I'm thrilled to be part of this group. Been watching the skies for a little over fifty years...I need some unbiased opinions on my next purchase!
I have the Celestron C150mm f/8 refractor (had it for over eighteen years). It's a workhorse, IMHO; great for low to medium power views of DSOs as well as the planets and moon. The FOV with my 2" 36mm eyepiece is 2.1 degrees! However, as everyone knows, the chromatic aberration is aggressive on bright objects. I've stepped the aperture down to 102mm, viewing the planets, effectively making it an f/10, but of course the trade-off is a dimmer object.
Since I'm not dumb enough, given the chance, to gaze through a triple-lens apochromat of the same aperture-and cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on one-I've pretty much decided on Orion's 180mm Maksutov as the scope for high-power viewing. I think it would wonderfully complement my Celestron refractor.
I started to call Orion, but of course I'd get a gushing (somewhat biased) endorsement of their instrument. Hence joining this group, where I can get objective (pun intended) advice.
Does anyone here by remote chance have both of these instruments? If not, has someone had the opportunity to gaze through both, approximately the same magnification (in my case, 200X), at Jupiter or Saturn? Would the Mak yield a better image of those objects, versus what I've been accustomed to with my achromat...sufficiently enough to justify spending a thousand dollars? My wife has grudgingly agreed to the purchase, but said, "Get it right this time." (why couldn't we all have met our spouses at a star party???)
I suspect I'm dealing with either the relative mediocrity of mass-produced Chinese optics, regarding my refractor, coming into play at high magnification, CA really starting to factor in, or both.
Any opinions would be welcome. I'm so glad to be a part of this forum!