8" Meade f/6.3 OTA Review
By: Vlad Fedosov
Intro:In my search for the right electronically assisted astronomy(EAA) scope I came across a used Meade 8” f/6.3 OTA. Now I have use c8’s with an f/6.3 reducer on multiple occasions for EAA and I knew that that combo worked very well. I was still curious as to how a native f/6.3 optical tube assembly(OTA) would work! The particular sample that I had was the UHTC version which was one of the newer scopes in this line that Meade produced. Let's take a look at how it performs.
I set up the scope out in my backyard on my LXD-75 mount to just really just asses its performance with my new ASI294MC Pro camera. I will not make this too drawn out as you can clearly see the performance of the scope with a larger chip.
While the center of the FOV does have very nice round stars the corners do show very significant coma. From what I know there is, unfortunately, no corrector available for these OTA’s that would correct for this. If you happen to come across one of these OTA’s and want to image with a smaller sensor such as the ASI224 I’m sure you would be very happy with the results. With a larger sensor such as the ASI294, this OTA does definitely lack in the edge performance.
Visually the OTA performs just as well as any other 8” SCT that I have tried. The larger central obstruction will theoretically make this OTA not as good of a performer on the planets, however(no planets where out during the review).
There is a reason the Panoptic line of TeleVue is the gold standard of "wide-field" eyepieces. They perform very well and are just plain fun to use with a wide easy to take in FOV. I will say that there are many options on the market today that will give you 90-95% of the performance of the Panoptic line for a fraction of the price such as the examples given above. But if you must have the best, look no further then the Panoptic.