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Want to buy an LS 8 -- should I spend extra for ACF?

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#1 SLC Tortfeasor

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:40 PM

Hi all,

I'm pretty sure the LS 8 is the right scope for me. I'm interested in opinions regarding whether ACF is worth an extra $200.

Obviously, I'm a noob. And I'm really only interested in visual observing, not photography.

What do you think? If you were in my shoes, would you spend $200 for ACF, and why?

Thanks in advance!

David

#2 gunfighter48

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:58 AM

I just bought my LS 8 ACF 5 weeks ago and I'd say yes it's worth the cxtra $200 for the ACF version. I have a Meade 2080 8" SCT with plain mirror coatings and it's got really good optics but the ACF is much better, The view thru the ACF is sharper, backgroup is darker, everything has a crisper - brighter image. I got much better detail looking at Jupiter than I would have gotten with the 2080. The seeing conditions weren't real good that night either. When I looked at the moon the detail was much sharper, even using Orion Sirus plossls that I bought over 10 years ago. As you can tell I'm really happy with my ACF.

The other things I like about the LS 8 is the ease of use and the portability. I have a very bad back so weight was a big issue when I decieded to upgrade my scope. I know how to setup a scope and my 2080 took around an hour to get setup and ready to observe. With the LS 8 turn it on and in less that 10 minutes is ready to use. It sure is nice to tell the scope what you want to view and have it go to that object! The down side of the LS 8 is it vibrates easier and more due to the lightweight tripod. There's always a give and take with the weight factor but I'll still very happy with mine.

#3 ka1bqp

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

Hi David,

Welcome to the forum. I owned an LS-6 ACF for a while, and I currently have a LX200 ACF. A good telescope (which the LS is) can be a lifetime investment if it is properly cared for. With that in mind, I opted to spend the extra money. If you are not planing to do prime focus astrophotography, you will probably have this scope for quite a few years. As our local club has a few older Meades without ACF, I have been able to compare the difference in the optics. ACF is the clear choice.

I think you will enjoy the LS series. It's a great scope for an astronomy outreach program.

BTW, you can do limited prime focus photography with an LS as long as you limit the exposure time to less than a minute.

Matt
Matt,

8" LX200ACF
DSI
Canon Rebel XT DSLR

#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 06:09 PM

Hi David,

Again, welcome to the forum!

I have the LS 8 ACF and really enjoy it. I think the difference between the ACF and a regular SCT setup will become more important to you as you get into astronomy and your eyes and brain develop better observing skills....yes, you get stronger in your abilities as time goes by. You will gradually see more and more things.

Toward the center of the image, both can be very sharp. It is toward the outer portions of the view where the ACF really comes into its own. There are virtually no aberations to the image compared to a more conventional SCT. The changes in whatever it is that they do when making the scope correct out enough that the human eye really cannot see them in a normal field of view. If you put in a focal reducer, which you will learn about later on, the view becomes even wider and some things become apparent, but just a little, while the conventional SCT has even more.

There is really nothing wrong with the conventional SCT. The ACF is just better. In my mind, it is worth the extra money.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#5 SLC Tortfeasor

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:06 PM

Wow, thanks for the quick and thoughtful responses! This is helpful.

I guess my other question is whether I should buy new, used, or a refurbished one for $1500. I've been shopping for used ones since about November and haven't seen many options. I have seen a couple of seemingly good options but others beat me to them. Now I'm getting impatient.

If you folks have any opinions on this follow-up question, please share.

Thanks again!

#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:31 AM

I have no idea about used ones. Naturally, you take all the risks yourself.

As far as I know, the refurbished ones are ones that went out, had something wrong with them, were returned and fixed.

They should have only minor scratches on the housing and things like that maybe to distinguish them from brand new ones. They come with a full year warranty. Other than the possibility of a scope not really being fixed and the hassle of sending it back, I do not really see anything wrong with them. I have purchased refurbished items before with no trouble. A few people have had issues with refurbished, just like with new ones, and had to send them back. Seems to me though, the refurbished ones have had a second chance at getting things right and the expense of possible paint scratches.

Brand new ones are, naturally, the premium way to go. However, purchasing the refurbished ones allows you extra money for things like other eyepieces, etc.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma





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