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where do we go from here?

Started by NebSteve, 11/05/2009 03:28PM
Posted 11/05/2009 03:28PM Opening Post
I've done about all I can to make my Meade 7" MAK the best it can be. One of my brothers asked, what's the next step up? Hmmm... Good question.

First some perameters:
I can deal with the focal length, but any scope to replace it would have to have either a similar or shorter focal length. Any replacement would have to offer excellent optics with a larger aperture.

I've seen a 7" Questar and think it's good, but for that same $10,000 US, I was wondering what anyone else has had experience with.

Intes Micro makes a nice 10" MAK they sell through Teton. While I was on their web-site I looked at some radical R-C astrographs from ATM. Again within or close to the projected $10 K and larger aperture.

No I don't have that much burning a hole in my pocket, but am curious if anyone has seen larger MAKs or at least Richey's with highly rated optics.

Thanks,
Steve



Posted 11/09/2009 02:40PM | Edited 11/09/2009 02:42PM #1
Hi Steve,

On your quest, you're entering special territory. A 7-8" instrument is generally the optimum match for seeing conditions in most climates. Of course a 10" can do more. But you will need VERY good local seeing conditions AND a thermally stable telescope. Perhaps the most determinig factor is the actual execution of the specific sample of a scopedesign you have laid your eyes on. In order to achieve the ultimate in crispness and stability, the optics must exceed 1/12 P-V at the final imageplane = your eye, better if possible. Now that will put you on a very serious quest. As soon as you find ANY sample with that quality of any of the scopes you listed with a closed tube design, just buy it. Very few will ever come up for sale. For these samples have something very special to offer: unapproachable imagequality. In my life as an amateur astronomer for 35 years I have seen only 3 such instruments. One I was fortunate enough to buy. Observing with it is always a pleasure. The task of focussing the starlight becomes pure joy. And the objects observed are shown with unmatched tranquility and crispness. It has less to do with brand A over brand B or design C over design D. As long as the OTA has a thermally sound design, it is all about the perfection of the optics in a specific sample. Once you have found such a specimen, your quest will be over and you will keep and enjoy that instrument for the rest of your life.
Mine happens to be a Questar 7. As a bonus, it is beautiful to look at and made with unbelievable attention to detail. I have had the Zeiss and Astrro-Physics APO's up to 130mm and then some. Very nice instruments. They are all gone, no regrets.

So good luck with your quest. Hold on to your Meade Mak until you encounter a scope that just takes you to the next level.

Clear skies,

Erik

Attached Image:

Erik Bakker's attachment for post 133823
Posted 11/13/2009 08:37AM #2
My first real scope was a Meade 7".
Four Mak's later I have an MK91. Im looking at a Royce or Parallax 10" D-K next. Is that 1" really worth it? The 91 is a great scope when conditions allow. But its a closed tube and the corrector is prone to dew.

Ive seen more detail on Jupiter with my 18" f/4, so do I really want to go there?

John
Posted 12/17/2009 02:22PM #3
Hi All,
Got the Intes Micro M10/10 Maksutov. Now, if you ever want rain in Arizona, just buy a telescope!
It survived Southwest Airlines and is ready for first light with its third owner. As everyone here has been so helpful, I'll be sure to let you know how it shapes up.

Thanks once again,
Steve
8)