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Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Telescope Reviews:Meade LXD75 SN-10

I purchased my LXD-75 SN-10 as a large aperture "portable" telescope. Since most of my observing is of DSO's , I didn't want an SCT. The scope IS reasonably portable.

So far, this telescope has met or exceeded my very modest expectations, but it has a few warts that need attention,
(1) The focuser is a piece of junk; I replaced the stock focuser with one from JMI , the NGF-55 , which is made specifically for the LXD-55 and LXD-75 Schmidt Newtonian telescopes. This is an entirely satisfactory focuser.
(2) The finder scope doesn't really "focus"; (edited 7/18/2005 --there is a way of focusing the finder, but it requires loosening a locking ring near the objective to do so; even then the finder is very astigmatic):however the eyepiece unscrews, so some folks might be able to get their dioipter correction before the ocular falls on the ground.
(3) The telescope is right at the limit of the mount's capacity for visual use; I would not recommend it for any but the lowest magnifications in any kind of windy conditions.(edited 7/18/2005: the mount has a lot less "wiggles" if set up on a soft surface; i.e. a lawn vs. concrete or deck)
(4) The eyepiece furnished by Meade requires immediate replacement. Lots of coma, and hard to focus sharp stellar pinpoints. I know they cost a lot, but the SMC Pentax XW series eyepieces virtually eliminate coma due to their design which contains a Barlow-type field element. Naglers work O.K., but not as well.

Meade could sell lots of these if they made it into a finished product. The optics are quite good. This could be the best Rich Field telescope that is not an APO that is reasonably priced. If they fixed it with a better (heavier duty) mount, focuser,finder,and eyepiece, I would have no trouble buying a larger aperture scope of this basic design.(edited 7/18/2005: another gripe is the lack of rotating tube rings; the finder scope never seems accessible without loosening the tube, and then the scope slides out of balance!)

Update 7/18/2005: I wound up selling the scope to a fellow club member. I just tired of continually rebalancing the scope during use. Not very user friendly, but O.K optics!

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:9 Mount:7 Ease of Use:7 Value:10
Weight: 6
Date: 07/19/2005 03:15:04 pm PST

Replies: 0

Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:Celestron Microguide 12.5mm

This is a very useful eyepiece for the double star observer. My only complaint is that the reticle seems to be awfully "busy", or too many scales to fit the space available.

The important scales are the protractor around the edge ,and the linear scale for measurement of separation between objects. With these two scales, it is possible to make precise measurements of double (or multiple) stars using the method of Teague.

This is a Japanese manufactured eyepiece, and the quality is very eveident. The well applied coatings eliminate any distracting flare or internal ghosting. Stellar images are very crisp, as is typical of an Orthoscopic e.p.

I recommend this eyepiece highly for double star observations.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Value:9
Weight: 5
Date: 04/19/2005 12:18:15 pm PST

Replies: 0

Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:TeleVue Radian 8mm

Altho' the Radian EP's have excellent eye relief and true FOV , they do not seem to be as sharp and contrasty as the TMB Monocentrics. I have used this EP to view Saturn at 125X in my 'scope with reasonable satisfaction , and it works fairly well on globular clusters (M15 and M79 , for example). Even tho' it is not one of my favorites , I still consider it as a "keeper".
Update 4/18/2005: In comparison to my SMC Pentax 7 XW, this e.p. comes in a distant second place. My biggest knock on this 8 mm eyepiece is a lack of sharpness and some lateral color at the edges.
I am now planning on selling this one to expand my Pentax collection!

Overall Rating: 6
Optics:7 Value:7
Weight: 5
Date: 04/18/2005 12:25:21 pm PST

Replies: 0

Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:Meade Super Plossl 26mm

I received one of these eyepieces with my new LXD-75 SN-10 telescope. It came in a box clearly marked "Made in China". What a piece of junk! I'm used to really GOOD eyepieces: Panoptics,Naglers, and Pentax XW's. This eyepiece is very astigmatic , and is a very poor match for the otherwise excellent OTA. In a slower f-ratio scope, the astigmatism would not be so evident, and the seagull images not so annoying. The coatings seem to be nonexistant, and there is lots of flare and internal reflection.

I plan to sell mine on eBay if anyone is dumb enough to buy it!

Overall Rating: 3
Optics:3 Value:3
Weight: 5
Date: 04/12/2005 12:54:59 pm PST

Replies: 0

Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:TeleVue Radian 5mm

Of all the varieties of Televue eyepieces , the Radians are my least favorite. As an effect of the higher magnifications , objects always seem rather dim through them , and I find myself switching to my TMB monocentrics for a brighter and contrastier view on concentrated dim objects such as planetary nebulae. The best use of this eyepiece is for planetary viewing , especially Saturn , when conditions permit the use of extreme magnifiction. This yields 200X in my Tak TOA 130. I have used it in conjunction with the TOA 1.6x extender on several occasions at 320x.

Update 12/1`5/2004: After using both a Pentax 7 XW and a TMB 6 super monocentric , I sold this eyepiece at the first opportunity. The only real advantage of the Radian line of ep's is the eye relief. I now find that in the shorter focal lengths , I am able to observe without my glasses. The TMB monocentric is MUCH better on planets , and the Pentax has a much brighter image on small globular clusters. Sayonara , Radian!

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:7 Value:7
Weight: 5
Date: 12/14/2004 03:34:52 pm PST

Replies: 1

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