I recently had the extremely good fortune to acquire a 10" f/6 Zambuto mirror from a good friend of mine.
Having seen this coming, I had already purchased Floyd's original Astro Sky structure. (Thanks, Floyd!) After acquainting myself with the sling style mirror cell, I successfully got the mirror installed last week end. I took it out for some first light in the back yard, but with the big bright moon last week end, I only got a rough idea of what the mirror could do.
The last couple nights though, were a different story. I got out to two different sites, one nearby and one near Mt. Pinos.
The first night had better seeing, at least for Jupiter. I was able to make out 9 bands and zones on the planet, as well as the GRS, and some festoon detail in the equatorial zone. Very nice.
Both nights provided crisp star field views, as I cruised around the Milky Way. Stars were nice pinpoint images, from edge to edge. I will not be needing the Paracorr in this baby, unlike my 14.5" ZOC Starmaster.
Star clusters were beautiful, with several globulars (M5, M3, M22, M13) resolving quite well. 8O
I looked at a few planetaries last night, and though they looked nice, it was the emission nebulae that really surprised me. The images were not quite as bright as in the 14.5" Starmaster (Floyd was there with his), but the difference was not what I had expected, given the difference in aperture. M8 and M17 looked really good, though M20 did not reveal as much detail. The Veil though, was amazing. Many of the wispy tendrils that I love, were plainly visible, as were some of the other areas of nebulosity in between the eastern and western arcs.
I only viewed a couple of galaxies, M31 and M33. They were not bad at all, but now we're probably suffering a bit more from the smaller aperture.
I did a couple star tests, and while I'm no expert on interpreting those, the rings looked nice, tight, symmetrical, round, and evenly spaced. I think that's the idea, right? I viewed a few double stars too, and they all split nice and cleanly.
All in all, I am quite impressed with the mirror, and am very lucky to have acquired it. Carl is no longer offering these on the ZOC Y-group, since the 10" f/6 Starmasters started production.
The Astro Sky structure is quite nice too, due to the combined talents of James Grigar and Floyd Blue. I have a couple little changes to make but nothing major at all. I will be enjoying this scope for a long, long time.