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IntesMicro503 OTA or Starmax w/Eq?

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#1 rob cos.

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 02:35 PM

Could anyone that has used both give me a comparison of these two OTA's? I've been going crazy as to what I should get for a second scope and have finally settled on one of these two OTA's. I already have the Unistar Light mount for the Intes OTA if I settle on that one. My problem is, I feel like i'm getting more value with the Orion Skyview package(mount+scope)....Can someone convince me that the Intes OTA is my smarter choice? I"m tempted....

Oh, Mike at ITE is throwing in the screw-in dew shield for free.

#2 Simon Chung

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 04:52 PM

Here's my two cents. I used to own an Intes Micro 703 OTA. Now I own an Orion Apex 90. I think you may be surprised at the optical quality of the Apex/Starmax scopes. Very little image shift, optics, fit and finish very good. There is no way to adjust the secondary collimation - only the primary (which was not needed anyway). The only problem I have with this is that there is some vignetting with 32mm eyepieces - I can't say if the 127 has the same problem (probably not).


The IM703 was a bit of a disappointment. I bought mine from ITE. Sharpness didn't seem up to what others raved it to be - sharper than my old C8, yes, but I was expecting more, esp. for what I paid for it. Although mine was "certified" to 1/6, star testing seemed to reveal that it was closer to 1/4 wave. Collimation is a chore with this scope: the secondary housing has three pairs of push-pull screws. They were tedious to adjust - you didn't know which screw did the pulling or pushing. I don't know if the IM503 has a similar design but if it does, you've been warned ;-). My feeling is that you'll likely have better results with the smaller aperture IM Maks.

I can't comment on the mounts, though. I've no experience using them.

Simon

#3 rob cos.

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 05:06 PM

I've been hearing other stories elsewhere about the collimation difficulty, as well as dirty shavings being found inside the OTA. I think i'm set on getting the Starmax 127mm with the Skyview mount. It just seems like more overall value for the money when you take into account that i'm getting a mount + decent optics for $200.00 less than the Intes OTA. Plus, I only have an Alt-Az mount right now, so the EQ will give me more flexibility. Especially at higher powers for tracking.

Thanks for the input!

#4 Scott Beith

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 06:04 PM

Rob,
I have no experience with the Intes, but I have used the Starmax for 3 years now. Outstanding little scope. It will be a perfect match for your AT1010. The EQ-3 mount works very well with this OTA.

Scott

#5 rob cos.

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 01:14 PM

I've settled on the Starmax. Ordered it today. I'm looking forward to comparing it to my AT1010! Thanks for the help.


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