Meade LX90-ACF 8" Advanced Coma-Free Go-to altazimuth


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This Meade 8" LX90-ACF has Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric optics that provide sharp coma-free images. Combine the superb optics with a built-in GPS system and you have an easy-to-use, feature-filled, and easy-to-afford telescope that can keep you happily observing for the rest of your life . . .

Our Product #: 8910ACF
Meade Product #: 0810-90-03
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Product Description

This Meade 8" LX90-ACF catadioptric telescope brings the image quality of a professional observatory to your back yard, at a very down-to-earth price. And it puts an Astronomer Inside™ its AudioStar™ computer hand control to guide you through the Universe. It has a coma-free field similar to that of the Ritchey-Chrétien design optics used in most professional observatory telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope, but at a mere fraction the cost of a true Ritchey-Chrétien.

Its coma-free field is superb for astrophotography. There's enough aperture to keep you happily observing and photographing for the rest of your life. Its multicoated UHTC optics have 15% higher light transmission than ordinary single-layer coatings for brighter images and shorter exposure times. It is portable enough to make taking it to a dark sky site easy. The LX90-ACF has all the useful features you need to cater to virtually every observing need you might have.

Its standard equipment includes a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) receiver and AutoAlign software in its AudioStar™ computer that makes the scope amazingly simple to set up and operate. Once set up, the Astronomer Inside™ its AudioStar™ computer hand control will talk to you, giving you four hours of audio descriptions of the celestial objects you are looking at and putting the knowledge and experience of a professional astronomer in the palm of your hand.

Remember that the best telescope for you is not always the biggest scope money can buy. It's the scope you use most often. And with its superb balance of aperture, weight, features, and low price, you will find yourself using the 8" LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics a lot. It may well be the perfect telescope for you . . . for life.

This Telescope's Optical System . . .

Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric designed to emulate the coma-free optical performance of a Ritchey-Chrétien telescope: 8" aperture (2000mm focal length f/10). Fully-multicoated UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coatings) group optics with oversized primary mirror for the highest possible off-axis image brightness. Aluminum tube construction with glare-stop baffling. Guaranteed diffraction-limited performance. For more details, click on the "LX90-ACF UHTC optics" icon in the support tab above.

Finderscope: 8 x 50mm straight-through achromatic design, with a 5° field of view and 12mm eye relief. It focuses by loosening the trim ring behind the objective lens cell, screwing the lens cell in or out to focus, and tightening the trim ring to lock in the correct focus.

Star diagonal: 1.25" 90° multicoated prism type.

Eyepiece: 1.25" 26mm Series 5000 Plössl (77x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.78°, more than 50% wider than the full Moon, for expansive lunar and deep space views.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

Fork mount/drive system: Die-cast aluminum drive base. Light-weight, but rigid, die-cast aluminum dual fork arms damp vibrations quickly. There is a carrying handle on each fork arm. The mount includes servo-controlled 12V DC slewing and tracking motors in both altitude and azimuth. The motors are powered by eight user-supplied C-cell batteries that fit into the drive base. The usable life of the batteries is up to 60 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.

An optional #RCXAC adapter is available to power the scope from 110-120 volt 60 Hz AC household current in your back yard to conserve battery life. An optional #607 DC cord with a cigarette lighter plug is available to power the scope from your car's cigarette lighter plug or a rechargeable battery for extended use in the field. For more details, click on the "LX90 GPS mount" icon in the support tab above.

Adjustable height tripod: The tripod is the same as the one used on Meade's higher-priced 8" and 10" LX200 scopes. Its 2" diameter steel legs adjust the tripod height from 30" to 44". A single threaded rod with a large hand-tighten knob simultaneously holds the scope firmly on the tripod and locks the legs rigidly in the most stable position.

AudioStar™ computer: The AudioStar™ computer can show you the planets and thousands of deep space objects the very first night you use your scope - even if you've never used a telescope before! And a speaker built into the computer hand control lets the unique Astronomer Inside™ software provide you with more than four hours of fascinating audio descriptions of the objects you are observing. Astronomer Inside™ puts the experience and astronomical knowledge of a professional astronomer in the palm of your hand.

At the push of a button, the LX90-ACF will move at a fast 6.5° per second to any of the 30,223 objects in its database. You can choose from Messier, Caldwell, IC, and NGC deep space objects, binary and multiple star systems, the Moon, planets, asteroids, and comets. You can also automatically move to any object that's not in the database simply by entering its right ascension and declination coordinates.

The AudioStar™ includes a dual-axis drive corrector with PEC (Periodic Error Correction). This allows long-exposure guided DSLR or CCD astrophotography in a polar mode, using an optional ##2590 equatorial wedge. If you plan on doing a lot of deep space astrophotography, the 15% higher light transmission of this scope's multicoated UHTC optics will allow shorter photographic exposure times, making deep space imaging easier.

The AudioStar™ computer includes hundreds of special event menus, guided tours, a glossary, utility functions, and telescope status options. It also allows fast alignment of the telescope in either an equatorial or altazimuth mode, using any of three alignment methods, including Meade's proprietary Easy Align method. For more details, click on the "LX90 GPS computer" icon in the support tab above.

AutoStar Software Suite: This software package is included as standard equipment with the LX90-ACF. It integrates the telescope with your PC or laptop computer for an enhanced range of performance features. It includes a planetarium program with a database of 19,000,000 stars and deep space objects to display on your computer screen. Connect the scope to your computer using the supplied cable, click on any object in the sky map on your computer screen, and your LX90 automatically slew to that object.

You can use it to control your telescope remotely via the Internet. "Talking Telescope" software (included) converts AutoStar text displays to synthesized speech through your computer speaker. And you can use all of the program's planetarium features for planning future observing sessions when nights are cloudy by automatically generating AutoStar Tours of favorite objects with a simple point and click. For more details, click on the "AutoStar software" icon above.

The simple tripod/altazimuth mount configuration of the LX90-ACF with UHTC optics makes setup fast and easy. The GPS receiver and AudioStar™ computer with its simple Easy Align system will have you observing in only a matter of minutes. The wide array of objects in the LX90-ACF database, and the 5 arc minute pointing accuracy of the AudioStar™ computer, will accurately speed you from object to object with no frustrating hunting or star hopping. With the LX90-ACF, you'll spend more of your time looking at objects and less time looking for them. With the 15% additional light transmission of its UHTC optics you'll spend less time photographing them, as well.

If you're one of those busy people whose schedule doesn't leave you much time to enjoy astronomy, an easy-to-use fully-computerized LX90-ACF with its unique Astronomer Inside™ software and talking AudioStar™ computer hand control will make the most of your limited observing opportunities.

What can you see through an 8" LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics?

Enough wonders to last a lifetime! Under good seeing conditions, no less than six of Saturn's moons can be seen shuttling around the visibly multi-ringed planet. Even cold and distant Pluto, a faint magnitude 13.9 speck, can occasionally be glimpsed making its lonely way across the skies under appropriate dark-sky seeing conditions.

Distant galaxies barely visible in other telescopes begin to show their essential structure. Nebular wisps and fragments show markedly wider extent than with any smaller scope. Orion's nebulosity often fills your entire field of view, particularly with a narrow band light pollution filter to increase the contrast of the fainter segments. Densely packed globular clusters are often resolved to the core.

Thanks to the sharp coma-free field edge performance, all the stars in expansive open clusters stay sharply in focus across the full field, even in a very wide field eyepiece. And all of it can be photographed in detail (with surprisingly short exposure times) by adding a few inexpensive accessories.

The altazimuth drive of the LX90-ACF is more than accurate enough for piggyback, lunar, and planetary 35mm photos and much CCD imaging. However, field rotation causes stars at the corners of an image to streak during exposures longer than five minutes if a field derotator or an equatorial wedge isn't used to align the scope on the celestial pole. So, if you plan on doing deep space photography, you'll need to add an optional #2590 wedge.

While this 8" scope will perform well under mildly light-polluted suburban skies, it is at a remote site with truly dark and steady skies that you'll best be able to take full advantage of all its superb optical performance and the extra light transmission of its UHTC optics. It's not a scope that's happy staying in a heavily light-polluted city or suburban observing environment.

Luckily (actually more by design than by luck) the 8" LX90-ACF is a scope that one person can easily move to a dark sky site by himself or herself. A one-person setup once there is also reasonably easy to accomplish. Since the self-contained scope runs off flashlight batteries, there's no need to haul power adapters or a portable power supply with you, making transport and setup easier still.

This 8" scope has enough performance with its premium coma-free design and UHTC optics to keep you busy observing and photographing for the rest of your life. And the 8" LX90-ACF has virtually all the features you'll ever need to keep you happy out in the field or in your backyard.

So, from the standpoint of being the perfect balance of being big enough to keep you observing for many years to come, portable enough to make it easy for you to take the scope to the right site for observing, with superb optics and enough useful features to keep the most ardent gadget lover in seventh heaven 'til the cows come home . . . and all at a price that won't break the bank . . . the 8" LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics may indeed be the perfect scope for you.

Tech Details

Aperture 8"
Focal Length 2000mm
Focal Ratio f/10
Heaviest Single Component 33 lbs.
Highest Useful Magnification 400x
Motorized Controls Computerized GoTo
Weight 53 lbs.
Optical Coatings UHTC
Resolution 0.57 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece SP26
Telescope Type Advanced Coma-Free
View Finder 8x50
Visual Limiting Magnitude 14
Warranty 1 year


Review by:
Built-in GPS sets location and time and date with great accuracy and no typing required to enter that data. It is all automatic. Optics are truly amazing. Jupiter show banding, red spot, shadows of moons passing in front of the planet. Saturn showed three moons and Titan. The Cassini division in the rings is easy. Planet shows a shadow of ring in front, and rings show a shadow of planet where the rings cross behind Saturn. The goto function is so accurate, I had to wait for Neptune and Uranus to rise in the east, but there they were - centered in the eyepiece. Neptune is tiny, but clearly a dark blue disk. Uranus is a little larger and lighter blue disk. Once the sky was completely dark, the Whirlpool galaxy and Sombrero galaxy were bright and contrasty. The Hercules Cluster (M13) is a show stopper. This telescope makes astronomy fun. Oh! there is a tour called "tonight's best." It has a huge list of showy items to look at. It keeps track of what is actually placed well for observing. It doesn't bother you with items that are placed poorly or below the horizon. What took telescope factories so long to build a perfect instrument? All of the bright objects in the tour have audio tracks that describe what you are looking at AND include audio about unusual facts. Do you want to know how many Earth's will fit inside Jupiter? Did you know if Jupiter was a little bigger, it would have become a star?

Down-sides? Very minor stuff.

Tripod setup: The telescope and tripod are beefy, (25 pounds for the tripod and 35 pounds for the telescope), and requires some setup when new. There is a single, 1/2 bolt that holds the scope to the tripod and makes the tripod rigid. This bolt takes about 15 minutes to install the first time the telescope is set-up.

There is some initial alignment of the finder and telescope. To do it during the day, pick a shady, outdoor location where the top of a power pole is visible from about a mile away. At night, use the moon. This will allow alignment of the finder scope and main telescope, Also, the main telescope comes with the mirror all the way in the rear of the tube. The focuser moves the main mirror forward and back. The first time you focus the telescope, you have to rack the focuser knob almost 30 full rotations to get it to the focus point. None of the instructions mention this fact. I thought at first the mechanism was broken, but this is normal for the first time the focuser is adjusted.

The weight of the telescope is substantial. There are attached handles to make carrying it easier

You will need a kit box to carry the accessories. I bought a toolbox at Lowe's and put thin foam sheets on the bottom surfaces. You need a dust-proof way to carry the finder, any eyepieces, the diagonal prism, the rear cell adapter for eyepieces or diagonal, the included compass, a small plastic bullet level (also available at Lowe's), the AudioStar controller, and a red flashlight An old belt or some rope or some bungee to hold the legs of the tripod together when carrying it is very helpful.
(Posted on 10/21/2019)
Review by:
I have owned 2 to of the Meade 8" Schmidt-Cassegrains. I bought the 2nd one several years later and Meade just continues to make incremental improvements to these telescopes without increasing the price. Clear images in an easy to set up and use telescope. (Posted on 10/19/2019)
Review by:
The LX90 8" SCT is a great set up for visual astronomy. The optics are very good with enough aperture to provide pleasing views of deep sky objects as well as details of the larger planets. When properly aligned, the LX90 provides spot on "go-to's" with excellent object tracking. The tripod mount is very sturdy and simple to set up. Overall the LX90 is a fine choice for those seeking a versatile telescope in a durable package. (Posted on 10/29/2018)
Review by:
The 8" LX-90 is the perfect combination of a relatively light weight telescope with reasonable aperture size. The optics are excellent and provide very satisfying views of the moon, planets, and deep sky objects. The fork mount is easy and intuitive to use. It's stable and coupled with the Audiostar computer it provides very accurate pointing and tracking. The AudiostarAutostar computer has more functions than other similar units and allows the user to easily find asteroids and comets. I've had my LX-90 for several years but unfortunately Meade has not updated their Autostar Updater software to allow updating of the Audiostar asteroid & comet databases. I use the older Autostar to get around this issue but it does not have the audio descriptions of astronomical objects. This telescope has enough capability to satisfy most people for a lifetime of stargazing. (Posted on 10/7/2018)
Review by:
I have owned 3 LX-90's. All 8 inch. The latest is this ACF model. I have fancier and heavier equipment that doesn't get used nearly as much as the LX90. It's very easy to align, has excellent tracking, is also very quiet, with a strong, stable tripod. To me, it is the best combination of portability and optical capability. The ACF system is a step-up from the standard optics and worth the additional investment

My first scope was a goto 6" cass with a lightweight mount. I learned a lot with it. Moving up to an 8" LX90 was a big step. I wish I had started with it. It may well be the only scope I ever need.

Bottom line: It's light, sharp, easy, and tracks very well. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
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Supplied Accessories

  • 8" f/10 Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric optical tube assembly with UHTC optics (multicoated mirrors and a multicoated corrector lens)
  • Double-tine fork mount with dual-axis 4.9" worm gears and control panel
  • Built-in Sony GPS receiver
  • Electric slow-motion controls on both axes
  • AudioStar hand controller, digital readout display, 9-speed drive controls on both axes, and go-to controller
  • 30,223-object onboard celestial software library
  • Internal battery port accepts 8 (user-supplied) C-cells (optional 25 ft. cords permit powering from either 12vDC auto cigarette lighter plug or from 110-120VAC home outlet)
  • 8 x 50mm straight-through viewfinder
  • 1.25" prism star diagonal
  • Series 5000 Plössl 26mm eyepiece (77x)
  • AutoStar Astronomer's Edition Software Suite
  • Standard field tripod
  • Operating instructions