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Anyone got a Mak 102 ?


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So....thinking of using my larger VX6L for getting into lunar imaging later this year. Whilst imaging I would love a small mak to use visually on the moon, got my eye on the 102 AZ synscan as I want tracking. This mount will also take other small scopes if I wish...

I know what you're all going to say - get the 127! But...the 102 is considerably smaller and at just 27cm long and a few kilos I feel it's also a little more travel friendly. I also feel that weight wise it is probably better suited to the AZ Synscan mount than the 127. I don't like vibration and the lesser aperture for just casual obs will not bother me.

Any Mak 102 users out there who can share their thoughts on this little scope? Optical quality? Any known issues? At almost F13 I would expect it to display a tack sharp view, albeit with a narrow field.

Thanks!

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Hi 'Alkaid'.

Though I do not own a 'Mak 102', I do however own an ETX105, albeit modded. I seem to recall that most of the specs are almost identical.

From my experience with the ETX105, Mak's are excellent lunar & planet 'scopes. I too wanted something that was, quote: "...a little more travel friendly.", and '...display a tack sharp view, albeit with a narrow field.' Just for the record, I puchased mine second-hand without the drive/fork assembly.

I did have ago at some lunar photography some years ago with it. Then it had a minor accident with it when attaching it do my mount. The dovetail plate disintegrated and gravity took control and damaged the plastic flip mirror/counterweight housing when it hit terra-firma. I designed and found a local engineering workshop to make a replacement back*. I have not done any more photography since, but I do plan on restarting it.

* see these threads:

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/200993-my-modded-meade-etx105-ota-part-1/?hl=+my#entry2122570

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/210185-my-modded-meade-etx105-ota-part-2/?hl=+my#entry2245420

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/210469-addendum-to-my-modded-meade-etx105-ota-part-1-2/?hl=%20my#39;modded

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Sorry to hear that about the ETX, what a shame. Gravity can be annoying! What focal ratio is the ETX 105 out of interest?

I don't know why, but I have a liking for small scopes....probably because I get out more with them.

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Sorry to hear that about the ETX, what a shame. Gravity can be annoying! What focal ratio is the ETX 105 out of interest?

I don't know why, but I have a liking for small scopes....probably because I get out more with them.

f/14 @ F/l = 1470mm :icon_salut:

note: I think my 'modded' ETX105 is +/- 4mm from the original Meade spec.

Edited by Philip R
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I am in the same boat. I once had an etc 125 ota. It gave great views,but was a little too heavy to use it as a proper astro/ terrestrial travel scope. So I am considering the 102mm. There is theCelestron C90 which gets good reviews. But I think that the 102mm would be a genuine travel alrounder with a little more light gathering power over the 90mm. I also think that it could be used on a decent photographic tripod.

Martin

Edited by Grumpy Martian
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I had the Skywatcher 102mm Mak and thought it a great little scope if used within it's limitations of having a high F ratio. Great on the Moon and in all honesty I preferred it to my 120mm EVO frac.

That is exactly what I wanted to hear - thanks.

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Hi Steve, I have the 102 Mak too. Great little scope with very sharp optics. I bought mine essentially for lunar/planetary use but its quite a versatile scope. With a 32mm EP I get 1.3 degrees which is narrow but not too bad. Though small its quite "chunky" and although it sits very happily on my CG3(EQ2) mount it will also go on my admittedly fairly hefty photo tripod/ball head. This makes for a very portable (holiday) scope.

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I used to own a 102 Maksutov, i did not use it a great deal as i have plenty (to many) other scopes but it did give good views of luna and such, i found myself wanting another but ended up ordering a 127 mak.............if it ever arrives !

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Hi Steve, I have the 102 Mak too. Great little scope with very sharp optics. I bought mine essentially for lunar/planetary use but its quite a versatile scope. With a 32mm EP I get 1.3 degrees which is narrow but not too bad. Though small its quite "chunky" and although it sits very happily on my CG3(EQ2) mount it will also go on my admittedly fairly hefty photo tripod/ball head. This makes for a very portable (holiday) scope.

Yes, it seems to fit the bill for casual lunar viewing and also terrestrial views whilst on a holiday. 1.3 degrees isn't too bad is it....sounds good.

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No, but I had thought seriously. :)  I always found the MAK127 a "quantum jump" 

too heavy for full portability. My idea was re. VIDEO imaging with significant focal

reduction. It will never BE a 4" APO, but should give colour-free sharp images. :p

I did sense that the general sharpness of SW MAKs increases with smaller size?

I do remember a MAK90 being "really sharp" - But too often running out of light.

The MAK102 is larger enough to take small 2" accessories too. Worth thinking.  ;)

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No, but I had thought seriously. :)  I always found the MAK127 a "quantum jump" 

too heavy for full portability. My idea was re. VIDEO imaging with significant focal

reduction. It will never BE a 4" APO, but should give colour-free sharp images. :p

I did sense that the general sharpness of SW MAKs increases with smaller size?

I do remember a MAK90 being "really sharp" - But too often running out of light.

The MAK102 is larger enough to take small 2" accessories too. Worth thinking.  ;)

It hasn't got a 2" visual back has it Chris? Or would it need modding?

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It hasn't got a 2" visual back has it Chris? Or would it need modding?

Heheh - Don't get too excited? Obviously, you can't turn it into a wide-field

fast APO refractor. But I always like to 2" adapt MAKs for extra possibilities.

E.g. I like back ends that screw onto the scope for added (physical) rigidity. 

You would need an adapter. Threads have changed too. My original ideas

came from this site http://www.jim-easterbrook.me.uk/astro/acc/ (Ta, Jim!) :)

If you decide to go with this, there are (likely) possibilities with a MAK102.

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Hi Steve, I've just noticed you have the Evostar 90. I had considered this 'scope before I got the Mak, but when it came to the crunch I opted for the Mak because of the ease of use compared to the longer 'frac'. I imagine it will give somewhat similar views to the Evostar, maybe better and without the CA of course. As to "casual" lunar viewing - I think it holds its own very nicely and may surprise you.  

One other plus being a small Mak is the relatively quick cool down time. 

Edited by Alfian
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Yes, the Evo 90 is quite good on the moon. It will take the max theoretical power of x180. It is sharp, but there is some residual CA. I am thinking that the Mak 102 would be even better due to the slightly larger aperture, zero CA and slower focal ratio. Not to mention the portability factor.

I am extremely geared towards getting one, and of course having a shootout with the refractor.

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