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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