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125 ETX expectations

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:17 PM

Hi

I have a optically perfect 90 ETX, the views through this scope are really something for a 90mm scope. I use the OTA on a small unitron 114 mount, so light and easy to use, the best grab and scope I have ever had. So since the optics are so good on this 90, I have thought about getting a 125 ETX, and putting that on my 140 unitron mount, and have two just alike, except that one is larger. But I have read somewhere that Meade could not get the optics as sharp in the 125 as in the 90, that the views would be a little brighter, but the detail and sharpness would not be as good. If anyone here has both of them, could they say if this is right, or is the 125 can be as good as the 90 on sharpness and clarity. Or either the 105 ETX, which you hardly ever hear anything about. With only an increase of 15mm, the 105 may not be worth the difference, even if the optics are very sharp.



#2 SandyHouTex

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:31 PM

I just recently bought the new ETX-125 and the optics are super sharp.


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#3 DMRandall

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:32 PM

I had the ETX 90, and subsequently got the 125.  I was hoping to do some astrophotography with it (unrealistic, honestly) so I was after bigger aperture and a more substantial fork mount.  I can't say that I recall any difference in detail and sharpness between the two.  The 125 was brighter for looking at DSO's - which was the most notable difference for me.  But I can't say it was night & day difference.  If the portability is key for you, you might just stick with the 90.  My 2c worth.

Dave  


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#4 jgraham

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 10:11 PM

I have an ETX-90, 105, and 125. The only problem that I had with the 90 is that it ran out of light before it ran out of resolution, a problem solved by the 125. I originally bought my 125 as a visual companion to my LXD75 SC8 which was often tied up imaging and the performance of the 125 was outstanding. The larger aperture does a much nicer job with deepsky objects and the 125 is definitely the crown jewel of the ETX line.
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#5 clusterbuster

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 11:58 PM

119600787_3598348783532098_6275887616017257534_n.jpg 119980117_3598348676865442_3969847303751920953_n.jpg

 

My ETX 125.

 I just saw this thread as I was logging on to post about my ETX 125.

I will still post as I was SO IMPRESSED with this Telescope last night at the Dark Sky Site !

 Mark


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#6 cytan299

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:07 AM

attachicon.gif119600787_3598348783532098_6275887616017257534_n.jpgattachicon.gif119980117_3598348676865442_3969847303751920953_n.jpg

 

My ETX 125.

 I just saw this thread as I was logging on to post about my ETX 125.

I will still post as I was SO IMPRESSED with this Telescope last night at the Dark Sky Site !

 Mark

I did approximately the same thing, except my focuser is a JMI. What is the vintage of your ETX125? Mine was made in USA in 2000. I use it for planetary photography https://www.cloudyni...ess/?p=10465494.

 

cytan


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#7 jeffmac

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 03:30 PM

I just recently bought the new ETX-125 and the optics are super sharp.


How is the flip-mirror? That's the only thing that scares me about the ETX125. Also, who makes them?

#8 elwaine

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 11:51 PM

I had an ETX 90 and an ETX 125. The 125 was just as sharp, gave a brighter view and resolved more detail on planets and especially on the Moon. On dark clear nights, the 125 was able to resolve many pinpoint stars in the brighter globular clusters. Globulars viewed through the 90 were just faint pale gray patches of fuzz. 
 

The ETX 90 is a nice telescope and certainly has many positive attributes. But the ETX 125, while still quite portable, is in a different class. 


Edited by elwaine, 21 September 2020 - 11:52 PM.

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#9 REC

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 12:05 PM

I have both and they perform very well. Using it a lot lately for Jupiter and Saturn with a Baader 8-24mm zoom. Perfect setup for the planets and moon.


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#10 elwaine

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 08:00 PM

I have both and they perform very well. Using it a lot lately for Jupiter and Saturn with a Baader 8-24mm zoom. Perfect setup for the planets and moon.

Ditto on the Baader Zoom.


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#11 SandyHouTex

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:41 AM

How is the flip-mirror? That's the only thing that scares me about the ETX125. Also, who makes them?

The flip mirror works fine, but I don’t know who makes them.



#12 jeffmac

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:59 AM

The flip mirror works fine, but I don’t know who makes them.

I'm sorry, I was wondering who makes the ETX optics?


Edited by jeffmac, 23 September 2020 - 11:00 AM.


#13 orion61

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 08:42 PM

I have both, One of the first ETX90's sold back in 1996, I can say the optics of the 1st run C90's were better (how much) I sold my Questar good, there is a very slight bit of Spherical Aberration, these use Spherical optics, the good thing is in smaller Maks is they are easier to make VG optics. The bad thing is the larger the scope the more pronounced the SA, luckily, the 125, or is it 127 ETX does not degrade much at all. They are outstanding Optically. The one thing to watch for is the Dec drive gears are quite fragile and you need to either take ALL the stress of that gear set by using the motor drive, or loosen the lock knob. don't force by manually pushing up or down. Later models this weak link is mostly resolved. But the sharpness of those tubes are amazing, and by the way you CAN adjust the optical alignment by pulling the rear cap. remove the focus knob and the Allen headed screws and pull the back cap off, there are 3 sets of push/pull and lock bolts.

BUT on the other hand Celestron C5's are faster for DSO observing, and have quite good optics ESPECIALLY the C5+ IF you can find one used. I havent tried a new one. but my C5+ and ETX-5" run neck and neck at the same power on extended objects like Planetary and Lunar work.

I'd say go for either.

Duane


Edited by orion61, 23 September 2020 - 08:49 PM.


#14 Redbetter

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:09 AM

I would skip the Meade 125 ETX with its flip mirror, and because of its lack of collimation screw access.  I really don't want headaches that either of those two aspects can pose.

 

The ES 127 Mak is the same optics/OTA/cap and RDF and from what I can tell, but different back plate.   The different back plate is a HUGE improvement over the Meade.  You aren't tied to a flip mirror that might be problematic...especially if the collimation appears to be off.  You can collimate the thing without a Herculean effort, without modifying the backplate, etc.  And with the ES 127 variant, if you are motivated to do so, you can attach a 2" SCT diagonal to make the most of what this OTA can offer, with minimal coupling distance/increase in operating focal length.  The Meade distance will be considerably longer due to the oddball backplate with integrated mirror--plus an SCT thread adapter would have to be added as well.   

 

Optically, my ES 127 Mak has been excellent, despite the fact that the baffle produces a nearly 40% obstruction (same as in the Meade from what I understand and seems to be a function of off-axis light control for the 27mm rear baffle diameter, the Synta 127's have the same issue.)  It arrived noticeably out of collimation (shipping or factory, no way to know.)  After collimation the images exceeded expectations.  Thank God it wasn't one of these flip mirror things without collimation screw access, it would have gone right back in the package to be returned, despite having good optics.

 

The only advantage I see to the ETX is if you want the electronics/drive...which with plastic gears tend to have a short life time.


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#15 Winks

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:13 AM

Don't skip or rule out the Meade 125 ETX because of the plastic back and flip mirror and all that. The 125 ETX optics are excellent. Just go get a Wegat back (http://wegatoptical.com/shop/) and you have a whole new scope.


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#16 jeffmac

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 08:50 PM

Then, there is the Meade LX series of Maks that don't have the covered plate on the back or the flip mirror. I assume these are the same optically as the ES Maks?

#17 Redbetter

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:04 PM

Then, there is the Meade LX series of Maks that don't have the covered plate on the back or the flip mirror. I assume these are the same optically as the ES Maks?

The LX65 series looks to be a better implementation than the ETX.  My impression is that these are optically the same with the same eyepiece and RDF, although there are some small differences.  The dovetail is on the other side of the tube, as is the RDF.  The focuser knob is different.

 

The backplate appears to attach differently to the OTA,  screws attach through the OTA diameter into a back plate flange from the looks of it, vs. the ES tube threading into the back plate.  However, it does have collimation screws and lock screw access--and the LX65 manual actually describes how to collimate the scope!  (Somebody is finally on the ball.  ES doesn't have a manual for the OTA just a 2 page pictorial PDF for the mount.)  It also seems to indicate that the rear adapter is SCT threaded, as with the ES.



#18 jeffmac

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 11:22 AM

It doesn't appear that too many vendors carry the ES line of Maks. Sky Watchers and Meades are plentiful.



#19 Redbetter

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 03:18 PM

It doesn't appear that too many vendors carry the ES line of Maks. Sky Watchers and Meades are plentiful.

I can find the ES 127's from many of the big vendors in the U.S.  (Bresser is primarily for Europe from what I can tell.)  Availability is the biggest factor anymore for scopes in general, and prices have gone up as a result of this and the incessant trade war nonsense.  The ES 127's aren't as inexpensive as they were two years ago ($300 delivered, with Twilight Nano mount) but the same package still seems to run less than even the Meade LX65 OTA alone.  

 

SW and Meade are the "house brands" being used by the two major makers common Maks.  And with respect to the LX65's, these are *new*.   They weren't even circulating from what I recall when I picked up the ES 127--looks like they came out later, in the summer of 2018 (first ad I see for them in S&T is Aug. 2018.)  The LX65's OTA runs about $40 more than the current ES 127 with the little Twilight Nano (I consider the mount a freebie since it is too light for the OTA, but they don't sell the OTA alone.)

 

The LX65's are really set up around the new mount system and that is great for those who want that.  I am not into computerized mounts as they have short life spans and I prize reliability.  I have seen so many Goto mounts out of action for one reason or another at dark sky star parties that all I can say is, "no thanks."  My 25 year old SCT equatorial fork clock drive works just fine, and I expect my manual mounts to last for the rest of my life.  


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#20 REC

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 03:48 PM

Don't skip or rule out the Meade 125 ETX because of the plastic back and flip mirror and all that. The 125 ETX optics are excellent. Just go get a Wegat back (http://wegatoptical.com/shop/) and you have a whole new scope.

So....if you replace the back plate you get rid of the flip mirror? Then you need to get a diagonal ect?

 

BTW, I remember in 2000 when Terabeam was anouced a joint effort with Meade, the stock went crazy that day and for the next few. It was the best stock hit I had ever hit in 40 years in the stock market! When I saw the quote on my PC, I thought it was an error. It went from 10 to 54 that day and I sold my stock. It continued after that for a while and headed up in the 70's. I left a bunch of money on the table, but it was still a great trade!



#21 jeffmac

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 04:09 PM

I can find the ES 127's from many of the big vendors in the U.S.  (Bresser is primarily for Europe from what I can tell.)  Availability is the biggest factor anymore for scopes in general, and prices have gone up as a result of this and the incessant trade war nonsense.  The ES 127's aren't as inexpensive as they were two years ago ($300 delivered, with Twilight Nano mount) but the same package still seems to run less than even the Meade LX65 OTA alone.  

 

SW and Meade are the "house brands" being used by the two major makers common Maks.  And with respect to the LX65's, these are *new*.   They weren't even circulating from what I recall when I picked up the ES 127--looks like they came out later, in the summer of 2018 (first ad I see for them in S&T is Aug. 2018.)  The LX65's OTA runs about $40 more than the current ES 127 with the little Twilight Nano (I consider the mount a freebie since it is too light for the OTA, but they don't sell the OTA alone.)

 

The LX65's are really set up around the new mount system and that is great for those who want that.  I am not into computerized mounts as they have short life spans and I prize reliability.  I have seen so many Goto mounts out of action for one reason or another at dark sky star parties that all I can say is, "no thanks."  My 25 year old SCT equatorial fork clock drive works just fine, and I expect my manual mounts to last for the rest of my life.  

Yes, I saw many with the Nano, just didn't see the OTA alone. A non-issue. The only reason I'd consider the Meade would be for the LX65 mount or I might would consider a Nexstar SE mount to put the OTA on. I like the idea of the mount finding my intended object when the scopes focal length is 1500 to 1800mm. Less time spent, at least for me, trying to find what I'm looking for. As for the Go-To life span....all good things must come to an end.



#22 RichA

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 11:37 PM

attachicon.gif119600787_3598348783532098_6275887616017257534_n.jpgattachicon.gif119980117_3598348676865442_3969847303751920953_n.jpg

 

My ETX 125.

 I just saw this thread as I was logging on to post about my ETX 125.

I will still post as I was SO IMPRESSED with this Telescope last night at the Dark Sky Site !

 Mark

They should make a brass shroud (like Questar) for the focusing rod for the backplate they sell. 



#23 RichA

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 11:43 PM

Don't skip or rule out the Meade 125 ETX because of the plastic back and flip mirror and all that. The 125 ETX optics are excellent. Just go get a Wegat back (http://wegatoptical.com/shop/) and you have a whole new scope.

There is nothing wrong with the internal mirror, the major problem with the ETX125 (older ones, I don't know about the newest one) is the mounting.  It's basically useless to use without the goto and the hand control.  Even a medium-sized camera tripod with a pan head is better.  The original ETX90 with the altitude fine-control on the basic drive mount was the only moderately-acceptable one. Going with the OTA on a Germany mount, good alt-azimuth or, if you can modify one by adding a flat place between the forks, a Meade or Celestron 8" SCT fork, much better for casual observing.  This scope is 1900mm, it needs a good mount.



#24 fcathell

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 02:42 PM

I've had several of the older, US made ETX-90s and a couple of ETX-125s (OTAs only).  The optics in all were great, although a couple of the 90s and the 125 had some noticeable image shift with focus. The collimation was ho-hum on a couple of the 90s when I got them.  I "Wegated" one of the 90s and this arrangement was a much better scope utility wise. I have not tried any of the newer version ETX scopes and probably won't.

 

Frank



#25 Stopforths

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 04:42 PM

I owned 2 excellent etx90 ra's    Both could handle 260 on saturn in good seeing and lost little to a celestron 4 inch achromat they were that good.  Bit dimmer on dso's.  Only recently had a chance to look through  an etx125ra with emc.

 

We went to over 300 x on saturn and jupiter was very good at around 180.  Very sharp inky black background on dso's way above expectations have to say.  American owned wish i owned the **** thing will buy in a heartbeat if mate ever sells (he won't)

 

Also have a nice C5 haven't really tested it much yet collimation is a whisker out but not picking it to match the ETX I looked through but you never know.   

 

Phil Barker New Zealand


Edited by Stopforths, 03 October 2020 - 04:43 PM.



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