The approach I have taken through the past decades has been to thoroughly research what was tested and recommended by persons who I considered authorities on observational amateur astronomy, then dig deep into my pocket and buy the best telescope I could manage and afford. No need for further comparisons or tests.
The technology of telescope making has of course evolved through the years, so in my childhood in the 60’ies, the top of the pop was a 3” Unitron, coming back to astronomy in the 90’ies it was first a Zeiss AS80, but to get even better CA control, I bought a Vixen FL-80S and later a FL-102S. I’ve also briefly has a Zeiss Meniscas, but that turned out to be too heavy for my grab/go use (and the cool down time required…! 🙁).
When I bought a new telescope, I always sold the old one that it was to replace, so at any one point in time, I have really only had ONE workhorse telescope, that I primarily used for my astronomy observation projects, — and in a sense, that one telescope has always been “the best” available to me.
I did go through a phase of buying old used telescopes, which I restored, completed and passed on to fellow astronomers who could use them. This was fun for a couple of years, but in the end, selling, securely packing up and posting these scopes was not rewarding. Buying a scope these days is easy, just a click on the computer, whereas selling a scope takes much more effort and time.
My current workhorse telescope is a Zeiss 100/640 APQ, and I see no other telescope being able to replace this one for the kind of observing I prefer. It works great as a RFT (it is its own finder, with just a Z-Bolt laser pointer), and with a FFC barlow it is splendid on the solar system too. Very capable, light and easy to setup on my fixed pier in the backyard, and fast to cool down.
In my telescope backlog I still have a Uni114, Zeiss Telemator and Vixen FL-80S. And some boxes of mounts, finders, rings & things; All this need to go, —mabe pass on to a grandchild, and the rest to be sold.
But all-in-all, yes, I am where I want to be, equipment wise 😄
Edited by AllanDystrup, 27 September 2021 - 07:13 AM.