Zhumell Z100 Review: Deep Space on a Budget
Although its optics are not powerful, Zhumell Z100 has great build quality and has a fair price tag.
Z100 has a delightful primary mirror.
For deep space observations, aperture is vital. That is why Zhumell Z100’s deep-sky performance is the best in its price-league. But I would highly recommend saving a little more to get a wider-aperture telescope for deep space. At this price range, the smallest change in the aperture makes a huge difference.
The 17mm(24x) and a 10mm(40x) Kellner eyepieces that come with the telescope will be enough for the beginning. They are of decent quality and we don’t have anything negative to say about these eyepieces. At this price range you won’t find anything else. You will probably need a small aperture(possibly 6mm) eyepiece to be able to get some planetary detail. I would recommend a Plössl eyepiece.
The mount is rock solid and well-made. Its mechanics are smooth. It also has a handle built-in which is a really nice touch.
The build quality is exceptional.
I think a Dobsonian tabletop mount is perfect for beginners. They are incredibly easy to use and they provide maximum stability possible. They are really hard to break as well. Tripods at this price range are so frustrating the difference can’t be described with words.
Zhumell Z100 is one of the rare models that won’t discourage beginners from astronomy. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a powerhouse in any way. It will provide “decent” performance for the price. What is so good about this telescope is its build quality. It is at the level of 300$ Dobsonain’s, which is quite a bit of value considering the price.
Zhumell Z100 has serious design advantages over most models in its league. Overall build quality, a parabolic primary mirror and decent accessories are not easy to find around the 100$ range.
Zhumell Z100 is a huge leap forward from Celestron’s overpriced refractors and cheap Travel Scope’s. And in my opinion, it has only one competitor being sold for the same price: Orion SkyScanner 100.
400mm Focal Length
Deep Space Performer
Z100 has a wide field-view, which makes it ideal for galaxies, star clusters, and nebulas.
Zhumell Z100 has a 4”(100mm) aperture and 400mm focal length, creating an f/4 focal ratio. f/4 is not an ideal focal ratio for beginners. It requires precise collimation and the smallest misalignment will cause the image to go bad. Adding to that the primary mirror is not adjustable, therefore you won’t be able to collimate it. So you have to be really careful about the optics. There won’t be any problems if you don’t drop the telescope from a high place or hit it with something. Thankfully, the focal tube on Zhumell Z100 is very sturdy.
The included eyepieces are pretty good. There is a 17mm Kellner that will provide 24x magnification and a 10mm Kellner that will provide 40x magnification. They are made of metal and glass and will last you long years to come. But you will need a low aperture-high magnification eyepiece as well, such as a 6mm Goldline. A Barlow lens would be great as well, which will increase the magnification two times with any eyepiece.
The optics are good in general. They will provide detailed and sharp images. If you are a first-timer the things you will see are going to amaze you. So don’t get discouraged by the small aperture. It will be more than enough.
The optical power is enough for sparking curiosity for the Universe.
The mount is a tabletop Dobsonian. As we’ve said before this is great for beginners since they are incredibly simple and solid. A Dobsonian mount moves up, down, left and right; which is as simple as it gets with telescope mounts. The base provides smooth horizontal motion and Teflon bearings provide even smoother vertical motion. It also has a handle built-in which is a really good addition for convenience.
There is really not much to say here. As long as you have some stable surface to put the telescope on, you will be absolutely satisfied with the mount. But if you really insist on using a tripod, you can. It is compatible with most of the tripods in the market.
The base is rock-solid.
Red Dot Finder
The red dot finder is a standard among beginner telescopes. This is one of the strong aspects of Zhumell Z100 because it has an f/4 focal ratio. Thanks to the wide-field view, even though red dot finder is not top-notch, it will be very easy to find the celestial you want to observe. Another aspect that makes this telescope great for beginners.
The focuser is a 1.25”, rack-and-pinion model. It is made of plastic. It is an OK focuser and provides smooth motion. It will do the job and won’t create any problems with viewing.
Most users overlook the user manual but the manual that comes with this telescope has useful tips for beginners. It is much better than searching for something on the web since it provides specific instructions about Zhumell Z100.
The included lens cap is useful. Zhumell Z100’s optics are very exposed and leaving it with its optics wide open will cause them to get dusty. Therefore the lens cap is appreciated.
With a 9mm Goldline eyepiece, the Z100 will provide 44x magnification. I recommend this eyepiece for the Zhumell Z Series because it provides a balanced viewing experience for tabletops; not too powerful, and not too wide field.
Zhumell Z100 is not the most passionate starter telescope. The optics are not that powerful.
If you are on a budget, Zhumell Z100 is great. It will definitely give you some opinion about what a good telescope can do. It is easy-to-use and reliable. It is surprisingly well-built. It is a great grab-and-go addition to your telescope collection, or a humble, reliable device for observing the universe.