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Meade LX70 150mm f/12 Maksutov

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#51 jgraham



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Posted 19 April 2017 - 09:41 PM

There is a good discussion of the LX70 mount in this thread...




...including my first and second night reports. To sum up... the LX70 is an excellent mount!

#52 SeattleScott



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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:41 AM

The Bresser Exos mount is really designed to be used as a goto mount. It seems you prefer manual at this point, so the goto is like paying for something you don't want (yet anyway). 


I mainly use my 6" Mak on a Vixen SXW mount. Which is a highly portable medium duty mount. NOT grab and go. At least two trips, three if I am feeling lazy. Once I took it on an airplane with my portable alt az mount instead. I was able to haul that myself in one trip for what seemed like a mike long trek thru the airport. But it was not a pleasant experience. If you want grab and go, you are looking at the 5" on a manual alt az mount. Not the 6" on an equatorial mount. Don't get me wrong, I like my 6" Mak. But it isn't my grab and go scope, and it was never intended to be.


6" Mak OTA: 13.5lb, call it 15 with dew shield. The Meade model is a bit lighter being a Gregorian variant. But still,...

SXW mount is 26lb

Counterweight is 7.5lb (you will probably need more than that with the Meade LX70 mount). 


Throw in a finderscope and 2" diagonal and you are around 50lb. The Meade model may be less, but not much less. 


Now my 4" refractor with mount weighs 28 lb and fits in a large bag. That is my GNG. But a 5" Mak could work too.



Edited by SeattleScott, 20 April 2017 - 12:43 AM.

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#53 Terra Nova

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:49 AM

I used to have a 127mm Celestron Mak on a Vixen Porta-II alt-az mount and Vixen aluminum tripod and it was extremely grab and go. I could easily pick the whole thing up- scope and mount, while set up and move it out the door, around the deck, down stairs, around the yard, etc. Easy to throw in the car, scope in one hand, tripod in the other, and eyepiece case under my arm. The OTA itself fit nicely in a Kobalt PVC toolbox, and the cool-down was not terrible, typically an hour or so. It was a very convenient scope. Images were on par with a good 3" refractor.

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#54 terrypaula


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Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:37 PM

I think I bought the last one in the US about 2 months ago.  I've had a chance to take mine out before Orion fell from my field of view.  But I have had some really nice views of Jupiter and Mars.  I like the design, it is a little white lie with the 2" diagonal.  I have noticed mine was a little on the tricky to focus.  I have a SCT style 10-1 GSO focus setup I'm put on mine.  I know it's overkill but that is what it took for me to achieve an accurate focus.  My Meade LX70 is mounted on an older LXD55 mount. after dealing with a temperamental polar scope illuminator that I finally got it working.  I don't have mine setup for astro-photography but I think you could easy enough.  I have just been enjoying looking at the moon, the solar system which is going to be on the same side of the sun.  How great is that???  Using some good judgment setting this telescope working the way I think it should has been a real education.

The Meade LXD55 mount, bought from a CN fellow member last month, a real gentleman.  I now own my first GoTo German equatorial I ever owned.  I realize it's a little older but it is well made.  Meade made a lot of them.  I have found that being fussy about alignment is the real key to having a lot of fun with it.

Getting back to my story about the LX70 I had a 15 & a 20mm GSO Superview with a 68 degree field of view and they work perfectly with the telescope.  Not too wide of FOV to be wasted to say I'm happy with the optics on the LX70 is an understatement   I agree fully that anything with a wider field of view is a waste of time.  But where is the sweet spot in 2" optics.  I figured that since it came with the 2" system I would just go with the foundation and on the top I would go with 1.25"  I wasn't disappointed with the decision either.

In my opinion, that and a few dollars will get you a cup of good coffee.  It was a good investment and it does exactly what it is designed to doand it is a real planet killer.  I can't wait till Mars conjunction..  After all the OTA didn't cost $1,000 as matter of fact Mine was less then $600 to the door.  I was able to set it on Jupiter the other night for several hours.  I'm looking forward to using it for some time to come. 

Thanks for reading


Edited by terrypaula, 15 April 2018 - 10:21 PM.

#55 CHASLX200



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Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:02 PM

I have a wanted add out for a 6" Meade Mak.  If it is as sharp as my freaky insane older ETX 125 it would be a killer.

#56 terrypaula


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Posted 15 April 2018 - 10:15 PM

I don't know about that but I like a bunch.  The things I added to mine I felt were necessary.  Just in the last few days I saw the saw a Meade LX70 M6 for sale on Cloudy Nights for $350 I believe.  The first time out the focus adjustments gave me fits.  After I added the GSO focuser I was splitting doubles.  No lie.  If  I had it to do over I would spend a little more and get the Vixen VMC200L Reflector Telescope

Link: https://www.vixenopt...ope-p/58291.htm

Now this is a real maksutov. and not a bad price either.  It deserves 2" optics.  Good luck finding one.  I did see one of those on the CN classifieds.  It might still be there.  Just do a search in the classifieds asking for Vixen.  I do recommend GSO Superview EP's it's a real whoa moment when you get them to focus.  I never saw that much real estate.  It is as far as the Meade will go to on the wide side.  That's why I suggested the Vixen.  At least take a look at it.


Edited by terrypaula, 15 April 2018 - 10:24 PM.

#57 rmollise



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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:19 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 !




There's little practical difference between these inexpensive Chinese made telescopes.


I will say that if you want the LX70, you'd better buy now. Meade has discontinued the entire LX70 line. ;)

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#58 terrypaula


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Posted 16 April 2018 - 01:50 PM

I posted a reasonable replacement for the Meade LX70 M6.  If I were interested in astro-photography I would not use a mak they are too slow.  The best alternative I have found if you still want to us a mak is made by Vixen the VMC200L.  Check out the specs on this one.  Literally everything the Orion and Skywatcher maks have internally and obviously externally has been addressed bu making larger. the secondary mirror is over 2" the aperture is almost 8" it is clearly a faster scope.  It even has an external focuser.  I see you were willing to spend $830 for the Meade I personally would raise a little more funds an buy the larger scope, the Vixen.  But you have to make that decision on your own.  I don't think you wil be able to buy the 6" Meade.anymore every warehouse is out of stock.  I purchased my Meade and it was absolutely the last new one available.  If you insist on the Meade you will most likely have to buy a used one.  As far as astro-photography goes they do make very nice newtonian that are very reasonably priced that are much more suitable for astro-photography.  Keep in mind also you are going to be putting a lot of weight on the telescope.  Consider purchasing a better mount that can handle the weight too,  It all needs to be balanced before you use it.  Otherwise a disaster could be incurred.

I know you said you wanted to get a mak I would consider other options as well.  Most of the maksutovs are on the slow side, f12,  and you will have to do an operation called stacking, taking multiple multiple exposures and stacking them on top of one another, for lack of a better way of explaining stacking.  If you have lots of time to invest doing astro-photography go ahead and have fun. 

Cameras,  try to use a small dslr, I think Canon makes one of the smallest and lightest around.  There are other options but this is the most affordable I can see.  You will want a camera that has a screen you can rotate. Nuff said.  I'll get in trouble with the pros on this website.  Orion and Skywatcher have maksutovs with larger apertures available too, 180mm and I think Orion has an 8" scope too.  I had to buy a external focuser to achieve focus because of an arthritic condition in my hands.  my experience with the rack and pinion focuser isn't very pleasant   Every time I was almost to focus I'd touch it to tweek it just a little bit and I ended back at square one.  They seem to have a touchy focuser and there isn't a manufacturer out there that has a micro-touch solution similar to the what is available for schmidt-cassagains.  Otherwise I would have bought it instead of the giant thing that is hanging off the back of my telescope.  It adds a bunch of length to the focal length.  4" at least.  So you think you're done making decisions?  Think again, there are always options.  Whatever you buy you are going to have to live with it.  Oh yeah I haven't found any options for the Meade.  I have had to make my own dew heater for the meniscus, my own dew shield, etc...  But if you like doing that sort of thing have at it.  I used some old flooring, linoleum, we had laying around for the dew shield.  Don't go crazy buying eyepieces either 3 and a 2x barlow are all you need.  I wouldn't waste my money on anything smaller then an 8mm or 10mm a you will almost never have viewing conditions good enough to use anything smaller then an 8mm unless you live in the desert.

Have fun it's just a hobby,


Edited by terrypaula, 16 April 2018 - 01:51 PM.

#59 JuanM


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Posted 02 July 2019 - 07:09 PM

Hope someone here can provide some advice to a new user.  I recently purchased the "fire sale" LX70 6 Mak, and finally used it this week to observe Jupiter.  


One thing that was annoying was the tendency of the diagonal to "flop down" if it was positioned at around 45 degree angle.  Without damaging it, is there a way to snug down the diagonal's "collar" so that it will accept positioning b/w 45 and 90 degrees. 


I'm concerned that if the eyepiece isn't really tightened down, it might fall out of the diagonal if/when it "flops". 




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