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Meade Lightswitch 8 or Skywatcher Pro 120ED APO & Meade LXD75?

astrophotography refractor reflector equipment
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#1 divyak

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:21 AM

Hi everyone, I'm currently looking to upgrade my current setup to something that's capable of both dso astrophotography and observation. I'm torn between the two setups as my local market for secondhand gear has both listed. I'm not sure which to buy as I don't know which mount would work best with the Meade Lightswitch 8 since it's around 37lbs.

 

I would also like to use the scope for observation but I live in 2 light polluted areas (near NYC and DC). I know the 120ED refractor would be superior for photography but can anyone chime in if they've also used it for casual observation? I'm not even sure if the LXD mount can hold the scope and my 3 lb camera. Thanks. 


Edited by divyak, 22 May 2019 - 08:26 AM.


#2 starman876

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:17 PM

Get the 120 ED.  The light switch is useless if you do not have unobstructed views of the sky in many directions.  Also the camera on the light switch cannot find anything in light polluted skies for alignment.


Edited by starman876, 22 May 2019 - 10:19 PM.

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#3 jgraham

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:11 AM

Interesting question.

 

For visual I'd go with the Lightswitch. An 8" SCT on an altaz mount is soooo comfortable to use. I'm not too concerned about the Lightswitch part; nice if it works, not needed if it doesn't (you can always do a manual align of the Autostar).

 

Imaging I'm not too sure. You might be able to do basic imaging with the Lightswitch, but it really wasn't designed for that, and this is coming from someone who has imaged with an ETX-60 (and enjoyed the challenge). :) You might contact Rigel123, he has done some very impressive imaging with an Lightswitch 6(?).

 

The 120ED is a nice scope and I do luvs my EDs (80 and 100). I'm not so sure about the LXD75. I have two LXD75s and the LXD75 was my first 'real' imaging mount. By today's standards it is a fairly lightweight mount and needs a bit of TLC to work well. I currently use one of mine with a pier extension and a Meade AR6 6" f/8 achromat. It works well for visual and I have done a fair amount of imaging with it, but again, by today's standards its kinda rough, on-par with a CG5. Also, as much as I love my refractors, the eyepiece swings through such a large volume of space around the mount that for me they aren't the most comfortable scope to use. Soooo, I'd be happy with the scope, not so much with the mount (and I like the LXD75!). My LXD75s now serve primarily as lightweight visual and EAA mounts. I'm looking at moving the AR6 over to my Atlas.

 

Sooooo, if'n it were me I'd take a hard look at the Lightswitch as a general purpose visual scope that is capable of basic imaging, or the 120ED as a visual/imaging scope and look at upgrading the mount to something a bit heavier and a bit more modern when I got the chance.

 

Food for thought.


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#4 divyak

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:14 PM

Interesting question.

 

For visual I'd go with the Lightswitch. An 8" SCT on an altaz mount is soooo comfortable to use. I'm not too concerned about the Lightswitch part; nice if it works, not needed if it doesn't (you can always do a manual align of the Autostar).

 

Imaging I'm not too sure. You might be able to do basic imaging with the Lightswitch, but it really wasn't designed for that, and this is coming from someone who has imaged with an ETX-60 (and enjoyed the challenge). smile.gif You might contact Rigel123, he has done some very impressive imaging with an Lightswitch 6(?).

 

The 120ED is a nice scope and I do luvs my EDs (80 and 100). I'm not so sure about the LXD75. I have two LXD75s and the LXD75 was my first 'real' imaging mount. By today's standards it is a fairly lightweight mount and needs a bit of TLC to work well. I currently use one of mine with a pier extension and a Meade AR6 6" f/8 achromat. It works well for visual and I have done a fair amount of imaging with it, but again, by today's standards its kinda rough, on-par with a CG5. Also, as much as I love my refractors, the eyepiece swings through such a large volume of space around the mount that for me they aren't the most comfortable scope to use. Soooo, I'd be happy with the scope, not so much with the mount (and I like the LXD75!). My LXD75s now serve primarily as lightweight visual and EAA mounts. I'm looking at moving the AR6 over to my Atlas.

 

Sooooo, if'n it were me I'd take a hard look at the Lightswitch as a general purpose visual scope that is capable of basic imaging, or the 120ED as a visual/imaging scope and look at upgrading the mount to something a bit heavier and a bit more modern when I got the chance.

 

Food for thought.

Thank you so much for the detailed suggestion! I'm definitely leaning more towards the SW 120 apo at this point, I'm just really worried about the mount but the secondhand market near me is selling the SW and mount for $1,500 so I think I may just sell the LDX75 and buy another mount secondhand.

Have you used your 100 & 80mm apo for visual observation by any chance? I do have to say that I'm being slightly tempted with buying a Celestron 9.25in SCT with a GEM just to get the best of both worlds but I'm hesitant as I'm not super interested in planetary imaging.



#5 jgraham

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 04:04 PM

Sounds like a plan. I enjoy using my EDs for visual, something special happens when all of the light goes where it is supposed to go. smile.gif

 

If you are getting an LXD75 with the 120 I'd take my time and see how the mount works, it might surprise you. It is not unusual for LXD75s to need a little tuning, but once they are dialed in they work fine. The biggest problem that I had with mine was set screws on the drive gears coming loose. I cleaned the grease out of them, snugged the set screws with Loctite, applied a light coat of new grease, and all was well. That was 10 years ago and they are still working fine.

 

This is an old picture, but that's my LXD75 AR6 in the middle...

 

My-Refractors.jpg

 

Enjoy!




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