Posted by Andrea Tasselli at 12:33 on 2010 Sep 15
Hello Tom,In my experience 8" is the minimum to do any meaningful work vis-a-vis planetary imaging. Visually, I would go for as large an aperture as I can afford. Obviously, in visual work, a lot depends on the skill, experience and good eyesight of the observer. Although I am partial to the maksutov design (I have four of them) in all honesty I would rather spend the money on a large newton than on a finer but much smaller Mak-Cass. I’ve heard good things about these chinese 7" maks (but only in the pro version) although overall I don’t think they can compete with the russian ones. This said I do like much more the contrast in my maks (or rather still the darker sky background and star shape) than in my newts but the newts deliver far more punch for the buck, whenever planetary details are concerned.At any rate, if you live not too far from Lincoln you might want to drop by and have a look through an 8" Mak-Cass to see how it feels.Hope it helps,Andrea T.