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100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

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100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby edjbrown » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:17 pm

Hello all,

firstly, thanks in advance for any help that comes my way.

I am buying my first telescope and after a lot of research I have come to the conclusion that I am mostly interested in planetary observation. It seems to me that I might need a scope that is out of my budget/ portability preferences to see anything worth while that is more deep space. Also I simply love seeing Jupiter and Saturn (and hopefully some of their moons!)

I live in a city in Germany, I have a top floor balcony that might be a serviceable location but as you can imagine there is a good amount of light pollution so being able to easily transport my scope somewhere darker would be important. I also dont own a car here so whatever I get I would have to be able to cycle with/ maybe get a tram. With this in mind, though I think Newtonians are a bit cooler, I think a SCT or Maksutov would work well.

However I have found that SCT's, mostly made my Celestron are a bit too expensive and honesty Im not interested in GoTo mounts or computerized versions, I think for me personally it kills the fun of the hunt. This leaves me with Maksutovs.

I have narrowed my search down to a Bresser telescope (that I cant link to as this is my first post here)
It is a Bresser Maksutov Telescope MC 100/1400 EQ-3
Aperture: 100mm
Focal Length: 1400
F/Ratio: 14
€270

However I am somewhat tempted to get the next one up.
a Bresser Maksutov telescope MC 127/1900 Messier EXOS-1
Aperture: 127mm
Focal Length: 1900
F/Ratio: 15
€517

I know there are others, I have definitely considered the skywatcher 102 and 127 maks but they are a good 80-100 more Euros and come with a few less accessories and a poorer mount. 102 comes with only an EQ2.

The extra 27mm of aperture does appeal to me, but it is twice the price, is it even close to twice as good? I would also be more reluctant to buy any extra eyepieces or Barlow lenses just yet with the pricier option, but obviously I want to get a scope that will keep me happy for a few years.

What do you folks think?

Many thanks again,

Ed
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Gfamily2 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:57 pm

Hi and welcome.
I wouldn't say that the 127mm scope is twice as good in itself, but the EXOS-1 mount does look considerably more robust than the EQ3 mount that the 100mm scope comes with.

I can also say that when I bought my Skywatcher Mak, I was only able to reasonably afford their 102mm model, and I should really have waited until I could get the 127mm scope. I have since bought the 127mm scope (second hand, for a lot less than it would have cost new), and it is a much more usable telescope.

So, although it costs twice as much, I would say that yes, the 127mm package probably is worth twice as much.

In addition, sometime in the future, you'll be able to fit a motor drive to the EXOS-1 mount as an upgrade, so that you don't have to use the cable to manually keep your target in view.

I hope this helps.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Aratus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:27 pm

Observing planets tend to be best with refractors rather than reflectors. It is something to consider if you really want to concentrate on planets.

Planets tend to be bright but small targets. The bigger the aperture, the better. Rest assured that there is not much point in a computerized mount. Planets are not hard to find, nor to keep in the viewfinder with a cable. Put all your money into aperture to begin with. Start off with a standard eyepiece, and by the time you can afford to buy a more powerful eyepiece, you will be experienced enough to use a stronger eyepiece and/or a barlow.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Gfamily2 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:14 pm

Aratus wrote:Observing planets tend to be best with refractors rather than reflectors. It is something to consider if you really want to concentrate on planets.

You have a point, as refractors tend to give better contrast - it seems to be something to do with the lack of a central obstruction, which is reckoned to 'soften' the view.

But Maks are generally regarded as probably second best for planets, and for larger apertures, they'll win on an inches per £ basis.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
(Not a moderator)
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby edjbrown » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:27 pm

Thank you Gfamily and Aratus for your replies.

I have definitely considered a refractor, though for now I am mostly interested in planets, I would like to leave an option open for other deep sky objects, am I right in thinking refractors generally arent as good at that? Or would a 100mm refractor hold its own against the 100mm Maks I listed?

I have to say I am tempted to just forget about portability and spend less money on the Skywatcher Explorer 150P or Skywatcher Explorer 150PL (it does seem a good amount longer though...)
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Gfamily2 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:40 pm

Refractors would be just as good and quite likely better. In terms of aperture, a 100mm will gather more light than a reflector, simply because it doesn't have a central obstruction.
However, refractors cost more than reflectors as the aperture increases.
In addition, refractors can suffer from Chromatic Aberration unless you pay more for an APO, which puts the cost up even more.
You can get reasonably priced refractors up to about 100-120mm with only moderate CA, but above that they get progressively more expensive.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
(Not a moderator)
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Aratus » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:01 pm

Gfamily2 wrote:
Aratus wrote:Observing planets tend to be best with refractors rather than reflectors. It is something to consider if you really want to concentrate on planets.

You have a point, as refractors tend to give better contrast - it seems to be something to do with the lack of a central obstruction, which is reckoned to 'soften' the view.

But Maks are generally regarded as probably second best for planets, and for larger apertures, they'll win on an inches per £ basis.


Quite true. In the end there is a certain amount of subjectiveness about it, but that central obstruction does soften the image, and reduce resolution. Of course refractors also bring their own problems with them too. As usual the best we can do is mention the complex number of facts to do with different kinds of telescopes, and hope a prospective buyer can buy what they choose with confidence. Planets actually look good in telescopes - full stop, so I don't think anyone can actually lose out whatever they buy.

I hesitated to mention it earlier, but planets are in short supply at the moment, and when they do appear, the best ones will be down in the murk. That will be the case for a good number of years. It isn't the best time to be exclusively taking an interest in planets :(
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby EIZO » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:46 pm

Actually if you do enough research you will know that a Refractor is best for planets
Celestron Edge 8" Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, Sky Tee2, WO Binoviewers, 2" and 1.25" eyepieces, ZWO ASI 178MM camera, Neximage 5, Nikon D4s, D810, Nikkor 70-200 F2.8, Nikkor 14-24, Nikkor 70-200, Nikkor 24-120, Sigma 150-600 Sport
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby edjbrown » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:58 pm

Aratus wrote:
Gfamily2 wrote:
Aratus wrote:I hesitated to mention it earlier, but planets are in short supply at the moment, and when they do appear, the best ones will be down in the murk. That will be the case for a good number of years. It isn't the best time to be exclusively taking an interest in planets :(


Interesting! I had not thought to check that. I did go on Stellarium and have a look, youre right, Jupiter and Saturn are appearing but are a bit low down in the sky. I am higher up here than my surroundings but also there are plenty of other high buildings around still as you can imagine.

How might a 100 or 120 refractor cope with viewing some deep sky objects, like M42 for example?
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Aratus » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:58 pm

edjbrown wrote:
Interesting! I had not thought to check that. I did go on Stellarium and have a look, youre right, Jupiter and Saturn are appearing but are a bit low down in the sky. I am higher up here than my surroundings but also there are plenty of other high buildings around still as you can imagine.

How might a 100 or 120 refractor cope with viewing some deep sky objects, like M42 for example?


The aperture isn't too great, and using something like a 25mm eyepiece with it will show the Orion Nebula pretty well. There are plenty of deep sky objects within the grasp of a 120mm refractor to keep you busy. There are double stars to split, and you can bag a good number of asteroids too. With lunar features, it will be a long time before you run out of things to identify. It is a shame about the planets just now, but astronomers just switch to something else for a while. :)
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
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