Quote:Which one would you recommend?
Quote:Which has the best optics?
Quote:Are there better scopes to consider for the money?
Quote:These are $1300 and under.
Quote:I have the XX12i and I would like to say that the mirror bucket functions perfectly for it's size when transporting unassembled, say to a dark sky site, but it makes it very hard to carry as one unit to your backyard. I can't say much for the object locator as my altitude encoder was busted out of the box and Orion forgot to send the replacement to me for a week... but the motions aren't too bad overall. Side to side movement is a bit jerky but manageable. I find that the focuser does vibrate quite a bit, but it is rather smooth even though it takes more force than I would like to make it budge.
Quote:I do not have anything to do with it. A group of independent amateurs astronomers in Moscow ... assistance to other amateurs when buying ...ps.PV: 1/1.0RMS: 1/5.3Strehl: 0.244
WO Megrez 120 ED on GP Mount
WO ZenithStar 80 ED II on Porta II
10" Meade LightBridge/Paracorr
Orion ED 100 on Polaris Mount
Astro-Tech 8" f6 Dob
Bushnell Ares 5
Meade 226 2.4" f11.7
SpaceScope 2.4" f15
Quote:The support for the primary mirror is well done in the LB. The springs are, as you mention, not adequate. It's why Bob's Knobs, Farpoint, and a host of other dealers offer upgrade springs. I would recommend the change. After the change, though, you have a properly-operating mirror cell, and the locking screws no longer have to be used. There are after-market counterweights that screw into the empty holes.
All of these entry-level scopes require some work, whatever brand they may be. That's part of the fun over a period of time.
All assuming the optics are decent, of course.