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Skymax 180 - an enigma of a telescope


Astro_Baby
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Cheers again Phil - I hadn't even thought about Mars yet as I know that's even smaller... But thanks again. If I can just get a non-barlowed focused image of Saturn, that would be a good start...!

Always use a barlow in planetary imaging, unless your scope is F/20, or the image will disappoint. At F/20 focusing is not too hard, at F/30 it is more difficult.

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I think it testament to the MAK127's (and other family members) qualities that it has succeeded, despite wave upon wave of stentorian "planetary only" posts (elsewhere mostly!). LOL. Albeit with some (focal length) foundation, things do become a bit of an idée fixe tho'. :)

I was reluctant to go to the MAK180 - I'm not overly excited by planets, and F15 seemed a definitive "commitment" in that direction! As noted, the C8 is lightweight, if I were seriously thinking of aperture... In the interim, the "Cinderella" of the family (MAK150) provides me with sufficient "Big MAK127" (F12) fun. :)

Given the funds, I might be looking at a 7" (F10!) - I'd LOVE an "STF Mirage":

Optically certified, though of course, of Rumak (collimation needed) design. :D

The BIG advantage of Skymax is that I don't feel INHIBITED, fiddling about! :)

Edited by Macavity
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Hello,

I've had a Sw Mak 180 recently (I've trade the OTA for a GSO 12" dob....aperture fever....) but i can say that this MAK when given enough cool down time it will perform with true APO performance on most ocasions, the stars are textbook perfect with nice difraction rings all around, visually double star and planetary work is stunnig, the best jupiter views I ever had were with this MAK and a a WO Binoviewer, mind blowing sharpness and contrast!!!

On the imaging side it could be more luminous, in my opinion when you want to pump up the magnification and for this you need to go above f/30 to get a nice image scale, on dimmer planets like saturn you'll end up with your camera gain in very high values and you will get noisier and harder to process fianl images, even on Jupiter if you want a good image scale you neet to shoot at 15 FPS witha DMK 21 and RGB filters with gain around 850/900...that's too much.

On the other hand if you don´t mind having a smaller image scale this MAK will perform like a dream on planetary work, I absolutely loved it....but money doesn´t grow up in trees...you know...and I really got nuts about the GSO dob, it's now riding my EQ6 for planetary work :):D

I have a lot of images made with the MAK 180 on my galery, they might be helpfull for you to make a decision:

Flickr: Luís Campos_astro's Photostream

Cheers,

Luís Campos

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Cheers Michael, but the Skymax 180 is f15 to begin with, so 2x barlowed it's immediately f30... However, I couldn't even focus at f15 the first time out - I think it'll be a case of "little steps" for me at the moment...!

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I must admit, I did really buy this as a "planetary only" scope (hence going straight to the 180), but I understand that it does have other possibilities too (I'll maybe try those out later) - The STF Mirage would have been a SERIOUS committment to planetary work though... If I'd had that sort of money I probably wouldn't have bought the Mak 180 in the first place (I'd have bought a good CCD camera instead for DSO work!)

Luis - Thanks for posting that link to your Mak 180 images... That's exactly the sort of thing I'm hoping to capture myself one day. About the most I can cope with (size/weight wise) is my MN190, hence the Mak seemed to be the most manageable way for me to go if I fancied having a look at the planets (and/or the moon was too bright for DSO work).

Michael - I seem to recall if I put the 2x barlow between OTA and diagonal that might give 1.5x...? Or was it unscrewing the lens out of the barlow and using it as an extension tube? Damned if I can remember... :D

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Michael - I seem to recall if I put the 2x barlow between OTA and diagonal that might give 1.5x...? Or was it unscrewing the lens out of the barlow and using it as an extension tube? Damned if I can remember... :D

That depends on the barlow. Some 2x barlows allow you to unscrew the front lens element to get 1.5x. Others vary their magnification with the use of extension tubes. I have seen a cheap TS ED barlow which does the former. I have no idea what quality that produces. I think Meade TeleXtenders and TV Powermates do not allow changing the focal ratio. As an alternative to a barlow I have used EP projection in the past. Using a long focal length ortho or Plossl you can get decent results, e.g. in combination with the variable EP projection adapter of Meade. This does not work that easily with a flip-mirror, an due to the variable projection it is difficult to get repeatable results.

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very interesting thread,i have just purchased a 2nd hand mak180.

cool down is not going to be a problem as it will be stored in the obsy.

this scope does seem to provoke as much talk as any around negative and positive,personally i cant wait to give it a first light on possibly wed/thurs.

the only thing i have been wondering is do i definitely need to fit a focuser or should i just get a quality diagonal or both

i will definitely be doing some imaging with this scope f15 should provide some great views

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Hello,

I've had a Sw Mak 180 recently (I've trade the OTA for a GSO 12" dob....aperture fever....) but i can say that this MAK when given enough cool down time it will perform with true APO performance on most ocasions, the stars are textbook perfect with nice difraction rings all around, visually double star and planetary work is stunnig, the best jupiter views I ever had were with this MAK and a a WO Binoviewer, mind blowing sharpness and contrast!!!

On the imaging side it could be more luminous, in my opinion when you want to pump up the magnification and for this you need to go above f/30 to get a nice image scale, on dimmer planets like saturn you'll end up with your camera gain in very high values and you will get noisier and harder to process fianl images, even on Jupiter if you want a good image scale you neet to shoot at 15 FPS witha DMK 21 and RGB filters with gain around 850/900...that's too much.

On the other hand if you don´t mind having a smaller image scale this MAK will perform like a dream on planetary work, I absolutely loved it....but money doesn´t grow up in trees...you know...and I really got nuts about the GSO dob, it's now riding my EQ6 for planetary work :rolleyes::icon_eek:

I have a lot of images made with the MAK 180 on my galery, they might be helpfull for you to make a decision:

Flickr: Luís Campos_astro's Photostream

Cheers,

Luís Campos

wow some super images on there with the mak,they really have wet my appetite for imaging with it

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  • 5 months later...
@ Astro Baby, Hello how heavy is your 180mm Mak and is it on a EQ3 mount and is the scope a Skywatcher pro series scope and is it portable as I am thinking of getting one. Thanks :)

its around 18lb there is no way i would put one on a eq3,it would have to be eq5 minimum,mine is on a heq5

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its around 18lb there is no way i would put one on a eq3,it would have to be eq5 minimum,mine is on a heq5

Definitely. Even the 150 is too big for the EQ3-2. The 127 is about as high as is probably sensible on that mount.

James

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