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ZenithStar 66SD APO

William Optics

Item details

Aperture 66mm
F Ratio F/5.9
Focal Length 388 mm
Objective Type SD Doublet, Air Spaced,
Lens Shade Retractable
Focuser Crayford with 1:10 fine focus
60 mm(2.4") Focuser Travel Length
1.25" Adapter Brass Compression Rings
Tube Diameter 2.95"(75 mm)
Tube Length 11.8" (300 mm) Retracted/14.2" (360 mm) Extended
Tube Weight 3.5 lbs.( 1.7 kg)

Latest reviews

  • Cheap but excellent
  • Not sealed
I have the ED Petzval version. It has a flatter field and more chromatic aberration, in the levels of binoculars. OthOtherwise it is almost identical and still very good
  • optics
  • requires balls.....you will stand out from the other sheep
Cant add much to above.

FOr me the killer with this scope is being able to use powermate/barlow lenses.

I have a converted Nikon ep,[the one that goes on the ed50] for general viewing...33x and 72deg fov. Image was perfect.
I was using this with the magnification lens on the base of a meade telemetric barlow for ubber close up work on waders....~70x with only a little fuzzyness.
ie the magnifier lens screws onto the nikon wheni want the power boost. But it still gives the 72deg fov !!!
  • optical quality: bleeding edge sharp; good close focus, can use astro eyepieces, solid, fine focus ability
  • not H2O proof, "fit together" construction, a little bulky and heavy
Basically, what Mike said!

I have the Astronomy Tech version of this scope, really the same FPL-51 glass, anodized finish, like that. AT offers the scope in 6 or so colors ("forest green" would be nice for birding use). One minor diff is that the coarse and fine focus knobs are covered in diamond-cut rubber, which is a nice touch, but otherwise the scopes are identical.

The limiting factor in the view of many potential owners of this rig has been the lack of a decent quality, compact, reasonable cost 45-degree erecting prism, but within the last couple of years good multi-coated, BK-4 glass ones from a number of vendors have hit the market. I also have a 1 1/4 dielectric 90-degree mirror star diagonal, but honestly there is not much, if any, performance points in favor of the mirror diagonal. Off axis, maybe a bit more lateral color with the prism, but it's minor and not noticable. In the past, the majority of the right side up, right way round reading diagonals were pretty bad, at least the ones I had looked thru. I use the AT one, which looks like what is shown in Mike's initial posting. Generic versions are available for a slightly cheaper price. Mine ran $69.

The ability to employ various 1 1/4 astro eyepieces is a BIG plus, not to be underrated. Currently on the business end of the scope is an Agena Astro 15mm Super-wide angle, yielding (with the 8% increase in mag the diagonal adds) right at 29X. The ocular runs $42 paid shipping. Specs: fully multicoated, 13mm eyerelief, 70-degree apparent FOV.

THIS IS A FLAT OUT KILLER COMBO! Resolution of fine, feather-level detail, color neutrality/saturation, and especially contast (these scopes have 10 to 13 internal knife edge baffles) is right up there with the very best, period. I also have a Nikon ED82, and prefer the view with the AT 66. Last year, at the local hawk watch site, we AB'd the AT66 and a Swar 65HD. Verdict? A dead heat according to everyone who took the time to look.

Great for the moon and planets too!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED- a real sleeper product, and one that more birders should consider!

Item information

Compact Spotting Scopes
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