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ETX-90RA New Tripod?

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Posted by Clayton Jones on September 26, 2002 21:56:05 UTC

I'm ready to purchase a first telescope, after probing the skies with a pair of 10x50 binoculars for a few years. I am interested in a small Maksutov-Cassegrain scope like the Meade ETX-90, the LOMO Astele 95 or the Orion StarMax 90.

I have heard great things about the optics of the Meade ETXes, but less than stellar reviews concerning their mounts. I think that the ETX-90RA would be a great scope if I could remove it from its original fork mount and put it on something more solid. Does anyone know if this can be done elegantly (i.e. does it have a mounting plate, can it be easily removed from the original fork)? Or would I have to buy some mounting rings to fasten 'round the tube, and just kind of tear the scope away from its original mount?

The reason the ETX appeals to me most is that the ETX-90RA is very cheap ($170, less than the Orion OTA at 200 and the LOMO at around 350) and I have heard such good things about its optics. So, I figure that it will get some good backing here on the Meade forum... but any input at all about it (or any of the other comparable Maks), not just input specific to my question, would be welcomed. Thanks!

PS The reason that I am interested in a small-aperture Mak is that I'm also a birdwatcher and feel that this type of scope will be the best double-duty instrument I can get.

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