(IAAC) Best possible View

Having been a "Proper" Telescope owner for three years and an astronomer of
sorts for some ten to twenty years or more, (naked eye, Binocular Variables,
Spotting scope and up to the current 8 inch Newtonian) naturally, I have
become more adept at seeing things I would have previously discounted as
"not there",  the possibilities became apparent through the channels of this
list and also through the pages of S&T and other such publications as well
as Steve Gottliebs NGC/IC descriptions,  I like many others began to look
that much closer at previously discounted objects, fainter galaxies, tighter
doubles etc, ultimately leading to the subject of accurate collimation of
the scope ( something many may have got sorted much earlier in their
"career" but for me the process seemed natural enough).
So after about 18 months I decided to get a Laser device and to read all I
could on the subject, I have to admit, the laser seemed very logical in it's
workings, but after some time I found it's weak spot and realised that a
better system was needed, i.e. the cheshire eyepiece, Having come to grips
with what was really required for accurate adjustment I am now at the stage
of awaiting delivery of such a device in somewhat keen anticipation!
But before I actually make the necessary adjustments I would like to know
just what to expect from a superbly adjusted/collimated Newtonian telescope
( if I even get it that far!)
At the moment the highest Magnification I have on the scope is 400X which is
about the theoretical limit, if I look at a tight double (1.5" or less) in
which the stars are roughly equal magnitude and not too bright ( 7 or under
say ) what I see is a bright central region with diffraction spikes that
look very much like pixels i.e. squarish blocks that fade as you would
expect toward the outer edge ( the scope has a four vaned spider) it is very
difficult to see much in the way of elongation.
Is this what I should expect or is it the result of a poorly adjusted
Can I therefore expect a better image in a correctly collimated view?
Just what can I expect from my telescope under good conditions (say seeing
is 7 out of 10).
I would appreciate more experienced posters views/opinions on this as I have
noticed with things astronomical, knowing what to expect can help greatly
with avoiding dissapointment at the eypeice!!.

Many thanks for your patience with a somewhat blundering amateur!

Kim Gowney.

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