Although many observers would say that the very best images come from apochromatic refractors, this may only be true up to 5” or 6” beyond which size, the sheer complexity and cost of producing the many accurate surfaces from completely distortion free glass conflicts with the desire for greater aperture and a more compact design. Enter the Maksutov Newton.

This design although developed in the 1940's was popularized in the 90's and has gained much acceptance since. Similar in appearance to a Newtonian reflector, the presence of the Mak Newt corrector plate reduces the troublesome tube currents, coma and diffraction spikes experienced with a Newtonian reflector. The size of the secondary is in many cases smaller. The Mak Newt offers a larger flatter field of view than a comparable Newtonian or Mak Cass and the smaller central obstruction yields images every bit as good as the best apochromatic refractors in the world at a fraction of the cost and in a more compact form. The cost of owning an eight inch or larger apo is beyond the means of most enthusiasts, as is the cost of the mount to hold it. Some of the best views that can be obtained from Earth especially of the Moon and Planets can be seen through a Mak Newt.

The central obstruction is typically around 20% (on a diameter comparison) or less and is largely responsible for the sharpness, contrast, colour and clarity of the images obtained. The downside is that the shorter back-focus available on most Mak Newts, means that additional lenses will have to be used to bring the focus to a point where binoviewers can be used. The shorter F ratios yield magnificent wide field views and good quality barlows can be used such as a 4x Powermate for the additional magnification for planetary studies without any loss in sharpness of the image. A slightly larger mount will be required to compensate for the longer tube and should be sturdy enough to overcome wind effects if imaging is a priority.

Stellar Optical Corp currently stocks the five Maksutov Newtonian telescopes listed below, but hopes to be able to add more in the future.

MN56 5” F/6

MN86 8” F/6

MN 106 10” F/5.5

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