This telescope came delivered for $995. With all the features it proclaims, I was apprehensive to say the least. I have been both pleased and dismayed. I am going to divide up between OTA and Tripod/Autostar.
Some recent online comparisons between the Meade ETX90 and Orion 90mm Mak-Cass telescopes motivated me to capture my thoughts about another small telescope that warrants attention if you are looking for a inexpensive, but capable, grab-and-go telescope. Before diving into the details, I'll point your attention to Guy Brandenburg's review of the Meade ETX-60AT. Except for the obvious differences in aperture, I suspect similar comments could be made about the ETX90.
This is a 7.1 inch f/10 Maksutov Cassegrain manufactured by the Russian company Intes Micro. I purchased this scope from ITE Telescopes in February, 2003. It arrived a few weeks later after a stop-over in Jupiter, FL for a collimation and certification by Mike Palermiti. The scope is the standard coatings version with a certified final wavefront error of one-sixth wave and 0.7 arc second bench-test resolution.
This winter I decided to purchase a scope that I could use on my apartment balconies. My 5-inch f/8 Starfire was too large, there were too many stray reflections to use my 6-inch Newtonian on a regular basis and my 4-inch apo didn’t gather enough light for high power views of the planets. After reading about the Intes Maksutovs at the Earth and Sky Adventures web site, I decided to order the 6-inch f/12 MK66 model. I also ordered a 2-inch Intes Sital mirror star diagonal and a 2-inch coupling needed to attach accessories to the scope’s back plate.