Meade 12" f/8 ACF Optical Tube Assembly

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The Meade 12" 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 #: M12F8
Meade Product #: 1208-80-01
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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.
12" (305mm) aperture.
2438mm 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 12" 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 12" 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 12" 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 41 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 12" Meade OTA, other than dust covers. This allows you to customize the optical tube as you see fit. The 12" 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 12" Meade scope, so a wide variety of finderscope brackets and accessory dovetail rails can be fitted to the OTA with ease.

While this 12" 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 12" 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 12" Meade with Advanced Coma-Free f/8 optics and UHTC multicoatings may be the perfect OTA for you.

Tech Details

Aperture 12"
Focal Length 2438mm
Focal Ratio f/8
Highest Useful Magnification 610x
Weight 41
Resolution 0.38 arc seconds
Visual Limiting Magnitude 14.9
Warranty 1 year


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