Meade LS-8ACF LightSwitch 8" f/10 Catadioptric GoTo Telescope

Meade LS-8ACF LightSwitch 8" f/10 Catadioptric GoTo Telescope

Meade LS-8ACF LightSwitch 8" f/10 Catadioptric GoTo Telescope

B&H # MELS8ACF MFR # 0810-03-10
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Meade LS-8ACF LightSwitch 8" f/10 Catadioptric GoTo Telescope


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Product Highlights

  • 8" (203mm) Catadioptric OTA
  • 2032mm Focal Length, f/10 Focal Ratio
  • Advanced Coma-Free/UHTC Optical Systems
  • LightSwitch Automatic Alignment
  • Motorized Single-Arm Alt-Az Form Mount
  • AutoStar III Computer Hand Controller
  • 100,000+ Object Database with Tours
  • Astronomer Inside Multimedia System
  • 26mm Eyepiece, 90° Diagonal
  • Adjustable-Height Stainless Steel Tripod
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Aperture: 8" (203.2mm), f/10

6" (152mm), f/10 8" (203.2mm), f/10
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Meade LS-8 overview

  • 1Description

Ushering in a new era for amateur astronomers, the Meade LS-8ACF LightSwitch 8" f/10 Catadioptric GoTo Telescope aligns itself with virtually zero input from the user. The LightSwitch system first obtains the current day/time/location using an onboard GPS module, next the integrated CCD camera takes a series of pictures of the night sky overhead, then it references the relative positions of the objects in those pictures to the AutoStar III database to properly and accurately align itself—all in about 5 minutes. During long-exposure astrophotography, the LightSwitch system acts as an autoguider to monitor the tracking accuracy and correct any errors in real time.

Optically, Meade utilizes their Advanced Coma-Free (ACF) catadioptric light path to reduce color fringing and off-axis comas to enable it to clearly resolve dim deep-sky objects and easily split binary stars with tack-sharp clarity. Complementing the ACF system is their Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) system, which improves light transmission through the entire light path across the whole visible spectrum. A combination of high-transmittance lens coatings and highly reflective mirror coatings boost image brightness, while minimizing internal and external light loss and diffraction.

An aluminum single-arm alt-az fork mount carries the optical tube assembly (OTA) and runs on eight user-supplied C-cell batteries for off-the-grid observation sessions, and supporting the entire system is an adjustable-height stainless steel tripod. To get you out and observing immediately, Meade includes a relatively low-power eyepiece, a 90° star diagonal, and a red-dot finderscope. Complementing the large 8" aperture, the diagonal and visual backs are made for 2" eyepieces, accessories, and imaging gear. For observation, 2" eyepieces tend to have longer eye reliefs and wider fields of view, making it more comfortable during long observation sessions. For imaging, the larger back ensures exiting light completely covers larger camera sensors to avoid vignetting.

Ideal for making detailed lunar and planetary observations with the capability of reaching far beyond our solar system or as a powerful astroimaging rig, this user-friendly, completely automatic, fully GoTo-equipped observational platform will reveal the wonders of the universe to new and experienced amateur astronomers alike.

Optical Tube Assembly
  • 8" (203.2mm) aperture
  • f/10 focal ratio
  • 2032mm focal length
  • Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric design
  • Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) system
  • Resolution: 0.57 arcsec, Dawes' Limit
  • Secondary mirror obstruction: 13.7%, by area
  • Single-speed internal focusing mechanism
  • 2" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT) screw-in visual back allows the use of larger eyepieces, accessories, and photography gear, with wider fields of view, longer eye reliefs, and images that completely cover larger camera sensors
  • LightSwitch alignment system:
  • Automatically aligns scope in about 5 minutes and requires little assistance from user
  • Utilizes the AutoStar III database, integrated Eclips CCD imaging system, and onboard GPS module
  • GPS module tells it where and when it is being set up
  • AutoStar III database tells system what stars and planets are visible overhead
  • CCD camera takes a series of photos and compares the star field to the database information to properly align itself
  • During long-exposure astrophotography, the LightSwitch system acts as a real-time autoguider to maintain, and automatically correct, alignment as needed
  • Advanced Coma-Free system:
  • Reduces off-axis comas and astigmatism for sharper images
  • Eliminates diffraction spikes for better resolution
  • Aplanatic design produces flat, distortion-free images across the field of viewespecially at the edges
  • Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC):
  • All corrector plate and mirror surfaces are fully multi-coated
  • Engineered to optimize visual, photographic, and CCD imaging
  • Improves light transmission across the entire visible spectrum through the optical path
  • Corrector plate coatings made up of multiple layers of aluminum oxide (Al2O3), titanium dioxide (TiO2), and magnesium fluoride (MgF2)
  • Mirror coatings consist of aluminum with multi-layer coatings of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and silicon dioxide (SiO2)
AutoStar III Computer Hand Controller
  • Full GoTo capabilities
  • Intuitive menu-driven interface
  • 100,000+ object database
  • Periodic Error Correction (PEC) and Permanent Periodic Error Correction (PPEC) train out tracking errors for more precision
  • Multiple alignment procedures: Auto-Align, Easy, One star, Two star, Align on home
  • Slew speeds: 1x, 2x, 8x, 16x, 0.25°/sec, 0.5°/sec, 1°/sec, 2°/sec, 4°/sec
  • Tracking rates: Sidereal, Lunar, Custom; select from 2000 incremental rates
  • Tracking accuracy: ±1 arcsec
  • Multiple customized guided tours based on the specific date, time, and location the user is observing
  • Calculate future dates and times for events like sunrises and sunsets; moonrises, moonsets, and Moon phases; solar and lunar eclipses for the next 100 years; meteor showers; equinoxes and solstices
  • Guided tours available based on when and where scope is set up
  • Database objects:
  • Solar system, including planets, asteroids, and comets
  • Constellations
  • Messier catalog
  • Caldwell catalog
  • NGC catalog
  • IC catalog
  • Galaxies
  • Nebulae
  • Planetary nebulae
  • Star clusters
  • Quasars
  • Black holes
  • Named stars
  • Hipparcos catalog
  • SAO catalog
  • HD catalog
  • HR catalog
  • Landolt
  • Gliese catalog
  • Double stars
  • Clusters
  • GCVS (Variables)
  • Stars with planets
  • Satellites, including the International Space Station (ISS)
Mount and Tripod
  • Mount:
  • Aluminum motorized single-arm alt-azimuth fork
  • Payload capacity: 60 pounds (27kg)
  • Integrated GPS module obtains accurate date, time, location information without requiring user input
  • Large 4.875" worm gears
  • Built-in ECLIPS CCD: Capture images and display them in real time on external monitors or save them to an SD card with no external computer needed
  • Connect and control another DSI CCD camera, view images on an external monitor, or save the images to the SD card or an external computer
  • Runs on eight user-supplied C-cell batteries
  • Tripod:
  • Heavy-duty stainless steel legs provide a solid platform with limited vibrations
  • Adjustable height to accommodate a variety of users and viewing positions
  • Center tray holds accessories and eyepieces, while acting as a stabilizer for the legs to improve stability and limit vibrations
  • Spiked feet provide improved stability on soft or uneven ground
Astronomer Inside Multimedia
  • Composite video output port on mount supports optional external NTSC monitors
  • When connected, enjoy audio, video, still images, and text on 500 select objects
  • Learn facts, features, history, and mythology of key near- and deep-sky objects
  • Over 4 hours of audio commentary features the voice of Sandy Wood
  • 30 minutes of movies, animations
  • Hundreds of still images
Included Accessories
  • Eyepiece:
  • 1.25"-diameter barrel
  • Accepts most 1.25" astronomical filters
  • 26mm Super Plössl eyepiece produces 78x
  • 52° apparent angle of view
  • 18mm eye relief
  • Fold-down rubber eyecup
  • Diagonal:
  • 2" snout and eyepiece holder
  • 90° angle places head in a comfortable viewing position, especially when optical tube assembly is pointed at or near the zenith
  • Star configuration corrects images horizontally, but not vertically
  • 1.25" reducer adapter enables the use of smaller eyepieces and accessories
  • Finderscope:
  • Unmagnified to ensure a wide field of view
  • Simple red aiming dot won't obstruct small or dim objects during alignment
  • Mounting bracket included
UPC: 709942353228
In the Box
Meade LS-8ACF LightSwitch 8" f/10 Catadioptric GoTo Telescope
  • Series 4000 26mm Super Plossl Eyepiece (1.25")
  • Red Dot Finder
  • 2" 90° Star Diagonal
  • 2"-to-1.25" Reducer Adapter
  • AutoStar III Controller
  • Motorized Altazimuth Mount
  • Adjustable Stainless Steel Tripod
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Meade LS-8 specs

    Optical Design Advanced Coma-Free Catadioptric
    Aperture 8.0" / 203.2mm
    Focal Length 2032mm
    Focal Ratio f/10
    Eyepiece Barrel Diameter 2"
    1.25" with included adapter
    Diagonal 90° star
    2" snout and eyepiece holder
    Finderscope Red dot finder
    Tripod Adjustable-height stainless steel
    Mount Type Single-arm motorized alt-azimuth fork
    GO-TO Capability AutoStar III hand controller
    Power Source 8 x C-cell batteries
    Optical Tube Dimensions Not specified by manufacturer
    Weight Not specified by manufacturer
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 57.0 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 44.0 x 31.0 x 22.0"

    Meade LS-8 reviews

    LS-8ACF LightSwitch 8" f/10 Catadioptric GoTo Telescope is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 15.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from You need an open sky and your car at som The Meade LS-8 ACF lightswitch telescope performs exactly as advertised. Turn it on and once it thinks a while, it finds the guide stars and works like a charm. However, as mentioned in the manual, the scope needs to see the guide stars, The further apart they are in the sky, the better the accuracy (think about it). But if you set up too close to your car, it does impair the GPS. I don't know if you need a full 50 feet, but it works. You don't need to know the constellations. Note that since it's not an equatorial mount or use a wedge, it's not suitable for long-exposure astrophotography,
    Date published: 2010-11-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to use telescope For a beginner, this is a no brainer. This telescope uses its LightSwitch tech to position itself automatically. It eases you into telescopes rather than requiring you to know too much. One thing I do want to point will want to buy a higher powered eye piece which lets you zoom in better. The standard eyepiece is good but I will be buying at least one more for now. Also, you WILL NEED some kind of filter to view the moon. It's way to bright to look at without a filter. So, plan ahead and get the filter (I'm looking into one myself).
    Date published: 2011-02-23
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, but with exceptions Overall this is a great telescope for a beginner, provided you are willing to spend a bit of money. The descriptive audio and the self alignment all make this a very user friendly product. On the other hand, if you already know your way around the stars, then the Meade LX-90 series has a more solid mount and a nicer viewfinder scope (and still has the auto alignment.) For people debating between ACF and SC, the ACF is well worth it for photographers and people looking for a relatively undistorted image at the edge of your view.
    Date published: 2012-01-24
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loving it I really like this telescope. Easy to setup and it self aligns even in my brightly lit neighborhood. I had an ETX-125 before I got the LS-8ACF and the two scopes are really night and day. No more trying to align stars (the LS-8 does it automatically) and it really does pull in a lot more light than the ETX-125, especially in a bright neighborhood like mine. Don't bother using the telescope with C-cell batteries. This thing eats batteries. Get the car power cord or if you are using it near your house, a 100ft power cord and a 12v wall wart. Also, ignore the problem reviews pre-2011. With firmware 1.6a, all the bugs and problems that people were having seem to have been fixed. If you are beginner, the built in commentary is pretty good. It is great for showing friends and family, who are not familiar with astronomy, what they are looking at through the eyepiece. Best of all, you can always turn it off, if it is not your thing. The LS-8 is lighter than a Celestron CPC800, but that lightness comes at a cost. When focusing, there is a long settler time. I have heard that the electronic focuser solves this problem. I can bearly lift a CPC800 and tripod combination, but the Meade LS-8 is a lot lighter. I do not have a problem lifting the LS-8 and tripod combination. The upside, is that I am more likely to take the LS-8 outside to actually use it. Don't get me wrong, the LS-8 is a lot heavier than an ETX-125, but not as heavy as a CPC800. For me, it strikes a really nice balance between telescope size and weight.
    Date published: 2012-02-19
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great telescope! So easy to use - switch it on and leave it to align for five minutes and it's ready to go. The Autostar computer is easy to use to find what you want to look at and there is a commentary that beginners will find useful (but that you can thankfully switch off!). All in all very user-friendly. It does eat batteries, so I need to get an alternative power source and the moon is way too bright - I should have ordered a filter along with the scope. And I know this is supposed to be a lightweight scope - but it's right at the limit of what I can carry (17 kg) and I won't be carrying it far!
    Date published: 2012-05-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Wow, I was a bit nervous spending the amount of money on something I may only ue every now and then but the first time I saw Saturn all my fears were gone. I have used it every night and day since I got it and my six year old follows me out the door every time I go to set it up. My only fear now is what to do if they make a better one. Just one thing I had to slow down the max slew rate as it had trouble slowing down for some objects. But once done it was fine.
    Date published: 2011-08-14
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Scope w/ No hassle Flip the switch and it does it all. It levels itself, finds where it is and then will tell you everything in the sky worth looking at. Take pictures with the on board camera and many more pluses!!!
    Date published: 2014-01-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic buy! This is the 4th telescope I have owned. This scope has all of the features you possibly want which makes it a great scope for the amateur to enthusiast! Simple to use. Works great out of the box. I highly recommend this telescope.
    Date published: 2013-05-28
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