The Optical Tube
The Celestron 700, or C700, is a Maksutov-Cassegrain (the 700 seems to denote that it’s a 7” or 180mm telescope) and is identical optically to the Orion and Sky-Watcher 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrains that have been offered for years. The optics in these scopes are extremely high-quality and will provide much sharper and higher-contrast planetary, lunar and double star views than your typical 6-10” Newtonian or Schmidt-Cassegrain. However, that performance comes with a financial and practical price.
At a focal ratio of f/15, this telescope is not going to provide sweeping, wide-field vistas of the heavens – at most, you can just barely squeeze out a 1-degree field of view (about two full Moons) with a low-power 2” eyepiece, and as a result, the telescope feels a bit claustrophobic compared to an 8” Dobsonian or Schmidt-Cassegrain, both of which can provide significantly wider fields of view. The f/15 focal ratio and 2700mm focal length also mean you simply will not be doing deep-sky astrophotography with this telescope, as the exposure time and tracking accuracy required are simply too much to be worthwhile or for the Advanced VX mount to achieve.
Additionally, a Maksutov-Cassegrain of this size has a rather ...