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Generally underwhelming results from 8” LX200 classic

Started by cocheeze, 07/20/2020 01:57AM
Posted 07/20/2020 01:57AM | Edited 07/20/2020 02:01AM Opening Post
Please feel free to move this if it belongs in beginner astronomy or equipment talk instead.

I have owned my Meade 8” LX200 classic (EMC) for a few years now, and i have found over time that i can never get satisfactory results from it when viewing anything other than the moon or sun.

I typically only attempt to view solar system objects, because DSOs all just tend to look like hazy blobs. 

For accessories/hardware, I have meade super plossl eyepieces of the following sizes: 40mm, 26mm, 25mm, 15mm, 12.4mm, 9.7mm, and 6.4mm. I also have a celestron x-cel lx 3x barlow. The diagonal is a standard 1.25” meade. The tripod is stock. I have added a larger dial to the focusing knob to improve fine tuning, but that is the only real modification.

I find that i am not able to manually focus on objects with anything smaller than about a 25mm eyepiece. I think that the problem is that the scope is simply too shaky. A couple of nights ago i was viewing Neowise, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars from a dark site in central oregon, and i just felt completely underwhelmed. Neowise looked okay with the 40mm lens, but anything else was just too blurry and unfocusable. It honestly looked more exciting through my mediocre vivitar 4x30 binoculars. Jupiter looked pretty cool (but very small) through 40mm, and the 40mm with barlow. I was able to spot the 4 galilean moons and pluto in the same shot. All of the other eyepieces were too hard to focus. Same with Saturn. It was focusable at 40mm, but too small to appreciate. Mars was a tiny red dot and really disappointing.

Finally, my questions:

First, am i expecting too much from this scope? Do i need something bigger or more recent to really get good views of those objects?

Second, i have a lead on a NEQ-6 mount with a bunch of upgrades done to it for about $1500, and i am considering deforking the lx200 and trying it on a more robust mount. There is also a 10” lx200gps for sale near me for about $1900, which seems a bit steep but would probably be a big improvement in light collection.

I am just generally not sure where to go from here. I know my stock 8” lx200 classic isn’t doing it for me, and i am willing to make a decent investment to upgrade... but i am not sure where the best place to spend the money is.

Apologies for the long winded post!

Posted 07/27/2020 07:04PM #1
Save your money. You need to get to 11 inch to really start to see stuff. I sold one complete for 1600. Deals are out there. I have a 9" apo. I get great views . A good 6 in. Refractor will be an improvement. My mewlon and c14 are good. Save , save and save . Then wait until you see what you want . I would go celestron but there are some others that are superb. I have bought good c14s for 7 to 800. 

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