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In defense of Meade...

Started by chris brown, 01/28/2008 10:11PM
Posted 01/28/2008 10:11PM | Edited 01/29/2008 10:01PM Opening Post
In light of the posts about Meade quality, I feel I must come to thier defense, at least as far as optical quality is concerned...
I was not surprised to see that thier ETX line of telescopes had dodged the optical quality portion of the bashings.
These telescopes have a large, loyal following, despite quirky drives, limited aperture, and plastic components!
Todd Gross wrote that his ETX-90 had the best optics of any compound telescope he had seen!
My ETX-90 M is also blessed with excellent splits Castor and E-Lyra easily before it gets to 80x, seems to find a shadow transit every time I point it at Jupiter, and on the best nights, it typically runs out of light on solar system objects before it degrades it's image, usually around 180x-200x.
The ETX-125 OTA I had was even better!
I could use 190x on an average night, and better nights had me using 200-300x on Saturn, which would show a pale yellow ball, and a razor-sharp Cassini division. I once had this OTA mounted to a pier designed for a reflector at a star party. The adults had to pearch on thier knees to look through it, due to the low eyepiece height. All through the night, I noticed the same people kept coming back, despite scuffing thier knees, just for another look! Like the 90, this telescope would run out of light before it would break down, usually north of 300x!
BTW, the eyepieces I used were standard Orion Plossls, in 12.5mm, 10mm, 7.5mm sizes, and a Vixen 7mm Ortho, along with circle-T 9mm and 6mm Orthos, nothing too fancy...
My claims are not unique, just read some observation reports on the ETX (mighty) sight...seems the 105mm also is an exceptional optical instrument.
All this, of course, is just MHO, but I have owned, sold, and looked through alot of telescopes (too), and I have to admit that the one telescope I could never part with is my little ETX-90...

There's something on the Moon! 8O
Posted 01/29/2008 02:50AM | Edited 01/29/2008 03:10AM #1
Yes, I love my ETX-90, too. Superb images! Great star
test. Textbook diffraction patterns. A lot of scope in a
small package! Wish they made an ETX-200 or ETX-250
with similar performance.

As you mention it runs out of light at high powers
-- that was my feeling, too. Side-by-side with a
similar sized APO (costing 6x more,
and much bulkier with mount, etc.) the APO was
significantly brighter and could go a bit farther
before running out of light. But thats the only down
side. I guess with 3 mirrors and large obstruction
there are bound to be some losses.

But I've also owned some real dogs from Meade, too.
After one or two of those, you get cautious and stop
buying Meade. :S
Posted 01/29/2008 10:59AM #2
Chris Brown said:

In light of the posts about Meade quality, I feel I must come to thier defense, at least as far as optical quality is concerned...


I have a recent 125 and agree, the optics really are _outstanding_. That said, that's--optics--not what people usually complain about. The problem areas are almost always these two:

Customer service.

In these areas, Meade has a ways to go IMHO. Which is not to say that every Meade--or even most Meades...or even many Meades--have problems. Most do not. Bottom line? My experience is that when all is said and done, Meade almost always satisfies its customers. Given the low prices of their scopes, that is actually saying quite a lot.


Uncle Rod

Time on your hands?
Waste it with Uncle Rod's Astro Blog!
Posted 01/29/2008 07:59PM #3
Hear, hear, Chris.

See my recent observing report in the "Under 124mm scopes" forum. A person can make very nice observations with a "crummy" Meade DS-90 without using the goto or motors. This hobby seems to have two groups - people that love great equipment and people who love to observe. Nothing wrong with belonging to either group.


8" Zhumell Dob
90mm f11 achro refractor
4-1/2 f4 rich field newt reflector