Meade 10" f/8 ACF Optical Tube Assembly

$2,299.00

Availability: In stock

The Meade 10" f/8 optical tube's unique Advanced Coma-Free optics put professional-grade visual and photographic performance in the hands of amateur astronomers at an affordable price.
Our Product #: M10F8
Meade Product #: 1008-80-01
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Product Description

This Meade optical tube has . . .
Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric design to emulate the optical performance of a Ritchey-Chrétien telescope.
10" (254mm) aperture.
2032mm focal length (f/8 focal ratio).
Fully multicoated UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coatings) optics with Schott Borofloat glass corrector and oversized low-expansion borosilicate primary mirror for brighter field edge illumination.
Guaranteed diffraction-limited performance.
Aluminum tube construction with glare-stop baffling.
Internal Crayford-style zero image shift focuser with 7:1 ratio slow motion focusing.
Mirror lock.
Losmandy-style "D-plate" mounting dovetail.
Tube end dust covers.

The Advanced Coma-Free optics of this Meade 10" f/8 optical tube are designed to emulate the coma-free optical performance of the Ritchey-Chrétien optics used in most professional observatory telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope, but at a down-to-earth price. Meade's designers have met their design goal.

The 10" f/8 optical system uses a premium Schott Borofloat glass corrector plate. An oversize low-expansion borosilicate primary mirror provides brighter field edge illumination. The system is fully UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coatings) multicoated for 15% higher light transmission than standard single-layer optical coatings.

The f/8 focal ratio is faster than standard f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrains and f/10 Meade Advanced Coma Free catadioptrics to allow a wider field of view than comperable aperture S-C and ACF scopes, both visually and photographically. The f/8 exposure times are also shorter during deep space astrophotography.

A progressive tension primary mirror locking system locks the mirror firmly in place once a photographic focus has been achieved. This eliminates the possibility of the system changing focus while taking an image. The 7:1 dual speed internal Crayford focuser makes finding and maintaining a precise visual or photographic focus easy.

This 10" Meade optical tube comes with a full-length Losmandy-style "D-plate" dovetail that lets you mount the OTA on any German equatorial mount that has a Losmandy-style dovetail saddle plate. With a weight of 33 lbs, be sure that your mount has the payload capacity necessary to carry the scope, particularly if you have a full complement of visual and imaging accessories adding to the weight.

Most OTA buyers typically already have an assortment of star diagonals, eyepieces, finderscopes, etc. on hand, so no visual or other accessories are provided with the 10" Meade OTA, other than dust covers. This allows you to customize the optical tube as you see fit. The 10" Meade OTA has a standard 2"-24 thread Schmidt-Cassegrain rear cell of the type used for decades by Meade and Celestron. Accordingly, virtually any SCT accessories (thread-on star diagonals, visual backs, camera adapters, off-axis guiders, etc.) can be used with the Meade OTA. While a generic finderscope bracket is supplied, the front and rear cells are drilled and tapped with the same hole pattern as a fully-mounted 10" Meade scope, so a wide variety of finderscope brackets and accessory dovetail rails can be fitted to the OTA with ease.

While this 10" Meade optical tube 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 its superb coma-free optical performance and the extra light transmission of its UHTC optics. It's not a scope that's at its happiest staying in a light-polluted city or suburban observing environment.

This big 10" f/8 Meade optical tube has enough premium Advanced Coma-Free performance to keep you busy observing and imaging for the rest of your life. If you need a top-quality large aperture optical tube, and have the mount to carry it, this 10" Meade with Advanced Coma-Free f/8 optics and UHTC multicoatings may be the perfect OTA for you.

Tech Details

Aperture 10"
Focal Length 2032mm
Focal Ratio f/8
Highest Useful Magnification 508x
Weight 33 lbs.
Resolution 0.46 arc second
Visual Limiting Magnitude 14.5
Warranty 1 year

Reviews

Review by:
Overall, I'd give this OTA 2 stars, as there was a serious issue with my particular sample.

As an early adopter of this new model back in 2014, I played my luck with Meade which turned out to be a $1300 mistake. After owning a 12" ACF I felt quite satisfied with the mechanics of the OTA and so turned my eyes to its smaller sibling. As I'd been heavily into binoviewing, seeking high power and wide FOV, though somewhat contradicting to each other, was all I wanted. The f/10 version was therefore less appealing in this regard. Meade was promoting the f/8 and called the "new" line the reborn of the older RCX400 with which the fanboys always raved about the optics, although the series was hindered by the infamous electronics (the mount and the focusing mechanism). The OTA was well build, almost overly build in many ways. As always this has been the Meade way, saving cost by cutting the amount of machining work on the metal parts, leaving a lot of excessive bulk which has little to do with their serving purposes. That being said, it was indeed better build than a comparable C11HD IMHO.

However, my excitement ended here, much earlier than what I'd expected. The first a couple of sessions left me a lot to hope for. Again, the OTA was too heavy, and it took forever to cool down. I had much better luck with the C9.25 I also own. Admittedly I am a bit nit picking here but if this were the only problem, I'd have been happily accepted it as I know a few ways to mitigate the cooling issue. A much more serious problem was immediately spotted upon star testing -- astigmatism!! I spent hours and hours to tweak the collimation which for me had never been an issue, considering this OTA was my 11th SCTs/MCTs plus a large number of other telescopes which need collimation from time to time.

In the end, I gave up and called the store, spending hours explaining what I found. I almost wanted to returned it, but the time passed the 30 day return deadline. A call to Meade was surprising positively, the lady who picked the phone was polite and issued a RMA without much hassle. Since I live close to Irvine, I could have visited Meade in person, at least that was what I had in mind. However I never made the trip as things always came up. My interests in this scope was worn out and I didn't even both going through the warranty repair, let alone the uncertainty on the outcome.

I sold it to a local buyer, after losing 60% of my investment. As the buyer is a good tinker, he later found the hole that holds the secondary mount was off center by more than 3mm!!! The way Meade mounts the corrector plate doesn't allow much play to recenter the secondary mirror, not like what one can do with the Celestron HD series.

I wish Meade could have done a better job, as my first scope was an AR5 bought from Astronomics, I always liked Meade products and prefer the Meade blue. That being said, I won't buy any Meade telescopes new except those with known quality. (Posted on 10/28/2018)
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