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George Gearless

150 Mak vs 180Mak. Decisions decisions...

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Hey guys.

I am in the very fortunate positon to be able to 'burn' €670 that I received as a gift, and I want to upgrade my 127 Mak to either the Skywatcher 150 or the Skywatcher 180. 

If I go for the 150, I'll have money left over to spend on some extras. Maybe a dewshield, dewband, perhaps an eyepiece or whatever.

If I go for the 180, I'll have to chip in another €80 of my own money and may need to postpone the purchase of any extras for a couple of months. 

So the question I'm hoping to get the answer to is this; is the 180 worth it? I mean, it's only 30 mm more. But will I be kicking myself in a couple of months for not going big when I had the chance? Is the 180 significantly better thant the 150 or only marginaly so?

Does anyone here have hands on experience in comparing the two? And if not, I invite you to partake in my dilemma and offer a cent or two on the problem.

 

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I have the 180mm and it is a superb sharp scope, at F15 it doesn't need top quality eyepieces but bare in mind it has a fairly small field of view and the largest eyepieces ( Televue  41mm Panoptic) do not work without a vignette at the edges due to the size of the inner draw tube baffles, unless this has been changed since I bought mine. I believe the silly older threads on the visual back are now SC, a converter cost me 40 quid.

However if I were you I feel the 150mm may be a better option, cool down time if keeping it inside will be a bit shorter too.

Alan

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Posted (edited)

Had both the 150 and 180 maks. The 150 was good but on lunar planetary the 180 is a big improvement but yes bigger and heavier but fitting a carry handle makes it easy to manage.

the increase in area is greather than you would think. Just simply calculating the area including the central obstruction shows gives you an idea of the difference. Btw the actual aperture of the scopes is 170mm and 142mm

Diameter, d = 170 mm - Area, A = 22698mm2

Diameter, d = 142 mm - Area, A = 15836mm2

I find an hour is adequate cool down time for the 180.  The newer ones have a proper SCT thread. For some reason the old gold tube ones fetch a lot less.

 

 

AAF5D841-EC91-4FC4-AEFF-0E6D3048A69A.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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I had the 180 for a short while and found it a bit of a "1 trick pony". Great planetary / lunar / double star scope (OK, 3 tricks) but limited by it's narrow FoV in other areas and, for me, the cool down time was just too long. I don't think I'd have a 150 or a 180 mak-cassegrain as an only scope. Maybe as a 2nd or 3rd scope for specific target range (and kept in the greenhouse !).

 

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Posted (edited)

Maks such as the 180 are great for planetary / lunar imaging and many fine images have been taken with them. Similar sized SCTs are better all rounders though

Large aperture SCTs such as the C14 are frequently used by serious planeatary imagers though. You don’t see many 14” maks as they are incredably expensive tio make but they do exist.

Edited by johninderby
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They are all great telescopes! If I were in your happy position, I'd keep the 127 for portability and buy the 180 as an observatory scope, even if I didn't have an observatory. 

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A good combination is a 127 and 180 mak. 👍🏻

The 127 on a photo tripod can carried outside one handed.

C1FEBD29-8C34-4EB7-86B0-6E7C6CA999AC.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

It appears that you know and prefer the Maksutov design, therefore barring the acquisition of a 250mm...

https://www.robtics.nl/popup_image.php?pID=3005

...and in that you already have a 120mm, I would go with the 180mm.  A 150mm may not give you the "pop" you're looking for after having observed with the 120mm. 

I've always believed in placing the wherewithal at hand into the telescope, then to to get the bits and bobs for it over the weeks and months, and years even.  

I prefer Maksutovs over Schmidts, and will be getting my own in future.  

Edited by Alan64
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Now that's lovely.  In initial appearance, it hearkens back to the classical Cassegrains.

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We must get this thread off big maks - it’s making me feel hungry 😛

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just got it I am now drinking a shake, Shame they do not do them over here in France do they still do those flavoured milk drinks in the uk been 15 years since last had one...  

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by the way can you still get a quarter pounder burger, Not over here no chance can't even get the English breakfast menu miss the sausage n egg muffin and the bacon one, mouth drooling...…. ☹️

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It's a shame I am not in the UK I would happily sell you mine, poor thing hasn't been used since Feb2018 and is covered over in the obsey. It was a purchase to take my mind off a 6inch refractor, trouble is even though it gives great images, it didn't work.

Alan

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Thanks for all the helpful replies.

I started with the AZ GTI Wifi mount and the Mak 127 that I bought as a package deal. I still use it occasionally when I just want to 'hop around' a bit and see what's up there. Don't think I'll ever sell it. You can pretty much bring this setup with you everywhere.

Skywatcher Maksutov telescope MC 127/1500 SkyMax-127 AZ-GTi GoTo WiFi

 

Then I got a Skywatcher EQM-35 Pro mount because I wanted to get into astrophotography. It supports a 10 kg payload. The 180 weighs around 7, so I should be ok.

 Skywatcher Mount EQM-35 PRO SynScan GoTo

 

And for DSO I got the AP 80/600 Evostar

Skywatcher Apochromatic refractor AP 80/600 EvoStar ED OTA

 

 

And then I got into trouble with my girlfriend :).

Billedresultat for yelling woman

 

Anyway, the next logical step towards poverty seemed to be a bigger Mak. I was just trying to assess the difference in the two as experienced by people and not just salivate over the numbers on the datasheet. I'm leaning towards the 180 simply because I fear to regret it later on if I 'only' get the 150.

But I have to admit that the good inputs about the SCT's got me thinking about the Maks being a 'one trick pony'. A good point for sure. It just seems to me that the SCT's are rather expensive. For instance, the 6" Celestron costs around the same as the 180 (7") Mak. Ugh...things just got more complicated.

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Posted (edited)

In my experience, I've never seen any SCT give a true star image. Stars always look like pingpong balls or balls of cotton wool and not true Airy disc's in the SCT's I've used, Maksutov's on the other hand provide sharp star images when they're thermally stable. Often, you'll read claims that the Maksutov is "refractor-like". I've never seen the same claim for Schmidt's!

Other than the relatively narrow field of view, I think Mak's are good on virtually every sort of target, lunar, planetary, binary stars and deep sky. They do need a dew shield though! 

You might find a 150mm F5 - F6 rich field refractor would be a nice addition to your growing arsenal!! :evil4:

 

Edited by mikeDnight
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24 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

In my experience, I've never seen any SCT give a true star image. Stars always look like pingpong balls or balls of cotton wool and not true Airy disc's in the SCT's I've used, Maksutov's on the other hand provide sharp star images when they're thermally stable. Often, you'll read claims that the Maksutov is "refractor-like". I've never seen the same claim for Schmidt's!

Other than the relatively narrow field of view, I think Mak's are good on virtually every sort of target, lunar, planetary, binary stars and deep sky. They do need a dew shield though! 

 

That was my experience as well until I looked through an 8" Celestron EdgeHD with a 10mm Delos at a star party.  The views of Jupiter were about as detailed and contrasty as through a premium 8" Dob nearby.  Other standard 8" SCTs nearby were still showing mushy images of Jupiter by comparison, so it wasn't the seeing.

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Worth mentioning (re the cooling issue of Big Maks) that an insulated cover helps enormously (threads here and on "another forum"). Worth doing - mine is ready to go very quickly and the dewing is very much slowed down.

On a good night, mine gives beautifully sharp star images at x270 and x350 with clear diffraction rings I've never seen when I've peered up an SCT, or in the short time I had a 150mm newt on loan while its owner was Stateside.

Chris

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, George Gearless said:

It's done. I've placed the order for the 180 at FLO.

Hurry up guys!!

 

😋

 

Welcome to the 180 cllub 👍🏻

What mount will it be going on? I’ve found an hour is plenty of cool down time except in mid winter.

Edited by johninderby

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46 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Welcome to the 180 cllub 👍🏻

What mount will it be going on? I’ve found an hour is plenty of cool down time except in mid winter.

 

Thanks :). 

It'll be going on Skywatcher EQM-35 PRO:

 

Skywatcher Mount EQM-35 PRO SynScan GoTo

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48 minutes ago, chiltonstar said:

Worth mentioning (re the cooling issue of Big Maks) that an insulated cover helps enormously (threads here and on "another forum"). Worth doing - mine is ready to go very quickly and the dewing is very much slowed down.

On a good night, mine gives beautifully sharp star images at x270 and x350 with clear diffraction rings I've never seen when I've peered up an SCT, or in the short time I had a 150mm newt on loan while its owner was Stateside.

Chris

I'll definitely be absorbing all the hints I can get with regards to dew. So your tip is duly noted.

Although I don't have an actual observatory, I do have a walled of section of my unheated garage that I use as a workshop. As I am writing this, I am envisioning how I will make room to store my new telescope there. So it'll always be whatever temperature it is outside. 

Btw, will storing it in subzero temperatures harm it in the long run? 

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