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Skywatcher Skymax 180 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope OTA - S11540
About the Sky-Watcher Skymax 180 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope
Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are all about sharp, contrasty images, and the flexibility to use them as a telescope for astronomy, a spotting scope for terrestrial use, a lens for photography…or all three! The Sky-Watcher 180 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain uses a large 7.1” lens system to do the job of gathering light so you can see faint objects millions of light years away. The classic long focal length of f/15 will give you inky dark background skies so that celestial targets stand out beautifully.
The Skywatcher 180 mm Skymax comes with a nice selection of accessories, including a 2” 90-degree star diagonal, a 28 mm 2” LET eyepiece, an 8 x 50 straight-through finder for the location and centering of objects, and a Vixen-style dovetail plate, which allows you to mount your telescope on an alt-azimuth or equatorial mount that can handle at least 17 pounds.
Why a Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope?
Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are super popular, and for good reason! First of all, they are very portable for the size of their optics. With a relatively short, lightweight optical tube, the 7.1” Maksutov-Cassegrain is way more portable than a similar-sized refractor or Newtonian.
But let’s face it, portability isn’t everything! You still need enough light-gathering to see the objects you wish to look at, whether that object is Saturn, the Orion Nebula, a boat on the horizon at dusk, or a deer resting in the shade of an oak tree. 180 mm (over 7”) of aperture is large enough to enjoy everything from the Moon to faint deep sky objects across the universe, and it will blow you away for terrestrial applications.
Another consideration when choosing a telescope or spotting scope is how sharp the optics are. This is where the Sky-Watcher Skymax really shines! A Mak-Cass uses both mirrors and lenses to gather and focus light, and this design is famous for sharp, high-contrast “refractor-like” images.
You might ask why you wouldn’t just buy an 8” Schmidt-Cassegrain instead? It is true that they are portable for their optical size, and cost about the same. Many people love their SCT’s and are perfectly happy with them, but the 180 mm SW Maksutov offers one thing a classic SCT does not….those high contrast, velvety black background skies. It’s the focal length that does it. The Sky-Watcher S11530 Mak has a 2700 mm focal length and an f/ratio of 15. Most SCT’s have an f/ratio of 10. If wide field imaging is not your passion and you prefer a refractor-like view, then you should seriously consider the Sky-Watcher 180 mm Skymax!
Skywatcher USA 180 mm Skymax Specs
- Optical Design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
- Aperture: 180 mm (7.1 in)
- Focal Length: 2700 mm
- Focal Ratio: f/15
- Included Eyepieces: 2” 28 mm LET
- Finderscope: 8 x 50 Straight-Through
- Diagonal: 2” 90 degree star diagonal
- Highest Useful Magnification: 360x
- Optical Coatings: Fully multi-coated
- Tube Weight w/Accessories: 19 lb.
- Tube Length: 19.5" (22” with diagonal)
- Tube Width: 8.625”