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i found some of the posted reviews on the celestron Nexstar 8SE, they read well as the general all-rounder (good for me as wont have to shell out on two scopes) and i have noticed they can be "upgraded" pretty well. Any views??

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If you weren't planning on doing any imaging, then the alt-az mounting of the Celestron would be better in my opinion. Neither scope is exactly good at widefield viewing, but the Celestron will be less bad. Also the mak may well taker longer to cool down to ambient temperature due to its thick front lens.

I think Dave had it right - if you are mainly interested in moon and planets, then the optics of the mak would come out ahead a little, but note that the equatorial mount will be heavier and take longer to set up.

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Not overly fussed about imaging at this moment in time although i have seen some images on the net from the Celestron and they are not that shabby.

The Meade ETX125 PE is looking like a contender, cheaper too, not that im a skinflint!!

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