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Is the ETX90 a good comparison to the Questar 3.5?

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#1 Stargazer3236

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 11:15 AM

Can I assume that the ETX90 is a good alternative to the Questar 3.5? I am eager to buy a 3.5" Mak for quick grab and go planetary imaging, but I would like good optics for the long run.


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#2 Toddeo

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 11:20 AM

The ETX 90 has great optics. The rest of the build- the fork mount is cheap. I have both- a Questar 3.5 and a ETX 90 RA. Hard to tell the views -apart.


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#3 Stargazer3236

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 11:39 AM

I would de-fork the ETX 90, I really don't care about Meade electronics, plus the swing through of the ETX on the forks is deplorable, you have to mount a camera in the diagonal part of the ota. Without the forks, I can go straight through.



#4 bbqediguana

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 11:48 AM

Can I assume that the ETX90 is a good alternative to the Questar 3.5? I am eager to buy a 3.5" Mak for quick grab and go planetary imaging, but I would like good optics for the long run.

If you're looking for a 3.5" Mak and unless you have a lot of disposable income, then yes, the ETX90 is a good alternative. I have had both (the Questar was a loaner from a friend) and optically they are very similar. Mechanically, the Questar is worlds better, but the ETX is OK.

 

Personally, if I were to do it again (get a 3.5" Mak), I'd get a Skywatcher or Orion 102mm Mak and put it on an EQ3 or EQ5 mount. 



#5 Stargazer3236

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 12:38 PM

If you're looking for a 3.5" Mak and unless you have a lot of disposable income, then yes, the ETX90 is a good alternative. I have had both (the Questar was a loaner from a friend) and optically they are very similar. Mechanically, the Questar is worlds better, but the ETX is OK.

 

Personally, if I were to do it again (get a 3.5" Mak), I'd get a Skywatcher or Orion 102mm Mak and put it on an EQ3 or EQ5 mount. 

Do you think that the Orion 102 or the Skywatcher 102 are comparable to the ETX102 or for that matter the ETX90 or Questar 3.5?



#6 bobhen

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 01:16 PM

I had 2 Meade ETX 90s; one had great optics the other had good/average optics. The mechanics were terrible. The drive on both examples was really poor. The finder was useless. And quality mechanics can really make observing enjoyable, as much as poor mechanics can make observing frustrating.

 

I de-forked the second and just set aside the forks and drive. Using just the OTA on an alt/az mount was actually the configuration I liked best.

 

However. I find all of these low cost imported Maks get dim pretty fast and are really one-trick ponies for solar system objects only, and even then I have a hard time recommending them over a 90 or 102mm ED or achromatic refractor.

 

Bob



#7 Stargazer3236

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 01:20 PM

I intend to only use it for imaging Jupiter and Saturn, maybe Mars too.



#8 bobhen

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 01:38 PM

I intend to only use it for imaging Jupiter and Saturn, maybe Mars too.

Then a 90mm ETX with a poor drive is probably not where you want to be. 

 

For planetary imaging, you will get MUCH better resulats with a 6, 8" or even larger SCT. When it comes to planetary imaging, optical quality is not as important as aperture.

 

Bob



#9 bbqediguana

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 09:20 PM

Do you think that the Orion 102 or the Skywatcher 102 are comparable to the ETX102 or for that matter the ETX90 or Questar 3.5?



I did have an Orion StarMax 127 that had very good optics. I suspect the Orion and Skywatcher 102s would be fine but it would be great to hear from actual owners of those scopes.

#10 Steve Cox

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 10:05 PM

Do you think that the Orion 102 or the Skywatcher 102 are comparable to the ETX102 or for that matter the ETX90 or Questar 3.5?

I've owned ETX 90's and an ETX 125; don't have either anymore.  Like everyone else says, nice optics but terrible mechanics and drives.  I currently have a Celestron C90 which I would say is at least every bit as good optically as the ETX 90, and much better build and mechanical quality.  Same goes for the Synta 127 mak vs the ETX 125.  Match it to a mount to meet your needs and you should be quite happy.

 

I've viewed through the Q 3.5's before and will say that the differences I've seen between the three 90's are close.  If you can afford a Q, then get one simply for the reliability, mechanics and long-term manufacturer support.  If not, get a Synta (Celestron, Orion or Skywatcher) mak and a mount.



#11 Corcaroli78

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:35 AM

I had a ETX90 with all deluxe items (tripod, case, EP´s..) for some years but I suffered so much with the mechanics and the finder that the scope eventually went to the attic.  One day i took it again and deforked it. the experience changed drastically. I replaced the finder with a new bracket and installed a RDF and a 7x50 and i started enjoying the little scope on my photo tripod with fluid head. Some time later i sold it to another enthusiast who wanted a ETX.

 

But remembering the planetary views, I bought later another ETX90 this time only the OTA. I customized it and for some reason the views were sharper than my original one.  The ETX90 -with its limitations- is a keeper for me and a complement to the wide field instruments that i have.  I compared it optically with a Questar and i did not find a huge difference.

 

Carlos




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