Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

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Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby james s » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:46 am

Hi

I'm looking to buy my first scope and the FirstLight review of the Meade ETX LightSwitch tempted me beyond belief!
However, I wasn't sure that spending the best part of £1300.00 on a 6" scope was wise and now I've found a Celestron 8" Nexstar SE XLT for about £1000.00 brand new and boxed!

For this money, I can buy a powertank, dew shield and other accessories for the Nexstar as well and still stay within my theoretical £1300.00 budget

Can anyone see any problems with this or should I assume the LightSwitch optics are all powerful and go for the Meade?

I hope you can help!

James
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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby brianb » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:53 am

Go for the Celestron. More aperture is always better.

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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby james s » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:10 pm

Thanks brianb

It's always going to be a difficult decision.

I think if I bought the ETX-LS I would want the Meade 3.5inch monitor with it. Can't think I'd want to add it on later.
If I buy the NexStar I'm buying much older technology - albeit revamped somewhat.

I'm going to buy something - I just need a nudge.
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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby pmwright » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:26 pm

Hello James,

I've been reading the reviews of the Meade on the CN forum and there seems to be a number of users who are unhappy with the performance of the alignment procedure. Some have returned their telescopes to Meade a number of times for repair / replacement. The Celestron NexStar may be old technology but it works. If I had to to choose between 6" or 8" I would still go for the bigger telescope.
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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby james s » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:46 am

Thanks for the advice pmwright

That's why I'm dithering.
If it had been an 8" on the ETX-LS there would be no contest and I think it would be an obvious choice.

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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby chaletreynard » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:53 pm

Has anybody posted a Customer review on the ETX-LS yet?
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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby brianb » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:43 pm

[quote]Has anybody posted a Customer review on the ETX-LS yet?
[/quote]
Lots of comments in the relevant threads on "Cloudy Nights", most of it negative. Basically some people say it does what it says on the tin, though a majority can't get it to work at all.

The people who do have it working admit that it takes 10-15 mins to sort itself out when asked to auto-align. That's several times as long as the Meade, Celestron & Skywatcher "goto" computers require when aligning "manually". And the "Eclipse" camera in the ETX-LS is essentially useless for anything other than aligning the scope.

Meade appear to have released in the US market a stripped down version of this scope - still with goto, but without the auto alignment hardware, so it works similarly to the LX90 - at a price $200 below the LS. IMO that makes a lot of sense; once aligned by some means, the mount is more accurate than the 6SE, and the optics are certainly not inferior to the Celestron.

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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby james s » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:26 am

Right!
That was going to be my next question: optics.

The Meade although 6" has the Advanced Coma Free (ACF) optics. How important is this when comparing it to the Celestron that although 8" does not have ACF.

Presumably, the image in the Celestron will be brighter, but in the Meade it will be crisper/sharper?

Thanks for your advice everyone.
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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby brianb » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:26 am

[quote]The Meade although 6" has the Advanced Coma Free (ACF) optics. How important is this when comparing it to the Celestron that although 8" does not have ACF. [/quote]
ACF doesn't eliminate the collimation issue but probably makes it less critical. The ACF optics may be preferred when imaging with a large chip camera or viewing with a very low power, however conventional SCT optics are certainly capable of excellent results ... I don't think it matters much for normal users. There's likely to be much more variation between "good" & "poor" scopes of the same model from the same production batch than there is between Meade ACF & Celestron SCT optics in general. The coatings are also very similar in performance even if physically different enough not to transgress each others' patents.

Other things being equal (storage & weight issues) I'd far rather have an 8" scope with "average" optics than a 6" scope with "good" optics.
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RE: Meade ETX-LS vs Nexstar 8SE XLT

Postby james s » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:43 am

My plan is to see each of them in the flesh (as it were).

I'm going to see the Meade ETX-LS tomorrow in a local shop.

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