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I was not a Meade fan, having owned a LX200 10" (optics were disappointing) and an older 8" (poor mechanics and terrible image shift). I am a Meade fan now. The folks at Starizona told me this was a good scope. Having trusted their opinion in the past, I went ahead with the purchase even though I had no great love for Meade. I am glad I listened. The optics on this beat any other SCT I have owned or used. Pinpoint star images and planetary views which do not break down. Star images are consistent inside and outside of focus and focus with a "snap". I had heard the "R" was a noticeable improvement for CCD work but not much for visual. What I heard was absolutely wrong. Visual is a real treat with this scope. As far as the mechanics and pinpointing, I have no complaints. There is very minor image shift - very minor (I estimate 1/8 - 1/10 Jupiter's diameter in a 8mm eyepiece). Objects are almost always placed near the center of view in a 20mm eyepiece. I did replace the gears with Buck's Gears which smoothed and quieted everything. I do wish the handbox had some of the versatility of the Celestron's, but it is not a major problem. Weight is very manageable and it has good ergonomics. The tripod lends great stability to the system (in Alt-AZimuth as I have not used in equatorially) and image shake dampens in less than a second when there is any. Do I wish it were a 10"? Sure with this caveat - I sold a pretty good Nexstar 11" simply because I got tired of lugging the beast around. I used it very little for that reason compared to this scope and a couple 4" refractors I had. I am quite pleased with the 8" scope because I use it. Overall, I really really like this scope and highly recommend it. I have no connection with Meade in any way other than being a very satisfied customer.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (
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