Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Meade LX70 150mm f/12 Maksutov

  • Please log in to reply
58 replies to this topic

#26 Riccardo_italy

Riccardo_italy

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 864
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2014
  • Loc: Italy

Posted 09 October 2015 - 02:37 AM

150/1900 - RuMak configuration: Bosma, IOptron...

 

150/1800 - Gregory configuration: Synta

 

So this looks like a synta version. What's strange is the exit baffle of the primary slightly undersized with respect to the standard skywatcher one



#27 rmollise

rmollise

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,557
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2007
  • Loc: US

Posted 09 October 2015 - 08:43 AM

If I didn't already have too many telescopes around here, I'd pick up the phone and order one. Like Terra, I love the color-scheme!


  • orion61, Terra Nova, Augustus and 1 other like this

#28 Bill Barlow

Bill Barlow

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,221
  • Joined: 03 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Overland Park KS

Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:20 AM

I assume it is possible to attach a Celestron 1.25" visual back if you don't want to use a 2" diagonal since the rear cell opening is only 25mm?

 

Bill



#29 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 30,375
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Petaluma, CA

Posted 24 November 2015 - 06:12 PM

I bought this scope at NEAF.  The optics are very good to excellent - I tested them with an 'artificial star' placed at the other end of the huge gymnasium...  Perfectly circular and centered diffraction pattern in focus.  I have not star tested yet but I don't expect any drama...

 

Here's the OTA as it comes.  Finder and 2" (!) diagonal...

 

attachicon.gifIMG_7341.jpg

 

I wondered about the 2" diagonal as I looked at the scope at NEAF.  This is a planetary/doublestar scope, not a wide-field sweeper,  and I was expecting to use my 1.25" eyepieces with it....  A 2" diagonal?  Could I use Ethos and other wiiiiide 2" e.p.'s with this scope?

 

Short answer, NO.   The scope comes with a screw-on 2" 'visual back' into which the 2" diagonal fits nicely.  When this device is removed the truth is revealed:   The internal baffle diameter is only 25.1 mm or about 0.95".  The wide field stops on my Ethos and Nagler e.p.'s would be wasted here.  (5mm Nagler and 3-6 zooms will be fine as their field stops are quite a bit smaller than 25.1 mm.)

Look at the above pic and ask, "Doesn't this diagonal look a bit odd?"  Does to me....  

 

I replaced the 2" diagonal with a 1.25" diagonal and a 2"-1.25" adapter and took another picture...  Looks more 'normal' now, I think...

 

attachicon.gifIMG_7342.jpg.

 

More pics in next post... (upload limits...)

 

Dave

Like it, but really wish they carried the blue through to the visual back as well as the finder shoe, bracket and dew shade.

 

- Jim


  • Terra Nova likes this

#30 planenator

planenator

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Jerusalem

Posted 17 February 2016 - 04:04 PM

Hi, 
I need some advice, I want to buy MAK 150, and I don't know what to choose between two: Meade LX70 M6 or Sky-Watcher MAK150..
Could someone explain, what the differences between two. And what about the internal baffle diameter in SW MAK 150, according to SW website it comes with 2" diagonal to.
Thank you.

Michael.



#31 rogan

rogan

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 563
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2015
  • Loc: Georgia, USA

Posted 18 February 2016 - 09:31 AM

Like it, but really wish they carried the blue through to the visual back as well as the finder shoe, bracket and dew shade.

 

- Jim

 

photo (225).JPG

 

Obviously I agree (for my R8).

 

 


  • Terra Nova likes this

#32 Taosmath

Taosmath

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,472
  • Joined: 21 May 2014

Posted 18 February 2016 - 09:53 AM

Hi, 
I need some advice, I want to buy MAK 150, and I don't know what to choose between two: Meade LX70 M6 or Sky-Watcher MAK150..
Could someone explain, what the differences between two. And what about the internal baffle diameter in SW MAK 150, according to SW website it comes with 2" diagonal to.
Thank you.

Michael.

I believe the the Skywatcher and the Meade are identical apart from the color scheme and whatever accessories are offered in the package.  The SW does come with a 2" diagonal, but the standard 1.25" Celestron Visual back fits it.

 

Using a low power wide angle Eyepiece ( panoptic 35mm) I measured a true field of View of about 1.1*.

 

You can connect a Celestron focal reducer to it and that almost doubles the FOV (e.g.the 1.08* I got with the Panoptic straight, increased to 1.90* when using the FR).

 

I plan to see what happens to FOV when I put a 1.25" diagonal on this weekend.

 

BUT when there is a bright object just outside the FOV there is significant reflection from the inside of the primary baffle tube as I describe here:

 http://www.cloudynig...his-reflection/

 

It seems to be a design fault which is present in all the Synta made 150 MAKS (skywatcher, meade, Orion) but not in the 180's which have a threaded internal baffle apparently. (I don't know this myself, I don't have one, but that's what I've read).  The reflection is easily cured with a non-reflective baffle liner, but I haven't don't it yet.

 

Optically, other than the reflection, I have found the SW MAK to be very good and I plan to keep it.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Colin


  • Augustus and planenator like this

#33 planenator

planenator

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Jerusalem

Posted 18 February 2016 - 11:52 AM

Thank you, 

I think I going to visit my local store and see which one to get. I'll try to ask someone in store about the problem with reflection, described by you. 

Thanks again, 

Michael 



#34 planenator

planenator

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Jerusalem

Posted 18 February 2016 - 06:27 PM

BTW, I heard that focal reducers doesn't work with MAKs, did you use Mak to SC adapter to make it work?

#35 Asbytec

Asbytec

    Guy in a furry hat

  • *****
  • Posts: 19,155
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Pampanga, PI

Posted 18 February 2016 - 07:42 PM

BUT when there is a bright object just outside the FOV there is significant reflection from the inside of the primary baffle tube as I describe here:

 

 

I have a Synta 150 Mak and have never seen that artifact, to my knowledge. Especially with Sirius in the FOV, or just outside it. Yea, the baffle could be better, mine is the same flat black as the OTA. And it does have a very fine circular grating on the interior surface. But, I cannot say I have any complaints with such artifacts prior to my mod. I deadened every reflection I could see through the exit pupil, anyway. (Hat tip to Glenn LeDrew.)



#36 Taosmath

Taosmath

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,472
  • Joined: 21 May 2014

Posted 18 February 2016 - 10:17 PM

BTW, I heard that focal reducers doesn't work with MAKs, did you use Mak to SC adapter to make it work?

No I just screwed the FR straight onto the scope and connected the diagonal to that.  It worked fine.

 

 

 

BUT when there is a bright object just outside the FOV there is significant reflection from the inside of the primary baffle tube as I describe here:

 

 

I have a Synta 150 Mak and have never seen that artifact, to my knowledge. Especially with Sirius in the FOV, or just outside it. Yea, the baffle could be better, mine is the same flat black as the OTA. And it does have a very fine circular grating on the interior surface. But, I cannot say I have any complaints with such artifacts prior to my mod. I deadened every reflection I could see through the exit pupil, anyway. (Hat tip to Glenn LeDrew.)

 

 

 That's interesting.  The response I got when I posted my image was ' Oh yes everyone gets that & here are the posts for how to fix it'. (painted sandpaper/velvet/flockpaper liners to the baffle.).  I can see it even during visual observations.  However I note that in your signature block you say your scope is f13.  Mine's f12 so i wonder if it's a different model/revision or something, or maybe you just have a good one.  What do you mean when you say you deadened every reflection you could see through the it pupil?  Is there a link to some steps I could take myself ?

 

thanks

 

Colin


Edited by Taosmath, 18 February 2016 - 10:17 PM.


#37 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 18 February 2016 - 11:38 PM

I see the same reflections with my ioptron Mak. But then how often is a bright star just outside the FOV? Do I really want to tear my scope apart to fix it? 



#38 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 18 February 2016 - 11:51 PM

 

BTW, I heard that focal reducers doesn't work with MAKs, did you use Mak to SC adapter to make it work?

No I just screwed the FR straight onto the scope and connected the diagonal to that.  

 

 

That works fine as long as you are using an SCT diagonal. Which will generally work fine as long as you are using an alt az mount. Antares FR is recommended so you do not over correct for field curvature.

 

Otherwise you need to attach the visual back to the focal reducer to use a standard/refractor diagonal. Can make for a bit extra focal length, which can impact spherical abberation, effective aperture, and edge of field illumination if using a 2" diagonal. Bottom line is Maks are not optimized for FRs. Not saying they won't work, but the results may not be optimal. Using an SCT diagonal should help, but again, that may not be desirable if using a GEM mount.

 

i have toyed with the idea of using an FR on one port of my flip mirror diagonal to flip between max field of view and smaller FOV with optimized view. I don't think I will actually do it though. Lot of adapters required, lot of length and weight added. 



#39 planenator

planenator

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Jerusalem

Posted 19 February 2016 - 06:55 AM

 

 

BTW, I heard that focal reducers doesn't work with MAKs, did you use Mak to SC adapter to make it work?

No I just screwed the FR straight onto the scope and connected the diagonal to that.  

 

 

That works fine as long as you are using an SCT diagonal. Which will generally work fine as long as you are using an alt az mount. Antares FR is recommended so you do not over correct for field curvature.

 

Otherwise you need to attach the visual back to the focal reducer to use a standard/refractor diagonal. Can make for a bit extra focal length, which can impact spherical abberation, effective aperture, and edge of field illumination if using a 2" diagonal. Bottom line is Maks are not optimized for FRs. Not saying they won't work, but the results may not be optimal. Using an SCT diagonal should help, but again, that may not be desirable if using a GEM mount.

 

i have toyed with the idea of using an FR on one port of my flip mirror diagonal to flip between max field of view and smaller FOV with optimized view. I don't think I will actually do it though. Lot of adapters required, lot of length and weight added. 

 

Hi, 

I found two interested threads about using FR with MAK150, 

here's one of them:

www.cloudynights.com/topic/478489-what-can-i-expect-with-a-focal-reducer-and-a-150mm-mak/

The second thread is actually yours. 

 

This is citation from thread linked above: 

 

 

"But to summarize:  It was great.  With a Meade 5000 24mm SWA eyepiece, I can get all of Pleiades (one of my favorite targets).  That's something I could never do with my 150mm Mak before.  It was sharp edge-to-edge, and had no downsides at all.  The Antares f/6.3 is definitely the reducer to get for a Mak, as the Celestron f/6.3 apparently also has corrective optics for SCT distortion.  The Antares is also considerably less expensive than the Celestron.

Quite frankly, the Antares reducer makes my f/12 Mak much more useful to me.  The Mak is good for planets, but for clusters its tight field of view has always been a bit of a disappointment to me.  It's really easy to fall in love with wide-field gazing, and an f/12 scope is just the wrong tool to bring to that party.  But with the Antares reducer, the experience was somewhat like using a small Dob, but without lugging around a big tube.

I'm REALLY HAPPY with the Antares reducer!

-Mark"

 

OK, so.. 
I am sorry, but now, I need to ask some really st*pid questions, to make something really clear. (The truth - my poor English detected :)

 

  It all looking good for Astro Photography but what about visual observing? If I don't want to use this scope (Meade LX70 M6) for AP, can I use the FR with this scope to get wider field of view with low magnification eyepieces, just to observe a little bit more deep objects than regular MAK150 able to provide in same conditions (FR = more light). 

 

 Thank you, 

Michael. 


Edited by planenator, 19 February 2016 - 07:02 AM.


#40 Taosmath

Taosmath

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,472
  • Joined: 21 May 2014

Posted 19 February 2016 - 09:10 AM

 

 

 

 

 

OK, so.. 
I am sorry, but now, I need to ask some really st*pid questions, to make something really clear. (The truth - my poor English detected :)

 

  It all looking good for Astro Photography but what about visual observing? If I don't want to use this scope (Meade LX70 M6) for AP, can I use the FR with this scope to get wider field of view with low magnification eyepieces, just to observe a little bit more deep objects than regular MAK150 able to provide in same conditions (FR = more light). 

 

 Thank you, 

Michael. 

 

 

 

 

I don't think it's a stupid question since I asked almost the same question myself a couple of months ago !

 

I THINK the answer is that for visual observation the FR won't make the images brighter, since you still have the same size telescope.  So for the same magnification, all it does is make the field of view wider, not brighter.  In my experiments without the focal reducer I could get a maximum field of view of 1.1* (using a 2", 40mm eyepiece).  When I used the focal reducer I could get a field of view of about 2*.  So you can now see more of larger objects like the Pleiades.  Some people say this is not sensible, since a MAK is a narrow FOV instrument (F12) and is best suited for observing bright objects like planets or double stars at high resolution.  If you want wide fields of view to look at fainter deep sky objects get an F5 Dob.  However as Mark said above, using the FR made his MAK more useful to him, so in my opinion if it helpful or interesting to you, that's fine.

 

HOWEVER, I was told by someone more experienced that I am, that a MAK, even with a focal reducer is not good for beginning Astrophotography. The reason I was given is that the difficulty of AP increases very sharply as the focal length of the telescope increases. I was told it is much easier to get good images with a small diameter telescope with a focal length of 500mm, than a larger diameter telescope of 900mm, which is what you would have if you put a FR on the MAK.  I think that some of the reasons are that it's more difficult to focus, more difficult to aim and it requires a much sturdier mount.  However I am not into AP so I may be wrong.

 

If you're interested in AP, I think you should ask your question again in the beginning Imaging section.  The people there would know much more about that than I do.

 

Colin



#41 bierbelly

bierbelly

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,308
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2004
  • Loc: Stephens City, VA

Posted 19 February 2016 - 10:44 AM

 

 

 

BTW, I heard that focal reducers doesn't work with MAKs, did you use Mak to SC adapter to make it work?

No I just screwed the FR straight onto the scope and connected the diagonal to that.  

 

 

That works fine as long as you are using an SCT diagonal. Which will generally work fine as long as you are using an alt az mount. Antares FR is recommended so you do not over correct for field curvature.

 

Otherwise you need to attach the visual back to the focal reducer to use a standard/refractor diagonal. Can make for a bit extra focal length, which can impact spherical abberation, effective aperture, and edge of field illumination if using a 2" diagonal. Bottom line is Maks are not optimized for FRs. Not saying they won't work, but the results may not be optimal. Using an SCT diagonal should help, but again, that may not be desirable if using a GEM mount.

 

i have toyed with the idea of using an FR on one port of my flip mirror diagonal to flip between max field of view and smaller FOV with optimized view. I don't think I will actually do it though. Lot of adapters required, lot of length and weight added. 

 

Hi, 

I found two interested threads about using FR with MAK150, 

here's one of them:

www.cloudynights.com/topic/478489-what-can-i-expect-with-a-focal-reducer-and-a-150mm-mak/

The second thread is actually yours. 

 

This is citation from thread linked above: 

 

 

"But to summarize:  It was great.  With a Meade 5000 24mm SWA eyepiece, I can get all of Pleiades (one of my favorite targets).  That's something I could never do with my 150mm Mak before.  It was sharp edge-to-edge, and had no downsides at all.  The Antares f/6.3 is definitely the reducer to get for a Mak, as the Celestron f/6.3 apparently also has corrective optics for SCT distortion.  The Antares is also considerably less expensive than the Celestron.

Quite frankly, the Antares reducer makes my f/12 Mak much more useful to me.  The Mak is good for planets, but for clusters its tight field of view has always been a bit of a disappointment to me.  It's really easy to fall in love with wide-field gazing, and an f/12 scope is just the wrong tool to bring to that party.  But with the Antares reducer, the experience was somewhat like using a small Dob, but without lugging around a big tube.

I'm REALLY HAPPY with the Antares reducer!

-Mark"

 

OK, so.. 
I am sorry, but now, I need to ask some really st*pid questions, to make something really clear. (The truth - my poor English detected :)

 

  It all looking good for Astro Photography but what about visual observing? If I don't want to use this scope (Meade LX70 M6) for AP, can I use the FR with this scope to get wider field of view with low magnification eyepieces, just to observe a little bit more deep objects than regular MAK150 able to provide in same conditions (FR = more light). 

 

 Thank you, 

Michael. 

 

You should try f/4



#42 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 19 February 2016 - 10:08 PM

Had an 8" SN by Meade. Cool in that it could go from low power sweeper to resolving M13, but collimation was very sensitive. Interesting post about the FR on the Mak. I have basically the same eyepiece as Mark mentioned. Might have to try that out. 

 

Scott



#43 orion61

orion61

    Vendor - Clear Edge Optical

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 7,135
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk

Posted 20 February 2016 - 03:22 PM

The Chinese did what Meade and Celestron couldn't do in the USA, merge the two Companies, different colors..yes

same Mfgr.


  • Terra Nova and Augustus like this

#44 orion61

orion61

    Vendor - Clear Edge Optical

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 7,135
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2007
  • Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk

Posted 20 February 2016 - 06:00 PM

Those are beautiful little scopes, it just seems 6" is the perfect size for maks.

I have long thought that aperture kind of got lost for awhile. It has once again become to be my scope size of choice. My 6" Criterion RV6, which was my first "good" scope sits wrapped up in the garage awaiting

new coatings. But the B&L 6000 SCT is my go to. perfectly corrected makes it portable and rare as hens teeth to find.

What is the weight of that tube?

Also the front cover, is it plastic? If so how does it stay on? just push on or like Celestron with pegs and slots to twist lock it on?

I do really love the Classic look of them, Nice going Meade, one of the few new tubes that really brings out some desire for me to own..


  • Terra Nova likes this

#45 planenator

planenator

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Jerusalem

Posted 20 February 2016 - 06:55 PM

It is exactly the information I was looking for. Thanks.

#46 oblivius

oblivius

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2017
  • Loc: Washington, DC

Posted 16 April 2017 - 08:13 AM

Hi everyone, I know this post is old but I have a question about this and other telescopes so I try.

I am a beginner, just trying to decide to buy my entry level scope.

 

I have to say I am an amatorial photographer and I might one day try to shoot some pictures. I know the equipment is expensive and also the first scope is not necessarily the one you will use shooting your favorite subjects, but this is just to say I might prefer a telescope with less "issues" in the optics but still entry level, affordable, portable and easy to use.

 

After a bit of research and reading I opted for a "mak" : it has a decent focal length to magnify planets, small star clusters and bright objects in general, I do not intend to search for faint deep sky objects or to have a wider FOV, at least for my purposes, I would use a pair of binoculars (which is what I have been using so far). Also I live in a small city, with moderate light pollution, and I think (correct me if I am wrong) in such cases a smaller f/ratio would be preferrable ? 

 

Anyway, I am undecided between these 3 models

 

Meade Lx70 6" f/12 fl 1800mm    ($830)

Orion StarMax 127mm f/12.1 fl 1540mm ($599)

Meade ETX 125mm f/15.2 fl 1900 ($688)

 

for what I can get I think the differences are mostly in the focal length plus accessories (but there could be something in the optics too, so that's why I am asking here). Intuitively (but maybe I am wrong) the ETX125 should be the less valuable since the GoTo mount inflates the price and maybe the rest is not so good as in the other 2 (??). Also I do not really need a fully automatic mount to be honest (I prefer to learn the old way).

The Orion seems to come with really "crappy" finderscope and the accessories are probably lower quality than the LX70 (so, following the same reasoning, it could be better made than the ETX125). The LX70 (I know it is stupid but I really hate the colors...) seems instead a good scope with good quality optics and better accessories than the other two (it has also better resolution and it has similar focal aperture to the ETX but with more than 3 stops less - f/15.2 vs f/12) - so it's definitely better, at least to me....

 

alright, too many words... let me know what is your take on this.

 

Thanks !

 

Livio



#47 Taosmath

Taosmath

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,472
  • Joined: 21 May 2014

Posted 16 April 2017 - 08:04 PM

Hi everyone, I know this post is old but I have a question about this and other telescopes so I try.

I am a beginner, just trying to decide to buy my entry level scope.

 

I have to say I am an amatorial photographer and I might one day try to shoot some pictures. I know the equipment is expensive and also the first scope is not necessarily the one you will use shooting your favorite subjects, but this is just to say I might prefer a telescope with less "issues" in the optics but still entry level, affordable, portable and easy to use.

 

After a bit of research and reading I opted for a "mak" : it has a decent focal length to magnify planets, small star clusters and bright objects in general, I do not intend to search for faint deep sky objects or to have a wider FOV, at least for my purposes, I would use a pair of binoculars (which is what I have been using so far). Also I live in a small city, with moderate light pollution, and I think (correct me if I am wrong) in such cases a smaller f/ratio would be preferrable ? 

 

Anyway, I am undecided between these 3 models

 

Meade Lx70 6" f/12 fl 1800mm    ($830)

Orion StarMax 127mm f/12.1 fl 1540mm ($599)

Meade ETX 125mm f/15.2 fl 1900 ($688)

 

for what I can get I think the differences are mostly in the focal length plus accessories (but there could be something in the optics too, so that's why I am asking here). Intuitively (but maybe I am wrong) the ETX125 should be the less valuable since the GoTo mount inflates the price and maybe the rest is not so good as in the other 2 (??). Also I do not really need a fully automatic mount to be honest (I prefer to learn the old way).

The Orion seems to come with really "crappy" finderscope and the accessories are probably lower quality than the LX70 (so, following the same reasoning, it could be better made than the ETX125). The LX70 (I know it is stupid but I really hate the colors...) seems instead a good scope with good quality optics and better accessories than the other two (it has also better resolution and it has similar focal aperture to the ETX but with more than 3 stops less - f/15.2 vs f/12) - so it's definitely better, at least to me....

 

alright, too many words... let me know what is your take on this.

 

Thanks !

 

Livio

Well, if I've understood your wishes correctly, you want to get a scope right now for visual astronomy of planets and brighter objects like star clusters, but you might one day want to take some photographs.  I'm not an astrophotographer, but none of these scopes are really suitable for AP (too long focal length, inadequate mount), so if you want to ever take more than some casual photo's with a cell phone or single frame exposures with a DSLR, then you'll need a different set up.

 

I don't think you need long focal lengths to observe the planets and the moon. Any scope can do it, though the planetary observers tend to favor refractors (especially apochromatics) with long focal ratios (f8 or above). I believe Maks are deemed to be a good second choice.  The issue is contrast; The more central obstruction (blocking at the center of the objective) you have, the lower the achievable contrast. Refractors have zero central obstruction and so are able to see more detail on planets because of their higher contrast.  Solar system objects  (especially the moon and Jupiter) are bright enough that you don't need a large aperture to get enough light to observe them and so you can buy a smaller diameter scope. This means you can put your money into superior optics (apochromatic, vs achromatic - ED refractors are somewhat in the middle) rather than larger diameter scopes. The more expensive scopes have lower chromatic aberration, which is a blurring of the  object due to the various colors focusing at different points;  This blurs detail  on bright objects like planets, moon, bright stars. Planetary refractors are frequently 100mm or less in diameter and with focal lengths below 1000mm.  Smaller diameter scopes can also be good because they fare better when the  'Seeing' (disturbances in the atmosphere)  is poor.  Smaller refractors can also be good for looking at double stars. Maks don't have Chromatic aberration, but they do have a secondary mirror in the center of the Objective which reduces the contrast.  However they are typically much smaller, more portable and cheaper than refractors.  They tend to take longer to cool down to outside temperatures than refractors, so if you want to observe you have to put them outside earlier so that air currents circulating in the scope don't mess up your image.  Their wider apertures do mean you will see more fainter objects than you can with a smaller refractor.

 

Long answer, but if portability is important to you a mak is a good compromise choice.  

 

If you really only want planets, double stars and star clusters. you could get a decent achromatic refractor like this one:

https://www.astronom...tor_p20344.aspx for about $530 (on sale right now) and then you'd have a decent manual mount  and could upgrade to a higher quality refractor later.  Before then you could buy a motor for the mount and have a decent system to dabble in some introductory AP, when you wanted to.

 

If you are really wanting a Mak, then I'd get the LX-70 (same mount as the refractor I show above).  It will be smaller than the refractor and have no chromatic aberration, but it's $300 dollars more and will have lower planetary contrast  and a little more ability to capture faint object compared to the refractor (but only a little more). (and with the $300 you save if you bought the refractor, you can get some good eyepieces, which will always be useful).

 

It's not an easy choice, so good luck deciding !


Edited by Taosmath, 16 April 2017 - 08:05 PM.

  • VPilot and oblivius like this

#48 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 17 April 2017 - 06:51 PM

Maks are nice because of their low maintenance and reasonable aperture in a small package. Downsides are long cool down and narrow FOV. 

 

I have an $1800 Japanese 4" Apo and an $800 Chinese 6" F12 Mak. The Apo is a superb instrument but the Mak does just as well or even a shade better on planets, and easily beats it on deep space. A 6" scope has double the light grasp do a 4" scope. So the outstanding optics and zero central obstruction are offset by the larger aperture of the Mak. Apo wins for wide field and fast cool down. 

 

The old ETX scopes were known for great optics but cheap plastic mechanics, that tend to eventually break. The Orion is regarded as a good performer. The 6" Meade will be better though. If you don't care about goto, this is the best of the scopes you have chosen. Just plan on setting it outside an hour before you observe when it is cool out. 

 

Another option is a 6" SCT. Cheaper, lighter, and easy to add a focal reducer if you want to try taking pictures with it. Not necessarily an ideal beginner AP scope, but AP becomes a possibility at least. 

 

Apo/ED refractors could also be a good bet for moon, planets and star clusters. A 4" might be in your price range. A 6" Mak will provide better views visually, but the Apo will cool quickly and be much better suited for AP if you decide to go down that road later.

 

Scott


  • oblivius likes this

#49 jgraham

jgraham

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,490
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Society

Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:20 PM

Of the three scopes that you have listed I consider the LX70. I own an ETX-125 and an LX70 mount that I use with my SC8. The ETX is generally more comfortable to use and has GoTo, but the LX70 has really surprised me as a solid, quality, capable mount. I also a lot of imaging and you can do basic lunar imaging with the ETX, lunar and planetary imaging with the LX70. The LX70 should be capable of basic deepsky imaging, but not through that scope, the f/ratio is just too long and would be a challenge for any mount. However, you could easily piggyback a camera for wide field imaging or use a small scope in place of the Mak (the LX70 can be used with other scopes that have a Vixen rail).

 

My LX70 mount with an SC8 riding on it...

 

LX70 SC8 (4-1-2017)-2j.jpg

 

This has the optional dual axis motors and the polar scope, both very nice additions.


Edited by jgraham, 17 April 2017 - 07:24 PM.

  • eros312, Terra Nova and oblivius like this

#50 oblivius

oblivius

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2017
  • Loc: Washington, DC

Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:52 PM

Thanks guys !

you almost manage to convince me ! smile.gif

 

I will definitely consider the LX70... if you say overall the build is more solid than the others... that's what I think for me counts. Also a smaller scope (mak) for me would be the best for portability.

 

I don't really care about cool down times for the time being

 

which mount do you have on it Jgraham ? (I am assuming there is a default one for the LX70, right?)

 

 

 

another last question: does the advantage in portability makes this Bresser a nice alternative as a starter ? https://www.bresser....-Telescope.html

it is cheaper, lighter, long fl and smaller size. maybe the price difference doesn't do justice to the LX70 ? I know it will be probably more "faster" and more bright....  I guess I am a bit worried about size/weight/portability. I would like something to carry around possibly in a large bag without suffering too much 

 

 

so this at the moment would be my updated preference list

http://www.highpoint...1V38aAuGU8P8HAQ

 

https://www.bresser....-Telescope.html

 

http://www.telescope...d=orion starmax


Edited by oblivius, 19 April 2017 - 09:52 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics