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Any owner of the 102 Skywatcher mak?

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#1 Binojunky


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Posted 27 July 2021 - 11:19 AM

Just interested in your opinions, looks a good bit smaller than the 127 version, looking at it maybe to fill a hole for a  lunar and planetary scope, thanks for any help, Dave.

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#2 sevenofnine



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Posted 27 July 2021 - 12:08 PM

There are a few threads on this forum and others about the 102mm Mak in general. They're not too many fans because if you want a small scope, the 90mm is preferred and if you want to see more then it's the 127mm. The 102mm is neither here nor there. Meaning it's not a small scope and it doesn't have the power and light gathering ability of the 127mm. Most of these scopes are Synta's with different paint jobs so the optical quality is the same, which is very good IMO. I have both the 90mm and the 127mm. Both are very sharp and easy to use but they are slow. So night sky objects have to be the brighter ones. As far as size goes, the 90mm fits in a small backpack. The 127mm (Orion Apex) come in a small duffel bag. Both are very easy to toss in the car for a trip to a dark site. Best of luck to you and your decision! waytogo.gif

#3 xvariablestarx


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Posted 27 July 2021 - 12:12 PM

My 100mm Mak works pretty good on planets, but a 127mm would be even better, and a 150mm better again.

#4 MrFreeze


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Posted 27 July 2021 - 12:28 PM

I have the Orion Apex 102 which is the same as the Skywatcher, other than the colour, a real finder rather than a red dot one, a decent 25mm plossl eyepiece rather than the rather than the poor Skywatcher offerings, and the inclusion of an 45deg erecting prism diagonal rather than a 90deg version. Both are manufactured by Synta in China.


It's a brilliant little scope that we use when travelling on holiday with a Zomei tripod to mount it on. Absolutely stunning for the moon and brighter planets, giving a very sharp and clear image. It is very light (2.3Kg), and it takes up hardly any room packed in the included bag with it's accessories. Pretty well bullet proof - you would have to give it some serious abuse to upset the collimation.


It does have quite a narrow field of view, and it is after all only 4" aperture, so not really too good if you are after faint fuzzys, but for what it is, it performs very well. 

IMG_20210727_181948-800x600.jpg IMG_20210720_221222-600x800.jpg

Edited by MrFreeze, 27 July 2021 - 12:37 PM.

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#5 RandyRoast



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Posted 27 July 2021 - 12:37 PM

I just got one and am enjoying it as a quick grab and go for use on my apartment balcony and other spots nearby. Of course it has limitations, but I like it as a grab and go. I have it on a lightweight bogen tripod and a ua dwarfstar mount. I can grab it with one hand, squeeze past the washer and dryer, and open the door with the other hand, which is exactly what I needed. I’m mostly doing planetary observing at 150x and it is perfect for me given my current living situation. Jupiter and Saturn have been looking great in the early morning.
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#6 treadmarks



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Posted 27 July 2021 - 04:12 PM

I have the Orion Apex 102, which is basically the SW 102 Mak in a different coat of paint. I've gotten some very satisfying views of Jupiter and the Moon with it. I've found that brightness can be an issue with Saturn, but Saturn has been very low altitude the past few years.


I really haven't pushed it on DSO with this scope. I've been using it strictly for planets and double stars because I use it in the city.

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#7 Retired Dave

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 04:31 PM

I had the SW 102.  Great small scope.  If you want the 102 get it.  Its a bit bigger than the 90 maks and will put up some very nice views.  Doesn’t cost much more than the 90 SW version.  Also note that the dovetail plate on the SW 90 is upside down relative to other maks unless you only want to use it on a photo tripod. I think the SW 102 still comes with a decent scope bag too.

Clear skies!

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#8 Rick-T137



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Posted 27 July 2021 - 05:14 PM

Just interested in your opinions, looks a good bit smaller than the 127 version, looking at it maybe to fill a hole for a  lunar and planetary scope, thanks for any help, Dave.

Hey Dave!


I'm with you - I've been on the look out for a Sky-Watcher Mak 102 for a while now. In the last 6 months, I've only seen one come up on the Canada astro buy & sell - and it had some cosmetic "challenges" which made me shy away from it. Maybe I shouldn't have! It was that light blue colour that I love.


If you get one, let me know!


Mak 90 102 127 large

Take care,



Edited by Rick-T137, 27 July 2021 - 05:16 PM.

#9 akdwivedi



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Posted 29 July 2021 - 04:02 AM

I have skywatcher 102 which is bundled with az gti set. I got the az gti mount, the tripod and sw102 all in a good bundle price. Its light, at 102mm, it has decent light gathering capability. I never had 90mm or 127mm, but it is very light, portable and bright for moon and planetary viewing.


There is a slight difference between the bundled SW102 vs standard skymax 102, the bundled one does not has any collimation screws but I have it now for around 2 years and collimation is absolutely perfect.


As others have pointed out, its small and light and makes a perfect lightweight travel scope or grab and go scope.

#10 davidparks


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Posted 29 July 2021 - 12:28 PM

Current Amazon:

  Skymax 90 = $220

  Celestron C90 = $230

  Skymax 102 = $265

  Celestron Nexstar 127SLT (this comes with a mount) = $560

  Skymax 127 = $1140  (9 different sellers, at near identical price)  (raises eyebrow)


I have the 90 and the 102, and they are very comparable...  of course the 102 is slightly bigger, slightly heavier, and gives slightly better views...  exactly what you would expect for only 12mm size difference.  You can't really go wrong either way.  While slightly bigger/heavier, it's real slight, I'd say almost equally portable, the difference is.... slight grin.gif


The 127 is 25mm bigger than the 102, which is a bigger step... It seems the size and weight are definite, noticeably so, increases, and the price is astronomically so...  but the view? maybe only... slightly. 

#11 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 12:45 PM

Like the poster above, I have the kne that came with the AZ GTi mount. In addition to No collimation screws, the dovetail is mounted on the side of the OTA to keep the focus knob in the correct position.


It's a nice little scope, but I seldom use mine. 



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