Meade LXD-75 8" Schmidt Newtonian Telescope and LXD-75 Mount

This Schmidt-Newtonian telescope is well suited to photography or visual astronomy.  With its fast (f/4) design it yields a wide field of view and a bright image at the focal plane.   The design includes a corrector plate which reduces coma to about 1/6 of that of a standard f/4 newtonian.

More than a couple of times the views have made me go Wow!  If I ever upgraded the mount I think I would be keeping the scope (and it was one of the cheapest parts!).

Updated 2009: Well, I've sold the LXD-75 mount and bought my new EQ-6, however I can say that the LXD-75 mount is a solid mount with 2" legs and a steel cross-brace with a tension bar.  The LXD-75 mount tracks reasonably well.  It is good for the price.  The SN-8 telescope is so good I didn't sell it.

I think the better option for a mount if you can afford it is EQ-6 which is a bit better (stronger & better tracking), but it's quite a bit heavier and it costs more.  The EQ-6 periodic error is better than the LXD-75 and it deals with breezes better.

I used the LXD-75 for over wo years and sometimes miss having it, because it is lighter to carry to set up.


Aperture: 203 mm  (8 inches)
Focal Length: 812 mm
f/ratio: 4
Type: Schmidt Newtonian
Construction Rigid steel OTA, aluminium mirror cell,  UHTC coated optics, water white glass corrector plate, steel tube legs, steel cross- brace and tension-bar.
GoTo pointing precision 45 arcseconds
Periodic Error (Uncorrected) 45 arcseconds peak-peak
With the supplied 26 mm Super Plossl 31x times Magnification
1.6 degrees Field of View
5.6 mm Exit Pupil
Current Payload:
(Don't go any heavier for astrophotography).
SN-8, Orion 80ED guidescope, 400g Canon 350D camera, 4x Powermate, 8x50 finder, a telrad and a guide camera.
Guide port: ? Via the Autostar, yes.
Slew speeds 1,2,4,8, 16, etc. x siderial up to 4.5degrees per/sec.
Tracking speed Lunar, Sidereal & Custom
Power (mount powers the autostar via HBX port) : 12 Volts DC
SN-8 Resolving Power 0.56 arc seconds
Operation: North & South Hemispheres
Polar Alignment Scope Illuminated Reticle

MeadeSN8.jpg (14670 bytes)
LXD-75 SN-8 Scope on LXD-75 Mount

The fast f/ratio (f/4) makes it ideal for photography - requiring shorter exposure times and giving a wider field of view.  The corrector plate reduces coma when compared to a conventional newtonian.  I sold the mount but kept the telescope.

The weight of the 8" SN-8 scope with a guidescope, cables, dew heater, dew shield, cameras, etc. is at the limit of what the LXD-75 mount can cope with for astrophotography.


Tripod & mount 16 kg
SN-8 scope & telrad 11 kg
Orion 80ED guidescope 2.6 kg
2 Counterweights 5 kg each
Tasco guidescope 4 Kg
Pentax Camera body 760 g
200 mm Zoom Lens 640 g
Powermate x4 590 g
5 mm Radian Eyepiece 400 g
Plossl Eyepiece 120 g
Shorty Plus Barlow 120 g
Mintron camera 340 g
Orion Accufocus 300 g

What Do I Think of the LXD-75 Mount Now?

The LXD-75 is a very good mount for a beginner starting out in astrophotography.  Bang for buck, at the moment (April 2009) there are only two contenders at the low end for astrophotography: the LXD-75 and the EQ-6.   I think the EQ-6 would be a better buy if you can afford that little bit extra.

It has been a hoot learning all the ins and outs of the LXD-75.  I've sold it now.  It went to a good home near Canberra Australia.

The EQ-6 costs a bit more and it is heavier.  It also has less periodic error than the LXD-75.  If I was buying again I think I'd be looking to start at the EQ-6.  

If you do buy an LXD-75 you probably won't be disappointed.  I sometimes miss the light weight of the mount.  I kept the Meade SN-8 Schmidt Newtonian telescope.  It is a good scope.  Its standard focuser is not good for astrophotography (too wobbly), but you can struggle by.  After strugglinb for two years I replaced mine with a GSO MLP 2" focuser which is a sensational improvement.  Note that cutting and drilling the SN-8 tube and aligning the optics with the new focuser is not for the faint-hearted - but it worked out well for me.

I am still dreaming of going up a level to a Losmandy G-11.  That's a serious mount and costs serious money, but it's uncorrected periodic error is said to be less than 18 arcseconds peak to peak (i.e. smaller than +- 9 arcseconds)! 

Could I have bought a better mount than the LXD-75 for astrophotography? Yes, with twice as much money at the time. Was I happy with my purchase of the LXD-75 SN-8? You betcha !  but, if you've got the cash go for a Losmandy G-11.   Follow this link for a review of the EQ-6.

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