Maksutov-cassegrain vs Schmidt-cassegrain: Compared

For people looking for a compact telescope with the visual performance of a large aperture refractor, the Maksutov-Cassegrains are the best choice. Another difference is in the size of the aperture. The secondary mirror on a Schmidt is a normal mirror.

The Schmidt has a thin complex shaped corrector lens with a secondary mirror, and the Maksutov has a thick spherical corrector lens and the secondary mirror which is not a mirror but a small aluminized spot inside the corrector lens of the Maksutov.

Maksutov-cassegrain vs schmidt-cassegrain

The main difference between the Schmidt Cassegrain and the Maksutov Cassegrain is the corrector lens in the front of the tube and the secondary mirror. The Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes have a thin corrector lens with a complex shape.

The outer frost giants are also an easy target for the Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes, but these are just bright, deep blue, slightly larger pinpricks in the sky. The Schmidt consists of a thin, intricately shaped corrector lens together with a secondary mirror.

Like the Maksutov-Cassegrain, the Schmidt-Cassegrain uses a combination of mirrors and lenses, folding the optics to form an image. The main difference is the structure and design of the mirrors.

Although Mak-Cass and SCTs are in the same price range, and SCTs tend to be more popular because of their versatility. The price of the higher quality, larger Maksutov-Cassegrains telescopes will not be much less than a refractor telescope of equivalent performance, but will be much more portable and, due to their lighter weight, can use a less expensive mount.

Schmidt’s tend to have larger apertures and cost more than Maksutovs. SCTs, another name for Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, use a flat corrector with a slight aspheric curve. You can check out our reviews of the best telescopes under $500 if you want this style of telescope.

Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope

The maksutov-casegrain Orion Apex 102mm maksutov-casegrain telescope comes in a stylish burgundy color that caught my eye. It comes in a soft travel case with a Sirius Plossl 1.25″ 25mm eyepiece, a 45 degree right image diagonal and a 6×26 right image finder.

A Maksutov-Cassegrain, also called a Mak-Cass or more simply, a Mak telescope, is a member of the catadioptric telescope family and uses both mirrors and lenses in its folded optical design. Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are very popular, especially at small apertures, because of their great portability and beautiful high-contrast views.

Like SCTs, Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are reflecting telescopes with a catadioptric design that uses both lenses and mirrors to minimize aberrations. Extend your observing experience with accessories ranging from lunar filters to power-enhancing Barlow lenses to advanced computerized telescope mounts.

And when you’re stargazing, Orion’s telescope cases and covers, observing equipment, red LED flashlights, astronomy books and star charts will make your observing sessions more practical, comfortable and meaningful. Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes provide a spectacular viewing experience in a compact design, offering superior contrast that makes them excellent telescopes for planetary and double star observing.

Mak accessories

Orion telescope and astrophotography accessories will enhance your telescope enjoyment without breaking the bank. Longer focal length telescopes, such as Maksutov-Cassegrains and classic refractors, produce more magnification than faster telescope designs, either through an eyepiece or on their own, and therefore reveal a narrower field of view.

Skies Unlimited offers quality maksutov-cassegrain telescopes for sale, as well as quality advice to help you choose the right model. The Celestron AstroFi 102 telescope has a Maksutov-Cassegrain design, which means a shorter tube, lighter weight and increased portability. A SCT has both a primary mirror but also a convex secondary mirror too, and when you compare it to a Maksutov Cassegrain lens, it’s actually pretty different.

Like the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are suitable for some applications, from earth observation to astrophotography and stargazing. The Celestron C90 Mak Spotting Scope comes with a number of great features that make this one of the best Maksutov Cassegrain telescopes for sale.

Many manufacturers currently produce Maksutov-Cassegrains, such as Explore Scientific, Intes, Intes-Micro, LOMO, Orion Optics, Telescope Engineering Company (TEC), Vixen, Meade Instruments’ ETX line, and the Celestron, Sky-Watcher and Orion Telescopes lines produced by Synta Taiwan. Orion Telescopes offers both Schmidt-Cassegrain and maksutov-cassegrain telescopes in a variety of sizes, all of which provide excellent image quality and full viewing capability.

More about Cassegrain telescopesCassegrain telescopes (or catadioptric telescopes) offer versatility and high magnification power. The Maksutov Cassegrain produces sharp, high contrast images thanks to its diffraction limited optical design. The small Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are excellent for grab-and-go, while Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes accept a wide variety of accessories for both observing and astrophotography applications.

Schmidt cassegrain

Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are similar to Schmidt-Cassegrains in that they use both mirrors and a lens to focus light onto a smaller area. The long, thin optical tube of a refractor is the image most people associate with a telescope.

Dobsonian telescopes may seem unconventional to the first-time buyer, but the fact is that they dominate the market for amateur telescopes over eleven inches in aperture. The Schmidt-Cassegrain is a catadioptric telescope that combines the optical path of a Cassegrain reflector with a Schmidt corrector plate to make a compact.

The main advantage of a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope is that it usually offers the highest degree of portability per unit aperture. Both Schmidt Cassegrains and Maksutov Cassegrains are part of the catadioptric or compound type of telescopes, with very similar advantages and disadvantages.

The market for commercially produced Schmidt-Cassegrains has been dominated by Celestron and Meade Instruments Corporation since the 1980s. American astronomer and lens designer James Gilbert Baker first proposed a Cassegrain design for Bernhard Schmidt’s Schmidt camera in 1940.

Variations of the Schmidt-Cassegrain design include Celestron’s EdgeHD and Meade’s Advanced Coma Free (ACF) optical systems. The Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope is worth a long look, whether you want to do visual astronomy, earth observation, or photography of daytime or nighttime objects.

They are moderately well suited to a wide variety of applications, including lunar, planetary, deep space, and even terrestrial observation. The SCT has an optical tube that is much more compact and portable than a reflector or refractor of the same aperture, and there is a huge selection of accessories available that are designed specifically for the Schmidt-Cassegrain.

Seeing planets

This includes lunar and planetary observation, astrophotography and deep space observation, provided they have sufficient aperture. In addition, with the addition of the appropriate diagonal, an SCT can be used for earth observation as well as astronomy, making the Schmidt-Cassegrain a flexible telescope that can be used for many applications.

Schmidt-Cassegrains equipped with a 90 degree stellar diagonal produce a vertical but inverted image from right to left, which makes them suitable also for terrestrial observation. The light path of a Schmidt-Cassegrain is folded, which means that the light has a couple of bounces before it reaches the eye.

Refractors have the disadvantage of being the most expensive per unit aperture, so they tend to be smaller than other designs. The Schmidt-Cassegrain design is popular with consumer telescope manufacturers because it combines easy-to-fabricate spherical optical surfaces to create an instrument with the long focal length of a refracting telescope with the lower cost per aperture of a reflecting telescope.

Perhaps the best way to describe a Schmidt-Cassegrain would be to label it the jack of all trades among telescope designs. Refracting telescopes have the advantage of an unobstructed light path, which produces greater visual contrast than other optical designs.

Newtonian reflecting telescopes are an optical design that uses a mirror to focus light onto a smaller area. Schmidt Cassegrains are at the high end of the scale, so you will get incredible views with all models. We believe that most users who only see will be satisfied with the original Schmidt-Cassegrain designs. Refractors or refracting telescopes are a design that only uses lenses to focus light; any other type of telescope relies on one or more mirrors to do that job.


Schmidt Cassegrains are high-end, multi-purpose telescopes, ideal for viewing the moon, planets and deep sky objects. Both companies now offer more expensive derivatives of the Schmidt-Cassegrain design that are technically known as flattened Schmidt-Cassegrains.

The disadvantage is that the images they produce are inverted, which means they are not suitable for ground-based observation. Orion Telescopes offers both Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes and Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes in a variety of sizes, all of which provide excellent image quality and full observing capability.

The Schmidt-Cassegrain is a catadioptric telescope that combines the optical path of a Cassegrain reflector with a Schmidt corrector plate to make a compact astronomical instrument using simple spherical surfaces. Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are some of the most popular telescopes on the market, favored for their large aperture in a relatively small and lightweight package.

Some telescope designs use mirrors to collect and focus light (Newtonian reflectors) and others use lenses (refractors), but catadioptric telescopes use a combination of mirrors and lenses to do the job. These telescopes are named after their designer, John Dobson, who sought to build a low-cost, large-aperture telescope.

The advantages of Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are not limited to the beginner level, but they can also be excellent telescopes for intermediate and advanced users. Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes use mirrors and a lens (corrector plate) to focus the light on a smaller area. The SCT telescope has a primary and secondary mirror, but also uses a very thin lens called a corrector plate to enhance the image. A Dobsonian telescope is a Newtonian reflector mounted on a simple but stable alt-azimuth (lazy Susan style) mount.

As a result, the SCT telescope tube is shorter than other designs of the same aperture, making it easier to transport, store, and attach to the mount of choice. It is less expensive to manufacture a mirror than an objective lens, and that advantage increases with the size of the telescope.

Parts of a reflecting telescope

Many modern telescope mounts allow us to rotate the telescopic axes independently in both the vertical and horizontal planes. When light of different wavelengths (colors) enters the glass of such a telescope, each color is refracted (bent) at different angles.

Common parts of almost all telescopes include a mounting plate, a mount, an eyepiece, focusers, and a finder. But in the West it took the development of glasses to reach the sophistication needed to build a refracting telescope.

If a person has a 6-inch reflector, the highest power he can reach is 300 (in the case of a 3-inch reflector, it might be about 150). The horizontal rotation allows pointing in direction or azimuthal angle, and the vertical rotation allows the telescope to be raised or lowered according to the user’s needs.

If any of the three legs is tilted or placed on an unbalanced stand, the telescope can fall and be damaged. Only two years later, in 1611, Kepler replaced the concave eyepiece of Galileo’s telescope with a convex lens.

Although many different telescopes may have different parts or differences in particular parts, there are a number of parts common to almost all telescopes. These telescopes come in several variations of design and sometimes incorporate additional optical elements to improve image quality or mechanically improve their position.

There are many different telescope parts that are typically used to assemble a complete telescope, although the parts may vary somewhat depending on the type of telescope. The finder is a less powerful telescope that helps you point the telescope in the right direction.

For amateur astronomers, a Cassegrain telescope can be a great choice if you have a little more to spend than your average person.


A refracting telescope is an optical telescope (one that collects light in the visible part of the spectrum) that uses glass to bend light from space to form an image. Refracting telescopes also have a primary focusing lens located at the front of the telescope, as well as a secondary mirror or lens.

In the case of a reflecting telescope, the most common parts of the telescope include a primary mirror located at the back of the telescope and a secondary mirror and “spider” at the front. An optical telescope does this work specifically with visible light, rather than ultraviolet, radio waves, or some other part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Today, refracting telescopes have been virtually replaced by reflecting telescopes, as refracting telescopes suffer from chromatic aberration, light loss, and lens sag, but they are an important part of the history of astronomy.