I have a question re the Celestron series of Alt Az goto scopes, the ones with Schmitt Cass OTAs and single arm, not fork arms. Are the OTAs attached to the mount with a dovetail type arrangement, and can the OTA be dismounted easily and replaced with another type of OTA ? If this is feasible, do any of you know what the payload of the largest one would be, the one with the 8 inch OTA, I think.
The 4/5SE mount is rated at 10 pounds.
The 5/8SE mount is rated at 12 pounds.
(Per https://www.celestro...load-capacities )
I think the Evolution is rated at 25 pounds, but it isn't listed on Celestron's capacity page. Celestron sells it with the 20-pound C9.25, though.
I highly recommend the Evo over the 6/8SE, even if you aren't into the wifi bells and whistles. It is definitely more stable. However all three of the above mounts will benefit from be mated to a sturdier tripod (for the Evo 9.25, Celestron puts the Evo mount on the beefier CPC tripod). I've mounted my 4/5SE mount on the tripod and wedge for my Classic 8, and the improvement in dampening times was dramatic.
As far as clearance is concerned, I mount my 8" SCT on my evo so that there is sufficient clearance for a 2" SCT diagonal. On that point, if you do want to observe at the zenith and lack the necessary clearance, using a wedge moves the problem area to the celestial pole.