8" SCT Equipment

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In 1995, when I had my first full-time job for the second year, I could afford to own a car, so I decided to buy a larger telescope. My decision turned out to be a Celestron 8, mounted on a Vixen GP-DX. This appeared to be a reasonable compromise between cost, portability, aperture and flexibility for future upgrades.

The weight of the Vixen GP-DX case including all counterweights, the controls, etc. is 22.5 kg. In reviews independent from the manufacturer the maximum payload is referenced as 10 kg, which is much more than the 5.5-6.0 kg OTA of an 8" SCT, so even heavy piggyback lenses and autoguider/off-axis equipment is not at all a problem for the mount. (It's rather the aluminum tripod which is coming close the edge of its capacity.)

I took piggyback photos with my old lenses, including two fine telephoto lenses a Minolta 200mm/4.0 and a Sigma 400mm/5.6, which I could easily guide with my improved mount. In addition, I started to do astrophotography through the scope, for which I used a Lumicon Easy Guider with an f/6.2 Shapley lens. I obtained the most rewarding results during my astro-trip to Tenerife.

After ten years of use, I observed some mirror shift in my C8, so I replaced it by an 8" Meade telescope with mirror lock. Although the mirror lock is a great feature (I don't know why Celestron did not implement it yet), one severe downside is Meade's trashy piggyback mount. As I was unwilling to go for experiments with this disapointing feature, I decided to use the new 80/600mm Sky Watcher for short focal astrophotography.

Click at the images to enlarge.

8" Meade SCT on a Vixen GP-DX

My 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
mounted on my Vixen GP-DX.

My Off-Axis-Guiding Setup

My Meade Telescope with the
lumcon off-axis guider installed.

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