The William Optics Redcat 61F/4 WIFD
Made for Astrophotographers, always improving design
Many in the hobby are familiar with the kickstarter telescope known as the Redcat 51. It is the Astrophotographer's solution to having a much shorter focal length telescope versus using a 200mm camera lens. Camera lenses of course take great widefield astrophotos, but depending on the lense most users come across frustrations in the overall field of view and fine tuning back focus. The Redcat 51 was praised by many and has become the staple of every first deep sky set up that gets many recommendations. The Redcat 51 has had a lot of improvements in design over the years and even a bigger brother was released, the Redcat 71.
William Optics is always seeking to improve and innovate. Their beloved Gran Turismo series got a nice internal focuser now, but what of the Redcat series?
The Redcat series indeed has been very loved and praised, however one feature that divided users up was the helical focuser design. Some were not bothered by it, but others were not happy as it can be difficult when getting the right adapters to attach an electronic autofocuser (3rd party adapters). Some were not satisfied with the way the focuser behaved in comparison to William Optics other telescopes that had a fluid motion in design.
So William Optics heard them and decided to create the all new Redcat 61 with internal focuser design (WIFD).
Smooth and easy focusing for all
The innovative focuser design has been incorporated into the Redcat series of telescopes with the Redcat 61 WIFD. This is a good thing to consider as tilt can be a frustration to most when imaging. The internal focuser moves from within the telescope and the camera does not move back and forth. This eliminates tilt from the telescopes perspective. It also mitigates vignette along with helping keep the weight distribution the same on the DEC axis when focusing.
As you can see this uses focusing knobs much like a Crayford focuser rather than the helical focuser the other Cat series have. Personally I've actually gotten to use this in the field for a first light experience. I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the focuser and how easy it is to get the right focus versus my SpaceCat 51's Helical focuser.
It is also good to note that with this design of focuser, you won't have to worry about sourcing adapters for an Electronic Focuser.
I am thrilled with the quality of photographs it takes too. I used an APS-C sensor and the stars were pinpoint across the field. This scope also states it can illuminate a full frame sensor.
I found that it held focus quite well throughout the night.