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Should I buy this old Meade 152ED?

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#1 sentenza

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 09:51 AM

Hi guys,

 

I have an opportunity to buy a Meade 152ED, an F8 6" refractor dating back to 2003. My primary usage would be DSO AP, and I was wondering if this could be a good opportunity for this use...

 

I would mount it on an EQ6, so I think that should be pretty OK to handle the 27lbs of this beast plus camera.

 

My problem is I don't have much experience with refractors, and no Idea how Meade and this particular model are good or bad.

 

The offer is below 500€, including a mount but I don't care much about that one.

 

Any advice?

 

Thanks

Sentenza



#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:12 AM

Have you ever done any AP of DSOs before?  As unintuitive as it is, the large majority of people find learning the complicated tasks substantially easier on a small scope.

 

The quality of the scope is less important than that.  I'd recommend 60-80mm.


Edited by bobzeq25, 18 April 2019 - 10:16 AM.

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#3 sentenza

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:22 AM

Yes, I've experiencing with AP for some time: some planetary through a quite cheap 150mm Mak, and some DSO with a Tamron 150/600 lens (generally locked around 400mm).

 

So I've already have some experience around the process, and tools to automate that a bit.

 

I'm looking for a "real gear" to go to the next level, as neither the Mak or Tamron have fully satisfied me on IQ, even when tracking was working pretty fine.


Edited by sentenza, 18 April 2019 - 10:22 AM.


#4 KerryR

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:27 AM

The older Meade ED/APO refractors were known for 2 things: 1) good optics, and 2) notoriously sensitive optical alignment, along with some less-than-stellar post-production "fixes" to some of the cells that made maintaining said alignment very difficult.  This had a significant impact to the image in the form of easily visible astigmatism and/or lateral spectral dispersion. Apparently, this was due to the very steep curves Meade needed to use with their glass selections.

I've done significant battle with the 127mm version of the older scopes. The 127's were said to be easier to work on than the 150's, which is pretty spooky. Both of the 127's I worked on needed after market collimatable focusers, and very tedious iterative alignment procedures.

Anyway, I'd proceed with caution: If you don't like to take scopes apart and engage in tedious alignment procedures, I'd avoid the old Meade's, even at really low prices, unless you know for certain that the scope you're interested in doesn't suffer from the above issues. I don't know what year Meade changed their designs, but I bet the one you're looking at is old enough to qualify as the problematic version.

At the price you mention, with a mount to boot, it's very probable there's a problem- that's VERY cheap for a 6" ED/Apo.


Edited by KerryR, 18 April 2019 - 10:28 AM.

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#5 siriusandthepup

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:29 AM

Are you sure it is F8? Usually those were F9.

 

They had a generally good reputation for great optics in the 4", 5" and 6" models. The 7" had a bad rep for problematic lens cell.

 

They were very nice for visual use. An OK ED scope for the time period.

 

F9 is considered a little slow for DSO AP.

 

I might consider a smaller, faster modern APO for DSO AP. Or an astrograph like Celestron 8" RASA or an RC ota in the 8" - 10" range.


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#6 SteveGR

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:33 AM

Hmm, are you sure it's an F8?  I've seen references to a F9 from that period.  Does it look like the scope in this review?

https://astromart.co...d-apo-refractor



#7 sentenza

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:36 AM

At the price you mention, with a mount to boot, it's very probable there's a problem- that's VERY cheap for a 6" ED/Apo.

Yes, That's also what I was thinking... 

 

Thanks for the info on this alignment issues. Not really afraid of unmounting the scope, but I'll go search information on how the process goes and If I feel comfortable with it.



#8 austin.grant

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:46 AM

I'd echo all the sentiments above about the QC issues with the scope and the idea that a smaller scope will result in more success. I don't think that the EQ6 will be up to the task of consistent, adequate performance with a scope that large. 



#9 Traveler

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:48 AM

Hello Sentenza,

 

Maybe tihs is a good read: http://scopereviews.com/178ed.html

Its about the 7" ED from Meade.



#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 11:18 AM

Yes, That's also what I was thinking... 

 

Thanks for the info on this alignment issues. Not really afraid of unmounting the scope, but I'll go search information on how the process goes and If I feel comfortable with it.

 

Are unafraid of mounting issues because you have budgeted the necessary resources ?

 

As far as cost , the APM and Skywatcher 150EDs are probably better scopes in terms of color correction so keep that in mind. 

 

Jon



#11 sentenza

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 11:19 AM

Are you sure it is F8? Usually those were F9.

 

Well, that what I read in https://www.meade.co...Manual_revD.pdf  (page 46, AR6 model)

 

And the specs is 152/1200, so indeed F8, or am I missing something here?


Edited by sentenza, 18 April 2019 - 11:19 AM.


#12 sentenza

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 11:23 AM

Are unafraid of mounting issues because you have budgeted the necessary resources ?

What I meant was: I'm generally not afraid of taking things apart, fixing them and re-assembling :)

 

But up to a certain level of technicality... As I'm not aware of what this exactly means in this context I first need to check I feel confident with the process.



#13 sentenza

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 11:26 AM

I'd echo all the sentiments above about the QC issues with the scope and the idea that a smaller scope will result in more success. I don't think that the EQ6 will be up to the task of consistent, adequate performance with a scope that large. 

Really? Is this specific to the size of the scope, because from a weight perspective that should be ok or am I wrong on this?



#14 siriusandthepup

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 12:27 PM

 

Well, that what I read in https://www.meade.co...Manual_revD.pdf  (page 46, AR6 model)

 

And the specs is 152/1200, so indeed F8, or am I missing something here?

OK... Now we have a real question. Is the scope an AR6 (an achromat, definitely NOT ED) or is it a 152ED?

 

Big difference!!!

 

Based on the low price, I'm guessing it might be the F8 AR6. Not what you want for AP.


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#15 KerryR

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 12:36 PM

OK... Now we have a real question. Is the scope an AR6 (an achromat, definitely NOT ED) or is it a 152ED?

 

Big difference!!!

 

Based on the low price, I'm guessing it might be the F8 AR6. Not what you want for AP.

This is a good catch! The LXD55 6" was an f8 achromat. So, if the scope in question is indeed an LXD55, and is f8, it's not ED.



#16 KerryR

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 12:54 PM

Here's a link to the old ED Apochromat series manual. 

Note that the specifications pages shows that the entire line was f9.
 



#17 bobzeq25

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 03:24 PM

Really? Is this specific to the size of the scope, because from a weight perspective that should be ok or am I wrong on this?

Weight isn't the only factor.  Focal length counts, arguably more.  It magnifies small tracking errors.  Also length.  The larger the moment of inertia, the less well the system responds to mount corrections from the autoguider.

 

Put everything together and, for imaging DSOs, the EQ6-R is marginal for the scope.  Could work, but definitely marginal.

 

Your eye, hooked to a smart brain, is very tolerant of small motions.  Dumb .005mm pixels - not so much.  <smile>



#18 macdonjh

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 03:54 PM

If it really is an f/9 ED, then it seems like a good price for the scope, especially if you could sell the mount. If it's an f/8 achromat, it seems like an average price.

I think photography with either scope and an EQ6 will be problematic for the reasons others have stated: the EQ6 will have trouble guiding and tracking with such a long OTA, and if it is actually an achromat false color will be disappointing in your images. Heck, a nearly 20 year old ED may have disappointing color correction by today's standards.

Either version might be fun as a visual s ope, and the EQ6 would carry it well.

#19 junomike

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 04:36 PM

My Meade 152Ed arrived in perfect collimation and has stayed that way for several years, however it was/is my main Planetary/Lunar scope and not something I'd consider for DSO's.

If the lens shows 1368mm then It's the ED (Apo), otherwise it's the AR6 Achro.



#20 CHASLX200

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 05:59 PM

It was only the 7" that had real problems pre cell fix days. If the seller will offer a refund then jump.



#21 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 07:09 PM

What I meant was: I'm generally not afraid of taking things apart, fixing them and re-assembling smile.gif

 

But up to a certain level of technicality... As I'm not aware of what this exactly means in this context I first need to check I feel confident with the process.

 

For astrophotography, a scope like that needs a sturdy mount as well as a precise mount. There are things one can do to improve a mount but it needs to have the right makings.  

 

Jon

 

Jon



#22 Mitrovarr

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 07:41 PM

I have to think that, at that price, it's the achromat. That would be ridiculously cheap to sell the ED scope, particularly with the mount.



#23 gnowellsct

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 09:08 PM

Astronomics has an Evo 50mm on sale that I wouldn't mind buying if I didn't have a great profusion of scopes. $225.  I would think this would be the easiest way to learn fundamentals of deep sky imaging and processing.  When you want to graduate to a larger scope--a 130 mm class or a RASA--you'll have a much better idea of what's involved.

 

Every now and then I consider going into imaging and then--Nah!  Were I to do it I would go for planetary imaging first.  Less demands on the mount, polar alignment, worries about flexure, etc.  I would start with the moon.  It is true that there are differences in the rules of image capture and processing but I think that if you were good with one you'd be adept at learning the other.

 

Greg N



#24 sentenza

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 03:57 AM

Thanks all for your answers and hints! Mind opening ;)

 

Based on your comments, I'll skip that one and think again about my journey to DSO AP... Also very good points on the impact of OTA size/length on the mounts.

 

Sent




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