The soon to be shipped Astro-Physics 10" f/14.5 Maksutov-Cassegrain I will call SLOWMAX (because of its focal ratio) offers the opportunity to contrast its performance with another exemplary AP Mak offering, the rare 7" f/4.5 Maksutov-Newtonian FASTMAX with its over three-times faster focal ratio. The scopes are similar in length without dewcap (both 29.5") with SLOWMAX about 5 lbs heavier with dew shield, and of greater tube diameter (11.6" carbon fiber versus 9" aluminum). Both have state-of the art coatings and are permanently alligned. Aside from optical design (Mak-Cass versus Mak-Newt), they differ most in focal ratio (f/14.5 versus f/4.5) and focal length (3683 mm versus 810 mm). Being compact, both can ride on the AP Mach 1 and perhaps even a DM-6, the grab-and-go option. Elsewhere, I have praised the virtues of the 180 FASTMAX as an all-round instrument capable of both contrasty, low-power, wide-field (23x, 2.7 degrees with Pan 35) and high-power views. I have not changed my mind. Think 6" apo in a stubby tube. Although presumably optically exquisite, the SLOWMAX is a very different beast, boxed in by long focal length to higher power, narrower, fields (105x, .6 degree with Pan 35)--your once medium power eyepieces are now for moon and planets. Think 10" Clarke refractor. Of course, with this 10" aperture and great focal length come greater light-gathering and resolution. Residing under the East Coast light dome with its iffy seeing, I find 10" to be a good size, having built three classical Newtonian variants. I look forward to contrasts between Slowmax and Fastmax on deepsky targets, many of which start to be most interesting beyond 100x. Aside from reduced ability to use the SLOWMAX as its own finder, my high-power deepsky adventures hold promise.
Regarding the famous AP wait lists, both FASTMAX and SLOWMAX were the rewards of 20 years of wating.