I feel like my C9 gives pretty solid pin point stars much of the time. First thing I did when I got it was collimate the heck out of it. (I bought it off the used market; a mid to late 2000's final production run of USA made C9s before production moved to China.)
While I'm not sure the collimation is perfect, it's as dead on as I can possibly get it via star test. I am trying to get more into the world of double stars and my recent discovery, carbon stars. There really are things beyond the messiers ( which I've yet to really do also since most are not visible from my location).
My other big thing is planets. I really love the planets. I will admit my C9's experience with them has been mushier than my 90mm achro, but there's also no denying the greater detail and brighter image the C9 gives of the planets despite being softer. I saw my very first jovian transit across Jupiter in my C9 not long after I got it. It was amazing!!
My overall point really is, while I agree that my C9 is soft at the higher mags, at lower and mid range mags, I have found it just about as sharp as my 90mm refractor, meaning that when I'm looking at those doubles and carbon stars, my C9 is putting on a wonderful show. Maybe because I took the time to really dial in the collimation as best I could, I don't know. All I know is, I don't feel like I'm getting less from it than what another comparable scope would give.
Of course I have never looked through an apo of any kind, so could just be ignorance on my part. As I said, I concede that my 90mm achro can at times be more pleasing to look through and also be easier to focus (snap in focus vs. mushy focus of the C9), but I bought the C9 to maximize my aperture so I can have greater light grasp, greater resolution, and greater exit pupils while still keeping it on my Exos 2 mount, and by golly does it ever deliver in all 3 of those departments. The improved ergonomics was also an extra unforeseen bonus that I apprecited so much that that was part of the reason I later picked up my 5 inch mak. The trade off is some mushiness in the view (at much higher mags only) and focus. I can live with that.
I just only wish I can get a chance to see how my 5 inch mak fits into all this. Despite having it since August, I have not really had any opportunities to get out with it yet and probably won't until this crazy cold snap goes away.
Edited by Gofr, 03 January 2018 - 12:52 PM.