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Skywatcher Skymax 180 Pro Optical Tube Assembly

Skywatcher Skymax 180 Pro Optical Tube Assembly
Price:  £1,029.00(Inc. 20% VAT)

Model:  10217
Brand:  Skywatcher
Design  Maksutov
Size  7" (180mm)



Generally In Stock, Please Confirm Before Ordering

2 Year Warranty On All New Items
(Excluding Batteries & Globes)

  (2 Reviews)

Superb 180mm optics with one quality 2" eyepiece, 9x50 finder and 2" diagonal provide excellent results for discerning observers, compact large aperture optical tube ready to attach to standard mounts such as the EQ5 and EQ6. Enjoy exceptional views with this large aperture Mak, ideal for high resolution planetary observers who want Apo type performance in a compact tube. Unlike SCT designs the Maksutov rarely if ever requires collimation and due to the small central obstructions excells at high contrast planetary, lunar and double star observation.

Magnifications with eyepieces supplied: x108 & x270
Highest Practical Power (Potential): x540
Diameter of Primary Mirror: 180mm
Telescope Focal Length: 2700mm (f/15)
Eyepieces Supplied (1.25”): SP10mm & 25mm LET
9x50 Finderscope & Bracket
2”/50.8mm Star Diagonal
Dovetail Mounting Bar

Average Rating (2 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Very Impressive Performance
05 March 2020  | 

I don't normally write equipment reviews until I have had plenty of time to evaluate and discover the pros and cons of whatever piece of kit it may be, But in the case of the Skymax 180 Pro it took just two nights of use to convince me that this telescope is a top notch performer.

Like many prospective purchasers I scoured the reviews over and over again to discover what others thought before taking the final decision to buy. The opinions were varied. Some thought the 180 Mak was excellent, some thought it took too long to cool down and never gave steady views, some thought it was too high powered to be versatile and that an 8" SCT would be a better choice, while others disagreed. I already own a Celestron 8" Edge HD that gives really impressive views and images of the moon, and shows nice round star images right to the edge of a full frame sensor, so how would this Mak compare to that.

All my questions were answered on the first night out, with a 5 day old moon as the target. Immediately I could see that the view was noticeably sharper with more contrast than the 8" SCT, and a steadier image too which surprised me. The detail was probably equal to my 10" reflector, but the better contrast and steadier image gave the view more fidelity. Only my 120mm flourite refractor betters it on contrast and steadyness of view, but gives dimmer images and looses out on resolution of fine detail due to its smaller aperture.

The Mak had been in its box in a shed all day, and going from there to the night air produced no cool down issues whatsoever. No worse that any other telescope I've used. The whole disc of the moon fits comfortably in a 2" 40mm 67 deg wide angle eyepiece with no significant vignetting. Used with a full frame DSLR the imaging circle seems to be about 40mm in diameter, so some vignetting at the extreme corners. A 5-7 day old moon fits comfortably within this frame but after that you'd need to do a two pane mosaic. And its sharp right across the frame. I deliberately moved the image off center to test this.

I did a repeat of all this the following night ( yes, two clear nights in a row ! ) just to be sure, and the results were pretty much the same. I've taken some of the sharpest and most detailed luna images ever in just two nights out with this scope, so I am really impressed. I haven't done any deep sky work with the MAk yet ( I have other scopes for that anyway ) but I see no reason why it shouldn't be great for any DSO up to half a degree across, and from what I've seen so far should excel on globular and star clusters.

Downsides ? There is more image shift on focusing than I expected - worse than my 8" SCT, and the supplied eyepieces were not as advertised. Neither of these is a problem for me as I use an in-line electric focusser, and already have a decent set of high quality eyepieces. Also, the finder scope bracket could be located in a more convenient position, or ideally have a second one on the opposite side of the tube.

Bottom Line - a very impressive high performance scope that I have no regrets buying whatsoever. And at a decent price too.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful.

Mak 180 PRO
14 December 2013  | 

This telescope is simply OUTSTANDING VALUE FOR MONEY. As an astronomer of 30 years plus standing I have looked through various telscopes (including a super Vixen 102mm ED Refractor - for 10 years)...this telescope outperforms them all. It gives you a VERY Powerful and compact tube assembly.
On The Moon and planets the performance has to be seen to be believed - lunar detail is amazing and the detail on Jupiter and Saturn is a sight to behold...
A lot of people talk of the Mak 180 being a "one trick pony" good only for lunar and planetary work - it is also superb on deep sky objects, eg globular clusters, planetary nebulae and open cluster etc. blah blah blah...
A wide field of view is not neccesary.
Ask yourself how many times do you need a "mega" wide field of view?
The only thing this scope can't fit in its field of view is something like M45 The Pleidades. The rest of the Messier objects are superb in this scope - fabulous detail and contrast. Globular Clusters are completely resolved etc.
Bang for Buck - AMAZING..

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148 of 149 people found this review helpful.

Some items that are showing as in stock are in stock at our holding warehouses, not at the shop. To double check the stock levels at the shop, please contact us on 01909774369 or

The delivery times for most items is 1 - 2 days but again, please double check stock levels on important orders before placing an order via the website.

The delivery costs for courier next day are for mainland UK only. If you live in the Scottish Highlands/Islands, Channel Islands or Northern Ireland, then a shipping surchage will apply. please contact us for prices. Smaller items can still go 1st class via Royal Mail.

Please note that if you are wanting to take advantage of our Saturday and Sunday timed services or next day pre 12 or pre 10:30 services, you MUST check that the stock is here at the shop before placing orders. Also, orders using the Saturday and Sunday services must be placed before 1pm the previous working day. Also, please remember to check that the stock is here at the shop before placing orders. If the stock is not at the shop, we won't be able to ship on any of the timed services. 

Please note International customers will need to contact us for a shipping price prior to ordering via the website. We don't ship all items internationally. It is at our discretion what we ship outside of the UK. This all depends on the size and weight of the items. Please get in touch with us for any postage costs. Please note we do NOT ship telescopes or heavy items outside of the UK. This is due to massive postage costs and problems regarding returns.

If you have any questions regarding stock levels or delivery, please get in touch.

Zygo Interferometer Testing For ED Refractor Telescopes!

We are extremely pleased to announce our Zygo Interferometer is now installed and ready for use! Our experienced staff can test refractor lenses up to 120mm aperture and provide a comprehensive 2 page report showing the optical quality and Strehl ratio, plus much more information. We are using the very latest Zygo MX software to provide a more detailed report compared to other standard reports.


The interferometer is essentially a measuring instrument. Within the interferometer is a calibrated laser that is pointed through the optical test surface, then onto a high quality reference sphere, then back through the test subject then to an internal camera which gives us the measurement on the screen. From this, we can adjust the position of the test optic and the reference sphere to obtain a perfectly calibrated system. The more central the laser to the test optic and then on return, the better and more accurate reading and measurement we can take. This takes a lot of adjustment to get the best results from the optical surface. Once the measurement has been taken, we are provided with a series of results that show the optical quality of the surface plus other information. Continue reading for an explanation of the individual values and you can also see a test report that was done on one of our RVO Horizon 60 OTAs. 

We are offering certain telescopes with a Zygo test at an extra cost. Mainly ED doublets and triplets. All available telescopes with a Zygo test report are listed here. Just select Zygo Test Report from the drop down box at the top of the listing and we will test the optics in house and provide a full 2 page report with your scope. This will show you the optical quality of your telescope optics. We can also offer this service on your refractor telescope. Please get in touch for more details about this. 

At Rother Valley Optics, one thing we pride ourselves on is customer service and quality of our equipment. When we test your telescope, we will ensure that it is of the highest quality otherwise, we will reject the scope under our strict quality control and test another model for your peace of mind. One of the main values to look at when testing a refractor is the Strehl ratio. The higher this number, the higher quality lens you have. At Rother Valley Optics, we will guarantee the highest possible Strehl ratio for your telescope.  We will aim to provide 0.95 Strehl or higher on Takahashi, RVO Horizon, William Optics and many more! Generally, the higher the Strehl ratio, the lower the Astigmatism and Coma meaning a better image quality from your instrument. 

Other measurements such as the PV and RMS are important too. With these measurements, the lower the number the better as it shows less curvature on the lens. The flatter an optical lens, the better it will perform. The PV rating (Peak To Valley) is a measurement from the highest point (Peak) to the lowest point (Valley). From this we get the RMS (Root, Mean, Square). This is a similar figure to the PV and measured exactly the same way. The RMS is basically an average height difference from the PV so again, the lower the better. As you can see form the example below, we measured an RMS of just 0.027 wave which is a very good value.

We also measure the Power with our systems which is essentially the error from the reference sphere to the test optic. The reference sphere we use on our system is a very high quality sphere so the closer to zero the Power, the less error between the 2 elements thus ensuring a higher quality optical surface. 

You will also see some more values such as Astigmatism and Coma. Again, these are measured by the interferometer when we take measurements of the optical surface after adjustment. These are values which ideally would be at 0 but as our test optics are all curved lenses, there will always be astigmatism and coma present. The lower the number, the less of these aberations you will effectively see but with most refractors, you can buy field flatteners which will compensate for the coma anyway. The astigmatisms value is explaining the error between the symmetrical curvature of the lens. Basically, no lens will be perfectly symmetrical, the lower the astigmatism, the more symmetrical the lens surface is. 

Once the Zygo test report has been completed, the optical alignment is thoroughly tested and tuned to ensure they are spot on before they leave us. 

All available telescopes are on the website at the link below and ones we've tested already that are available straight away are also listed.

Here is an example of the test what we provide. This was a test on one of our Horizon 60 ED OTA's.

For any questions about this amazing new service, please either call 01909774369 or email


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