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Hi all , I'm still looking for a new scope ,I've decided that's a SCT is the way to go however I'm undecided which one to get . I have a budget of about £1500. 

My options are 

Celestron 8se 

     Or 

Meade LX90

Now there is a £400 difference in price so is the Meade LX90 worth the extra ?

 

 

 

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Owning a Meade I would say not, I have the 12 inch, Meade for me are much the same as Celestron and of their scope I have read the 9.25 is the pick of the bunch. I just don't believe it is worth 400 more.

Alan

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I'd suggest a C8 on an EQ5 (+ RA Drive) would come in just under £1500 and be an excellent choice for visual.

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What are you hoping to achieve with it? Visual observing? Any particular targets? Any ambitions for imaging?

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Primarily for visual use?

The Celestron C8SE is a popular setup, and a good visual instrument, and portable (one can pick up the whole assembly and carry it through a standard doorway)

However as a C8 SE owner, let me disillusion you of the notion that it is any good for imaging. Using it for planetary imaging is a pain and for deep space imaging, even worse.  If you intend any sort of imaging, get a C8 tube assembly and mount it on the heavy-duty GoTo mount of your choice.   The CPC800 version works very well for planetary imaging, but a German equatorial GoTo would be a more flexible choice.  Attempting deep-space imaging with a scope of 2 metre focal length is by most accounts not for beginners, regardless of what the manufacturer may imply.

As for the LX90, I know nothing, but take a critical look at the mount and tripod.

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I have a 8" Meade and a 8" Celestron, I would buy the Celestron.   😀

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1 minute ago, Peter Drew said:

I have a 8" Meade and a 8" Celestron, I would buy the Celestron.   😀

Why is that, Peter?  I have read numerous postings here and elsewhere that give me the impression that Meade have superior optics but are let down by the rest of the package (particularly the electronics being unreliable and expensive to repair).  Are you judging purely on the visuals, or on the entire system?

James

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I've always preferred the Celestron package and they have in the past always had the edge on the Meade optically. Before I'm "shot down" I must confirm that I haven't used the Meade "Edge" series which enjoy a good reputation optically. I have four Meades, 8", 12" and two 16". if Celestron had made a 12" or 16" I would have gone for the Celestron.   😀

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I see no reason for shooting you down.  A dissenting voice that can quantify that dissent is worth listening to, IMNSHO.

James

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12 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

I've always preferred the Celestron package and they have in the past always had the edge on the Meade optically....

I know a reviewer who has contributed many times to leading astronomy magazines who told me just the same a few years back.

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Another satisfied Celestron SCT user... albeit mine is the C6/xlt.

IMG_0050.thumb.JPG.0e83cba8a43fca7212f2ea43c0df5c0f.JPG 

Alongside it is my 're-modded' Meade ETX105.

Edited by Philip R
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I have a 8”  Celestron  SCT . I had a friend who had the Meade 8” LX200 . We compared all night one night on all the milky way area . As far as optics my Celestron won . It had the clearest more crisp viewing . Meades are good but something about the optics are not as good as Celestrons . Honestly tho if all your going to do is view and never image i would choose a good refractor 4-6” on a good tripod . They give the best crisp image over an SCT . The best thing about a SCT is portability tho . Most easy to carry and setup other than a small refractor .  

Edited by celestron8g8

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Hmmmm

I have to disagree with your comment ""Meades are good but something about the optics are not as good as Celestrons""

I used Meade SCT's for many years, 8" 10 and 12" f10 and the f7 variants. They performed very well, no issues.

I only changed to Celestron, a C11 when I was unable to find a suitable mount for the heavy Meade 12" SCT (bare weight 17 Kg!).

Having used the C11 for some eight years now, I find it performs well and ideally suited for the spectroscopy work I do.

 

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I have an old Meade 8" 2080B and its a cracker optically. I also use a Celestron 11 but I rarely take it out these days. Its mainly a planetary scope. I use the Meade for virtually all types of observing (solar, moon and planets, DSOs' and  public observing)

Have a look at the new ACF LX65 series. They are reviewed in the latest (October) Sky at Night Magazine with good comments.

https://www.meade.com/lx65-acf-8.html

https://www.telescopehouse.com/telescopes/telescopes-by-type/catadioptric-telescopes/meade-lx65-8-acf.html

 

The Celestron SE has good reviews also and it is easy to upgrade to an equatorial mount down the line if you want to get into imaging.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/se-series/celestron-nexstar-8se.html

 

If you could pick up say a used HEQ5 mount and an 8" OTA you would be within your budget. Easier to get parts for the mount.

I have an older CGE mount and can longer get parts for it from Celestron. If and when it breaks it will be  as useful as a  paper weight.  Sorry I bought it now and didn't get a G11. Meade would be the same when it goes end of life.

 

Edited by Limerick John

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If you are going to be visual only do not get an EQ mount get an ALT/AZ easier and quicker set up and to use. I have not used a Meade but have the C9.25 Evolution which is an excellent visual scope. In my astronomy group there are 2 Evolution 8s one is an Edge variant and they are both very good for visual observing. The Evolution mount is reliable, tracks well and is a dependable performer and a lot better than the Celestron SE mount. There seems to me to be a lot more Celestron knowledge available out there than for Meade systems, this could sway your decision.  

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21 hours ago, Merlin66 said:

Hmmmm

I have to disagree with your comment ""Meades are good but something about the optics are not as good as Celestrons""

 

You have that right to disagree , to each his own opinion . However had you been with me and my friend that night i think you also would have agreed between our two scopes , unless you were just partial to Meade . As i mentioned we were judging between our two scopes . You might also recall back in the early 2000’s there were lots of reviews concerning the new coating that Meade was adding to their scopes with an extra $200.00 cost . There were alot of discrepancies over whether their cost was justifiable or not . Some studies showed at that time that it was basically up to the buyer whether or not to pay the extra $200.00 ? Meanwhile Celestron continued at that time using their same coating as proven to be effective for them at the time . Meade even tried to sue Celestron over their coating challenge and Meade lost the law suit . Since then Celestron has continued to produce top notch optics without trying to copy any other manufacture . Now as i mentioned everyone has a right to their own opinion and reviews are done the same as well . What counts and makes the difference is reputation of the reviewer and there are thousands of reviews on the internet so the reader themselves has to make a decision based on reviews and personal experience . I’m not a pro reviewer and never claimed to be . I merely state what my opinion is with my personal equip and other friends equipment i have had experienced with . I just merely try to enjoy amateur astronomy best i can for what i can until I finally call it quits . Have a great day ! 

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It’s curious that Celestron SCTs are seen as much more desireable than Meade although the lower weight does make the Celestrons easier to mount which is part of it. The later Meades are quite good but seem to have slipped off the radar of potential buyers. Nowadays it seems like SCT = Celestron. 

Where did it all go wrong for Meade? 🤔

 

Edited by johninderby

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6 hours ago, johninderby said:

It’s curious that Celestron SCTs are seen as much more desireable than Meade although the lower weight does make the Celestrons easier to mount which is part of it. The later Meades are quite good but seem to have slipped off the radar of potential buyers. Nowadays it seems like SCT = Celestron. 

Where did it all go wrong for Meade? 🤔

 

It's weird really, for some reason which I totally cannot justify, I just have Meade pinned in my head as being lower quality both optically and mechanically to Celestron (and Skywatcher for that matter). Why is that? Have they had some dodgy products out there which have damaged the brand?

I see plenty of Meade SCTs for sale which look nice, but I won't touch, again, for reasons I can't justify.

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My experience of Celestron SCTs and Maksutovs is that they work well optically and if the mount develops a minor problem I can fix it myself.  Spares seem to be available for bigger problems, should anything occur. No reason to switch brands so far.  Thousands of happy owners can't be wrong.

As for Meade, never used one, less familiar, confusing model identifying scheme, rumours of mechanical problems.

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I think both makes have improved significantly over the years. My impression is that Meade, having entered the SCT market later than Celestron, is simply just playing "catch-up".     😀

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Think Meade shot themselves in the foot reputation wise a few years ago when they rushed out out a new line of SCTs before they had fully developed and tested them and the resulting disaster of scopes that just didn’t work properly has left a lastimg perception among SCT buyers that Meade are poor quality. No longer deserved as they have sorted out the problems but it’s hard to overcome so much negative press.

 

Edited by johninderby
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I know it’s not really adding to the discussion here but I remember lusting after the Meade SCT’s I saw in Astro mags when I was a kid! They seemed so advanced and also so out of reach! I have never had the chance to look through an SCT but hope too one day. The view of Jupiter through a 12” F10 must be amazing!! One day perhaps . . . .

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There are more performance differences due to collimation and tuning in typical SCT’s than  between brand names.

I’ve seen good and bad examples of both Meade and Celestron instruments.

which ever one you go for, enjoy!

 

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