Thursday, 5 November 2020 | Guido
Coming from a small Mak 90/1250 and a 120/600 refractor without tracking, I made the jump to the next level quite soon as a beginner.
The Maksutov/Newtonian 190/1000 from Sky-Watcher seemed to be an intuitively safe choice, as it promised to be a very good all-rounder for both visual and photography use. Is it a good choice, regardless whether you are a beginner or more experienced? My impression, for what it's worth: it is!
Last night, when the sky cleared from 6 pm onwards and Mars appeared from the horizon, I took the Mak/Newt out of the garage and set it up to have a go at Jupiter and Saturn, before they would have escaped my view behind the neighbour's house. I put my 40 mm 2" EP in and peeked through the TS 80 mm finder (I gracefully donated the finder that came with the Mak/Newt to the Mak 90/1250). Then, a first glance onto Jupiter and Saturn. The field of view is awesome, the focus perfect. Then, the 28 mm EP: more detail, obviously. Then, the 15 mm EP. Even though this still only represents a magnification of 66, Saturn looked more crisp and detailed than I have ever seen before in the other two smaller scopes.
Once I receive the 2" 2x Barlow in the upcoming weeks, these images are prone to become more amazing. I did not even do a proper test on the collimation yet. The stars seem crisp, but I have to check this anyway with the Cheshire.
Next was Andromeda M31. I could spot it almost with the naked eye by star-hopping (spot Cassiopeia's "W", extend from there towards Mirach and find it about 10 degrees from there towards the zenith). My binoculars helped too. This was the first time I saw M31 in such detail in a live view. I know it takes stacking of many exposures to get to the actually worthwhile images of Andromeda, but this was still a revelation to me.
Then, the image slowly fogged up, as the scope was pointing upwards to the open skies. Oh no, dew settled onto the Maksutov lens. So, the next challenge will be to minimize this.
As bulky as this Newtonian may be for someone who only had smaller scopes before, I quickly came to love this Mak-Newt. And I even haven't accomplished anything regarding tracking the mount yet. The scope sits now on my EQ5, which is too wobbly to conduct any serious photography, I guess, as tracking will cause small vibrations that affect the exposures. Amateur-astronomy is not for the over-impatient...
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 | Trevor
I had upgraded my mount to an EQ6-r so decided to replace my 8 year old skywatcher 200mm . When fully equipped the Mn190 weighs in at 16.3 kg (scope, Altair guide scope and camera, Atik383 mono and filter wheel) so was a bit concerned about tracking as the kit is set up and taken down each session. The scope holds its collimatiion and the mount tracks well.
I have added a skywatcher remote focus kit to the standard focuser and it holds the camera and filter wheel firmly but you can override the tube friction if you push too hard when inserting the camera.
The field of view is slightly larger than my previous scope. I have added a lifting handle to make handling easier so I don't have to bear hug it when lifting it on and off the mount.