William Optics Gran Turismo 71

I was thinking of buying a new telescope for a while, because the telescope I used was very limited in it’s capabilities. The Sky-Watcher Startravel achromatic refractor is a nice cheap and light weight telescope, but the image quality is not great (which can be expected from an achromat).

Choises

For a while I had the plan to buy a William Optics Zenith Star 73. The ZS73 is a doublet APO and does get some good reviews on the internet, but then I saw the Gran Turismo 71. A bit more expensive, but a triplet APO. So the image quality should be even better. Because I don’t buy a new telescope every year, I decided to go for the best and bought the GT 71. This should be a telescope to last a lifetime… I bought the telescope at Ganymedes in Amstelveen (NL) where they provided me with excellent advice and service!

Bag

The William Optics GT 71 comes in a nice bag with soft padding to protect the telescope. The bag has some room for accessoires, but the dovetail bar and rings only fit in the bag if you set the rings close to each other. The dew shield must be retracted to fit the telescope in the bag.

Flattener/reducer

The telescope has an opening of 71 mm and a focal length of 420 mm which makes it an F5.9 telescope. To get a nice flat field image you need a flattener. The Flat6AIII 0.8 flattener/reducer is the flattener to use on this telescope. By using this flattener/reducer the focal lenght changes to 336 mm making it a fast and wide F4.7 telescope.

I also ordered a Canon T-ring to mount my camera to the telescope and a William Optics camera rotator to be able to adjus the camera angle on the telescope.

First Impression

My first impression is that this is a very well constructed telescope. Everything fits sturdy together without any room to move or bend. So the image train will stay in one line even when the focusser is all the way out.

The thermometer in the focus knob is a nice extra. The focusser runs very smooth even with the heavy flattener and camera attached.

The ony thing I have to deal with is the balance on the mount. The telescope is very heavy at the camera side, so it could do with a longer dovetail bar to move it further up front on the mount. 

For now I think I bought a telescope that will last my life time. Next upgrade will be modifying my camera and buying some narrowband filters.

Below you will find the first picture I made with this telescope of the Sun with sunspot 2765.