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127mm maksutov comparison

astrophotography beginner catadioptric cassegrain dslr imaging Maksutov Meade Celestron
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#1 Smarque2

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 07:52 PM

Hi everybody,

Does anyone know the quality differences between the LX 65 127mm maksutov, 127mm Sky-Watcher, and 127mm Celestron scopes? Should I splurge a bit more and get the 150mm ioptron instead? I'm indecisive on which one to get. I need a nice travel scope that will allow me to use my DSLR for planetary imaging.


Edited by Smarque2, 18 March 2019 - 08:21 PM.


#2 photoracer18

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 08:12 PM

Likely the same scopes these days.



#3 Smarque2

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 08:15 PM

Likely the same scopes these days.

ah nuts I was afraid of that.

#4 gene 4181

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 08:16 PM

  The specs aren't the same between the Synta scopes and the Meade  " although "  the back of the Meade looks similar too the Syntas  .   You'll have too call and verify focal length on the Meade  .


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#5 Smarque2

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 08:36 PM

  The specs aren't the same between the Synta scopes and the Meade  " although "  the back of the Meade looks similar too the Syntas  .   You'll have too call and verify focal length on the Meade  .

The Meade 127mm does have a longer focal lenghl. 1900mm vs 1500mm for the syntas



#6 Jaimo!

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 08:59 PM

The Skywatcher and the Celestron come out of the same factory, as does Orion's offering...  Synta.  We just need a Meade vs. Synta. comparison.

 

Jaimo!



#7 Simon B

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:25 PM

Weird... the rear cell looks like a Synta, yet it has 1900 focal length which suggests its a JOC


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#8 Smarque2

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:26 PM

Weird... the rear cell looks like a Synta, yet it has 1900 focal length which suggests its a JOC

Total newbie what's "JOC"?



#9 Simon B

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:41 PM

JOC is the Chinese parent company of Meade, Explore Scientific, and Bresser, they manufacture many of the scopes offered by those brands - for example the Explore Scientific 127 mak and the Meade ETX 125, I believe they are the same optically, both made by JOC. These maks have a 1900mm focal length

 

Synta 127 maks you can usually identify them by the build of the OTA, especially the rear cell, and the fact that they have a 1500mm focal length

 

The Meade LX65 127 mak physically appears to be a Synta looking at the rear cell, yet it has a 1900mm focal length, like a JOC


Edited by Simon B, 19 March 2019 - 12:26 AM.

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#10 Simon B

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:46 PM

And as mentioned, the Skywatcher, Celestron, and Orion 127 maks are the same, all Syntas, all 1500mm focal length. Many people have measured these scopes to have a reduced aperture of about 120mm, something to be aware of



#11 Smarque2

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:47 PM

JOC is the Chinese parent company of Meade, Explore Scientific, and Bresser, they manufacture many of the scopes offered by those two brands - for example the Explore Scientific 127 mak and the ETX 125, I believe they are the same optically, both made by JOC. These maks have a 1900mm focal length

 

Synta 127 maks you can usually identify them by the build of the OTA, especially the rear cell, and the fact that they have a 1500mm focal length

 

The Meade LX65 127 mak physically appears to be a Synta looking at the rear cell, yet it has a 1900mm focal length, like a JOC

ES seems like the bargain brand of the telescope world and that doesn't bode well with me for the Meade 127mm maksutov.



#12 Simon B

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:52 PM

I have the JOC 127 (Explore Scientific branded), it's a good scope optically, and it has a full 127mm aperture. It has some mirror shift when focusing though

 

I am curious about this Meade.. Though I suspect it is optically a JOC



#13 Smarque2

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:55 PM

I have the JOC 127 (Explore Scientific branded), it's a good scope optically, and it has a full 127mm aperture. It has some mirror shift when focusing though

 

I am curious about this Meade.. Though I suspect it is optically a JOC

Hmm interesting. Maybe I should just go with the ioptron 150mm lol 



#14 Eric63

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 11:32 AM

Hmm interesting. Maybe I should just go with the ioptron 150mm lol 

Have you considered the Orion or SW 150 mak?  They run at full aperture and are shorter and lighter than the Ioptron.  From what I read on this site, many find the IOptron 150 to be a heavy scope.

 

Also, keep in mind that the Synta 127Mak not only has a reduced actual aperture (real aperture is roughly 120mm), it also has a longer focal length than advertised.   My SWM 127Mak came with a 2" diagonal and I measured the FL to be 1750mm.  But even at that I find it a great little scope for it's size.

 

Eric


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#15 Smarque2

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:03 PM

Have you considered the Orion or SW 150 mak?  They run at full aperture and are shorter and lighter than the Ioptron.  From what I read on this site, many find the IOptron 150 to be a heavy scope.

 

Also, keep in mind that the Synta 127Mak not only has a reduced actual aperture (real aperture is roughly 120mm), it also has a longer focal length than advertised.   My SWM 127Mak came with a 2" diagonal and I measured the FL to be 1750mm.  But even at that I find it a great little scope for it's size.

 

Eric

The weight is a non issue for me it seems pretty light at 13lbs. So far what I read for that ioptron has been good. Yeah I read the syntas operate at a smaller aperture. Your 127mm mak came with a 2" visual back? I thought it was only 1.25"?



#16 carver2011

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:25 PM

I have a SW 127, and think it’s a great scope, and a bargain at its price. Planet and Lunar views are awesome. Mine doesn’t have any mirror shift. After using it, and liking the views, I regret not getting the SW 150. Although my scope is collimated good from the factory, the 127mn is not as easy to collimate as the 150mm due to the arrangement of the collimation screws. If in a position like you where weight is not a a factor, I would definitely go for the 150mm. This summer I will more than likely trade up my 127 for the 150. 

Ed


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#17 Smarque2

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 06:48 PM

I have a SW 127, and think it’s a great scope, and a bargain at its price. Planet and Lunar views are awesome. Mine doesn’t have any mirror shift. After using it, and liking the views, I regret not getting the SW 150. Although my scope is collimated good from the factory, the 127mn is not as easy to collimate as the 150mm due to the arrangement of the collimation screws. If in a position like you where weight is not a a factor, I would definitely go for the 150mm. This summer I will more than likely trade up my 127 for the 150. 

Ed

I think I should go with the 150mm simply because I too would regret not getting it and it would be an uphill battle with my fiance to get a slightly larger telescope lol


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#18 dakinemaui

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 07:52 PM

The difficulty with the 150 mm OTA is that it's hard to get an acceptable mount at an inexpensive price, which is often critical when starting out. Realistically, you're looking at a minimum of about $1400 for a 150 mm OTA & minimally acceptable equatorial mount (e.g., EQM-35). If you really want the simplicity of an alt-az mount at this size, your best bet is perhaps the IOptron Urban 150 bundle for $1900. 

 

The rule of thumb when imaging is to get a mount with capacity about 2x your actual payload (OTA, finder, camera, etc.) The Orion Starseeker IV /150 mm bundle at $1000 is attractive at first glance, but you'll easily be above the capacity of that mount. 

 

OTOH, the various alt-az mounts that come with these 127 mm scopes are adequate, easy to use, and hit a beginner-friendly price point. The real bargain is the Celestron around $450 (street), although the 127 Starseeker IV bundle at $700 is the same OTA with an upgraded version of the mount with dual encoders (allowing you to unlock, manually point, then re-engage tracking/goto).



#19 Smarque2

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 08:18 PM

The difficulty with the 150 mm OTA is that it's hard to get an acceptable mount at an inexpensive price, which is often critical when starting out. Realistically, you're looking at a minimum of about $1400 for a 150 mm OTA & minimally acceptable equatorial mount (e.g., EQM-35). If you really want the simplicity of an alt-az mount at this size, your best bet is perhaps the IOptron Urban 150 bundle for $1900.

The rule of thumb when imaging is to get a mount with capacity about 2x your actual payload (OTA, finder, camera, etc.) The Orion Starseeker IV /150 mm bundle at $1000 is attractive at first glance, but you'll easily be above the capacity of that mount.

OTOH, the various alt-az mounts that come with these 127 mm scopes are adequate, easy to use, and hit a beginner-friendly price point. The real bargain is the Celestron around $450 (street), although the 127 Starseeker IV bundle at $700 is the same OTA with an upgraded version of the mount with dual encoders (allowing you to unlock, manually point, then re-engage tracking/goto).

that's true the LX 85 Mount seems to be good for a 150mm scope and it's about $700. That urban bundle for ioptron is attractive though.

Edited by Smarque2, 20 March 2019 - 08:29 PM.


#20 Redbetter

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:48 AM

ES/Bresser are clones of the old Meade ETX 125 optically.  There was some time period when the companies were supposed to be of the same parent, but something changed with that plan.  However, there are still a number of Meade products that now wear ES/Bresser badging.  ES Bresser have replaced the back plate to get rid of the funkiness with the old integrated flip mirror business and other aspects that made it very difficult to collimate the older Meades from what I could tell.

 

These do seem to operate closer to 127mm (via flashlight test) while the Syntas do not have sufficiently oversized primaries to operate at full effective aperture.  My sample has very good figure and only required a collimation tweak.  The negative is that an overly aggressive secondary baffle leaves it with nearly 40% central obstruction diameter.  Some have cut the size of the secondary baffle cone down to reduce the effective obstruction.   




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