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Looking at a 5" Mak or a 5" Schmidt and have a couple of questions

Which is likley to weigh less?

Which is likely to cool down faster?

Which will give better views (assuming cooled)?

Is a Schmidt worth the extra expense?

Many thanks

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I might be wrong but seems a lot of people prefer maks, thought i guess it depends on the use, for lunar and planet observing and imaging once cooled the mak wins hands down

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i agree a 5" mak produces a better view and is a better optical system than a sct... but a sct weights a lot less, is smaller and has a way more options for accessories,

i wouldn't ever see a a time when i would buy a 5" sct... i think 6 or 8 would be better value.

is the sct worth the extra money.. i say no..

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a 5" mak produces a better view and is a better optical system than a sct

This depends entirely on the accuracy with which the components are manufactured and aligned (collimated) and the degree to which the tube is allowed to cool to ambient temperature.

Maks tend to have very slow cool down times in larger sizes.

Maks also have longer focal ratios - typically f/15 whereas SCTs are typically f/10 - making Maks more comfortable with high magnification but struggling to give low power wide field views.

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the sct will cool quicker, the field of view is a little wider and if properly collimated gives almost as good a view as a mak. It takes magnification vey well. Having said that the mak needs no collimation and is even better under magnification and the contrast is better on planets. I have a 5inch sct and prefer it as it has slightly more versatility but the mak is definately better on planets. forgot to mention the sct is lighter as well

Edited by rowan46

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SCT or MAK?

Your questions:

Which is likely to weigh less: SCT

Which is likely to cool down faster: SCT

Which will give the better views: It just depends upon what you are viewing and how well you keep the SCT collimated. The MAK is designed to keep its factory collimation. The SCT must be collimated by the observer from time to time. The Mak will be slightly better for objects benefiting from magnification and the SCT will be slightly better for objects that benefit from a wider field of view. The differences will not be that great and most can be taken up through eyepiece selection. The SCT will be better for photography.

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I've had a C5 and 127mak.. The mak was best hands down!. the image quality was huge..

As people say.. a maks image is near APO quality

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perhaps I just got a good one then or looked through a bad skymax because I didn't notice a hands down difference :icon_eek:

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I've had 14 SCT's in all. The optical quality in them (both Meade and Celestron in equal measure) varies quite a bit. From pretty poor to the almost sublime. The worst SCT's i've owned, purely by chance, were Celestron. An old orange tube C8 circa 1980's and a circa 2000/1 C5.....both were not as i hoped. The C5 i came close to launching against a brick wall in frustration. But then i've had some really nice examples. My C6 was excellent and my two Meade 10" models were simply superb.

By contrast owned four 127 maks and all were first rate.

Edited by russ

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Given that a 5" SCT on GoTo will cost not far off twice the price of a similar 5" Mak (new prices), then I would have to say that, no, the SCT is not twice as good, and the Mak is a significantly better buy.

And, whilst really larger Maks do have noticeably longer cool-down times, I don't find this applicable to my 127 - 30 mins max, and can be less if I've stored it in the garage. By the time I've dug out and connected the power tank, fired up the laptop, and evicted the cat from my ep case, it's ready! :icon_eek:

FOV is indeed better on an SCT, but to be honest, if a really wide FOV is important to you, then neither SCT or Mak is ideal.

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I have to agree that a new nexstar 5 is not a good price in relation to the skymax 127. I got my nexstar 5 at a good price 2nd hand but if I was buying new I would buy the skymax, the mount and tripod are better on the nexstar but it is ridiculously overpriced

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Personally ?

SCT, but I have found the Celestron SCT to be a quality product.

Just my opinion

Regards

Neil

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i have just bought a mak 180 the reviews are great,yet to try it, but later this week the forecast is good so we will see!

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i have just bought a mak 180 the reviews are great,yet to try it, but later this week the forecast is good so we will see!

That's one scope that would be high up on my list as an upgrade for my 127. I'd love to know what you think of it. Make sure you post a 1st light report :icon_eek:

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The Celestron C6 SCT is a particularily good example of an SCT. When I had a chance to do a head to head comparison between a C6 and a Skymax 150 it was virtualy a tie, but if forced to choose I'd have to say the C6 was just slightly better.

John

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Thanks to all who replied, the consensus seems to be "Mak".

For info I'm looking for a "grab and go" that will fit on my existing Synscan AZ mount, that will offer me more aperture and magnification than my existing two scopes (ED80 and ST120) and which is suitable for "general" viewing, including some DSOs.

Not much to ask, I know!

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I wouldn't think the AZ mount would be up to supporting a big Mak, as they're heavy. I think the 127 Mak is pushing it, really.

EDIT: Is a 8-10" flextube Dob out of the question?

Edited by Revs

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Thanks to all who replied, the consensus seems to be "Mak".

For info I'm looking for a "grab and go" that will fit on my existing Synscan AZ mount, that will offer me more aperture and magnification than my existing two scopes (ED80 and ST120) and which is suitable for "general" viewing, including some DSOs.

Not much to ask, I know!

I think you are already there in terms of the best DSO scope the mount can hold, the Startravel 120 must already be pushing that mount. And i've heard that the Skymax 127 is also at the limit of the Synscan AZ.

For a larger OTA you would need to look to the Celestron SE mount if you wanted to stay with the single fork arm type mount. Or as Paul says, start thinking of other options.

Edited by russ

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Have to say that I've found the 127 on the Alt-Az GoTo to be excellent, but would also have to agree that you wouldn't want to put a bigger (150/180) Mak on it. The 127 might well be at the limit for the mount, but it certainly isn't over it.

The image should be better than from your 120, but I wouldn't have thought all THAT much better, though I would expect the 127 to be noticeably more useful for planetary. The long focal length Mak will also be less picky about eps than your fast scopes, which is a plus.

If it was me, though, given that your ED80 should be excellent for "grab & go", I think I would be looking at something with a significantly different "wow" factor - 8"/10" Dob, maybe? :rolleyes:

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my Mak & would recommend them highly, and if you are set on a 127 Mak or 127 SCT, then I would say, Mak every time. Frankly, for the money, they're a steal. But if you are tempted to push up the size, then your current mount won't do - so, even more expense :icon_eek:

Dave

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