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I'm thinking of adding a Maksutov to the stable. My mount is an HEQ5 PRO. In the old days there was just Questar, but there are plenty around now. I'm thinking around the 150mm diameter, maybe 180mm.

Does anyone have experience of using these modern Maks and thoughts on pros/cons - any particular things to think about either in set-up or ones to avoid?  

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Ron, I was going to purchase a Mak for the recent Mars opposition. But having read extensively around buying one many regard them as a "one trick pony", due to the long focal lengths generated. Many of the articles and reviews I examined indicated that the dewing of the front element could be problematical, as could the cool down times required on the larger examples due to the heavy front elements. A lot of reviewers were also not overly content with focusing mechanisms on the Skywatcher examples, fitting aftermarket crayford types. Having said that I have no hands on experience of using a Maksutov, but as stated above the general thrust of my research indicated that cons outweighed the pros.

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I think what Mark said, sums it up.


With poor weather I would be looking at a fast scope like the Epsilon 180 @F2.8 combined with a CMOS and then you can capture your targets very quickly and be done and dusted before the next bands of clouds come over.

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18 hours ago, Gina said:

I'd quite like to have a go at planetary imaging but seems it needs a really long focus scope with large aperture and that's beyond my price range.  Maybe one day...


I use a 150PL and a good x3 barlow (and an ADC).


Not expensive compared to most deep-space setups.


Your mount should take a 200P-DS for even better results.

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Just now, Gina said:

I have a SW MN190 MakNewt with 1000mm FL and 190mm mirror.  May get something with a x5 whatsit but x3 isn't enough.


Maybe try a camera with smaller pixels instead, x5 barlows make focussing really tricky and don't work as well. Also max the sensor to barlow distance.


You could try the ultra cheap Svbony 105.


You've seen my images with only 20% more focal length...

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I have cameras with smaller pixels.  I shall probably have another go a bit later.  ATM my MN190 is in bits from a service.


I may set up on the EQ8 and have plans to build a micro-obsy for my widefield imaging.  That includes the obsy 3D printed plus DIY fork mount on the SkyWatcher pier thing with the 3 feet.  But I will need my Giant printer for the obsy and that is WIP.

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Avoid the 'Omegon' MightyMak series.




Build quality is flimsy and they don't achieve a sharp focus above about 30x IME.




The wooden Dob' base isn't very well made and sticks during azimuth rotation. 



Edited by Nightspore
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  • 2 months later...



Ihave a Celestron 127 Mak and a delivery any day now of a SW 180 Mak, brilliant scopes for lunar/planetary. Have a look at Martin Pyott on you tube. A few guys on FB producing excellent images with Maks too. Quality scopes for this application.



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I like my Synta Mak's. Although I think they're a bit specialist and not great all-rounders.




I did get a couple of good sessions on Mars last year with my 127mm.




The 90mm & 102mm tend to get relegated to early morning planetary/lunar grab & go's or the occasional double star session.



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I have had an Orion 127 Mak and an Orion 90 Mak for years. I've been happy with them. My 127 Mak with an Antares f/6.3 focal reducer and my old Canon 450D is great for the moon and with a solar filter works with the sun. It is my first choice if I am going somewhere. It's very versatile.  I think this is the right photo 🙂

Moon 2.jpg

Edited by rwillits
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