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Mewlon 180C vs Skywatcher 180 Mak

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#1 Schubert

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 01:59 PM

Here another test from Wolfgang Rohr

http://r2.astro-fore...atcher-maksutov

 

The results shocked me to be honest.
The Skywatcher is measurably optically the better scope where Strehl is concerned.
The Lyot-test was sadly missing.

And it raises several questions for me.

Being a closed scope, and if we provide it a insulation-jacket, might the Skywatcher be better during the night compared to the open Mewlon?
Yes, the Mewlon 180 has cachet.
Yes, mechanically it's arguably the better scope.

Yes, you do see why you pay the dough, never seen such black blacks for example.
 

But the Skywatcher is 60% of the price of the Mewlon in Europe.

And the Skywatcher has less coma to boot.

But an ever longer focal length.
Still the results are impressive.

 

Have a go, what do you think?
As for me, I will get a Mewlon: for the name, and the guaranteed quality.

You never need to explain why you go Tak.


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#2 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 07:49 PM

Holy cow, those are good tests!

 

The Skywatcher performance is no accident, as mine throws up an excellent, smooth star test, as well.

 

You mention that the Mewlon may be mechanically better. I'm sure it is. The Skywatcher is good enough to get by on. I would hope the Mewlon is better. That said, the Skywatcher is your basic, no muss, no fuss scope. That, and you can insulate it. Think about it: with insulation, the Maksutov is ready to go from the beginning.


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#3 JakeJ

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:22 AM

Pretty impressive showing for the Sky-Watcher. 

However, I wonder how consistent from sample to sample?  There was a recent thread where one arrived with the worst coating job I have ever seen.

Tak certainly has a lockdown on QC - they don't let bad ones out the door.  

 

Also objectively, Taks are simply gorgeous, well made instruments.  SW are very crude looking in comparison, and the atrocious sparkle paint with white trim is more akin to "My little Pony" than to a beautiful telescope.  All IMHO of course. 


Edited by JakeJ, 06 March 2018 - 09:22 AM.

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#4 Freezout

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:32 AM

Pretty impressive showing for the Sky-Watcher. 

However, I wonder how consistent from sample to sample?  There was a recent thread where one arrived with the worst coating job I have ever seen.

Tak certainly has a lockdown on QC - they don't let bad ones out the door.  

 

Also objectively, Taks are simply gorgeous, well made instruments.  SW are very crude looking in comparison, and the atrocious sparkle paint with white trim is more akin to "My little Pony" than to a beautiful telescope.  All IMHO of course. 

 

JakeJ, if we speak about visual design here... I bought the Orion version because the sparkle-glossy style of Skywatcher really didn't attract me (to say the least). My little pony is an accurate reference. The Orion is a simple grey mat, nothing fancy, but the finish was very good on mine, giving a true feeling of quality (well, now it's customized/spoiled with insulation anyway...).

But... I am very disappointed by the Mewlon, and Takahashi in general. I've been a while ago student in applied arts, and read on Cloudy Nights a lot about these fantastic telescopes... so I imagine a beautiful device and make a Google image search... and I see these white + light grey tubes, which is a color combination reminding domestic appliance goods, or outdated hospital instruments. What? Is this the Ferrari of astronomy?

 

Disclaimer: I speak about visual design only, certainly not mechanical or optical quality, which are I know excellent, and the most important is what is in the eyepiece. I assume my comment to be superficial.

 

For their price, Takahashi could make an effort and give another look to their scopes. Paradoxally, they have the best reputation of quality but put on the market the worst looking instruments, tied with these table-top dobsons with galaxies printed on the tube. It's too bad that with their optical quality, they don't put some effort to reach the same level for the telescope appearance.

 

From a more serious point of view, I have the 6 inches version of the Synta, and am very happy with it, and would be happy to take a look in a Takhashi one day! 



#5 moshen

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:34 PM

I used to think the same of Tak's looks but now I absolutely love the look of them. It's an understated beauty but still distinctive.  Flashy trim, sparkles and gaudy color accents just remind of cheap consumer goods. You might like the appearance of them more in person.


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#6 JakeJ

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 02:18 PM

Google image search... and I see these white + light grey tubes......

It's actually more of a cream and the accent is light green. 

Once you see one in person you will think differently about the meaning of "fit and finish".


Edited by JakeJ, 06 March 2018 - 02:28 PM.


#7 Phil Barker

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 02:23 PM

skywatcher maks are clearly superb quality for the money.  Mine throws up unbelievable images for the money.  Cooling will be an issue however the closed tube means the mewlon will cool faster with its open tube.

 

must check out the price of the mewlon.

 

A few years ago I determined my 715 delux intes micro was at least as good as a first generation  mewlon 180 in a side by side test. The skywatchers are up there optically clearly.  Still regret selling the 715 but the sw180 must be close.

 

 

 

 

Here another test from Wolfgang Rohr

http://r2.astro-fore...atcher-maksutov

 

The results shocked me to be honest.
The Skywatcher is measurably optically the better scope where Strehl is concerned.
The Lyot-test was sadly missing.

And it raises several questions for me.

Being a closed scope, and if we provide it a insulation-jacket, might the Skywatcher be better during the night compared to the open Mewlon?
Yes, the Mewlon 180 has cachet.
Yes, mechanically it's arguably the better scope.

Yes, you do see why you pay the dough, never seen such black blacks for example.
 

But the Skywatcher is 60% of the price of the Mewlon in Europe.

And the Skywatcher has less coma to boot.

But an ever longer focal length.
Still the results are impressive.

 

Have a go, what do you think?
As for me, I will get a Mewlon: for the name, and the guaranteed quality.

You never need to explain why you go Tak.



#8 JakeJ

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 03:54 PM

 

skywatcher maks are clearly superb quality for the money.  Mine throws up unbelievable images for the money.  Cooling will be an issue however the closed tube means the mewlon will cool faster with its open tube.

 

I've owned two of them over the years (Orion branded), and my C8 outperformed them on high power planetary detail, as well as deep sky ability.

The C8 also cools down much much faster, is half the weight, and with a focal reducer can do a wider field. 

The only advantage I can see for the 180 is the better corrected field - although they make Edge HDs to take care of that these days.

 

BTW - a new C8 OTA is $800, so "for the money" I feel that the SW180 is a bit overpriced.  


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#9 Richard Whalen

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 04:03 PM

I am always a bit leery of  a single sample test then extrapolating it to assume any real meaning otther than the scope being tested. The results for the tak is not impressive considering cost, could have been a sub standard sample. And the name Takahashi does not mean perfect QC, for a tak I would rate the optics as barely fair. Ive seen a few that were let out the doors with problems over the years. The Skywatcher being more mass produced is a good solid scope with "fair" optics ( the example shown). Neither are all that smooth which lets them down a bit as contrast will suffer.


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#10 bob midiri

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:24 PM

I agree with Richard, this testing of these two particular scopes cant be extrapolated to every scope on either side . I have a TriColor C8 from 1972, the scope on DPAC showed straight lines, smooth surface, and is a great optical performer, the tester said it was at least a 1/8 wave optical system. It is the best C8 I ever observed with, outstanding contrast and great planetary and lunar images. But this doesn't mean every scope Celestron produced in 1972 is the same. Im sure both the Tak and Skywatcher have produced some great scopes, better bet would be on the TAK having a better pedigree, but you also have to look at bang for the buck. Here is a picture of my very well preserved TriColor C8 and an image of Jupiter I took last year, in learning the art of AP at the time. 

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#11 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:14 AM

Just in case people haven't followed the link. The Skywatcher 180 Mak went up against the Tak Mewlon 180. The Strehl ratio of the Skywatcher was better. Is the Skywatcher better than the Tak. Optically, yes. Price-wise, the Skywatcher costs $1200. The Mewlon costs $2320 in the U.S.. How often does the Skywatcher Mak reach these levels? Probably far more often than the SCTs.

 

People have mentioned cool down. Folks should read the thread on insulation. SCT and Mak users will benefit greatly from following the advice there. You don't want to cool the scope quickly. You want to slow the cooling so tube currents do not form. Do that, and the scope can be used immediately after setup. Insulation offers the added benefit of making the scope more dew resistant. Check out the thread.


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#12 Freezout

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:37 AM

I used to think the same of Tak's looks but now I absolutely love the look of them. It's an understated beauty but still distinctive.  Flashy trim, sparkles and gaudy color accents just remind of cheap consumer goods. You might like the appearance of them more in person.

Not to be of bad faith, but still, maybe it's not normal that they look that bad even on pictures? However I believe you (and JakeJ) on this fact. I have never seen one in true, and will be the first to recognize that they look better then. 



#13 cildastun

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:54 AM

Having had one for 2 years, I am not surprised at how well the Skywatcher 180 performed! Visually (subjective) mine has split very close doubles, shown me detail on Saturn last year (only 15 degrees up, here in Oxford UK) that I didn't expect, including Enke, and hints of detail even on Ganymede. With an AS1224 camera (objective) these details have been confirmed ++, and I've even shown reasonable detail on Ganymede. Not bad for a humble 7".

 

Cooling? Well, it's what everyone moans about, but my own experience has been less negative. Mine is kept at ambient  temperature and most evenings is ready for use in 15 to 30 minutes - no great issue. This is a good area for seeing, and warm Spring and Fall evenings the scope will really perform. The thickness of the front corrector, often cited as the "source of all evil", does of course mean that the scope is slower to dew up than some other scopes (see another post on this site).

 

Tak? can't comment, too expensive for me......

 

Chris


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#14 Cotts

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 11:14 AM

I had a skywatcher 180 for two years.  When seeing permitted it displayed textbook perfect diffraction patterns.  Symmetrical, no astigmatism, fuzz, 'hair' or any fault.  Very contrasty views of planets and excellent resolution of sub-arcseconf doubles.  

 

Cooldown was not an issue as long as I put the scope out in the late afternoon at the moment the sun could no longer shine on the tube.  By the time it was dark the scope was at ambient.

 

Aside #1:  People often say that the Mak cannot keep up with rapidly dropping temperatures during the night.  My experience is that when the temperature is dropping that rapidly the seeing is so awful only low-power deep sky viewing is wothwhile anyway so this is a non-issue..

 

Aside #2:   People (the same people???) often say that the thick meniscus of a Maksutov (Newt or Cass) 'doesn't cool rapidly enough' or 'retains heat, ruining images' or some such.  OK, fine.   But then they say, OTOH refractors cool down much more quickly, yadda yadda...   Question:  which is thicker and retains more heat or has larger thermal mass - a 6-inch diameter 1/2 inch thick meniscus or a 6-inch triplet APO objective which is surely at least twice as thick?  Have we an 'old wives tale' here?  

 

Dave


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#15 bobhen

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:32 PM

The meniscus has no impact on cooling. Being exposed to the outside air the meniscus will already be cool and at ambient long before the primary that is trapped inside the tube.

 

Many years ago I had a Meade 180 Mak and (like many) I really liked the scope. It put up better star images than any SCT I owned or looked through. Having said that, I now have a Mewlon 210 that puts up an even better/cleaner star image.

 

Bob


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#16 ChristianG

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:07 PM

Hi.

 

I agree with you, Dave and Bob. It's air inside the tube that causes problems. I actually find that the thick meniscus on my 180 Mak is in fact a great plus. I used to have a C8. While I can observe for upwards of 2 hours with a suitable dew shield with the Mak 180, the C8 corrector became clouded with dew within about 30 minutes, with similar dew shield. I assume this is because the Mak corrector has much more mass, but also because it recessed.

 

My Mak 180 has great contrast (I compare it to my Questar Broadband 1978), and also has textbook diffraction pattern. And I bought it used: it was kicked all the way from California to Canada by UPS (and we know what they do to packages)...

 

--Christian



#17 ChristianG

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:13 PM

 Price-wise, the Skywatcher costs $1200. The Mewlon costs $2320 in the U.S.. How often does the Skywatcher Mak reach these levels? Probably far more often than the SCTs.

 

Hi Peter.

 

Bummer: both Anacortes and OPT sell the Mewlon for 3670 $US. A bit more than 2320$... You almost gave me a heart attack--I was reaching for my credit card!

 

https://optcorp.com/...m-telescope-ota

http://www.buytelesc...-cassegrain-ota

 

One plus for the 180 Mak is that it is usually collimated rather well from the factory and will not budge. The Mewlon's collimation may need to be redone from time to time, and is apparently not easy to do.

 

--Christian


Edited by ChristianG, 07 March 2018 - 03:15 PM.


#18 Axunator

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:20 PM


Price-wise, the Skywatcher costs $1200. The Mewlon costs $2320 in the U.S.. How often does the Skywatcher Mak reach these levels? Probably far more often than the SCTs.

Hi Peter.

Bummer: both Anacortes and OPT sell the Mewlon for 3670 $US. A bit more than 2320$... You almost gave me a heart attack--I was reaching for my credit card!

https://optcorp.com/...m-telescope-ota
http://www.buytelesc...-cassegrain-ota


That's for Mewlon 210, not Mewlon 180 (which is what this thread is about
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#19 JakeJ

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:27 PM

Hi.

 

I agree with you, Dave and Bob. It's air inside the tube that causes problems. I actually find that the thick meniscus on my 180 Mak is in fact a great plus. I used to have a C8. While I can observe for upwards of 2 hours with a suitable dew shield with the Mak 180, the C8 corrector became clouded with dew within about 30 minutes, with similar dew shield. I assume this is because the Mak corrector has much more mass, but also because it recessed.

 

 

The difference is the cooldown times - a C8 cools fairly quickly in comparison to the mak.  Heat is releasing out of the mak for a longer period, keeping the corrector dew-free for longer.  So really, what your experiement shows is that the C8 takes 1/2 hour to cooldown, and the mak takes upwards of 2 hours.  



#20 Kevin Barker

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 03:45 PM

My brother who posted above has a skywatcher 180 mak. I have an Intes Mak 703 Deluxe with 1/7th wave PV optics and a strehl of 94%.

 

We observed with the two scopes side by side over a couple of nights. 

 

Our conclusion;   Both scopes are superb.

 

Phil's skywatcher had slightly better planetary contrast and revealed slightly fainter stars. 

 

Maybe he got lucky with his scope. But it is a nice sample of a very good design.


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#21 Cotts

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 04:19 PM

My brother who posted above has a skywatcher 180 mak. I have an Intes Mak 703 Deluxe with 1/7th wave PV optics and a strehl of 94%.

 

We observed with the two scopes side by side over a couple of nights. 

 

Our conclusion;   Both scopes are superb.

 

Phil's skywatcher had slightly better planetary contrast and revealed slightly fainter stars. 

 

Maybe he got lucky with his scope. But it is a nice sample of a very good design.

I have never read on CN a bad or even mediocre report of a skywatcher 180.    

 

Dave


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#22 Richard Whalen

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 08:14 PM

Having owned a C8 I never saw it fully cool down in less than 2 hours if there was a significant temp difference. The difference is most MCTs are used at higher magnifications than SCTs as they typically have 50% or more focal length for a given aperture. While the C8 might not show the effect much of thermals at a lower magnification try at equal magnification and see the effect on say Jupiter. I think you wont see much difference other than a better image in the MCT. The meniscus have nothing to do with cooling, it is clear to IR and will cool much faster than any primary in a closed system. What makes some MCTs cool slow is the mass of the entire OTA, many of the Russian ones were way overbuilt.

 

My C10 often took 4 to 5 hours to cool down, but once it did gave ok views. My 8" MCT gives way better views when it is cooling than my C8 did when it was already cooled. Quartz optics and internal mixing fan really works in my sample.



#23 JakeJ

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 09:34 PM

Quartz optics and internal mixing fan really works in my sample.

My C8 cools rather quickly, my C11 never does (and those old C10s were even heavier built).

 

I need to figure out a cooling strategy for my 11.

 

 My 8" MCT gives way better views when it is cooling than my C8 did when it was already cooled. 

8" TEC?  I would hope so.  FWIW my MN66 gives better views than any 7" MCT I have compared it with.  Quartz optics, 19% CO and 1/8th wave helps in my sample....  ;)



#24 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:37 AM

My brother who posted above has a skywatcher 180 mak. I have an Intes Mak 703 Deluxe with 1/7th wave PV optics and a strehl of 94%.

 

We observed with the two scopes side by side over a couple of nights. 

 

Our conclusion;   Both scopes are superb.

 

Phil's skywatcher had slightly better planetary contrast and revealed slightly fainter stars. 

 

Maybe he got lucky with his scope. But it is a nice sample of a very good design.

There are a number of "lucky" people on Cloudy Nights.

 

Again, when it comes to cool down issues, see above.


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#25 ChristianG

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 02:09 AM

 

Hi.

 

I agree with you, Dave and Bob. It's air inside the tube that causes problems. I actually find that the thick meniscus on my 180 Mak is in fact a great plus. I used to have a C8. While I can observe for upwards of 2 hours with a suitable dew shield with the Mak 180, the C8 corrector became clouded with dew within about 30 minutes, with similar dew shield. I assume this is because the Mak corrector has much more mass, but also because it recessed.

 

 

The difference is the cooldown times - a C8 cools fairly quickly in comparison to the mak.  Heat is releasing out of the mak for a longer period, keeping the corrector dew-free for longer.  So really, what your experiement shows is that the C8 takes 1/2 hour to cooldown, and the mak takes upwards of 2 hours.  

 

Yes the Mak can take hours to cool down. But what I was talking about is a situation where both instruments were already acclimatized, and star test showed concentric bullseye (Mak) and something to that effect (C8). Cheers!

 

--Christian




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