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10" F/12.5 APM/Wirth Custom Mak-cass

Started by lthaxton, 01/25/2007 08:53PM
Posted 01/25/2007 08:53PM Opening Post
I finally see what all the fuss is about Mak-cass scopes- this thing is a killer on the Moon and detail seems limited completely by seeing. The conditions are still not really steady but I could see very fine detail for brief moments and felt the scope was looking very “refractor like” in terms of resolution and maybe better in terms of color correction and shadow detail (blackness). The edge of the Moon was sharp as a tack and went from brilliant white to black with no scattered light at all. Rima Hyginus was nicely positioned for a test target and I ran pretty much every focal length eyepiece from a 5mm ortho (625x) to a 55mm Plossl (57x) to see what the scope would do. Surprisingly, it did well with everything. The 5mm was a bit soft, more from the unsteady seeing than any fault of the telescope. My favorite view of Rima Hyginus was through the 16mm Zeiss ortho (195x) which held steady and was very sharp with beautiful contrast. The 10mm Zeiss was not far behind (312x) but just over what the sky would allow. The 25mm Zeiss and 20mm Tele Vue plossl were also turning in stunning views. I also tried out the Zeiss 2x barlow which I really like but the 16mm and barlow at 8mm (375x) was again just beyond what the sky would permit. The 10mm with the barlow (625x) was as good or as any single focal length 5mm but far beyond what conditions permitted.

Out of curiosity I tried my old favorite Meade 14mm UWA (224x) and found it very satisfying- sharp and a huge field of view. The 20mm XW was even better and at 156x a great place to be. Dropping in the 5mm XW (625x) I was treated to surprisingly good views of various craters with the 7mm at 446x a touch sharper. Things hit their stride though at the 15mm/16mm mark, roughly 200x. I kept sweeping back and forth across the lunar surface which the NJP does remarkably well. The Mak and NJP are a very nice combination and the Mak barely touches the carrying capacity. I plan to piggy back the FS-78 next time out and also have to replace the JMI focuser with a Feathertouch.

Binoviewing was even better and with a pair of 35mm Ultimas (112x) the lunar surface was stunning. But the JMI was struggling with the weight of the bino viewer and eyepieces and kept racking itself out to its maximum extension. Not being familiar with the JMI, I could not set the drag correctly and finally just decided to order the FeatherTouch.

All in all I really like the scope and feel collimation is very close if not right on. On the next night of really steady seeing I will try to tweak it a bit more if needed, but for now I simply plan to leave it alone and enjoy the views.

One night of excellent seeing please!

Posted 01/25/2007 11:13PM #1
Hey Larry,

Better than the Tak 152? All I know is I really like my MK91. Just as everything you described, great contrast, jet black background, pin point starts, yada ... yada. I very much liked the Meade 14mm UWA too. BTW, surprisingly (to me) the TMB/BO’s were real performer for me, even when compared to all the high-dollar eyepieces.

Posted 03/30/2007 03:38PM #2
Larry --

Now that you've had it a few months, any further thoughts on your Mak? (I'd be particularly interested in how it performs on DSOs if you've used it in that capacity.)

-- Jeff.