High resolution, high contrast Maksutov Cassegrain optics with almost zero chromatic aberration. An excellent choice for lunar, planetary and double-star observing!
Includes a 2" 28mm LER eyepiece, a 2” Star Diagonal and 9x50 finderscope as shown in the photo.
|Average Rating (5 Reviews): |Great for solar system views
11 November 2021 | Douglas
I bought this a few years ago and ended up not using it so much because it fits a bit in-between some other scopes that I have. I tend to use most my 4-inch APO refractor or my 9.25 inch SCT as they offer complementary fields of view and aperture. If to go to the trouble of setting up an equatorial mount, then I tended to use one of them. However, I recently discovered a new way to use the Skymax 150 Pro that has enable me to use this more. It turns out this scope fits very nicely on the little Dobsonian mount that came with my Sky-Watcher Heritage-150P Flextube Dobsonian. I discovered this idea on a YouTube video and found it is quite useable in this mode and you can also store it on the mount which makes setup time very quick. (Funny enough, I tend to use the Heritage-150P on a small EQ mount so the little Dobsonian mount was just sitting in the original box in the attic). I also found the little Dobsonian fits perfectly on top of an "Ikea Bekvam Wooden Utility Step" that I had around (bought on Amazon). The little rubber feet on the bottom of the mount fit around the top of the wooden step and the screw on the bottom fits into the slot on the top. This allows me to set up quickly to catch quick views of the planets and moon, which is great for showing the kids. I found the diagonal and eyepiece that came with the Skymax 150 PRO to be very good (although I have to admit I sold them since I already had similar accessories). The finderscope is quite acceptable but I actually always use this scope with a red dot finder (and so also sold the finderscope). Perhaps worth mentioning that the demand for the accessories on the used market is quite good so you can recoup part of the price of the telescope by selling accessories you don't need. The finderscope can apparently be modified into a fairly good guide scope (although I have not tried that myself).
04 August 2021 | John
I wondered if the scope would be too heavy for my HEQ5 mount but it suits it nicely, balances up well.
I've had some lovely close up views of the moon and just recently turned it towards the planets Jupiter and Saturn. I'm happy to say that it does exactly what I hoped it would. Fabulous views of Jupiter and Saturn and so far my inexperience with planetary imaging hasn't stopped me from getting a couple of really nice images. I can't wait to get going properly with planetary imaging.
Regarding the old chestnut of cooling, I just leave it outside my back door with the rear lens cap off covered by a plastic bag a couple of hours before my intended session and have no problems at all.
Many thanks to the guys at FLO for their patience and help with my stupid questions, they really are the best!
Sky-Watcher Skymax 150 PRO
27 May 2020 | Graham
Brilliant piece of kit.
Using it for planetary imaging.
Outstanding images of Saturn despite being so low in the sky.
FLO's service was second to none as per usual.
SKYWATCHER BLACK DIAMOND 150MM MAKSUTOV
12 November 2018 | Joseph
Even betterin all departments than the splwndid 127mm BD MAK..REALLY MANY RESOLVES GLOBULARS..GREAT RED SPOT AND ITS HOLLOW ..WOW..DOUBLES STARS A REVELATION..I HAVE A130MM TS APO BUT THIS IS A VERY CLOSE IN SHARPNESS WITH BETTER RESOLUTION!
FANTASTIC BUY AND BEST PRICE EVER!!
27 April 2015 | Richard
Just to put a bit more meat on the bones!
I had a good run out with the MAK and had a bit of visual on Lunar, Jupiter, Doubles as well as a few DSO's - M3 M13 M64. Performance as follows;
LUNAR (24mm Hyperion and 7 - 21mm SW Zoom EP);
The moon was a fabulous target with plenty of shadow all along the terminator. Using the 24mm the views were superb with nice crisp detail on the lunar surface. Almost too bright for the eye but the detail observed within the craters more than made up for the "snow blindness". The detail on some obscure southern craters was immense - Newton A, D and G as well as the more defined Moretus was breathtakingly stunning.
When looking at Aristillus the view was so sharp you could easily make out the well defined shadow from the eastern crater rim cast onto the crater basin. This gave an excellent 3D effect and really brought home how beautifully rugged the lunar surface is.
Pushing the mag up to around 150 - 180x produced fantastic views of the Apennine Mts around Mare Imbrium. The sharpness was truly stunning and I can only imagine it was like being in orbit looking down.
As I brought the mag up to 200x I started to loose the image definition and I think this (in UK skies) is most probably the realistic limit for visual. However, I would imagine that Webcam imaging could handle the higher mag.
JUPITER (same EP's);
Nice and clear up to about 100x mag but started to lose definition beyond that. I think the seeing was good and I have read a lot about the MAK's being planet killers. Certainly I would expect to be able to bring it comfortably beyond 150x. I think the main issue is the production focuser. Mirror shift although annoying is easy to live with, but getting the focus to hold at the correct focal point is a mare (excuse the punt!). This was also noticeable when viewing the moon at over 150x. Thus you cant quite hold the image in precise focus.
M3, 13 and 64;
Although the moon was pretty bright the views on the 2 clusters were very good. Bringing the mag up to 180 - 200x really split the cluster cores and brought home exactly what sort of DSO you were looking at. A real pleasure to revisit these with the MAK. LP and the moon made the use of averted vision a necessity now and again but then, I have looked at theses DSO's through the MAK at Brecon Beacons. I know what it is capable of with globular's.
M64 couldn't be defined properly although at 120x I could make out the Black Eye and would imagine on a moonless night, this DSO and a few more would make good targets
I would say that image brightness and pin sharpness on the MAK wont be as good as with an APO. The central obstruction will always be a factor. However, I believe its a close second.
A comfortable splitting of this target. Nice yellow hue from polaris and a faint companion that gave of a subtle hint of turquoise hew. A first for me!
An easy one really. Mizar's companion as well as the main star had a stunning whiteness to them. Really beautiful and bright.
The MAK definatly has more to offer a user than just planets etc. It really does perform on a lot of DSO's, excelling on Globular Clusters. On doubles, its ease of use under high mag make it very useful. Lunar observing is out of this world.
Portability - bang for buck the MAK is a great grab and go. Packing plenty of punch, quality optics and its compact.
Cost - currently on sale for £424 it is the steal of the century. You simply wont get this much quality optical performance for this price in any other instrument.
Collimation - no adjustment require unless it has a major trauma. Almost Frac like in this respect
Power - holds high magnification well
Focuser - an SCT is required in order to allow the MAK's full potential. Especially on visual with planets. This isn't a nice to have, it is essential
Central Obstruction - as with SCT's and other scopes with this optical feature, you have to be realistic. It is not going to give you that pin sharp crisp detail on individual stars etc that you will find with a Frac (APO etc). As you increase mag you increase what I call image smear.
Wide Field - forget it!!!!!!!!
For the price and what I wanted it for (a grab and go) its hit the mark and I'm very pleased. I will add an SCT soon and will get another report posted when I get another look at a few planets