(IAAC) LX200 10" vs. 12" vs Starfinder 10"

I'm having difficulty deciding whether or not to buy the Meade LX200 10"
or 12" SCT. Every time I decide on one, someone says something to me and
I change my mind. For once in my life, money is not the major
consideration. I have finally save the money for either. 

My main concern is performance. I am looking forward to using all the
bells and whistles the computerized scope the the large data base of
objects will allow. But, the bottom line is the quality of what I'm
going to see. 

A person recently told me the 12" may be too large since I live in a
major city with light polluted skies. He suggested the 10" LX200 may
actually give better performance. During the summer, I go once a month
to an observing site that is better than the city but still has several
malls and residential areas nearby. The sky while darker than the city
still isn't great. The year round, I go once a month to a very dark site
near the Atlantic Ocean where there is no light interference from the

I'd like to get some opinions about which scope I may get better use of
given the sky conditions I have to work with. 

I'd also like to get a comparison of image quality between an LX200 f/10
10" and a Meade 10" f/4.5 Starfinder Newtonian. I've owned the
Starfinder so have experience with a similar size scope to judge by. I
assume the LX200 10" would have a better reflective surface on the
primary mirror which would brighten objects. With the central
obstruction of the SCT, would the LX200's contrast be worse than the

If the LX200 gave me better optical performance than the Starfinder, I'd
probably just buy the 10" version and save myself a lot of money. I'd
also like saving myself the setup trouble.

But, if I need to 12" version to see any real performance improvement
and it would still be usable in my type of skies, I'm pretty sure I'd go
for the bigger scope.



Harold Williams
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