I recently acquired a neighbor's 8 inch Meade Starfinder to fix up and sell for her. I used to have an identical one back in the day. I've noticed that this one along with the other one both have a very good set of optics. Yes the overall design is a mess and modern versions of these scopes are much improved overall. These were available in about the mid '90's as I recall.
I also run an astrocamp every summer and have had a few dozen 8 inch dobs go in and out the doors at the astrocenter. I've done extensive testing of these modern budget 8 inch dobs and only a very few have had optics as good as the 2 Meade Starfinders as I see it. So while the modern Chinese dobs are better made overall they tend to lack the optical quality of the older Starfinders in my experience.
I once heard that some of those Meade Starfinders had mirrors made by Terry Ostahowski. I have no idea if this is true but whoever made the 2 I have knew what they were doing. Does anyone know anything about who made these older budget dob mirrors and where? Thanks..
Edited by Darren Drake, 22 November 2020 - 06:59 PM.