Redcat 51 vs Zenithstar 61

Which Telescope is the Best: Redcat 51 or Zenithstar 61?


There are a ton of telescope brands out there. But if you’re about to begin your astronomy journey, William Optic will be a great choice. Redcat 51 and zenith star 61 models are currently two stunning scopes in the market.

So, what’s the difference between Redcat 51 vs. Zenithstar 61?

Well, z61 will provide high-quality images because it has strong magnification power and optical quality. Z61 is also capable of capturing better color-accurate astrographs as well. But redcat 51 is highly famous among professionals. This is due to its element design and super-sharp image quality. 

These were just a sneak peek. Just read through our head-to-head comparison and decide what’s best for you.

So, without any further due, let’s get started-

Redcat 51 vs. Zenithstar 61: Fundamental Differences

Both Redcat 51 and zenith star 61 are superstrong lunar instruments. However, to select, you must first acknowledge some basic distinctions.

For example, there are significant dissimilarities between nanuk and pelican telescopes. You should know these differences before you grab one.

So, let’s get some surface ideas about the basic differences-

Features Redcat 51 Zenithstar 61
Magnification Power Good Advanced
Optical Quality Good Superior
Color Accuracy Better Superior
Focus Lock Not Stable Stable
Price Range Expensive Cheaper

Now, you’ve got the initial knowledge about what we will discuss in the next segment.

Redcat 51 vs. Zenithstar 61: Head-to-Head Comparison

Understanding telescopes is a huge task before investing your money. You’d need to know the details to determine which is better. 

Now, let’s begin our detailed discussion-

Magnification Power

Magnification describes a telescope’s amount of power to enlarge the subject. It’s measured by dividing the telescope’s focal length and the eyepiece’s length—apparently, the longer the focal length, the higher the magnification power. 

The Z61 has a higher focal length of 360mm. Z61 can magnify up to 122x of its subject, which is powerful. It helps to get an ultra-wide field view and strong, colorful images while deep-sky gazing.

Redcat 51 has a focal length of 250mm, and its highest magnification power is 102x. It’s not as strong as the Z61. But if you connect a crop-sensor DSLR with this telescope, it will multiply the focal length by 1.6mm.

Winner: Magnification, wise zenithstar 61 wins.

Optical Quality 

Optical quality is measured by the division of focal length and the aperture. zenithstar 61 comes with a 61mm aperture along with 360mm of focal length. That means you’ll get an f/5.9 focal ratio, giving you an ultra-wide field view. 

Moreover, It’s popular for its FPL 53 glass, also known as synthetic fluoride. Pure fluoride from FPL 53 helps to get ultra-crisp quality images. 

Whereas serious professional astrophotographers mostly use Redcat 51. It’s an apochromatic astrograph refracting telescope. Using a refracting telescope is considered a suitable lens for astrography too. 

This Redcat 51 model has 51mm of aperture with 250mm of focal length. It provides f/4.9 of focal ratio. Yet its optical quality is less powerful in wide-field views than Z61.

Moreover, Redcat 51 could be faster despite other nearby telescopes. It generally takes longer to change its f-stop than other telescopes with a shorter focal ratio. 

Winner: Z61 is the winner.

Color Accuracy 

Redcat 51 is a premium astrograph-quality telescope. Yet its color accuracy could be sharper in some cases. But you can get a better view of the Nebula using a top-notch Nebula filter.  However, Redcat is not that idle for lunar and planetary imaging. 

Meanwhile, the zenithstar’s FPL 53 glass is an absolute game-changer. The dispersion properties of this objective lens determine the overall color correction. Moreover, it’ll maintain sharp, colorful stars and lunar photographs.

Winner: Without any doubt, Z61 wins.

Focus Lock 

Focus lock creates a major difference between these two scopes. In redcat 51 they don’t provide any focus lock but a friction focus lock system. 

While atrography, the camera setup shifts its lens angle along with the subject. While moving, Redcat 51 cannot hold itself. Thus, the focus gets shifted, and the photograph comes out of focus.

But in Z61, the focus lock system is way more advanced. William Optic added the amazing technology of a dual-speed focuser to this telescope. 

It comes with an easily lockable focus lock system. So, you can adjust your focus on your eyepiece and lock that up. 

Winner: Focus lock system takes 1 point for Z61.

Price Range

Redcat 51 is way more expensive than zenithstar 61. Redcat 51 will cost around $823, except for other equipment. 

You’ll need to buy eyepieces, filters, and adapters separately. So, the final amount will be nearly $1000, which is expensive.

Speaking of adapters, quite a few qualities adapters are available in the market. This chart may help you to decide on a proper adapter for your lunar gadget-

Product 01
Product 02
Product 03

Contradictorily, Zenithstar 61 is a more budget-friendly telescope.  The main body will cost $398. Then again, you have to purchase the other gadgets separately as well. So, the total cost can go up to $600.

Winner: Budget-wise, Z61 gets an extra point.


Question: What ISO do you need for astrophotography?

Answer: Deep-sky astrophotography ISO level is considered to be set on a high level. Generally, during dark sky-gazing, your ISO should be around 800-1600.

Question: How do I get short astrophotography?

Answer: Set your camera on manual or bulb mode and use shift to RAW image format. Use an ISO in-between 400-1600 and set a faster aperture. Finally, try to use the drive mode on a 10-second delay.

Question: What is telescope APO?

Answer: The APO telescope is generally a scope with an apochromatic lens. The lens brings three wavelengths into the focus point in the same plane. These three wavelengths are defined as RGB.

Final Verdict

Well, it’s time to wrap up our discussion on Redcat 51 vs. Zenithstar 61

zenithstar is grabbing most of our attention towards it. This is due to its magnification power and optical ratio. Whereas Redcat is more of a professional purpose yet too expensive.

So, unless you have a deep-dive pocket, start with the Z61.

Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top