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As an update on the 180 MAK I'm quite pleased with this 200 frame stack     

savers & spenders......I'm not unhappy with the images I get from the sct, here's one. Maybe a should stick with it and keep pushing...............still thinking

The 180 is a true 180 John (I've  tested mine and found 179mm when it is in focus and the rear focus position is normal (ie no long focusers to extend fl). There are a number of threads on cool-d

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Now I want one of those TS classic cassegrain scopes John.  They seem like great lunar / planetary scopes.  How do they do on globular clusters and planetary nebulae? Is collimating easy? I might consider selling my 120 equinox if they are as good as you say! I like the fact that there is no image shift as well.  Are there any downsides?? 

Steve 

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Been using it on just lunar / planets so far but would imagine it would also do well on small DSOs.

Colliimation is very easy once you realise how it collimates. Didn’t need colimating but played around with it just to learn how it was done. Once you've checked rhat the primary is aligned then it’s like adjusting a newt secondary. About as hard as collimating a newt except it holds collimation really well and shouldn’t need doing very often.

Not found any downsides. It is F12 so not far off an SCT and less than the 180.: One thing I really like is having a refractor type focuser with long travel. The stock focuser has only 40mm travel but the Baader Steeltrack has nearly twice as much and still fits.Does come with extensions to move the focuser back for extra out focus but with the Steeltrack not needed them. Actually that’s the one improvement I would make. The stock focuser is not bad at all but is no Steeltrack.

It has a Vixen dovetail on the top and a Losmandy on the bottom. I did add tube rings and a carry handle. The tube rings so Incould mount the dovetail on the side to make it more convient on an Alt Az mount. 

1FC01FBD-C637-4816-AD93-EA429182F520.jpeg

 

0A9BCF3B-1254-493F-9DB8-8FF8B2C0FFFF.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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4 hours ago, johninderby said:

I always liked my old Skymax 180 and thought it was an excellent lunar scope. Then I uograded to the 8” Classical Cassegrain which outperforms it on the moon. Sharper more contrasty images and will take higher magnification plus no cooldown or dewing problem. Just a great lunar scope and not much bigger and heavier than the 180. 👍🏻

Now if they would bring oit a 12” Classical Cassegrain. 🤔😁😁😁

After I was given a Mak180 to test for a couple of month, I was going to "upgrade" my Mak150 (which I love by the way) to the 180 but then I came across some reviews on the classical casgrain that made me doubt. Reading your take on it, I wonder how the classical cassgrain perform on planet as well ? I like to have specialised scopes and I was going for the MAK as a planet and moon killer ... now I am not sure. 

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Yes the focuser is the key to great viewing I think.  Might have to consider the upgrade to the steel track as well based on what you are saying.  Mmmm thanks John, this scope is now firmly on my radar.  I’d have to sell the Equinox 120 to fund it but that could happen when all the madness is over.

Thanks

Steve 

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Excellent on Venus but with Jupiter and Saturn so low down seeing has been pretty bad to say the least. Look forward to observing Jupiter and Saturn when they are a bit higher up.

As mentioned I really liked the mak but the Classical Cassegrain just seems to do everything better. That extra aperture helps of course but one of the most noticeable things is the max mag it will take. The Nager 3-6 zoom is usable on the moon when seeing is good. 

Cooldown is so much better as well as lack of dewing.

180 Mak and Classical Cassegrain size comparison.

719520EB-F3C5-408F-A047-ACA946913AE6.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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Aww thanks for the pictures, I was wondering in term of size what it would look like.

I've added a focuser to the MAK and it does make a difference in usability to my taste at least ;) 

"Cooldown is so much better as well as lack of dewing" is the selling argument :)

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2 hours ago, johninderby said:

Been using it on just lunar / planets so far but would imagine it would also do well on small DSOs.

Colliimation is very easy once you realise how it collimates. Didn’t need colimating but played around with it just to learn how it was done. Once you've checked rhat the primary is aligned then it’s like adjusting a newt secondary. About as hard as collimating a newt except it holds collimation really well and shouldn’t need doing very often.

Not found any downsides. It is F12 so not far off an SCT and less than the 180.: One thing I really like is having a refractor type focuser with long travel. The stock focuser has only 40mm travel but the Baader Steeltrack has nearly twice as much and still fits.Does come with extensions to move the focuser back for extra out focus but with the Steeltrack not needed them. Actually that’s the one improvement I would make. The stock focuser is not bad at all but is no Steeltrack.

It has a Vixen dovetail on the top and a Losmandy on the bottom. I did add tube rings and a carry handle. The tube rings so Incould mount the dovetail on the side to make it more convient on an Alt Az mount. 

1FC01FBD-C637-4816-AD93-EA429182F520.jpeg

 

0A9BCF3B-1254-493F-9DB8-8FF8B2C0FFFF.jpeg

Was the steel track focuser easy to fit without any fettling? 

Steve 

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You just need the M90x1  thread adapter.. Mine is the older Steeltrack that has a different adaptor..

https://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/accessories/telescope-accessories/focusers/rt-adapter-m90x1-diamond-steeltrack-(skywatcher).html

Scope comes woth two 25mm and a 50mm extenstion that fit inbetween the focuser and scope.

Edited by johninderby
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 29/05/2020 at 12:24, wornish said:

I have just ordered my first reflector a Celestron Edge HD925. can't wait to give it a go.

that should be very good indeed

 

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It arrived today.  Will have a look at the moon tonight 😀

As expected rain is now forecast for later this week!

 

Update First image with new scope.

 

Clavius.jpg

Edited by wornish
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  • 4 months later...

Hi @Stardust,

I am coming from the other side of the discussion as I own a Skymax 180 and fancy a C9.25. What a funny coincident. So I stumbled over this thread and thought I ask you.

Did you get a chance to compare the performance of the Skymax 180 vs the C9.25 with respect to planetary imaging?

In my mind the argument goes like this: "the Skymax 180 is a real performer and I enjoy it a lot. the C9.25 has more aperture and this should theoretically give me more resolution on my planetary images. wonder if i should upgrade/switch to a C9.25??"

Would be great to hear your opinion on this as you went through the argument already and know both OTAs.

Clear Skies,

Alex

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I was eyeing the Skymax 180 myself, but I stumbled upon a used C9.25 XLT. The larger aperture should be an improvement in light gathering (and with f/10, it should be easy to use a Barlow for planetary imaging).

I suspect that it's more a matter of the particular implementation, though. Both types have a large overlap in optical quality, as it seems (these are mass production items, and I guess that a good Skymax 180 will surpass an average C9.25, and vice versa).

The Skymax seems to give better contrast to visual observation, while the C9.25 seems to hold an advantage in imaging thanks to the large aperture.

 

Hope this helps,

N.F.

 

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The C9.25 is a classic planetary imager's scope. Sadly I couldn't keep mine due to me no longer being able to lift the mount.

Anyway, as soon as a much lighter mount arrives (out of stock until the end of October), I'll be testing this:

603433889_D72_8080_DxO2048.thumb.jpg.d9bc3bf3e5b23b3cab069c0414f6036d.jpg

It was supposed to be an iOptron but they messed up somewhere lol. Bosma do make the iOptron so the optics and build are the same.

Anyway, initial impression are of an extremely well made scope. Several steps up in build quality from either a Skywatcher or Celestron.

The Skywatcher 150mm Mak light cone measures 142mm (from an online test) - this one measures 150mm...

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Yup, the Bosma and the Bresser are nice, however I don't want to go back to a smaller aperture. Nevertheless, I see the temptation to get a fixed primary Mak @johninderby. If they would make a 7 or 8" one that would be a blast 😉

Edited by alex_stars
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11 hours ago, Mr Spock said:

The C9.25 is a classic planetary imager's scope. Sadly I couldn't keep mine due to me no longer being able to lift the mount.

Anyway, as soon as a much lighter mount arrives (out of stock until the end of October), I'll be testing this:

603433889_D72_8080_DxO2048.thumb.jpg.d9bc3bf3e5b23b3cab069c0414f6036d.jpg

It was supposed to be an iOptron but they messed up somewhere lol. Bosma do make the iOptron so the optics and build are the same.

Anyway, initial impression are of an extremely well made scope. Several steps up in build quality from either a Skywatcher or Celestron.

The Skywatcher 150mm Mak light cone measures 142mm (from an online test) - this one measures 150mm...

On paper, the Synta and Bosma 150mm Maks look quite similar. Would like to see a comparison test between them (let's hope that Bosma will make a 7 or 8 inch Mak as well).

(Update: there was a 200mm Mak from Bosma in the past: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/369569-info-re-bosma-mk24020-2002400mm-mak/ )

 

N.F.

 

Edited by nfotis
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12 hours ago, nfotis said:

(Update: there was a 200mm Mak from Bosma in the past: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/369569-info-re-bosma-mk24020-2002400mm-mak/ )

At the price point of that old 200 mm Bosma (around 3330 USD) you can already consider an Intes Mak-Cass. The MK715 (178 mm F15) is around 2400 Euro at the moment.

Anyhow, we get side-tracked from the C9.25 vs Skymax 180 discussion. I look forward to hear from @Stardust or others on how the two OTAs compare, especially for planetary imaging.

Clear Skies!

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Hoping here as well, had 10"SCT set up ready for a couple of weeks, forecast some clear this evening but so far only a couple of glimpses of Moon and Mars through the clouds.

Dave

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10 hours ago, Stardust said:

For various reasons I've  not been able to compare the 2 scopes. I hope to get set up for Mars and I suspect aperture will win there 

Thanks, looking forward to see what you find out.

Clear Skies

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