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which mount for a 4 inch maksutov?

Beginner Visual Mount Celestron Maksutov Equipment
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#1 entrpy53

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 11:31 AM

Hello everyone, i have decided my next telescope will be a 102mm maksutov however i am not sure which altaz mount to get. Should i buy an altaz mount seperately or just get a mak that comes with a mount? some options i have now is the skywatcher mak 102 avant az eq(is it worth it if i only use it's for altaz function?) or should i get a mount such as vixen porta 2(quite expensive though) or a skywatcher az-4 mount or will a cheap celestron heavy duty altaz tripod be good enough?
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#2 sevenofnine

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 01:59 PM

Welcome to C/N! flowerred.gif

 

I have a 5" Mak that works real well on the SkyWatcher  AZ-GTi. I really like Maks but they are long focal length scopes that make finding objects manually more difficult. With this mount you can do both manual or computer assisted...all from an app on your phone too. It has dual encoders so you are not locked into go-to operation like some mounts. 

 

If you can afford it, I highly recommend the 5" over the 4" Mak. I had the C-90 for many years and the difference is very noticeable IMO. Where you will see it is in DSO's. Now a 5" Mak is not a DSO scope but at least you can see many of the brighter ones with it. It's tough with smaller Maks. Best of luck with your decisions! waytogo.gif

 

https://www.bhphotov...ml?sts=pi&pim=Y.


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#3 MrFreeze

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 01:05 PM

Just be careful that you don't buy one of the Maks that can't be collimated. Skywatcher have been selling a slightly different version of the Skymax102 when packaged with certain mounts. The giveaway is the lack of collimating screws on the rear of the telescope.

 

I have the Orion version of this scope mounted on a Sparta mount (a Chinese clone of the vixen Porta) coupled to a Zomei Q555 photo tripod. https://www.cloudyni...xen-porta-clon/ As a grab and go this combination is outstanding - very light and compact. Takes up hardly any space in the car and we regularly take this on holiday with us. You could of course use a 'proper' telescope tripod if you want more stability, but that makes it distinctly less portable. If you don't want something portable, then I would concur with sevenofnine that a 5" (127) Mak would be a much better choice.

 

IMG_20210810_191616-768x1024.jpg

 

David


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#4 vtornado

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 04:49 PM

With a 1200mm scope you want a good mount. 

 

The Maksutov is a short scope so maybe you can get away with a smaller mount than a 4 inch refractor, but I would not cheap out.  I am not happy with the celestron heavey duty alt-az.  It might work, but you are taking a chance.

The mount has a tendency to self tip backward when approaching zenith.  It is a better mount for terrestrical viewing where the scope is more or less horizontal.   There are some home brew fixes if you feel like doing that.

If you ever decide to change out scopes, to anything longer, the mount will not work.

 

TW1 and Vixen Porta are my recommendation.

 

There are also solutions using a heavy duty photo tripod.  The ball head is tipped so the head is horizonal. 

These can be picked up cheaply on Craig's list, Good Will, Ebay etc.

You may have to home brew a solution to connect the scope to the mount head.



#5 KWB

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 09:23 PM

Hello everyone, i have decided my next telescope will be a 102mm maksutov however i am not sure which altaz mount to get. Should i buy an altaz mount seperately or just get a mak that comes with a mount? some options i have now is the skywatcher mak 102 avant az eq(is it worth it if i only use it's for altaz function?) or should i get a mount such as vixen porta 2(quite expensive though) or a skywatcher az-4 mount or will a cheap celestron heavy duty altaz tripod be good enough?

The Viven Porta mount would be a fine mount. It is well worth the cost. You save money by buying right the first time. This mount and a suitable tripod could be used with future 80 to 100mm short focal length refractors.

 

I would avoid the Celestron AZ3 as seen in this image. This mounts works for very small scopes in the bird watching mode as that is what I used this telescope for. By it's very design this mount can't point straight up to the zenith.

 

GyskHtI.jpg



#6 Mossonarock

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Posted 17 May 2022 - 07:18 AM

I also recommend the Twilight 1 mount; its what I use. A 5inch mak with 1.25" eyepieces wouldn't be too much for it. If you don't mind not having worm gears (slo-mo controls), the Orion U-mount is worth considering.



#7 Levant

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 04:21 PM

Yes, a 102mm refractor on an AZ-GTI mount sounds good. You will not regret.

The 102mm Maksutov or refractor scopes are very popular and good enough for observing solar system objects and many star clusters.

Alternatively, a 120mm scope collects 38% more light and therefore shows more details about solar system. I recommend it if the price is not much higher.

On the other hand, I want to emphasize that those scopes cannot show many deep sky objects that you can see using e.g. a 250mm aperture scope. Therefore, you may check the prices of some large-aperture push-to dobsonians before purchasing a scope. 


Edited by Levant, 20 May 2022 - 04:37 PM.


#8 MrFreeze

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Posted Yesterday, 01:29 AM

On the other hand, I want to emphasize that those scopes cannot show many deep sky objects that you can see using e.g. a 250mm aperture scope. Therefore, you may check the prices of some large-aperture push-to dobsonians before purchasing a scope. 

The OP lives in Singapore - I don't think you are going to see many (any) DSOs with the light pollution there. Like here - moon, planets and bright DSOs are the only targets you are likely to see. He very sensibly has decided on a small Mak which is easily transportable to dark sky sites.

 

Please don't try to turn this site into SGL where the only possible acceptable choices are a large dob for visual, or a permanently installed refractor on a mount that needs a large crane to install it for astrophotography. Sorry but it's a sore point.

 

David


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#9 Levant

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Posted Yesterday, 03:51 AM

Hmm.. Singapore...Well, only solar astronomy is immune to light pollution. If you buy a refractor, you may use it either for solar or night astronomy. The field of view will be wider and open clusters will look enjoyable. Most mounts will be okay with a 102mm refractor. I recommend AZ-GTI because it can be controlled both manually and via phone app.

 

On the other hand Maksutov may suit your need better when observing the Moon and planets. Having a Go-To mount may be necessary if you buy a Maksutov because finding objects and tracking them using manual controls will be harder as its field of view is narrow.

 

Stay away from large aperture because David has a pain.

 

download (2).png



#10 Echolight

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Posted Yesterday, 09:28 AM

Not sure what kind market is there for used photo equipment, but I have found that used Bogen/Manfrotto tripods are very affordable on the used market. And most convenient for use with small telescopes.

 

I doubt I'd ever pay full retail price for one of these. But if you can find a deal on a used one they are very nice to use. I love having the elevating center column, as they make these setups comfortable with any makeshift seating arrangement. 

 

The Bogen 3021 aka Manfrotto 055 is very lightweight and portable. And might be just sturdy enough for a 102mm Mak.

I use it with a heavy duty ball head turned down in the slot for altitude and azimuth only motion. 90mm Maks and the ST80 seem to work very well on here. 

A998C770-F32E-45E2-B884-22F1FAEE1785.jpeg

Although one of the 12kg rated tripods might be more optimum from a stability standpoint, while giving up some portability. I favor the adjustability of the Bogen 3036 aka Manfrotto 475. But many others prefer the Bogen 3040/3046 aka Manfrotto 028, as shown here with a scope weighing roughly 4kg fully outfitted.

A2A677E6-C1C1-407B-89F4-62D3211A9422.jpeg

 

Just to show the versatility and adjustability of the 3036 aka Manfrotto 475, here's my ST80 set up extra low, for daytime terrestrial viewing, on the similar but heavier Bogen 3050/3051 aka Manfrotto 058.
Here the head is a Bogen 3047 aka Manfrotto 229 3-way head, that came with the used tripod. The head is set up for "side-saddle" 2-way alt/az only motion.

Note that while the legs are purposely, or maybe just conveniently, set up very unevenly, it is still a very stable platform for lightweight telescopes with a short moment arm.

24EDDF82-8B31-4852-A19F-C39699558C93.jpeg


Edited by Echolight, Yesterday, 09:58 AM.


#11 gnowellsct

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Posted Yesterday, 01:07 PM

It's important to take stability seriously.  The mount in the link is perfect for a 102mm.



#12 Johnnycarter22

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Posted Yesterday, 01:36 PM

This is what I just bought, I’m a beginner but seems to work well and is available.  I didn’t use it this time but they do have a payment plan as well.  Good luck.
https://www.telescop...2col5-prodimage


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