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Lunt 35mm Ha solar scope quick first look & light

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#1 dr.who


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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:09 PM

I recently decided to get a bit into solar viewing and wanted to include it in my outreach setup since it's a neat target to look at and it is something everyone knows unlike the Orion Nebula or M5. Plus it can give some amazing views. I had a chance to look through one of these at my local shoppe and was very impressed with what you get for the price!

I went with the Deluxe model which is $150 more than the "standard" model at $750. I did this for two reasons. First is that not only does this OTA give very good solar views for it's price it can also be used for solar AP. And second is that it comes with everything you need except for the case to be up and running with solar viewing in one kit. That includes a 10mm Lunt EP, scope rings, vixen dovetail plate, the Lunt b600 instead of b400 which means that you have more "dark space" around the solar disk which is nice for viewing and AP, and a solar finderscope. Well worth the extra $150 frankly.

I also spent an additional $70 for the case which was not necessary, really not worth the price when something similar can be had at Harbor Freight or it's analog, and could be replaced by any case that will fit the foam cutout from the shipping box the scope comes in. But for me it was convenient so I bought it.

I had viewed through the larger Lunt 60mm and 80mm OTA's previously courtesy of fellow club members who owned them and had plans for purchasing the 60mm pressure tuned one with additional plans for the second etalon but as I said above I had a chance to view through this one, had credit at the shoppe due to a trade in, and a complete lack of will power :lol: And I am glad I did. It got me into the solar game much sooner than I would have waiting and saving for the 60mm and the views for casual viewing are more than good enough. Plus it will easily dual mount on my 102mm refractor that will do white light viewing. Since it comes with scope rings you can set it so that your main OTA an this one are looking at the same thing. ;)

Balancing it on the CG5 was stupid simple. As in don't bother. It's just too light to make any difference at about 2 1/2 pounds. Solar alignment with the solar finder scope is also stupid simple. Just set the CG5 to do a solar system align, pick the sun as an object, agree that you won't do something idiotic like look at the sun without proper filtering, and then the CG5 slews off towards where it things the sun is. It gets close with the sun somewhere in the solar finder, which works like this... It has a hole in the front and a piece of white plexiglass (I think) in the center in the back surrounded by black plastic. The sun goes through the pin hole in the front and you see the disk on the back. You move the mount until the disk is centered, check the EP on the scope, and if it is in view hit the align then dial it in via the EP just like you would with a regular scope.

As you can see from the absolutely shamefully horrible photo below prominences are very visible in the scope. Surprisingly so for this size ota at this price point. I spent 30 minutes today just enjoying them alone. It was just mesmerizing. I also managed to make myself look like Roy from Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind courtesy of the sunburn I got on the side of my face. :lol: So I will be picking up a boonie hat for sure! Detail of the chromosphere was also very visible in the scope and enjoyable but not at the level you get with a double stacked scope of higher aperture. Sun spots were also visible but again not in the detail you get with a larger aperture. The included 10mm EP is just right for viewing. I tried it with my ES lineup and it wasn't as satisfying. Focus is done by the helical focuser on the diagonal.

I would say this is a great scope for someone wanting to start out in solar; someone who wants to casually view the sun; someone who wants to have a great tool for outreach at a great price; or someone who wants to try their hand at AP of the sun without breaking the bank. I mention AP because a friend of mine has done some amazing work with a 35Ha and a DMK41 that blew my mind and convinced me that it was a worthwhile investment since I am not (yet) a solar head but wanted to dip my toe.

My apologies for the photos. They are taken with my iPhone...

Here is a shot of the scope in the case. Note the foam from the shipping box is used.
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Here is a shot of it on my CG5. Note no counterweight required. The mount handles it fine and at it's weight it would also work well on another OTA piggybacked. My guess is that it would also work on a Nexstar(?) mount from Celestron since it is shorter than an 8" SCT in length.
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Close up of it on the CG5
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Horrible shot of the sun from my iPhone in the EP but does show you that the proms are very visible in the OTA.
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#2 Andy Devey

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:16 PM

Your going to have some fun with the new scope and it will certainly go down well with your outreach activities



The solar explorer

#3 dr.who


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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:02 PM

Cheers Andy. It was a lot of fun this mid morning save for the sunburn! :)

#4 Traveler


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:12 AM

I use my Lunt 35mm de Luxe for two years now. I enjoy this little one a lot. As you said, it does everything right out of the box and feels the same as you do: i had bought the lunt much sooner. It gives me a whole new astro-experience.

Two things i don't like:
The Helical focusser: when ataching a dslr,it moves by itself. Only with light camera's it works but even then it is not good enough for my taste.

Second: where is the Sun? Here at 52N the Sun is quit low in the sky now. However, i even cannot see the Sun because of bad weather for such a long time... :(

#5 Matt Wastell

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:09 AM

Thanks for the great story - have fun with the scope!

#6 rdandrea



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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:20 AM

Cheers Andy. It was a lot of fun this mid morning save for the sunburn! :)

Aah yes, the sunburn. First thing I bought after my Lunt 35 was delivered was one of these:

#7 dr.who


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:51 PM

Cheers Traveler and Matt. Sorry to hear there is no sun for you at the moment. Down here at 34' we get it in the South but not THAT far South! ;)

Nice hat rdandrea! My problem was the sun was hitting the side of my face because I was sitting sideways to the OTA for viewing but that is a good hat to have regardless.

#8 StarStuff1



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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:36 AM

Your experiences/comments reflect my experiences almost exactly. I bought the standard model as I don't do AP and made my own solar finder. Also I have way too many eyepieces but a zoom I robbed from a 60mm ED spotting scope works great. I keep it on an old Leitz tripod and it is a one handed G'n'Go.

An old floppy "boonie" hat does work well.

#9 neotesla



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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

Try an observer's hood...


#10 magnus


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:39 AM

I have exactly the same LS35HaDXB600 as you + the case. Bought it 2 years ago and I have had a lot of fun with it. Prominences and Ha deatil on the surface are just amazing for this little "finderscope-aperture-solarscope". I do not regret a second I bought it and I have zero aperture fever.
I use mine on a Vixen porta mount.

/Magnus 57N.

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