The Meade ETX 90 telescope was first 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 have become renowned worldwide, comprising similar models like the ETX-60, ETX-70AT, ETX-80AT and ETX-90AT. 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 speaks volumes about the instruments’ versatility and durability. This extensive Meade ETX 90 review covers the features, pros and cons of this model.
What is the Meade ETX 90 telescope?
ETX 90, the original model, hit the shelves almost 20 years ago. Nowadays, we’ve come to dub it the Meade ETX 90 RA. This classic telescope comprised a clockwork device which kept track of the Earth’s movement using an equatorial wedge. The Meade ETX 90 telescope was one of the first telescopes to successfully combine affordability and many useful features for beginner star gazers.
With a sturdy case and several slots for the disassembled parts, the ETX90 is easy to transport and to setup. You don’t need additional utensils to put everything together. Thus, even a novice can tackle this task.
Both the base and the tube of the instrument are made out of aluminum, while the forks are reinforced plastic. If you’re more of a bird watcher than star gazer, 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.
Pros and Cons to Using the Meade ETX 90 telescope
- The included 26 mm and 9 mm Meade ETX 90 eyepiece paired with the 1,250 mm focal length do a great job of delivering sharp images.
- The finder scope allows users to effortlessly pinpoint any targeted object.
- The price of this Meade ETX 90 scope is really low, considering all its specs, features, and high functionality.
- If you’re a beginner, the large collection of planets and star clusters in the library will quench your thirst of knowledge. With 30,000 objects, this feature of the Meade ETX 90 telescope will keep you busy for months, and introduce you to a new world.
- Meade telescopes reviews note that both the tripod and the mount of the ETX 90 are included. So there’s no need to invest in additional accessories. The tripod is essential for sharp photos and image stabilization, especially if you don’t have steady hands.
- Just like with their other Meade telescopes, the ETX 90 performs wonderfully. This instrument delivers crisp optics, impressive enough for astrophotography.
- Since it works with internal batteries, Meade telescope reviews remarked that the instrument goes through batteries rapidly. On average, batteries will keep the telescope working for 20 hours before wearing out. To change 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.
- The manual adjustments can be tricky for beginners who do not know all the ins and outs of the ETX 90.
- One Meade ETX 90 review commented that the company’s customer service leaves a lot to be desired. More than one client complained about the slow replies.
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 $400 on the telescope. The new and improved version of the Meade ETX 90 telescope costs $500. This is obviously more recommendable (for its warranty and pristine condition).
With a high focal ratio and powerful eyepieces, the instrument offers impressive photos both of our galaxy and of terrestrial sites.The Meade ETX 90 telescope has a 90mm (3.5 inches) f/13.8 Maksutov Cassegrain optics, and comes with two powerful Super Plossl eyepieces. Meade ETX 90’s 26 millimeter eyepiece provides 48 times 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 Orion nebula. Overall, this instrument may outperform other telescopes 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 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 the accessories are stored in a non-humid room, away from Sun rays, preferably in a box or special case. Keep the cap on the lens at all times to prevent dust from sneaking in and impairing the Meade ETX 90’s functionality.
When needed, use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe your telescope and the other tools. Don’t use any regular cleaners, and reach out to a professional if you have stubborn stains on your lens or if the images become foggy all of a sudden.
There is a wide range of accessories for Meade telescopes. Besides the included eyepieces, 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 for 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 the 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 instruments 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 a novice. However, more recent models may prove more suitable. Digital telescopes have more advantages than the classic Meade model from 1996. If you are looking for a more modern Meade telescope, check out their new LX200 model. It offers plenty of features and is suitable if you want to make the jump from an amateur to an advanced user.