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amyscott

thinking of a maksutov-cassegrain

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im thinking of getting a maksutov-cassegrain as i dont have room for my 130mm reflector , are they worth it and what size mak do i need to get to be at least as good as my 130mm reflector due to a mak having both lens and mirrors?

hope you can help

many thanks

amy

xxx

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I would expect a skymax 127 to be equivalent to the 130mm newt in light gathering, but the image would be sharp across the field, without the coma shown by the newt. The mak will give you a much narrower field of view however (about one degree max).

Edited by Ags

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thanks , and what are the comparisons in magnification , and would them short refractors be a good choice too?

xxx

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i used to have a 127mak , my biggest regret is selling it , they are great scopes ,fantastic optics and outperform many larger more expensive scopes , i thourghly enjoyed my 127 , and anyone who had a peep through ther eyepiece always commented on the sharpness of the view and how surpised they were about the views on dso`s ! , plus they are very sturdy ,hardly ever need collaminated and are very portable . i would have another tomoro !! (but the wife would kill me !!):)

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Hi amyscott,

Echo comments above, the 127mm is a great scope. Becasue of the long focal length you will get different magnifications with your ep's. And you will get a narrower field of view, hugely portable and compact. Just rationalising my kit and have recently sold my 102Mak.

Great on planets, and ok on dso's, no collimation but attracts dew like flies to a doggie doo doo. I have a sct and nearly always use a dew shield.

Excellent compromise on storage!.

Cheers

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Hi Just clarification, the magnification achieved by your eyepieces will be different from your 130mm reflector as it will have a different focal length. Easy calculation for magnification is ---

Magnification = Focal Length Of Scope / Focal Length Of Eyepiece.

Plenty of good advice in the sticky's regarding eyepiece choice.!!.

Cheers

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I was thinking of originally going for an explorer 130p or 150p for my first scope, but tbh I think i'm gonna hang on in there for a bit longer and get a skymax 127. I'l be travelling every time i use it, and don't have much space for storage, so the small size and sturdier collimation seems perfect.

The narrow field of view is a concern to me though, although i'l mainly be looking for detail on planets, i'd like a go at the more popular and easy to find DSO's too, and i'm guessing andromeda won't fit in the FOV of even a low power EP. Dunno how the others like orion etc will fare, but from what i hear ~most~ will be fit in the FOV, it's just harder to find things, like trying to read a newspaper through a straw..

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I was thinking of originally going for an explorer 130p or 150p for my first scope, but tbh I think i'm gonna hang on in there for a bit longer and get a skymax 127. I'l be travelling every time i use it, and don't have much space for storage, so the small size and sturdier collimation seems perfect.

The narrow field of view is a concern to me though, although i'l mainly be looking for detail on planets, i'd like a go at the more popular and easy to find DSO's too, and i'm guessing andromeda won't fit in the FOV of even a low power EP. Dunno how the others like orion etc will fare, but from what i hear ~most~ will be fit in the FOV, it's just harder to find things, like trying to read a newspaper through a straw..

lol no its not as bad as that , you will not fit all the pliades in the fov , but all of the batwing in m42 will be in your fov , :)

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Hi

Picked up on this from your 'Dob or Goto' thread.

The Skywatcher Skymax 127 is a popular scope with good reviews, comes in Supatrak and Goto flavours, and can be used as a grab'n'go. The high focal length means that it will be very good for planetary, lunar and double star observing. You can make the Skymax more useable by adding a focal reducer to give you a wider FOV for the deep sky targets.

HTH!

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Had a brief look at focal reducers lastnight, but have no idea what i'm looking at to be honest. No idea which are good or bad, which will fit etcetc...

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Compund scopes such as the Maks have high focal lengths of f/10-f15 which gives a narrow field of view - the optics have been set up to stretch the light path to maximise magnifications. A focal reducer does what it says on the tin - reduces the scope's focal length by the factor of the reducer. This has the effect of reducing the overall focal length of the scope from, say f/12 down to f/6. This will increase the field of view and hey-presto, you get a scope that is more suitable for wide field viewing and imaging.

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Yeah i understand that much, but whe i saw things like "6.3 focal reducer" i wasn't quite sure what the 6.3 was all about, plus had seen other threads about certain reducers not fitting on certain maks etc, not because of the eyepiece size (ie 1.25"), but rather, some other incompatibilty...

I decided i'd look into it later down the line if i needed to... :)

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I think reducers are a bit of a red herring - I don't think they will add much FOV over a 32mm plossl. TBH I own a reducer and have yet to try the experiment - I promise to eat my words if I am wrong! A mak is simply not a widefield instrument, but almost all DSOs will fit in the field it offers.

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But the field restriction is a limit of the scope - for example my mak has a field stop of around 29mm. The focal reducer can't change that.

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Yup agreed - my comment was just to simplify what it actually is for anyone who can't wrap their head round what it does. Took me several months before the penny dropped lol :)

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While I was reading this thread I quickly checked out prices and specs of the Mak127s sold by FLO and came up with the above and the SW Skymax 127 EG3-2, with or without GoTo.

Is there any practical difference between these scopes or is it just the mount that is making the prices vary?

If I was only interested in visual, would there be any reason to go for the EQ mount over an AZ mount, considering the price difference?

(Only an academic exercise at the moment, because i only received my 200 Dob yesterday, so a new telescope is a little while away! Of course, the dob is a little large for family trips away, so a smaller scope may be required...)

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For visual use there's not much benefit in going for an EQ - hence the popularity of the Dobsonians. I've just sold my Synscan AZ mount and it was great for observing when aligned properly, and really that only takes a few moments with 2 star alignment. I also used it for imaging and managed M42 on 45sec subs quite acceptably.

I've kept the scope by the way, which is, you've guessed it, a Mak 127. On the subject of focal reducers I wouldn't bother, there are other threads on here that explain better why, but the rear aperture on mine restricts the field of view. I think these now ship with a 2" back, so the aperture may now be improved. Best to ask FLO!

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I have the Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT and am more than happy with it. Very compact as well which was one of my criteria also.

Looks like most other posters are recommending the Skymax, but that And the Celestron are made in ths same factory with just a few minor differences in accesories etc. Also I was told that the Celestron had marginally better optics, but I am not in a position to comment on that myself.

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Celestron 127SLT for me too - only had it a week, but in that time we've had some cracking skies and I'm really enjoying it so far :)

Very portable and easy to set up.

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I saw a review somewhere that claimed the Meade was better optically, but I think the differences between the Meade, Celestron and SkyWatcher must be minimal.

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