Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Which size of Mak to get?

Maksutov Cassegrain Catadioptric
  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Henry Decker

Henry Decker

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Ogden, Utah

Posted 27 June 2022 - 07:31 PM

Hey everyone, I'm thinking of getting a mak-cass as a grab and go planetary and lunar scope. I was looking at the 127mm but seeing as the only mounting option I have right now is the star adventurer I'm between a 100mm and 90mm. If I had the payload capacity I totally would get the 127 but seeing as it weighs about 4.3 kg or so I decided against it.

 

I guess my question is there a large enough or noticeable enough difference between a 90mm and 100mm maksutov? Weight seems similar between the two but is the resolution, light gathering, ability etc. a noticeable improvement in the larger variant?

 

Thanks,

Henry


  • Johnnycarter22 likes this

#2 luxo II

luxo II

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ***--
  • Posts: 6,177
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 27 June 2022 - 07:34 PM

I guess my question is there a large enough or noticeable enough difference between a 90mm and 100mm maksutov?

Yes, bigger is always better with maks. The 90mm will disappoint you, IMHO as I see you already have a 70mm refractor, the 90mm mak would only match that. I would strongly suggest the 127mm aperture, and put that on a good camera tripod with a pan-tilt head.

 

Also.. judging by your sig I think you're beginning to have too many small scopes of similar capabilities. It's better to have one really nice scope that you actually use often, rather than a herd of small basic ones.


Edited by luxo II, 27 June 2022 - 07:39 PM.

  • Starman81, HellsKitchen, Jethro7 and 2 others like this

#3 maroubra_boy

maroubra_boy

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,191
  • Joined: 08 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 27 June 2022 - 07:38 PM

Noticeable improvement - No, not a significant amount.

 

Will you feel better for having the larger aperture - Yes.  Chose the smaller aperture and you will feel you've cheated yourself.

 

If you are not wanting to change the mount you have then I do think it a better option to go as large as you can in aperture to best suit the mount you do have.


  • Jethro7 and 12BH7 like this

#4 Henry Decker

Henry Decker

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Ogden, Utah

Posted 27 June 2022 - 07:46 PM

Yes, bigger is always better with maks. The 90mm will disappoint you, IMHO as I see you already have a 70mm refractor, the 90mm mak would only match that. I would strongly suggest the 127mm aperture, and put that on a good camera tripod with a pan-tilt head.

 

Also.. judging by your sig I think you're beginning to have too many small scopes of similar capabilities. It's better to have one really nice scope that you actually use often, rather than a herd of small basic ones.

I'm in the middle of moving right now, and I ended up parting with my small Celestron Travel scope. I currently only have my 8" dobsonian, sorry if my signature created confusion. I haven't updated it yet.


Edited by Henry Decker, 27 June 2022 - 07:46 PM.


#5 Cali

Cali

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,764
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Bay Area

Posted 27 June 2022 - 07:47 PM

Spec says that the Skywatcher Star Adventurer 2i, which you have, has an 11-pound payload capacity. So what is it again about your current mount options that prevents you from obtaining the 127mm?



#6 petert913

petert913

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,333
  • Joined: 27 May 2013
  • Loc: Silverton, OR

Posted 27 June 2022 - 08:05 PM

I would prefer the 127mm but having said that, I love my Orion 102mm Mak.  Super portable and great views.


  • Echolight, Henry Decker and 12BH7 like this

#7 Jethro7

Jethro7

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,916
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2018
  • Loc: N.W. Florida

Posted 27 June 2022 - 08:12 PM

Hello Henry,

+1 for going as big as you can handle. Aperture matters.

 

HAPPY SKIES  AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


  • ABQJeff and Henry Decker like this

#8 ABQJeff

ABQJeff

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 711
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2020
  • Loc: New Mexico

Posted 27 June 2022 - 08:46 PM

+1 on aperture but instead of a 102 or 127 Mak (which is really 118-119mm),  I highly recommend taking a look at a C5 for a grab and go CAT.  True 127mm and only 2.7kg/6lbs:  https://www.bhphotov...m_Spotting.html

 

I love Maks, and love my Mak, but 25mm of extra aperture for about the same weight and at a faster f/10 is hard to ignore.


Edited by ABQJeff, 27 June 2022 - 09:16 PM.

  • Starman81, Jethro7, Echolight and 2 others like this

#9 Redbetter

Redbetter

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,143
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Central Valley, CA

Posted 27 June 2022 - 10:00 PM

+1 on aperture but instead of a 102 or 127 Mak (which is really 118-119mm),  I highly recommend taking a look at a C5 for a grab and go CAT.  True 127mm and only 2.7kg/6lbs:  https://www.bhphotov...m_Spotting.html

 

I love Maks, and love my Mak, but 125mm of extra aperture for about the same weight and at a faster f/10 is hard to ignore.

Just to be clear, the Synta made 127's have the reduced aperture.  The 125/127 f/15's that have been sold under the Meade and ES brands are effectively full aperture.  

 

A different factor to consider with the 90 vs 102 is rear baffle diameter.  It is not clear to me what baffle diameter the 102's have but I have seen some indications it could be 27mm.  While a 27mm rear baffle doesn't seem to pose a problem (even with 2" diagonal), C90's have only 15mm baffles so they can be showing some effects even with large field stop 1.25" eyepieces.  


  • ABQJeff likes this

#10 Henry Decker

Henry Decker

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Ogden, Utah

Posted 27 June 2022 - 10:02 PM

Spec says that the Skywatcher Star Adventurer 2i, which you have, has an 11-pound payload capacity. So what is it again about your current mount options that prevents you from obtaining the 127mm?

I'm worried about putting too much stress on the mount. I intend to use it for planetary and lunar photography but hovering that close to the payload is a bit concerning to me.


  • maroubra_boy likes this

#11 Henry Decker

Henry Decker

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Ogden, Utah

Posted 27 June 2022 - 10:05 PM

+1 on aperture but instead of a 102 or 127 Mak (which is really 118-119mm),  I highly recommend taking a look at a C5 for a grab and go CAT.  True 127mm and only 2.7kg/6lbs:  https://www.bhphotov...m_Spotting.html

 

I love Maks, and love my Mak, but 25mm of extra aperture for about the same weight and at a faster f/10 is hard to ignore.

Oh thanks! I didn't even think about the C5! That pretty much changes the game here. Its far more expensive than the maks, about $100 more than the 127 MCT. But the aperture compared to its weight looks incredibly promising!


  • Echolight and ABQJeff like this

#12 Cali

Cali

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,764
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Bay Area

Posted 27 June 2022 - 11:21 PM

I'm worried about putting too much stress on the mount. I intend to use it for planetary and lunar photography but hovering that close to the payload is a bit concerning to me.

You initially said you wanted a  "grab and go". That is a bit different than wanting to do astro photography. Do you want both?


Edited by Cali, 28 June 2022 - 10:15 AM.


#13 luxo II

luxo II

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ***--
  • Posts: 6,177
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 28 June 2022 - 01:00 AM

Sorry to say this but a small scope under 6” and planetary imaging do not equate.

And for DSO a small fast APO refractor is the choice - not a mak, nor an SCT. Visually ok for low-power wide fields but not ideal for high magnification.

This is why imaging is a whole different ballgame to visual - and why many here focus on one but not the other - or have two completely different rigs.

There is no such thing as 1 scope that does it all for visual AND imaging.

Edited by luxo II, 28 June 2022 - 01:08 AM.

  • Jaimo!, Starman81, rhaskins and 2 others like this

#14 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,327
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 28 June 2022 - 12:09 PM

I'm worried about putting too much stress on the mount. I intend to use it for planetary and lunar photography but hovering that close to the payload is a bit concerning to me.

My opinion: you do not want to use the Star Adventurer for planetary imaging with a 5".

Actually you do not want to use the Star Adventurer for a 5" MCT at all.

It is too large, too heavy and works at too high power to be enjoyable unless replace most of the SA accessories, which is IMHO not worth the effort. I even doubt you would be able to balance it with the stock CW (and as far as I remember it does not use standard CWs. Which is good because this way you can not overload it. Mind that often with star trackers the payload is referred to the wedge and therefore both payload, CWs and everything sitting atop it has to be figured in).

 

The same mostly applies to the C5: yes, it is smaller and lighter, but its center of weight is probably too high for the SA to handle it with decent results.

On the other hand the C5 would be a remarkably versatile telescope, I have myself a 5" f/10 (the much larger and heavier Alter M500) and use it for planetary imaging (will not win the prize for the best resolution ever, but give a look at the threads about imaging with 6" in the planetary imaging session. And it is definitely fun), deep sky imaging* (ca 800mm at f/6 and full focal at f/10 gives a lot of possibilities), and of course for visual.

But you need a bigger mount, I'd say at least an eq3-sized one.

 

If want to stick with the tracker in my opinion the largest CAT you could use with it is the VMC110, but these are tricky and if are unlucky have good chance for a true piece of junk, therefore I'd set for the 100/1300.

 

 

*of course with the guide.



#15 spongebob@55

spongebob@55

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,512
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2011
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 28 June 2022 - 05:00 PM

Get a 127 and put it on a used SE mount.  Wrap it with Reflectix.  That's my grab and go set up.  For super quick views, just do a planet alignment, or 1 star.  Otherwise, you can use the HC or the wifi dongle for super alignment and great views.

Bob


  • paul m schofield and alnitak22 like this

#16 Robindonne

Robindonne

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 284
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020

Posted 28 June 2022 - 08:41 PM

One hundred and eiiiiiiiighty🎯

#17 luxo II

luxo II

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ***--
  • Posts: 6,177
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Sydney, Australia

Posted 28 June 2022 - 08:43 PM

I'll raise you... Two-fifty, of pure russian unobtainium.


Edited by luxo II, 28 June 2022 - 08:45 PM.

  • rhaskins, Robindonne and 12BH7 like this

#18 RichD

RichD

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,196
  • Joined: 08 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Derbyshire, UK

Posted 29 June 2022 - 02:52 AM

Skymax 127 is 3kg not 4.3 as the OP suggested.


  • Cali likes this

#19 Henry Decker

Henry Decker

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Ogden, Utah

Posted 29 June 2022 - 10:51 PM

Skymax 127 is 3kg not 4.3 as the OP suggested.

The Skymax 127 is 9.7 lbs with the included accessories, which is 4.4 kg. That weight probably comes from the 2" diagonal and eyepiece, and it may not be as high if I just use a smaller diagonal/eyepiece or with a planetary camera.



#20 Henry Decker

Henry Decker

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Ogden, Utah

Posted 29 June 2022 - 10:58 PM

And for DSO a small fast APO refractor is the choice - not a mak, nor an SCT. Visually ok for low-power wide fields but not ideal for high magnification.

I wasn't planning on doing anything related to DSOs. I know that going after DSOs at a focal length that high is pretty much suicide for any mount that small.


Edited by Henry Decker, 30 June 2022 - 03:01 PM.


#21 Patrick

Patrick

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,345
  • Joined: 15 May 2003
  • Loc: Franklin, Ohio

Posted 30 June 2022 - 01:02 AM


I guess my question is there a large enough or noticeable enough difference between a 90mm and 100mm maksutov? Weight seems similar between the two but is the resolution, light gathering, ability etc. a noticeable improvement in the larger variant?

 

Thanks,

Henry

I think you should prefer the larger aperture if you can afford it, carry it, and mount it.  Aperture still rules.

 

Patrick


  • Henry Decker likes this

#22 Gregory Gross

Gregory Gross

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,108
  • Joined: 13 May 2017
  • Loc: Pacific Northwest

Posted 30 June 2022 - 01:36 AM

I once did a side-by-side comparison of a modern Celestron C90 and my Orion 102mm Mak. On Jupiter, the 102mm was noticeably brighter and better resolved than in the 90mm.


  • Henry Decker likes this

#23 Henry Decker

Henry Decker

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Ogden, Utah

Posted 30 June 2022 - 03:04 PM

You initially said you wanted a  "grab and go". That is a bit different than wanting to do astro photography. Do you want both?

Grab and Go is mostly subjective. Even with a heavier payload on top of the star adventurer I can still carry it around in one trip, whereas using a dobsonian for both visual and astrophotography can take anywhere between 2 and 4 or so trips. Grab and go to me means less going inside and outside in relation to my dob.



#24 sportsmed

sportsmed

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 633
  • Joined: 01 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Hot Springs, AR

Posted 04 July 2022 - 03:19 PM

My first Mak was a newer C90 and liked that scope for what it is but more aperture is better so I upgraded to a 127mm. The 127mm does great on planets and lunar and does not weigh that much so alot of mounts can handle it. I have mine on a SLT mount which you can find used fairly cheap. And if you wanted to do just visual with it you could also look at something like the Celestron "Heavy Duty" tripod. I currently use one for my 120ST and it can handle that scope so I know it will work with a 127mm Mak. But yea even if you have to upgrade your mount, you would be way happier with a 127mm then a 90mm just my opinion. But the 90mm was a fun little scope and is great for quick grab n go.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Maksutov, Cassegrain, Catadioptric



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics