Maybe mine is the exception, but I have an ETX 90 that has much less than excellent optics.
It lacks contrast, and has a tiny well illuminated field.
I used it at night a few times, but found it pretty disappointing Vs an 80mm ED refractor. I know these cost more, but the performace of the 90 was so disappointing to me that it seemed like wasted money by comparision.
I used it at the range, but I had trouble resolving my hits at very long ranges.
I was ready to sell it but the assistant astronomer thinks it is cute. Has been in her closet for two years now.
Not a fan of the ETX 90. Just can't come close to matching a good 80ED. Totally inferrior. Dim and lacking in contrast.
For someone wanting a small scope, I recommend the C5. Mine side by side with the ETX was far more enjoyable to use. Oh, I sold it because I was not using it anymore, but of the two, it was far better.
No, something is wrong here. I had a 90 and a couple of 125s and they were optically perfect. I hope you get to try a good one because you of all people would really appreciate it. Tiny Maks at their best. Sorry you came across an inferior sample.