Posted 28 October 2009 - 05:37 PM
I love my MN-56, I doubt I will ever part with it. I did a side by side with a Televue 102 this spring and while there were subtle differences, the performance was VERY close. Sharpness on and off axis was pretty much identical. Saturn was the only planet to compare on, but other than a little bit of difference in color, (the Televue had a more orange color), the detail was pretty much identical. One very slight difference, stars were just a small bit brighter in the Televue, however the background sky was darker in the Mak-Newt. This made open clusters just a bit better in the Televue, but because of the contrast, galaxies were better in the Mak-Newt. Keep in mind these were VERY slight differences, if we didn't have the scopes side by side I don't think you would ever notice the difference. When you consider the price, and viewing position, (on an alt-az mount I much prefer the eyepiece at the top of the tube), I would rather have the MN-56 over a 4" refractor. If you want super wide fields and are super sensitive to field illumination you might notice a slight darkening around the edged of a low power wide field eyepiece. I never notice this unless I'm being very critical and looking for it, I don't feel it detracts from the view however. I'm not sure if this is accurate but I've heard it said that the MN-56 gives a 2 degree fully illuminated FOV. Here is a quote of an earlier post I made about my MN-56,
"On a night of very good seeing I really got to see what my MN-56 could do. I ran out of power with my 5mm TMB planetary and a 2x barlow giving 305x, 61x per inch, and if I had a shorter focal length eyepiece I'm sure I could have went higher. The views of the Moon and Saturn were just stunning, razor sharp with lots of contrast. I also looked at Mars, and even though it was about 3 arc seconds in size at that time, I could still detect a polar cap."
Hope that helps,