I am sure there are some super sharp orange tubes just gotta win the lotto so if ya buy enough of them you will strike gold one year. I still want a shot at a super sharp fork mounted C14.
I am lucky to have a very sharp and well corrected orange tube Celestron C8. I purchased it from a pawn shop for $250 and it came with the original tripod and sand cast wedge, case and a full set of Celestron eyepieces and filters.
The mirror and corrector plate are spotted, most likely with some mold, and the focuser has some dead spots.
But the images it displays are wonderful, with excellent star images (for a SCT) and sharp planetary detail. Jupiter last year was glorious, and being used to smaller apertures, I was taken aback by the intensity of the orange color in the Great Red Spot.
My previously owned C8 with the black tube was not nearly so good, and was perhaps more representative of the average, run of the mill SCTs coming from Celestron and Meade at the time.
SCTs were possibly over rated as to their overall image quality, but I still marvel that they perform as well as they do for their compact size. Have you ever looked at an equatorially mounted 8 inch, F15 refractor? And SCTs are color-free!
Edited by Steve Allison, 28 April 2021 - 10:55 PM.