This is a brilliant astrograph. Flat field, clear images and snappy focus that makes photography of extended objects simple and enjoyable. This review shouldn't need to cover this. The specifications alone mean it is brilliant at that job.
It is solidly built - very solidly built - a good heft and the focuser can easily take the weight of a 60Da. There is no weak component that I feel may break.
I bought this as an astrograph for wide field nebula photography, but, having become a father I found I didn't have the time for astro photography. I found I suddenly needed a scope I could pull out, mount on a solid photo tripod and video head, and get observing quickly. All my other scopes require levelling, alignment and power supplies.
Enter the APO.
This delivers quality observing in bucket loads. Under good conditions, using a good eyepiece and a high quality Barlow, magnifications beyond 130x are not just possible, but usable (eg with TeleVue PowerMate 2.5x and Baader Hyperion 8mm/5mm). Deep detail in lunar craters is sharp and contrasty, multiple cloud bands on Jupiter (not just NEB & SEB) are clearly visible. Saturn is an incredible sight. This is better than my 150mm Mak for planetary observing.
To do this scope justice for visual observing, don't use a plain aluminium diagonal, get a dielectric diagonal. Also invest in some decent eyepieces - don't use cheap ones.
Solid as a rock
This matches and beats the optical quality of my best eyepieces
Focuser doesn't have enough travel to use a TeleVue PowerMate and DSLR - you need a 50mm or 80mm 2" extension tube. It has enough travel for an eyepiece, standard Barlow & DSLR, standard Barlow & eyepiece and PowerMate & eyepiece - just the PowerMate & DSLR optical combination has a further focus point.