“ Brand: Orion / Type: Reflecting telescope „
In Astronomy, as in DIY, it pays to have a tool for every job, some scopes are massive light buckets, made to gather every photon issued from the distant cosmos, some scopes are tiny, but what they lack in light gathering ability they make up for in portability, there are scopes that specialise in Galaxies & Nebulae while others are better suited to observing the solar system and its myriad of awe inspiring objects, the starmax falls into the latter category and is an example of the Maksutov Cassegrain style telescope. What the Maksutov Cassegrain does is to use - in conjunction with the primary mirror - a lens with a slightly curved surface, it has the effect of reducing abberations and imperfections that can be more pronounced in reflectors. With a focal length of 1250mm and a focal ratio of F13.8 you get some quite serious magnification with the Starmax while keeping a manageably compact tube length (a bit less than a foot). It's not only short but light to, it's 6.5lbs which makes it a great grab and go scope. The focuser is adequate and there is less image shift than in other similarly priced catadioptrics I've seen, although (owing to the nature of its design) there is a little. Image quality is good, performing well at higher powers. Of course, it's not perfect, a touch of spherical abberation is present but thankfully it is quite negligible, for the price it's a good little performer. Although the EQ1 is sufficient for the scope I would prefer a sturdier mount that's a little smoother to operate. However it's not terrible and if you can put up with a bit of vibration it does help keep the overall price down. The finderscope is ok, up to the job of tracking down the nice and bright objects of our solar system but if you're going to try for Deep sky objects you might want to upgrade to a more powerful finder, it's a 6 x 20 so it isn't much use for faint objects especially in your average suburb. With good optical quality and no glaring defects the Starmax is definitely worth a look, it isn't the absolute best scope I've used but neither is it the worst, it would be best suited to a planetary/Lunar observer looking for a quick set up that they can transport easily.