Maksutov-Cassegrain vs Newtonian Telescopes. Which One Is Finest?

One of many choices that may be tougher to weigh in terms of selecting a brand new telescope is what kind of telescope is greatest to your explicit wants. There are such a lot of sorts to select from: Refractors, Newtonians, Dobsonians, numerous forms of Cassegrains, and so forth. The choices can get overwhelming.

However one of many hardest pairs to select from is once you face Maksutov-Cassegrain vs Newtonian telescopes as a result of they’re similar to one another in lots of classes. Once you examine them to refractors or Dobsonians, they’ve clear benefits and downsides, however once you examine them to one another, issues can get complicated.

So listed below are the variations, execs, and cons of one another that will help you make a extra educated alternative.

To maintain issues quick we are going to typically confer with Maksutov as MAKs and Newtonians as newts.

Variations between Maksutov-Cassegrain and Newtonian/reflector telescopes

Design and focal size

Newtonians transmit gentle by utilizing a protracted tube and reflecting the captured picture right into a second mirror that sends it to the eyepiece. The sunshine solely travels by way of the tube as soon as, which makes the focal size of a newt nearly the identical because the size of its tube.

Alternatively, MAKs pack an extended focal size right into a smaller tube and a extra compact design. How is that even doable? Nicely, that’s as a result of the design of Maksutovs could be very intelligent. The sunshine travels forwards and backwards throughout the tube 3 occasions because of the secondary mirror on the finish of the tube.

The next diagrams present how every transmits the sunshine.

Newtonian telescope diagram
Newtonian telescope diagram
Maksutov-Cassegrain diagram
Maksutov-Cassegrain diagram


The distinction in design between these two sorts has an impact on the picture you see in the long run.

First, as a result of the sunshine is transmitted extra “straight” within the tube, Newtonians have a tendency to indicate a brighter picture whereas Maksutovs’ are barely dimmer. The distinction will not be too vital between fashions of comparable high quality and producer, but it surely’s extra appreciable once you examine a widely known producer towards a finances model.

Level to the newts.

Alternatively, Maksutovs present sharper photographs with higher distinction because of the scale and form of the interior mirror and smaller discipline of view.

Level to the maks.

In easy phrases, these variations are going to outcome on this:

Maksutovs are higher for watching planets, Newtonians are higher for watching deep house objects (galaxies, nebulas, and so forth).

Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope
Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope

Weight and dimension

Due to the smaller tube in Maksutovs, they have a tendency to weigh lower than Newtonians. This makes them simpler to pack and carry if you wish to take them to the sector. On common, once you examine two telescopes of the identical aperture by the identical producer and with the identical mount and tripod, the Newt is about 30% heavier.


Newtonians are a less complicated design that has been round for hundreds of years so their manufacturing course of is far easier and cheaper. This, in flip, ends in them being significantly cheaper than MAKs. Generally whilst a lot as 50% cheaper once you examine telescopes of the identical aperture made by the identical model.

Newtonian Reflector telescope
Newtonian Reflector telescope


One other necessary factor to contemplate is collimation. When you have by no means used a telescope or in case you are coming from utilizing a refractor that by no means or nearly by no means wants upkeep, you may not know that each occasionally the mirrors within the telescope have to be re-aligned or they’ll begin displaying small optical errors. This course of known as “collimation” and whereas it sounds intimidating, anybody can do it with a bit of little bit of observe.

Once more, they each have execs and cons on this space as a result of Newtonians do require collimation each few months, however it’s simple to do, whereas Maksutovs have to be collimated possibly as soon as each couple of years, however they’re trickier to collimate.

Temperature Acclimation

Telescopes have to be at ambient temperature in an effort to carry out at their greatest. Because of this when you convey them outside on a chilly evening from storage the place it might need been hotter, it should take a bit for the telescope to settle to ambient temperature. Maksutovs take significantly longer to acclimate. Relying on the place you retailer them, you may need to take them out an hour earlier than you employ them to present it time to acclimate. Newtonians however solely take 5 to 10 minutes to take action.

Maksutov-Cassegrain execs and cons

Execs Cons
Small dimension Decrease brightness
Lighter Costlier
Sharp photographs Longer temperature acclimation time
Nice distinction Upkeep is trickier
Little upkeep mandatory

Newtonian / Reflector execs and cons

Execs Cons
Low-cost costs Heavier
Brighter photographs Takes extra space
Low obstruction Requires upkeep extra usually
Obtainable in additional sizes and types Can present comas
Quick acclimation time


As you possibly can see, each sorts have many benefits and downsides. However hopefully, you now have the instruments to know which one is the higher match for you. Let’s make a fast recap and put every part collectively to get to extra concrete conclusions:

  • Newtonians are higher for viewing deep house objects
  • Maksutov-Cassegrains are higher for observing planets and the Moon
  • Newtonians are higher yard telescopes
  • Maksutovs are higher journey telescopes
  • Newtonians have extra selection in sizes, manufacturers, and costs
  • Maksutovs are extra versatile and require much less upkeep

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