The first Meade ETX telescope was introduced to the public in 1996, as a more affordable and simplified alternative to the high-end Questar Maksutov Cassegrain telescope.
Since then, the ETX (which stands for Everybody’s Telescope) series has become renowned worldwide. Meade telescopes are used both by beginners who are discovering a new hobby and by professionals who have been studying astronomy for their whole lives.
This extensive review of the Meade ETX 90 telescope by Meade Instruments covers its main features, pros, and cons, and other product information.
What Is the Meade ETX 90 Telescope?
The ETX 90, the original model, hit the shelves more than 20 years ago. Nowadays, we’ve come to dub it the Meade ETX 90 RA.
That classic telescope included a clockwork device which kept track of the Earth’s movement using an equatorial wedge.
The original Meade ETX 90 telescope was one of the first telescopes to successfully combine affordability and many useful features for beginner stargazers.
The current etx 90 observer has a Maksutov Cassegrain optical design and plenty of user-friendly features such as the tremendously helpful ‘Autostar’ star-finding tool.
With a sturdy case and several slots for the disassembled parts, the ETX90 is easy to transport and to set up. You don’t need additional utensils to put everything together. Thus, even a complete novice can tackle this task.
Both the base and the tube of the instrument are made of aluminum, while the fork mount is reinforced plastic. If you’re more of a bird watcher than a stargazer, it’s simple to take the optical tube and mount it on a camera tripod.
To focus on the desired object, you have to rotate a dial, which, in turn, moves the main mirror. Most of the times, this process can result in a shifted image.
|21.1 x 13 x 7.7 inches||11.55 lb||8 AA batteries required||90 mm||1250mm||–|
Pros & Cons to Using the Meade ETX 90 Telescope
- The included 26mm Meade ETX 90 eyepiece, paired with the 1250mm focal length, do a great job at delivering sharp images.
- The finder scope allows users to effortlessly pinpoint any targeted object.
- The Autostar star-finding tool comes with a 30,000-object database.
- The price of this Meade ETX 90 scope is quite low, considering all its specs, features, and high functionality.
- The Meade ETX 90 telescope will keep you busy for months, and introduce you to a new world.
- Meade telescope reviewers note that the mount for the ETX 90 is included, so there’s no need to invest in a separate one.
- Just like with their other Meade telescopes, the ETX 90 performs wonderfully. This instrument delivers crisp optics, impressive enough for astrophotography.
- The telescope comes with a cordless motor drive designed for fully automatic tracking.
- The flip-mirror system allows for 90-degree observation of the sky and land objects.
- Great for observing the moon and planets at a semi-professional level.
- Comes with a ‘deluxe’ full size steel tripod.
- Since it works with internal batteries, Meade telescope goes through batteries rapidly. On average, batteries will keep the telescope working for 20 hours straight before wearing out. To replace them, you have to take out three screws, and remove the base plate.
- While it’s suitable for small road trips, the Meade ETX 90 can be too heavy to carry on longer distances. This is especially hard if you have an extensive kit comprising other accessories.
- Manual adjustments can be tricky for beginners who do not know all the ins and outs of the ETX 90.
- One Meade ETX 90 buyer noted that the company’s customer service leaves a lot to be desired. More than one client complained about slow replies.
- The telescope has a relatively small objective lens diameter, which means it is not that great for observing the deep space.
- If you want to control the telescope’s magnification better, optional eyepieces are required.
Where to Find the Meade ETX 90 Telescope
Since Meade ETX 90 production stopped a long time ago to be replaced by variations of the classic models, nowadays, astronomy aficionados can only find second-hand models.
Depending on the condition of the instrument, you can spend anywhere between $150 and $500 on the telescope. You can still find the Meade ETX 90 telescope at online retailers like Amazon, in reasonable condition, and at affordable prices.
With a high focal ratio and powerful eyepiece, this instrument can take impressive photos of both our galaxy and terrestrial targets. The Meade ETX 90 telescope is a Maksutov-Cassegrain catadioptrics telescope and comes with a powerful Super Plössl eyepiece.
Meade ETX 90’s 26-millimeter eyepiece provides 48x magnification. The telescope has a flip-mirror system which allows for 90-degree observation of both land and sky remote objects.
With Meade ETX 90, you will be able to get crisp images of the Moon, Saturn’s cloud belts, and even the Orion nebula.
Overall, this instrument will outperform many other telescopes in its price range in terms of image contrast, resolution, and clarity.
Besides learning how to use a Meade telescope, you should also know how to look after one. With proper care, you can get the most out of the instrument, and get to explore nebulas for years.
Proper storage is essential when it comes to preserving the telescope’s longevity. Make sure the instrument and all its accessories are stored in a non-humid room, away from the sun, preferably in a box or special case.
Keep the cap on the lens at all times to prevent dust from sneaking in and impairing Meade ETX 90’s functionality.
When needed, use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe your telescope and the other tools. Don’t use regular cleaners, and reach out to a professional if you have stubborn stains on the lens or if the images become foggy all of a sudden.
There is a wide range of accessories available for Meade telescopes, but you have to purchase them separately. Besides the included eyepiece, you can invest in other utensils as you get more experienced and require additional tools to explore the skies.
An erecting prism and various lenses can improve the quality of the image, and help you achieve more stability.
Camera adapters and T-rings will make it easier to capture stunning photos, while soft cases are a must if you are planning many trips with your Meade ETX 90 telescope.
Warranty and Guarantee Information
If you buy a used ETX90, you won’t benefit from a warranty. However, if you need to change any parts, reach out to customer service, which might be able to help you.
Most Meade telescopes, like the Meade ETX 90 EC, come with a one-year warranty. Overall, the company is well-known for its high-quality optical devices.
As a global leader in telescope manufacturing, Meade designs instruments that are associated with durability and incredibly sharp optics.
If you are on the hunt for a beginner telescope that will deliver crisp images, the Meade ETX 90 telescope can be a useful tool for you.
However, more recent models may prove more suitable. If you are looking for a more modern Meade telescope, check out Meade Instruments’ new LX200 model. You can check our full review of the Meade LX200 beginner telescope here.
It offers plenty of features and is suitable if you want to make the jump from an amateur to an intermediate model.
GREAT BEGINNER TELESCOPE
With this scope, Meade pushed a serious telescope into the casual-consumer price range. The ETX-90EC offers extraordinary optics and user-friendliness at an incredibly low price.