183C compare to the DSLR ???

abdul says:

Great vid, would love to see more reviews like this

Conrad Blake says:

I love the skyrim theme music in the background lol

The Waterland says:

Great video – I am looking for something ‘better’ than my Canon 100-400L F4-5.6 to use for DSLR astrophotography with a Canon 5d3. I wonder if it’s worth getting the Zenithstar or it is will be very similar to my Canon lens?

Paweł Pleskaczyński says:

Hello, Trevor! I know it’s an old video but I have a question about this scope – is it possible to attach Skywatcher’s finder scope to it (9×50 – I’m using it for guiding)?

Aether52 says:

Excellent background music (morrowind)

donepearce says:

What is the difference between this telescope and a decent long telephoto lens?

Chris Savaiano says:

Hey Trevor, are you only using prime focus? What is the magnification of prime focus with a crop sensor dslr. I will be using a 7D and I’m very close to buying this scope but I’m concerned about how large objects will appear with such a short focal length.

Michael Retter says:

Can anyone recommended and autoguiding system for this setup?

markspc1 says:

Hello Trevor.
Since you have had photography background and I assume that you understand telephoto lenses wouldn’t a NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8 Manual Focus Lens be better than the William Optics Zenithstar 61 360mm f/5.6 as a photography telephoto lens it is nothing to brag about f/5.6 ranks on the very low end of telephotos that sells for under $100.00
Please comment. Thank you.

Jacob Tyo says:

I really hope you’re channel take off because I think you produce very high quality content. You’ve successfully gotten me into this hobby. I already have a decent tripod and camera, but my scope (ETX90) is lacking… I’m thinking about replicating your setup with the SkyTracker and the Zenithstar 61.
Thank you for the fantastic content. I eagerly await your next video. 🙂

Chris Colvin says:

I think I read somewhere that I can start off with just the camera adapter with no flattener and crop to about 85% to get pretty solid results. Can anybody confirm?

Frank Mraz says:

Hi Trevor..I bought the WQ 61 and tried talking pics tonight with disappointing results.  I bought the flattener too as I have the Canon 6D 35 mm format camera. The center of the picture is sharp, but as I go outward from the center, the stars are elongated aiming toward the center of the picture.  Any thoughts ???

Stef Boss says:

is cool i bought one is cool i am a little disappointed by the zoom

Stef Boss says:


Lee Maisel says:

GAAAAH!!! Stop making me spend money!! haha

Anthony Drake says:

What are your thought on a 70-200mm 2.8 with a 2x tele converter on it? I know it softens my images when it come to wildlife photos but how do you think it would do with deep space photos on the ioptron skyguider pro when considering trying to find focus?

MLZphoto says:

so, why not take a canon 400 mm f5.6L instead?

Andrew Chessum says:

Hi Trevor, I just have a couple of quick questions. I went ahead and bought the Zenithstar 61 (with flattener) and have been delighted with the results. As my DSLR (Canon 760D) is unmodded, I decided to put the cost of a mod towards a Hypercam 183C which is currently on order. My two questions: What do I need to connect the Hypercam to the Zenithstar flattener? And is the flattener suitable to use with the Hypercam? Many thanks in advance. Andy

lynx yellow says:

This is a cute tube, but I will prefer the WO Sttar-71-II which is a head to head match with Meade 6000 70 APO which you have reviewed, but ZO 61 is much cheaper.

Frank R. Pilot says:

Where did you get that telescope?

Sean M says:

I’m glad you spent some more in depth time on this scope. I ended up with the GT71 only because I spoke with Williams about it and Mr Yang told me the weight difference was negligible not to mention that they have some GT71 scopes on sale in their demo portion of their website that they used at a star party. So if anyone is interested take them up on that deal. If not then grab the 61.

Thanks Trevor. Hope your doing okay.

Chris 570 says:

Trevor….do I need thaty flatner with ccd camera

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