Black Triplet Title.




William Optic Swan Logo.




When it comes to telescopes, small is nirvana; for me. Here a semi-small telescope is outlined. This telescope is ready for mounting at thirteen pounds as shown.







Philosophy of the Black Swan

The logo of William Optics (WO) is the swan. The Black Swan is the largest of all waterfowl, and feeds at dusk. How fitting to have a WO Zenithstar 105mm APO telescope that fits this big duck that can paddle its way across the cosmos. So what is the essence of Black Triplet Tao? Well, I am a student of oriental ways. In fact, the fascination of the matter has captivated my mind for life; such as in matters of health and music. The Tao long before Aristotle, tackled the importance of balance in all things. Thus when I first saw the WO Zenithstar 105mm Triplet Telescope, its mysterious blackness and golden trim, drew me into its aura (or Chi). The experience was overwhelming, so I bought one. This page will evolve often, as this telescope is explored in depth; both visually and in astrophotography.



Zenithstar 105mm Triplet APO, f/7, GP-DX mount with counterweights totaling 14 lbs. ZS 105 Telescope Overview

The ZS 105 is available as an optical tube assembly (OTA) only, or as a limited offer package (OTA, mounting rings, red-dot finder, and 2-inch dielectric diagonal). Since I needed mount rings, the package deal seemed the most cost effective purchase. When the package was opened, the feature that first caught my eye was the attention to detail of every item in sight. This included the aluminum storage case, OTA, and packaging boxes containing the red-dot finder, diagonal., and focal reducer. The 0.8 factor focal reducer was not part of the package, but it was purchased because I like to image from time to time, and it was recommended for this purpose. The ZS 105 Triplet is well engineered when it comes to fit and finish. The attention to detail is obvious in all aspects; like the inclusion of an optical cleaning cloth for each optical unit (in this case 3 cloths) The 3.625" rotatable focuser housing is very smooth. However the locking screw head is a bit small to get a good tightening grip. I would recommend enlarging the the head to 3/4" diameter. The crayford focuser is as smooth as it gets. The mechanism is tight enough to hold a Nikon D70 DSLR in place with the tightening screw loose; even when the OTA is pointed at zenith. The 10:1 focuser reducer is also very smooth. The focuser tube tension is adjusted by a 5mm allen screw located on the botton of the drawtube housing. Located in front of the tension adjustment, is a 5mm screw for locking the drawtube for applications like photography. I would recommend moving the locking screw forward about 0.5 inch, then enlarging the head of the screw for a better grip for tightening. On my ZS 105mm, I found the locking screw to fit rather loosely, so it might be a good idea to remove it, or put a dab of Loctite on it to prevent losing the screw. Alternatively, I also incorporate a Hutech 7758 helical focuser for DSLR focusing; which is designed for repeated focus accuracy without any gravity impacts associated with linear focus devices. The mounting rings are also part of The Package. The rings have five threaded holes on the top and bottom. The center three holes are M6 threads, and the outer two are 1/4 - 20 threads. The photo shows the ZS 105 mounted on a Vixen GP-DX mount using an 8.25" dovetail plate from scopestuff.com. This arrangement facilitates balance of the OTA by moving the telescope to and fro in the dovetail mount. My intention is to make a third hand strap for easier scope positioning.


The WO Red Dot Finder(RDF) is included in the ZS 105mm Package. This finder is about 3/4 the size of the Vixen RDF, but like the Vixen, it is all aluminum construction. The props however go out to the WO RDF, because it has four dot projection options (spot, crosshair, 4-spike circle, circle with center dot). The adjustment of the RDF in ALT-ATZ is made using an included allen wrench. Each of these RDF's comes with a large click stop projection light intensity adjustment knob. In comparing the WO vs Vixen RDF, I would call it a draw. The WO RDF is attached to the ZS 105mm using an aluminum bracket that is attached to the 92mm drawtube housing using an included 5mm flathead screw (with a hex center, allen screw included). Attachment of the bracket is made by removing the black slotted setscrew located to the left of center of the focuser drawtube housing.

The WO package comes with a 2" dielectric diagonal. But for lower elevation objects, I prefer viewing sans diagonal. But in the case of the ZS 105mm APO, the telescope will not reach focus when viewing straight-thru without using an extension. I was able to reach focus using a Stellarvue 2" Deluxe extension tube (ET3), which provides almost 3 inches of additional back focus travel. If might not be a bad idea to have several extension tubes available so that one would not have to rack the focuser out to maximum reach. The straight thru view is also required if one intends to do any optical evaluation or star testing with this telescope. The WO Crayford Focuser is very smooth in ambient temperatures, but I was using the telescope in 27 degree F, and found the motion to be slightly choppy; which was smoothed out with a slight adjustment as noted above.






***** Zenithstar 105 Triplet Photo Gallery *****

Comparison of size difference between Vixen A80SS Short Tube and the WO 105mm Triplet, shown with Stellarvue finder. William Optics 105mm Triplet Refractor mounted on Vixen GP-DX.
We are siblings, but I ( ZS 105mm, f7 Triplet ) am much bigger than you ( ZS 66mm, f/6 SD Doublet ). Since I am bigger, I'll be your protector and confident. Only through me, will you be able to learn The Power of Aperture when you grow up. But as you are, your genes will still enable you to behold great things. Just remember your place little one! ZS 105mm Triplet APO and ZS 66mm Doublet APO.
Nikon D70 DSLR attached to Zenithstar 105mm ED Triplet. The ZS 105mm has a rotatable focuser, which is very nice for positioning a camera without disturbing the focus position. Here the drawtube with indicator markings is shown in the extended position with a Nikon D70 Digital SLR attached. Also shown is the Nikon DR-6 angle finder and Hutech #7758 helical focuser. The mechanism(s) used in this telescope is one of the smoothest I've experience in any telescope.
The finish of the ZS 105 is flawless, but I would keep the car polish and polishing rag on standby. Each touch of the OTA, leaves a print of your hand and fingers behind. This closeup shows the viewing end of the OTA, with the Stellarvue F50 finder and WO Red Dot finder attached. The F50 is fastened to the mounting bracket M6 thread. Each finder attaches to a dovetail bracket; making them easy to remove for OTA storage. Closeup of Stellarvue F50 finder and WO Red Dot Finder
ZS 105mm baffles.  Nikon CP4500 flash photo. The ZS 105mm has six foam baffles. This view from the front of the triplet objective, shows the optical specifications on the edge of the lens cell, and the baffle layout. The bright spot is from the camera EE flash. The telescope comes with an aluminum gold anodized lens cap that fit snugly over the dew cap. Nikon CP4500 photo.
The photo shows one possible astrophotography setup for deep sky imaging. Featured is the SBIG e-Finder guidescope attached to the STV head for auto-guiding, WO 0.8X APO field flattener and focal reducer, and Nikon D50 Digital SLR. The mount is a Vixen GP-DX controlled by Skysensor 2000. The imaging potential here is awesome. Flat Frame with the WO 0.8X FR produced signs of un-even lighting across the image plane using the Nikon D50 DSLR shown below. Astophotography setup with SBIG e-finder and Nikon D50 DSLR.
ZS 105mm flat frame illumination.  Nikon D50 DSLR. The ZS 105mm triplet was outfitted with the typically used configuration for imaging. This includes the Nikon D50 6 mp DSLR, William Optic 0.8x focal reducer, and Hutech IDAS LPS filter. A flat frame was taken with the setting of ISO 800, 1/1000 sec as shown. The distribution of the illumination is shown in this photo. This frame is subtracted from an image to null the un-even illumination. A series of flat frames at various shutter speeds can be taken and then averaged to get a mean flat. ImagesPlus 2.75 will null the color prior to the subtraction.










ZS 105mm APO Astrophoto Gallery
M42 Nebula in Orion, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image, 23 Jan 2006 On 23 Jan 06, a Nikon D50 DSLR was attached prime focus with WO 0.8x FR to ZS 105mm to capture M42 Nebula in Orion . The image was exposed at 3 x 25 sec, 3 x 1 min, and 5 x 3 min, 588mm, f/5.6. Camera settings were WB=daylight, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter. Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75 Beta ( image stacking, Sigma Clip Ave Combine, digital development, L-R deconvolution ), Neat Image, and Paint Shop Pro 9.01. GP-DX Tracking, STV with e-finder autoguided.
NGC 891 Galaxy in Andromeda, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 23 Jan 2006. On 23 Jan 06, a Nikon D50 DSLR was attached with WO 0.8x focal reducer, to a WO 105mm Triplet telescope. NGC 891 is an edge-on galaxy near the star Almach in the constellation Andromeda. The image was exposed at 4 x 5 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter. Vixen GP-DX tracking, STV autoguided. Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75 Beta, Neat Image Pro, Photoshop 6, and Paint Shop Pro 9.01.
NGC 2024 Nebula in Orion, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 26 Jan 2006. The Flame Nebula NGC 2024, and Alnitak, the 3rd star in Orion's Belt, located NW of M42 Nebula in Orion. Nikon D50 DSLR was attached with WO 0.8x focal reducer, to a WO 105mm Triplet telescope. The image was exposed at 7 x 5 min, 2 x 6 min, 1 x 3.3 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter. Vixen GP-DX tracking, STV with e-finder autoguided. Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75 Beta 8A, Neat Image Pro, and Paint Shop Pro 9.01.
 M81 spiral galaxy and M82  in Ursa Major, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 23 Jan 2006. The M81 and M82 galaxy group in Ursa Major. Nikon D50 DSLR was attached with WO 0.8x focal reducer, to a WO 105mm Triplet telescope. The image was exposed at 5 x 4.2 min., ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter. Vixen GP-DX tracking, STV with e-finder autoguided. Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75 Beta, Neat Image Pro, and Paint Shop Pro 9.01.
 Eastern Veil Nebula in Cygnus, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 25 June 2006. The Veil Nebula East, NGC 6992 in Cygnus. Nikon D50 DSLR prime focus to a WO 105mm Triplet, 735mm, f/7. The image was exposed at 10 x 6 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter. Vixen GP-DX tracking, STV with e-finder autoguided. Image Capture and Processing with ImagesPlus 2.75 (Adaptive Add ), Neat Image, and Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 25 June 2006 from SE Michigan.
 M13 in Hercules, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 9 Apr 2006. The M13 Hercules Globular Cluster. Nikon D50 DSLR was attached with WO 0.8x focal reducer, to a WO 105mm Triplet telescope. The image was exposed at 4 x 1 min ( ISO 400 ), 4 x 2 min ( ISO 800 ), Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter. Vixen GP-DX tracking, STV with e-finder autoguided. Focusing, Image Capture, and processing with ImagesPlus 2.75. Final processing using Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 9 Mar 2006 from SE Michigan, , 32 deg F, sky glare from 10-day waxing gibbous moon.
 M57 in Lyra, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 25 Jun 2006. The Planetary Ring Nebula in Lyra, M57. Nikon D50 DSLR was attached to a WO 105mm Triplet telescope, prime focus at 735mm, f/7. The image was exposed at 5 x 3 min, 2 x 4 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter. Vixen GP-DX tracking, STV with e-finder autoguided. Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75 (adaptive add combine ), and Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 25 Jun 2006 from SE Michigan.
 M101 Pinwheel in Ursa Major, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 5 Mar 2006. Spiral Galaxy ( aka Pinwheel Galaxy ) in Ursa Major, M101. Nikon D50 DSLR was attached to a Williams Optic 105mm Triplet APO telescope, operating at 588mm, f/5.6. The image was exposed at 6 x 5.7 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter, STV with e-finder autoguided. Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75 (DDP, Adaptive R-L), Neat Image Pro, and Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 5 Mar 2006.
 M51 Spiral Galaxy, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 27 Mar 2006, SE Michigan. Whirlpool Galaxy in in Canes Venatici, M51. Nikon D50 DSLR was attached to a Williams Optic 105mm Triplet APO telescope, 588mm, f/5.6. The image was exposed at 10 x 4 min, 4 x 5 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter, STV with e-finder autoguided. Focus, Image Capture, and Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75. Final processing and re-sizing with Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 27 Mar 2006.
 Sombrero Galaxy, M104, Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 27 Mar 2006. M104 Sombrero Galaxy in the Constellation Virgo.. Nikon D50 DSLR , 105mm Triplet APO telescope, 588mm, f/5.6. The image was exposed at 3 x 5 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter, STV with e-finder autoguided. Focus, Image Capture, and Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75. Final processing and re-sizing with Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 27 Mar 2006.
 M27, Dumbbell Nebula in  Vulpecula.  Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 12 June 2006. The Dumbbell Nebula in the constellation Vulpecula is shown. Known as M27, this planetary nebula is in the Cygnus region. Nikon D50 DSLR , 105mm Triplet APO telescope, prime focus at 735nn, f/7. Image cropped 50 percent. The image was exposed at 10 x 4 min, 5 x 3 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter, STV with e-finder autoguided. Focus, Image Capture, and Processed with ImagesPlus 2.75 ( Adaptive Add Combined ). Noise reduction via Neat Image Pro. Final processing and re-sizing with Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 12 June 2006.
Leo Triplet Group.  Nikon D40 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 16 April 2007. The Leo Triplet Group is shown. This group of galaxies (M65, M66, NGC 3628 is in Leo region. Nikon D40 DSLR , 105mm Triplet APO telescope with 0.8x FR. Image cropped 50 percent. The image was exposed at 14 x 4 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter, STV with e-finder autoguided. Focus, Image Capture, and Processed with ImagesPlus 2.82 ( Average Combined ). Noise reduction via Neat Image Pro. Final processing and re-sizing with Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 16 April 2007.
NGC 7000 in Cygnus.  Nikon D40 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 16 April 2007. The North American Nebula in Cygnus, aka NGC 7000. This red rich region encompasses a plethora of objects. Nikon D40 DSLR , 105mm Triplet APO telescope with 0.8x FR. Image cropped 50 percent. The image was exposed at 8 x 5 min, ISO 800, 6 x 6 min, ISO 1600, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter, STV with e-finder autoguided. Focus, Image Capture, and Processed with ImagesPlus 2.82 ( Adaptive add Combined ). Noise reduction via Neat Image Pro. Final processing and re-sizing with Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 16 April 2007.
Wide field, M57 in Lyra.  Nikon D40 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 23 May 2007. Wide field Ring Nebula, M57, located in the constellation Lyra. Nikon D40 DSLR , 105mm Triplet APO at 588mm, f/5.6. The image was exposed at 10 x 3 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter, STV with e-finder autoguided. Focus, Image Capture, and Processed with ImagesPlus 2.82 ( Sigma clip median Combined ). Noise reduction via Neat Image Pro. Final processing and re-sizing with Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 23 May 2007.
Spiral Galaxy in Triangulum, M33.  Nikon D40 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 20 Sep 2007. Spiral Galaxy M33, located in the constellation Triangulum. Nikon D40 DSLR , 105mm Triplet APO at 588mm, f/5.6. The image was exposed at 18 x 3 min, ISO 800, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter, STV with e-finder autoguided. Focus, Image Capture, and Processed with ImagesPlus 2.82 ( median Combined ). Fifty percent crop. Final processing and re-sizing with Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 20 Sep 2007.
 Gibbous moon.  Nikon D50 and WO 105mm Triplet refractor image on 12 June 2006. A waning gibbous seventeen day old moon. Nikon D50 DSLR , 105mm Triplet APO telescope, prime focus at 735nn, f/7. Image cropped 50 percent. The image was exposed at 1/200 sec, ISO 200, Nikon RAW, IDAS LPS filter. Focus and Image Capture using ImagesPlus 2.75. A single shot image. Final processing and re-sizing with Paint Shop Pro 9.01, 12 June 2006.




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