orion 8" newt or meade 10" schmit-newt
Posted 13 February 2004 - 09:01 PM
Posted 13 February 2004 - 10:50 PM
Posted 14 February 2004 - 05:27 AM
Is this your first scope?
Posted 14 February 2004 - 07:11 AM
Then there was the review of the 8" LXD55 in the August 2003 issue of Astronomy magazine by Steve Edberg, that essentially trashed that scope. Here are some selected highlights quoted under the fair use laws:
"This is not a telescope designed for high-magnification observations of planets or double stars."
"The LXD-55 mount, even when all the hardware is tightened down, has a loose feel."
The article contains lots of other interesting tidbits, like the idea that the Autostar drive system might not be all that accurate. All of these things were basically confirmed by a local dealer when I asked specific questions.
In light of all that, and considering that I was pretty well sold on the idea of an 8" reflector on an EQ mount, I carefully considered both the Celestron C8-N and the Orion SVP 8 EQ. It would seem from what I could learn about them, that those two models are essentially the same scope on the same mount. There may be very minor differences in the mount housing, but I couldn't verify any significant differences in either the mount, the tripod or the scopes as they are being currently offered. (There have been past differences in mounts.)
Anyhow, I went with the Orion SVP 8 EQ simply because for the same money as the plain, bare-bones C8-N, I could get dual drives and an optional polar scope with the Orion. Also, Orion's rep for good customer service and no hassle returns played largely into my decision. The C8-N comes with a better finder scope, but finder scopes are easy to change.
Obviously, having just got the SVP 8 EQ, and having not even had a chance to test it, I can't comment on performance. But, so far, I'm very pleased with the quality of the scope and mount. True, the Atlas is a mightier mount, but I don't think I'd want to lug anything much more massive than the current 2" tubular steel SVP EQ mount. It' s a pretty good, fairly beefy tripod.
The SVP mount probably needs some fine tuning in terms of grease removal and deburring, but I can tell already that this is a vast improvement over the old CG-5 mount in terms of tripod construction. I don't yet know whether the SVP will really handle the 8" newt, but I think it's probably a pretty good match for visual use. I know that I'd not want to try anything much bigger than this as a portable newt in terms of either OTA or mount. I'll post more as I know more. Maybe the weather will allow some actual viewing time soon.
Posted 14 February 2004 - 01:25 PM
In addition to the undermounting issue, I've also heard that the optics in the SN-10" aren't awesome. The guy I bought my 8" Newt from sold both scopes, and he said the 8" was a better scope (even though he would have gotten more money from me for the 10").
Posted 15 February 2004 - 08:22 AM
Is it worth the extra money 500 dollars for this atlas mount.
It was to me. If you're considering doing astrophotos with the 8" OTA, I have heard a lot of guys who have the SVP mount say that they should have bought the Atlas instead. I can't remember a single Atlas owner that I've talked to saying that in retrospect, they should have bought the SVP. That has to mean something...
I have a friend that has the SVP6 (which is a really good scope for that mount, IMO). We mounted my 8" OTA on that mount, just for fun. I'd have to agree with the general consensus - the mount is pretty much at it's limit carrying this OTA.
If you never, ever plan on imaging with your scope, you'd probably be okay with the SVP, I think. However, the difference between the two mounts is truly like the difference between night and day.
The Atlas can carry the 8" OTA without any problems at all. I really think that it's carrying capacity is underrated by Orion. In addition, while there's really essentially nothing wrong with the fit and finish of the SVP mount and tripod (with the exception of that ridiculous thin plastic polar scope cover that you're going to be continually knocking off), the Atlas mount has a far better fit, finish, and overall quality of construction. It is literally built like a tank.
Now there are some down sides to the Atlas mount. It is *quite* heavy. I wasn't kidding when I said that it is built like a tank. Having said this, I also need to note that this has not stopped me from developing the habit of picking up and carrying the completely assembled tripod, mount, counterweights, batteries, and handpad out into the yard in order to shorten my setup time, and I'm certainly no fitness guru. However, if you have a bad back, or some other impediment, this could be an imposing mount to haul around.
Also, while we're talking about downsides, it needs to be noted that there is no provision for manually guiding the Atlas mount if your power source fails, so if you get this mount, don't forget to keep a fresh power source at hand.
Finally, IMO, if you follow the trend of most scope owners, you're likely to upgrade your scope in the future. Most folks also go from a newt to a larger apeture SCT. You couldn't even consider mounting a 9.25 or larger SCT on the SVP, but the Atlas will handle the load.
Here's a comparison shot of the two mounts...