What happens when a group of dedicated astronomers pool their talents to create a new company? You get the products of PlaneWave Instruments.
A few years ago, company founders Richard Hedrick and Joseph Haberman, former telescope engineers at Celestron, got together with optician Dave Rowe and worked out a new telescope design using simple optics that offers superlative performance. Their company now offers Dall-Kirkham telescopes in 12.5-inch f/8, 17-inch f/6.8, and 20-inch f/6.8 versions. As I write this, 24- and 28-inch versions are in the works.
For this review, I tested the CDK17, PlaneWave’s 17-inch f/6.8 model. The “CDK” stands for “corrected Dall-Kirkham” design, by the way. I placed it atop an Astro-Physics 1200 GTO mount in my backyard observatory.