Is there nobody out there who can help make an informed decision????
There have been many a long thread covering RASA right here on CN (search for them, and spend days reading) -- These threads are especially in the "Cats and Cass" group. You will find "it depends...." as the consensus opinion.
The 'third option' that you did not mention -- a normal or HD Celestron SCT and Fastar (Celestron name for it) system. Yet another option. While there are those who disagree - the Fastar systems work, but not a well as the RASA design. However, the SCT/Fastar is smaller, lighter, less expensive, and can be quickly converted back-n-forth between a fast wide-field to 'regular scope'. RASA is a 'one trick pony' - fast wide-field imaging only - but if that's the 'trick' you want -- it is very good at it. I've seen a presentation at NEAIC comparing one person's results with C-8 & Fastar vs RASA 8. The RASA 8 images were a little better, and would be a good solution IF you want to only do wide-field imaging. The C-8 with Fastar is 'close' for wide-field -- and can be used for prime focus, focal-reduced, and visual. It's all up to what you want.
You are interested in the RASA 11 -- note that there are two versions - the original available on the used market -- and the current (more expensive) option with improved focusing (other things??).
Compared to a similar small APO for wide-field imaging -- a RASA 11 will gobble up far more photons in the same time, and probably get closer to all the resolution the seeing provides. You will almost certainly have such short exposures with a RASA 11 that you won't need 'guiding' - but will need a mount that will handle the beast (bigger than a normal C-11). Beyond that -- the RASA 11 can be more "complicated" -- including handling all that mass and size, dew, collimation and camera-squaring, focus, and especially camera and filter selection (far more limited - with not a lot of info out there). Also -- if the threads on CN can be a guide - expect more 'fiddling around' with RASA compared to an APO (much more user friendly).
It's the classic case of -- is all the extra work worth it to produce a better result -- but how much better -- is a subject of much difference of opinion.
Edited by George N, 19 September 2020 - 10:00 AM.