Here Come the Maks

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Many amateur astronomers say they love Maksutov Cassegrain telescopes (MCTs, Maks). What is not to love? As discussed in Chapter 3, the SCT-like MCT has the potential for producing better images than a Schmidt Cassegrain. The only thing most pre-1990s amateur astronomers did not like about MCTs was their prices. Until the advent of the Meade ETX, the only widely available astronomy-oriented Mak for amateurs was the very fine but very expensive Questar.

The Mak scene began to change for the better in the early 1990s when Meade added a 7-inch MCT to its LX200 line of go-to scopes. This Mak was somewhat more expensive than an 8-inch SCT but not horrendously so. The floodgates really opened in 1996 when the company began to sell the ETX, a 90-mm MCT. Since then, Maksutovs have multiplied like rabbits, at both the high and low ends of the price scale.

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