Posted By Doug Walton
After seeing the AP MC-based imaging results from Alan Friedman, Roland, and others (and of course, taking into account that these folks are obviously really good at the entire business of imaging, and that it's not just the scope), it has me wondering what the high-end alternatives are.
For a Mak-Cass (with integrated cooling) in the 8"-10" range, what do people think is the next best alternative out there? I would assume a typically long FL (f/14 or longer), and my intent would be for imaging first, and then visual use second. I know TEC used to sell these, but I don't see them anymore on their website. I know that there are some Russian Mak-Cass scopes out there for sale, but I don't know their quality or consistency. Since I probably won't be finding an AP Mak-Cass that I can afford, is there a hands-down alternative to one? Would it just be better to get a high-end refractor in the 6" range and compromise on the aperture? Assume a wide range of imaging targets (planetary, lunar, and DSOs) and a high-accuracy mount (AP 900/1200, Paramount ME, etc.) and cutting-edge imaging platform that would maximize the optical performance.
I know the answer to this question isn't cut and dried, but reading your responses will be an education for me. I'm not trying to stir the pot or create a negative thread - I'm just wanted to hear what knowledgeable people think about this. The imaging bug is starting to ... bug me.