It is an aplanatic
design (with the flint element a meniscus lens), which yields better spherical correction and reduced coma compared with designs that use a plano-concave flint element.
During the 1930s Maksutov's opticians found time to produce a wide variety of extremely challenging optical systems, including fast apochromatic objectives, aspheric projection lenses, two 14-inch f/2 Schmidt cameras, a 16-inch aplanatic
reflector for Byurakan Observatory in Armenia, and a 20-inch horizontal solar telescope for Pulkovo.
5-m New Technology Telescope, wrote: "The RC aplanatic
form of the Cassegrain telescope is, and will always remain, the ultimate optical design for a 2-mirror telescope.
Fortunately, the aplanatic
patch is larger in the infrared, so that infrared telescopes with adaptive optics have already achieved nearly diffraction-limited performance over large fields of view.
telescope and crutch tripod featured in this magazine in November 1979, page 473, and January 1996, page 31, respectively.
As a young scientist in the 1920s Maksutov explored the general properties of two-mirror optical systems and found a number of aplanatic
combinations - those free of both spherical aberration and coma.