The Introduction of the Meade LX200 telescope series revolutionized amateur astronomy.
Finally, you could really study the night sky with an instrument that offered professional-level performance at an affordable price.
Meade Instruments has been an industry leader in high-grade optics since its creation in 1972. Among the vast number of top-notch products they sell–including binoculars, spotting scopes, and microscopes–their telescopes stand out as some of the best in the business.
The unveiling of the LX200 line in 1992 was cause for major celebration, as it used electronics and software to match the power and performance of much pricier models. If you’re an avid fan of stargazing, but you’re sick of using telescopes that aren’t much more than expensive toys, take a look at the Meade LX200 series. They’ll get you close to the heavens without killing your savings.
Meade LX200 Telescope Review
Considered one of the best backyard telescopes you can buy, the Meade LX200 has been a hit among amateur astronomers since it was first sold in the early ’90s. While there are dissenters among the ranks, most people rave about its performance and ease-of-use–at least once you get to know how the model works, that is.
Currently, there are five models available in the series:
The different aperture sizes allow you to find a model that suits your particular needs. A larger one, say the 16″ model, is great for university observatories and labs, because of the generous amount of light able to travel through the device and the hefty weight of the model.
Someone who wants one for backyard viewing should stick with the 8″ or 10″ models for easier portability–not to mention a smaller price tag.
Why The LX200?
So what makes the Meade LX200 such a great telescope? Why should you consider it when there are so many other scopes out there that are much cheaper?
Well, The LX200 is one of the widest-used research-quality telescopes for a number of reasons, including:
- Affordable advanced coma-free (ACF) optics
- GPS receiver that automatically inputs location, time, and date
- Ultra-high transmission coatings (UHTC) for a 20% increase in total light transmission
- Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser for lean images with no movement at all
This is, as one reviewer put it, as close to having a Hubble telescope in your backyard as you will ever get with what’s on the shelves today.
Of course, there are some aspects of the LX200 that aren’t so praise-worthy. For one, these machines are incredibly heavy. Even the smallest model, the 8″, weighs in at 73 pounds! This makes portability very difficult for older or weaker users.
The price is another, significant drawback to some. The 8″ costs about $2,600 to own. Now this seems like a lot of money, but in all honesty, you’d be hard-pressed to find a similar telescope that doesn’t cost twice as much as this.
The Meade LX200 is worth a lot more than what you pay for it.
All in all, the value you receive for a comparatively small price tag is astronomical. It’s no wonder that professionals–working at places like Mount Wilson Observatory, Project Galileo, and Yale Student Observatory–drool over the Meade LX200 just as much as the amateurs do.
Meade LX200 Telescope: Customer Reviews
For a better idea of how these telescopes perform, here’s a peek at what some actual consumers thought of their Meade LX200 purchases.
||Consumer don’t like:
The Bottom Line — The Meade LX200 line of telescopes is absolutely phenomenal. Yes, they’re heavy and yes, they’re pricey, but compared to similar products, this is by far the best deal you’ll ever get.
The image is crystal clear, the usability is great, and the quality of the materials is almost unbeatable. If you’re looking to outfit your observatory–either in the backyard or university–with a new telescope, you can’t go wrong with this astronomy star.
After all our research, Amazon.com has far and away the best prices on these telescopes.