Telescope Reviews: Meade 2120 LX-6

This scope has been out of production for years and has been superceded by the LX-200 series. However, my friend Chris owns a pristine example of the 2120 on the LX-6 mount. His scope has integrated digital setting circles, both RA and Dec motors and a hand controller. He also has the Meade focal reducer, a bunch of eyepieces and a Meade Dew Shield. I've had the opportunity to use his scope on many occasions over the years, but just recently he asked me to run a quick star test on it and share what I thought. [More]

Telescope Review: Guan Sheng GS-600 8 inch f/4 EQ

I traded in my Orion StarMax for this scope just a few months ago. The deal involved just swapping the OTA's, so my test sample doesn't have the 8x50 finder (I have a custom made 12x60 finder instead) and I don't have the 10mm eyepiece, although I did use my 13mm NexStar Plossl with it. The scope is now my primary unit, designed to deliver the deep sky views that the StarMax 127 simply couldn't. [More]

Telescope Review: NewStar 70mm f/10 Refractor

This was a piece together project that included a NewStar (Synta) 70mm f/10 OTA with a Skywatcher red dot finder, an Orion 25mm Sirius Plossl and a Guen Sheng EQ-2 mount and tripod. The tripod featured telescoping aluminum legs and a solid accessory tray that also served to steady the mount. The EQ head was a bit odd - similar to the Orion EQ-2 but the goose neck was missing. The tripod was very solid and the dual slow motion controls were smooth, although the Dec control was a spring loaded affair that had to be "reset" every once in a while. [More]

Telescope Review: Orion StarMax 127

I picked up this super compact scope to replace my bulky 10 inch Dob. The StarMax comes on a sturdy EQ-3 mount. I actually purchased the Apex 127 - which is without a mount. I first mounted to an EQ-2, but that proved too weak, so I later upgraded it to an EQ-4. My review will deal with it's performance on the EQ-4 mount. The scope also came with a decent 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, and I augmented it with the addition of a 17mm and 32mm Sirius Plossls. I rounded out the eyepiece setup with an Antares 2x APO Barlow. [More]

Telescope Review: Meade 10 inch Starfinder Dob

I traded in my ETX for this big Dob in the fall of 2001. The 10 inch Dob was my only scope at the time, and served very well as a general purpose scope. I transported the scope to a dark sky location in my Grand Am. The scope took up all the available space except for the driver's seat! I used the scope for about 1 year before trading it in for something more portable (an Orion Starmax 127). [More]

Telescope Review: Meade ETX 90/EC

I traded in my C8 on the ETX so I could have a more portable package and GOTO control. I bought the ETX with the optional AutoStar controller and the Deluxe Field Tripod. This gave me a nice big mount with height adjustable aluminium legs and a tilting mount head, so I could polar align the ETX if required. I also got a 2x Barlow included in the deal, along with a nylon carry bag for the ETX. [More]

Telescope Review: Celestron C8 (Celestar 8)

This was my first serious telescope. I bought it way back in 1997 before GOTO became all the rage. The only options I had on my scope were a dew sheild and a Telrad. This is the C8 series that comes with the "wedgepod" - the tripod and wedge are integrated in one unit. The scope has a built in RA motor that is powered for up to 40 hours by one 9V battery. It includes slow motion knobs on both axis as well as setting circles. The 90 degree star digaonal interfaces with a 1.25 inch visual back. [More]

Telescope Review: Bausch & Lomb Professional 200

If you are in to portable Newtonians on an EQ mount, this scope might be for you! I got to compare this unit directly with Meade's ubiquitous 4500, and I must say in every area, the Pro 200 was better. The scope is a long tube (900mm focal length) Newt with a 114mm parabolic mirror mounted on an EQ-1 style mount. The entire rig weighs just 42 pounds and is very easy to transport in even the smallest car. It includes a decent 6x30mm finder scope and a 1.25 inch metal rack and pinion focuser. The adjustable aluminum tripod has a handy accessory tray built into it. The scope comes with two decent quality Kellner eyepieces - a 25mm and a 9mm. It also comes with a 2x Barlow lens and a neutral gray Moon filter. [More]