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What's the difference between a Mak and an SCT?

Started by danielfreas, 04/10/2002 06:59PM
Posted 04/10/2002 06:59PM Opening Post
Just out of curiosity, but what's the difference between the two designs? I've looked around on the net for an answer but all I managed to find was that the Mak's corrector plate is more extremely curved. But what are the main differences both mechanically and optically between the two designs? Is one better than the other? Or since most scope designs aren't better or worse than others as a whole what areas are they better than eachother in?

---Daniel
Posted 04/10/2002 07:22PM #1
Mechanical differences really need to be discussed with respect to each IMPLEMENTATION of these designs, and mechanics vary quite a bit within the collection of MCTs. For example, the Intes MK-66 and MK-67 Maksutov-Cassegrains have the same basic optical design (if not the same exact design), but the mechanics are very different. The MK-66 incorporates a moving mirror focusing mechanism (like most SCTs) while the MK-67 focuses "refractor style".

Optically, there are a number of Maksutov designs (e.g. some with aluminized spot secondaries and some with separate secondaries), but the main significant optical difference is the corrector design. With the Mak it is a spherical meniscus (concave on one side, convex on the other) lens and with the Schmidt it is a complicated aspherical curve. Mak correctors are typically thicker and heavier, and are correspondingly more expensive than the mass-produced Schmidt correctors. I think the Schmidt correctors would be more expensive, though, if it were not for the invention of a particular manufacturing process for mass-producing them.
--
Mike