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Opinions on Skymax 180 PRO


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...to go along with my dob?

Can't seem to find many reviews/opinions on this scope on the interwebs strangely, so wondering if anyone here has 1st hand experience?

Really after something for planetary stuff, but what's it like for DSOs? And how does it compare to something like the Celestron C8's?

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The larger f ratios and smaller field of views of the Maks make them ideal for lunar and planetary observing and imaging. They are very limited when it comes to DSO's ( Ok for compact objects like double stars, globulars)

The SCT's can easily be fitted with reducers to achieve f6 so they are more versatile.

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I've got a Skymax127 and had a Skymax180 for about a year.

It's F15, so ideal (very ideal) for high power lunar and planet viewing and imaging.

So if that's what you want it for then I doubt you'll find better.

I really hated giving it back.

HTH

Ant

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@Merlin66

Aah. Cheers. That's actually quite useful to know. So one of these

Reducers/Flatteners - Celestron f6.3 Focal Reducer

would change it's focal ratio to be the equivalent of an f6 with the same aperture? That sounds magic! I really can't get my head round optics ;) That sounds idea, but they are a few more quid.

Are SCT any "worse" for planetary stuff than a Mak? Do you lose anything with that versitility? (apart from a couple of hundred pounds, of course)

Thanks for the help.

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@ant

Gah! Now you've changed my mind. It really is planetary stuff I want. The dob is always there for the DSOs, but lugging 2 huge scopes in the back of the car to a site with a dark sky....that way madness lies ;)

BTW, why did you go to a skymax 127?

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@Merlin66

Aah. Cheers. That's actually quite useful to know. So one of these

Reducers/Flatteners - Celestron f6.3 Focal Reducer

would change it's focal ratio to be the equivalent of an f6 with the same aperture? That sounds magic! I really can't get my head round optics ;) That sounds idea, but they are a few more quid.

Are SCT any "worse" for planetary stuff than a Mak? Do you lose anything with that versitility? (apart from a couple of hundred pounds, of course)

Thanks for the help.

The reducer erm, reduces by a factor of 0.63 so in the case of the Skymax 180, which has a focal ratio of f15, it brings it down to f9.4 (15 x 0.63), still not exactly fast but it will iwden the view a fair bit although I'm not sure it wouldn't ruin the view as the field of view on the 180 is pretty flat and adding that particular reducer/flattener may over-correct it.

To be honest, there's probably not a great deal of difference between SCT's and Mak-Casses of the same aperture and focal ratio, you may find the Mak-Cass has slightly better contrast at the expense of a possible longer cooldown time.

A lot of the serious planetary and lunar imagers use big SCT's so they're not that bad!

Tony..

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I have a 180 PRO and it is superb for planetary/Lunar - high mags are easily reached with long focal length eyepieces - which means lots of eye relief.

There are no collimation issues at all - I have had the scope two months and not had to collimate it.

It's takes a long time to cool if you keep it indoors but if you keep it in an unheated room it takes around 30 mins, depending on the temp delta.

Once cooled planetary images are very good - sharper than an SCT but not quite as sharp a a refractor.

As the tube length is short you can view very comfortably sat down.

Image shift is very low in mine.

Well recommended.

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The main reason that you don't see as many large maks as SCTs is the cool-down problem. Something like a 127 mak cools down in a reasonable time but when you get to the 180 it can take awhile. Hence the number of suggestions to store a 180 in an unheated shed or garage if you can. You can get 10" or 12" maks as well, but they absolutely have to be stored in an unheated place, otherwise they could take all night to cool down.

Now the 180 is a very nice planetary/lunar scope, just not so good on DSOs. So if you after a planetary/lunar scope and have an appropriate place to store it than it could suit you very well.

One thing that has always amused me is when someone buys a planetary/lunar scope and then complains when it isn't good for DSOs. ;)

John

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Once cooled planetary images are very good - sharper than an SCT but not quite as sharp a a refractor.

Well recommended.

I gave the 180 Mak some serious thought when prices were low.

Looks like I made the right decision to stick with the Refractor for ultimate detail resolved.

For the time being I don't mind kneeling on the floor to view at zenith.

Paul

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I gave the 180 Mak some serious thought when prices were low.

Looks like I made the right decision to stick with the Refractor for ultimate detail resolved.

For the time being I don't mind kneeling on the floor to view at zenith.

Paul

Resolution is a function of aperture, I think you're mistaking it with contrast. I fully agree with a refractor giving the nicest views and greatest contrast of any scope design given that the it's the same size, but a bigger scope will show you more detail albeit with lesser contrast and/or brightness.

Tony..

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I had both and had to give the 180 back ;)

I should have tried giving back the 127 and seeing if they noticed.

Ant

@ant

Gah! Now you've changed my mind. It really is planetary stuff I want. The dob is always there for the DSOs, but lugging 2 huge scopes in the back of the car to a site with a dark sky....that way madness lies :(

BTW, why did you go to a skymax 127?

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Resolution is a function of aperture

Tony..

Agreed Tony.

I was referring to the quality of the view with my "ultimate" statement rather than "maximum".

As Dweller25 said the view is sharper with his Refractor.

The Mak 127 & OMC 140 that I have had experience with did not provide me with the clarity that my Refractors give me.

It could be called nit picking but to me the difference is noticeable.

Also my Refractors hold detail for longer than the Mak design if that makes sense.

Paul

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Indeed Paul, I've owned a couple of Mak-Casses and they're close to a 'frac but it's not the same. Mak-Newts are closer still but there's something about a refractor...

As an example, last year at Kelling I looked at Jupiter through a Skymax 180 and then straight away through a Evostar 120. The Skymax gave a superb view, plenty of detail but though the Evostar Jupiter looked nicer ;).

Tony..

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I think even my humble ST102 looks "nicer"... than my MAK127. ;) In a side-by-side comparison, with the limits of memory removed, I was surprised at the difference in images. I suspect, contrast is the attraction of the 'frac. But viewing a terrestrial target (ship at sea) the lettering on the side appeared contrasty with the 'frac, but could only be READ with the MAK. I sense a APO would close the gap tho'.

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