Celestron 9.25" XLT OTA
Submitted: Thursday, 4th May 2006 John Earl
I purchased this telescope just recently in the hopes of getting better astro images (planets) and it certainly did not let me down there.
I bit the bullet on March 23rd 2006 & deposited my $2300 to Andrews Communications account, and the OTA plus accessories was at the post office waiting for me by the 27th March. Now that's pretty good from Greystanes NSW to Cummins SA considering the standard 24 hr. wait for the transaction to show up in their account. A big thanks to Lee Andrews for getting it to me pronto.
It came packaged well. Double boxed (one inside the other) at least 100mm of molded packing foam to the shape of the OTA. (as from Celestron, not Andrews or his supplier) Along with the OTA came the dovetail plate already attached to the OTA / 1.25" celestron star diagonal / 1.25" celestron 25mm Elux eyepiece / 1.25" visual back / 6x30 finder & bracket / 'The Sky' level 1 version 5 on CD ROM.
Out of the box everything looked in fine shape. It took all of 5 mins. to mount the OTA onto my existing EQ5 mount. Taking the aluminium corrector plate cover off, the optics looked in 'as new' condition as one would expect in a brand new telescope; no foreign material inside the OTA or on the corrector plate. No scratches or scuff marks on the primary.
I was able to give it first light that same night for 1 hour before the cloud cover closed in again.
My first Light target was some obscure star near Saturn to check the collimation. It was out at 626X (not including the 75mm extension tube I used) but not by much. A quick tweaking on 2 screws was enough to get it perfect. This was all done without the diagonal as I don't use one when imaging. I decided to fit the diagonal to see if that needed collimation like 'some' diagonals do. Nope, still perfect collimation with it fitted. Impressive. I then turned the scope on Saturn expecting a rather ordinary view at that magnification. I was wrong. Saturn was huge & with bands and cassini division visible, boy was I impressed! (it was excellent seeing).
Image shift. What can I say about it....it exists, but not bad. A preview of jupiter on the laptop screen & running it either side of focus will move Jupiter 1/4 of the screen width. At my imaging magnification, not a concern. If you focus quickly, the mirror will take its time getting there. Focus slowly. No need for an expensive electric focuser IMO. No need for bobs knobs either. This telescopes produces bright visual images! Almost on a par with my 12.5" newt. Must be the optic coatings....
The total setup is light & easy to move around. I can pick the EQ5/tripod/OTA up as a unit & move it around the yard no problem, but it does pay to take one counter weight off to lighten the load a bit. Making sure to lock the RA axis before taking the weight off of course!
I'm not sure what else to say about this scope. Build quality is great. Optics are great. Holds collimation well. In great seeing conditions it's going to produce some great astro images!