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Comments about Celestron Advanced VX 6 Inch Refractor Telescope:
There are many forms of refracting telescopes. Most consumers nowdays use Apochromatic Refractors for visual observing and astrophotography. Understand that aperature is key in light gathering. Now look at the price difference between this "Achromat" telescope with a great mount, and look at the price of an "Apochromatic" telescope at the same aperature. $1299 vs $4999 and not including a mount, nuff said.
Now to get into the optics. This scope is outstanding for pulling out deep sky objects and exceptionally well on planets and lunar observation. The contrast is outstanding for the price. Please remember that this is an Achromatic scope, so you will get that violet fringe around bright stars and objects. To fix this issue, I bought a UHC (Ultra High Contrast) filter and it squashed most of that fringe. The light baffles in the OTA (Optical Tube Assembly) disperse most light polluted streets, but get to dark sky for optimal viewing. This scope has a ton of potential. It can be used for astrophotography and with the right filters and equipment, provides outstanding images of the universe. The tube with dew shield and all almost reaches 5 feet in length so make sure you have a good place to store this yard canon. The best part about this scope is that it really draws attention in star paries. Most people use dobsonian scopes, SCT's, or small refractors. Sorry, but a 80mm refractor will not even come close to scooping up as much light as a 6" refractor.
Now for the mount. The mount is rated for 30lb payload. The OTA for this package is about 19lbs, so you have a few lbs to spare. Highly don't recomment exceeding the weight limit as you might burn out the motor drives. The mount is very accurate after a 2 star + 4 star calibration and tracks very well. This mount is the upgrade from the CG-5 mount, that's why that mount is discontinued. Ever accidentally bump the cord on your mount and have it desconnect losing all calibration memory? The power tip screws into the mount, just be carefull not to trip over the cord or you could tip your entire scope... NOT GOOD. The 2 Auxillary ports provide for additional equipment to be installed with the mount such as autoguiding solutions and GPS systems. The hand control is very user friendly and has many locations in the US already pre programmed in the unit so you don't have to find the exact coordinates of your location for scope calibration. It also stays up to date with the time that you originally put in unlike my other motorized scope. Lastly for the mount, if you get tired of the refractor OTA, you can always get another OTA such as a Cassegrain or Refractor that doesn't exceed 30lbs and continue to use it.
The Tripod is very sturdy and does a great job at astro imaging. As for transporting this entire scope and tripod, it fits in my 2010 Chevy Malibu in the back seat, and that's in addition to my Orion XX12G dobsonian dissassembled and placed in my trunk.
Overall, for price, versatility, applications and the view of the cosmos, this scope is outstanding. Hearing many great comments from much more wealthy and experienced astronomers than I with far more expensive equipment than I have nothing but astonished and great things to say about this scope.
Last note, upgrade the Eye Pieces when you get used to the scope. The cheap factory plossl's that come with the scope doesn't do it true justice.
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