Tried and Tested

With new telescopes and mounts being announced on a regular basis, we’re certainly kept busy here in the reviews department of Sky at Night Magazine. But over the years, both optical tube assemblies and mounts do seem to have stuck around variations of just a few basic and fundamental designs.

As a rule, most commercially produced optical tube assemblies are the classic Newtonian reflector, a form of compound/catadioptric system such as a Schmidt Cassegrain or Maksutov, or variations of the traditional refractor. Mounts tend to be German equatorial so you can track and photograph the sky, or more recently computerised fork mounts – either alt az mounted or set up on a wedge – again for deep-sky astrophotography.

So it’s always good to see new innovations improving these basic designs. There are however some THAT stand the test of time. That's why we introduced Tried and Tested, so that products that have stayed popular and are still being manufactured can receive the recognition they deserve.

Some, like our first Tried and Tested review of the Celestron C8 in issue 88, have been around for decades whilst others have become well-established in a much shorter space of time. In our May issue Pete Lawrence is our Tried and Tested reviewer, putting the Orion Optics AG12 through its paces, whilst Steve Richards got a chance to examine Celestron's latest mount, the AV-X. Meanwhile Andrew Phethean enjoyed exploring the heavens with the latest offering from Skywatcher, their Heritage-90 Virtuoso auto-track maksutov. All this and despite the weather! Pick up a copy of our latest issue now.

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