The 102 is great for AP, not for visual.
The 8" with a hyperstar, gives a scope that is good for visual, and offers two different ways to do AP.
If I just wanted AP alone, I would just grab a RASA. At F2 amazing what guys are capturing with it.
Ah gotcha, guess the visual part went over my head. Well, my C8 has been great for visual on everything I've pointed it from Mars to Neptune and most DSOs so can't deny its versatility there.
All that aside, I'd second the edge HD. Pretty much the best 8" SCT on the market for those inclined to do AP with such an OTA. All of the current production Celestron SCTs have XLT coatings. As for the Meades, I've read some "shootout" reviews between the two and there doesn't seem to be much difference in coatings to the typical observer. The more noticeable differences between C and Meade is Meades are significantly heavier and have slightly more central obstruction.
I was actually looking at an edge 8 myself at my local telescope shop, but it was a bit out of my price range. The store owner and I discussed it at length and the main differences between a base C SCT and an edge are a corrector in the baffle, the primary is vented and includes mirror locks. Why these are features that are only found on premium SCTs is beyond me, but I guess that's business. Heck, I'm still trying to understand why they haven't upgraded the focusers on consumer cassegrains lol
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Edited by Bataleon, 10 January 2020 - 08:59 PM.