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Upgrade 80ED to Skymax 150?


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I've had my SW 80ED for around 8 months and have really enjoyed my foray into the world of astronomy....even if I've mainly observed from Bortle 8 skies!

I'm thinking of upgrading the 80ED as I feel I want a bit more aperture, and even though I like observing most things, I have a particular like for planets. Would the Skymax 150 be a good upgrade?

Is it going to show a lot more? 

For those that have used/own both, what are your thoughts?

Cheers!

 

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I have refractors in the 80mm range and the Skymax 180, appreciate it's slightly larger than the 150 however I have the original gold tube which effectively has a 170mm aperture so not that far off really. To wade in where I can, the thing is built like a tank and slowly becoming a favourite. Ironically I suspect the 150 is possibly a better fit for me as I bought it as a travel scope which the 180 really isn't so now looking for an additional 150 (possibly a 127). Obviously your field of view will be narrower so you won't see a lot more, just more detail as such. Factor in that cool down periods are going to be a lot longer than you are used to with an 80mm refractor and that it is getting close to double the weight too. 

Clearly an 80 Ed and Skymax 150 both have their purpose but you won't regret buying a 150 in my opinion, my 180 is a keeper and like I say I'd like to add a 150 to the mix eventually.

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The 150 mak will be better on planets (and the moon).  Firstly, aperture is almost double (we won't quibble about exact mirror size for now).  You should see an increase in resolution by almost a factor of 2.  Planetary detail will be greatly increased.

The other thing is the 'gearing'  - the mak has a long focal length so many eyepieces will get you to a decent image size quite easily.  Barlows not required...

Two trade-off's - you need to plan the session in advance and put / store the mak in a cold place beforehand.   The field of view is narrower (but that's what you want for planets).  

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15 hours ago, thesaintishere said:

I've had my SW 80ED for around 8 months and have really enjoyed my foray into the world of astronomy....even if I've mainly observed from Bortle 8 skies!

I'm thinking of upgrading the 80ED as I feel I want a bit more aperture, and even though I like observing most things, I have a particular like for planets. Would the Skymax 150 be a good upgrade?  YES 👍

Is it going to show a lot more?   YES 👍

For those that have used/own both, what are your thoughts?

Cheers!

 

It’s a good upgrade, For best thermal stability wrap the Skymax 150 in two layers of Reflectix from B&Q

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The Skymax 150 and 180 are excellent planet scopes (I love my 180).

Note that dew is often a problem in cold nights, and you have to bring these scopes outdoors at least one hour before you mount these

(what mount do you have? A HEQ5 class mount is very nice for the 150, just adequate for the 180).

 

N.F.

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I'm going to echo what the others have already said; having both an 85mm refractor and a skymax180, I can say quite clearly that they are two very different telescopes and visually on the planets and double stars the difference is significant. Also please take note of nfotis point about the weight of the skymax. All the best.

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The 80ED is in astro terms quite a short focal length, good for wider-field observing, ie starfields clusters and nebulous regions such as the Veil, and in itself not a bad scope at all. The skymax 150 is quite a long focal length, good for high magnification, ie for planets, double stars and planetary nebulae. The latter should not replace the former, rather it should complement it. Have both, if you can!

Cheers, Magnus

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The skymax 150 or 180 are planet/lunar killers, I had the 150 and loved it but I sold it to fund something else, now I want one again for planetary imaging. Like others have said, it does take a good hour to reach temperature an has a narrow FOV but once it reaches temperature you'll be surprised at how good they are. There will be no comparison between your 80ED and the skymax 150, the 150 will vaporize the 80ED on planetary/lunar.

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As others mentioned, the 80ED should be considered a complementary scope to a Maksutov, not an upgrade or downgrade.

The Maks are specialized instruments, these offer a long focal length and okay aperture at a compact package, and do it well. That makes these excellent planetary hunters, but these aren't the best for astrophotography (with a focal length of 2700+ mm, the Skymax 180 would be quite problematic on a mount smaller than an EQ6-R class at least).

For planetary imaging, I don't even guide on my HEQ5, I just shoot a minute of video (but manually focusing is a bit problematic, a remote focuser is a great help - vibration at such long focal lengths is a real problem).

N.F.

 

 

Edited by nfotis
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