Lomo Astele 150


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Lomo Astele 150
excellent scope

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.200.163)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41411


Lomo Astele 150
what a scope people you have get this scope wow star test are fantastic this scope is like looking though a apo refractor, same quaility, this is my scope for a life time rocky

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.195.204)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41413


Lomo Astele 150
Excellent Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope and a great value! LOMO knows how to engineer and build great telescopes. I got the Astele 150G (German Equatorial Mount model). It was very easy to setup and the optics is simply amazing! I am very happy!

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.166.10)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=64453


Lomo Astele 150
I took delivery of this optical powerhouse last month and have already seen through it some of the best planetary views in my whole observing life (10+ years)! I did not have high expectations on its ability to keep up with the performance of my old trusty Takahashi FCT 100 apochromat. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw significantly brighter and more detailed images of the planets through the Astele 150. They must have done everything right on the optical front to offer this kind of performance at such an affordable price (I paid $500 for a mint condition OTA on Astromart). These Lomo Maksutovs use Astrosital substrate rather than the more common Pyrex glass to facilitate thermal equilibrium. They cool down to optimum temperature much quicker than other Mak. Cas. from Intes and Orion. Lomo has built many world-class telescopes for professional observatories in past decades and its Astele 150 embodies every bit of pride and expertise that go parallel with its long, rich history. These 15cm Maks will be highly sought after in the future for their legendary optics and cult status.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:7 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.133.27)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=264298


Lomo Astele 150
I HAVE THIS SCOPE AND IT DOESNT COMPARE TO A MK-67 OPTICS ARE SOSO AND THATS ALL I AM GOING TO SAY

Overall Rating: 4
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:6 Value:6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.65.50)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=348216

>I HAVE THIS SCOPE AND IT DOESNT COMPARE TO A MK-67 OPTICS ARE SOSO  AND THATS ALL I AM GOING TO SAY

       Well, that's not saying much....

Lomo Astele 150
The guy who said this scope is only so-so in the optical department must either have a screwed up unit or he is totally ignorant on how to get the most out of it. The LOMO Astele 150MC is definitely a pro level unit. It's one of the best scopes out there for splitting double stars with its 34% central obstruction which is considered ideal for star splitting. At very high mags during lunar viewing, the contrast and sharpness are so good that it reminds me of a black and white Ansel Adams photo. Crater shadows are jet black, and not just very dark gray. There appear to be a hundred shades of gray from snow white to jet black on the lunar surface. I got my best view of Jupiter ever with a Siebert BN22 binoviewer and Ultima EP's. I like the OTA so much that I bought the TEC I-turret and outfitted it with five Ultima EP's from 7.5mm to 30mm. I use a Stellarvue 2" dielectric diagonal with 1/10 wave accuracy when binoviewing. The supplied finder scope is the best I have ever used for its 40mm aperture. It outperforms my 50mm Stellarvue finder scope. I had to add a Vixen type dovetail to the sliding foot of the LOMO type mount in order to mount the scope on my Atlas mount.

Things to consider: This is a poor man's Questar. It will provide 500X mags when the seeing permits and performs above the theoretical limit for its aperture, just like a Questar. The astrosital mirror has minimal change during cooldown and no cooling fan is provided nor is one needed. Good views are generally seen 30 minutes after setup, and one hour of cooldown is sufficient on most nights for excellent views. The moving mirror system will focus a binoviewer without an OCA, which can allow the OTA to perform above an APO that needs an OCA when lunar or planetary viewing is the agenda for the night. There will be some sky flooding when using wideangle 2" EP's on deep sky viewing, so the APO or even an achromat will win in that regard. You MUST use the lens hood to provide best contrast when using in town or anytime stray light is an issue. This is just a Cassegrain trait as stray light must be kept out of the baffle tube at all times. Mak-Newts work better where stray light is a problem, like in town around streetlights. There is almost no image shift when focusing on my unit. My 150MC is the only one I have ever used, so I don't know how these hold up from unit to unit. I have a 2" Mercury visual back on my unit, and it works perfectly with the Stellarvue diagonal and TEC I-turret. The scope will perform reasonably well on deep sky viewing with a 30mm Ultima or my 2" 34mm Axiom. For double stars I mainly use the TEC I-turret and for lunar and planetary viewing I mainly use a Siebert BN22 binoviewer. For really high power viewing I use Siebert Star Splitters in the binoviewer from 8.9mm down to 4.4mm. That's a range of around 250X to 500X.

On most nights, I am only limited by the seeing as to the amount of detail I can see in bright objects. Performance on dim deep sky objects is noticeably behind most 8" Newtonians, and mainly I'm unable to get wideangle views below 50X-60X or so. On globular clusters, the increased contrast at high mags should equal an 8" SCT. On lunar viewing, the SCT can't hold a candle as the 150MC is razor sharp and screams for all the power that the seeing permits.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.35.138)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=559333


Lomo Astele 150
First of all, this is a visual scope. The secondary mirror CO at 34% is large enough to illuminate any EP suitable for the scope, but expect light falloff with a 35mm camera. That said, it's a planetary instrument and not a deep sky/starfield instrument for use with long FL wideangle EP's. You can get the complete Double Cluster in the FOV with a 23mm Axiom, and that's about it. It will perform acceptably well on dim nebulae with a 30mm Ultima, but don't expect the same performance as a much larger SCT. Sky flooding will set in if you use wideangle 2" EP's with it.

However, on lunar, planetary and other high mag work, including high mag birding during the daytime, this scope just kills anything I ever saw for the price. Being a Gregory Mak, and not a Rumak, it's not as well corrected way out near the edge with a long FL EP. However, the central half of the FOV is amazing in its sharpness and contrast.

This is a great star splitting scope. Get yourself a good EP turret and some high grade planetary EP's for that use. A Tak, TEC or Van Slyke is what you will need. Don't even consider less than a 1/10 wave diagonal with this scope. It easily reveals defects in your planetary EP collection. A turret loaded with planetary EP's is the best accessory for this scope.

I detect almost no primary mirror shift when focusing, and the focusing is fairly smooth, if not quite Crayford like in feel. I hear the focusing knob tension is adjustable. It supports binoviewing without resorting to an OCA to allow focus as is common with Dobs and refractors.

If your main interest is deep sky, there are better scopes for the same money. However, none of those scopes will match this scope for lunar, planatary and star splitting duties. Is is worth toting a 5" to 6" Apo around, and worse yet paying for it, in order match the high mag capability of this instrument? Not for me it isn't. This scope supports 500X mags on very bright objects if the seeing allows it. A binoviewer cuts down the light enough to forego a lunar filter when observing a full moon. That adds even more to the contrast.

Oh yes, you also get a great finder scope with the OTA. It was sold in fork mount and GEM dovetail versions. I have the GEM version. You have to mount your dovetail to the LOMO sliding dovetail holder. After mounting, you can slide the OTA back and forth for balancing without fear of dropping the OTA on the ground as it's a captive dovetail/holder arangement. No need to mess with your adapter dovetail that stays clamped in your mount.

With a 30mm Ultima, your lowest mag is around 73X, so don't buy this scope if widefield viewing is one of your main interests. This scope was made to run all the mag that seeing will allow on bright objects. Buy it for that purpose, and you will be thrilled with its performance. Don't forget to try it with a binoviewer and an EP turret attached to a 2" visual back. Being an internally focusing system, the weight doesn't mess up your focuser by overloading it as in some other small scopes.

I wonder why LOMO dropped this scope? It's better than the average Intes or Intes-Micro Mak that you run across much more often.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.55.153)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=562207


Lomo Astele 150
I'll try to answer another reviewer as to why LOMO dropped this scope, excellent though it is. LOMO is a big company that needs big orders. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, LOMO could no longer depend on government orders to keep their 36,000 employees busy. They reduced to 9,000 employees and decided to stake out a big share of the high end commercial/government/consumer market in a competitive world market setting. The Astele series scopes were meant to do battle with Meade and Celestron SCT's and offer a much higher quality scope at a slightly higher price. That didn't happen. Meade and Celestron were much better at selling into the consumer market, and like Carl Zeiss before them, LOMO had to exit the consumer astronomy market as folks were not going to pay the extra money for higher quality, eben if in the case of LOMO quality, it was only slight more costly than Meade and Celestron. The prices on the Astele scopes were cut to the bone in order to get a toehold in the market, and when it did not happen, LOMO had to dump consumer astronomy and get back to building night vision gear, microscopes, surgical optics and other such optics that command higher prices and draw big orders from government and commercial buyers. LOMO cannot build at the same small scale as say Intes-Micro, much less Astro Physics, and stay solvent. The LOMO amateur astronomy scopes are gone for good until the world market goes through drastic changes, same as for Carl Zeiss. The Astele series Mak-Newt and Mak-Cass scopes were incredible good values for the level of optical quality, and like all other things that are too good to be true, it had to come to an end when not enough buyers could be found. I guess many astronomers weren't yet ready to trust Russian optics with sales figures that were sufficient to stay profitable. LOMO also did a rather poor job of promoting the scopes, expecting the quality and their reputation to sell the scopes. The average scope buyer is dumb as a brick as to the production capabilities of LOMO, and might not have even heard of the brand, though it is basically the Russian equivalent of Carl Zeiss in optical quality. LOMO built about 90% of Russian high end military and scientific optics during the Communist era of the country.

The bottom line is that when you buy one of these Astele scopes, you have bought an orphan. Orphan status doesn't keep knowledgeable astronomers from buying classic Carl Zeiss astronomical products, and it shouldn't keep them from buying up these Astele series LOMO scopes while they can at bargain prices. I seriously doubt that LOMO could ever reintroduce these scopes at anywhere near the low prices they once sold for. St. Petersburg is going through huge economic and business growth, and production costs have bound to have risen in the meantime, and will for quite some time.

Be aware that LOMO used a weird mounting arrangement that included a dovetail bar of non-standard width. Some of these OTA's came on a fork mount at a higher price. I think that any modification required to get either scope properly mounted to your mount, tripod or pier will be well worth the effort. The two LOMO Astele scopes I have looked through certainly seem to meet meet their claimed specs for optical quality. I have heard of a few lemons out there, but I would guess it was a collimation issue more than an optical figure issue. BTW, the MC150 was advertised as 1/8 wave quality, and I would say nothing but the best diagonals and EP's will get the most out of the scope I looked through, which had a 1/10 wave dielectric mirror and premium EP's. I did a star test with an EP straight into the visual back, and the image looked near text book perfect. The rings were very smooth and well defined, indicating a very high degree of polish. The in-focus Airy disc was very round and very sharp with very crisp concentric diffraction rings. It would be hard to get a 6" Mak that did better than this, as there is almost no room for improvement that I could see. The lunar views were stunning in momemts of good seeing, and I pushed the scope to 500X without image breakdown, except for moments of bad seeing. It takes an exceptional night of seeing to see the limits of the optics, and I would say that for me, this is all the scope I would need for star splitting and lunar observation at least 90% of the time. I have clear dark skies in the northern plains of Montana. This is not a deep sky scope as the optics are basically being wasted to produce the 2mm to 3mm exit pupil sizes that deep sky observation favors, and the images may be too small at the 50X to 75X mags thus produced. This scope truly excels when the exit pupil size is 1mm or less, meaning mags of 150X and up on bright objects, where actual seeing conditions will almost always be the limiting factor in detail that you can see. This is simply one of the great Mak-Cass scopes out there, and mine was a bargain at $595 with 2" visual back and lens hood, delivered, bought on the used scope market. For that price I could have gotten a much bigger Dob that would have shown me more deep sky (already have that type of scope), but this scope simply kills all those cheap Dobs and mediocre SCT scopes of bigger aperture when the targets are bright objects at the highest mags that seeing allows.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.35.170)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=564960


Lomo Astele 150
This is one of the best 150mm Mak-Cass scopes ever built. LOMO has the capability to build world class instruments.

The finder scope is one of the best 40mm scopes you will ever look through.

This scope is rugged and made to last a lifetime of viewing.

There is very little to no image shift when focusing. Focus knob movement is smooth.

Standard 2" focal backs will screw right on with no problem. It should illuminate any T2 size accessory.

Binoviewers love this scope. Best binoviewer views I ever saw in my life were through this scope.

LOMO stated a 1/8 wave optical figure, and I would say that is no lie. Make sure your diagonal, EP's, etc., are up to the task. A 2" visual back and the TEC 1/10 wave eyepiece turret are perfect accessories for this scope.

If you can't afford a 7" Questar, get this scope and you are missing nothing on the optical front, at least for lunar observing.

One of the best "real world" star splitting scopes you may ever get the pleasure of using.

Supply of these scopes is now tight as their cult status grows among those who know great optics. If you have a chance to buy a clean sample at a decent price, the chance wil not last for long.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.131.188)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=584432

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