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Lunt solar telescope vs. Quark Cromosphere

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#1 paulsky

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 10:53 AM

Hello,

I am thinking about a Lunt dedicated solar telescope (equivalent to...) or the Quark Cromosphere eyepiece filter, anyone have proved the two solar observation system for visual observtions?

Which is your preferred? Why?

Thank you very much

paul



#2 SteveSMS

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:10 AM

Hi Paul,

 

I have a Quark Chromosphere and a Coronado SM60 II DS and we use them side by side with binoviewers regularly. I normally use the Quark with 102mm through 150mm refractors. The SM60 gives beautiful views at relatively low power and I have no complaints with it. The Quark is in a whole other category, it gives high resolution views at relatively high powers but can, with a focal reducer, still do full disks in scopes with focal lengths up to 750mm. The difference between the two visually is that the SM60 is like looking through a 50mm finder and the Quark is the 6"er that it's attached to. If I had to choose just one, with viewing experience the only consideration, the Quark would be my only choice without any hesitation. I have purchased a lot of astronomy equipment over the years and I consider the Quark to be one of the absolute best purchases that I have made.

 

Hope This Helps,

 

Steve



#3 George9

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 01:32 PM

I have a Lunt LS80 DSII and Quark (with 30, 70, 92, 130, and 155mm refractors). The Quark is more versatile. Main cost is waiting for it to warm it, which means no more quick dashes outside to see something. Full-disk, the LS80 DSII is way better, but proms (low and high power) and high power disk are better in the Quark.

 

Ideally a small Lunt and a Quark would be a nice combination.

 

It seems to me that the best money-is-no-object combination imaginable for visual work would be an LS50 for truly portable, LS80 DSII for high-contrast low-power disk, and a DayStar Quantum PE .4 or .5 Ang. Plus a 180mm refractor, of course. But the amazing thing is that the Quark by itself is not that far off from ideal (assuming you have the refractor and ERF).

 

George


Edited by George9, 18 March 2015 - 05:05 PM.


#4 SteveSMS

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 01:44 PM

With regard to an ERF, I have been using a 2" Baader UV/IR Cut stacked in front of a Baader 610 attached to the front of a 2" diagonal on scopes up to 150mm in aperture. I mount the scope on a GEM that is tracking for hours and I have had no issues so far.



#5 George9

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 05:16 PM

The problem is that it is not completely clear what we are avoiding, so it is hard to judge success of the ERF or UV/IR. My assumption is that the Quark protects your eyes effectively. The filters are there to protect the Quark. But is that to protect against for short-term heating and cracking (which would be very noticeable) or to protect against long-term failure. If the latter, it is hard to tell whether the filter it is working or not.

 

DayStar initially recommended an external ERF for over 150mm, with the UV/IR filter for 80-150. Then they recommended an ERF >120. And they recommended an ERF even beyond that if you are imaging for hours. On the other hand, you could buy another Quark for what some ERFs cost.

 

Therefore, to the OP, depending on your refractor, for the Quark, you will also be getting some kind of filter. The UV/IR is pretty inexpensive.

 

George



#6 Kevdog

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 11:19 AM

I previously had a Coronado 60 and recently got a Quark Chromosphere.   

 

Once I bought the Coronado, I soon wanted more aperture and resolution.  The upgrade path there is harsh as the prices go up quite quickly.

 

The Quark has a lot of flexibility in that you buy it once, then you can change scopes relatively cheaply.  I picked up an Orion 120mm 600mm scope on CL for $300 with mount and that with the Quark plus a UV/IR filter blow away what I could see in the Coronado.... and it was cheaper!

 

There are some disadvantages to the quark:

  1. Initial warm up time - depends on ambient temp
  2. wait time between adjustments
  3. need power - either plug in or powerful battery

 

So it's not a quick grab and go scope.   I set my quark warming up while I'm setting up the scope and aligning it.  Even so, I still have some wait time before the Quark is ready.  So often I plug it in before I even go outside and get it warming first.

 

Once you know your Quark you know which spots on the adjustment dial are used for different things.   I rarely change it as I have it dialed in to surface detail.

 

I really like my Quark and I would choose it over a Lunt/Coronado any day!



#7 SteveSMS

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 11:54 AM

I recently started using an Anker portable USB charger for my Quark and it has lasted about 10 hours and is not even close to needing a recharge. Powering up the Quark before you bring it out is a shortcut that helps.

 

I use the UV/IR cut plus the red 610 to protect the Quark from heat and that filter combo is more than just a heat protector, according to Baader's own data it is an ERF.

 

The ability to use the Quark in multiple scopes is a huge plus for me. You can use the Quark in a short tube 80 without a focal reducer and get beautiful full disk views with no sweet spots or banding.

 

Another thing worth considering is that the Quark can be used as is with binoviewers with no need for an OCA of any sort.



#8 paulsky

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 01:57 PM

Anyone have proved the Quark Cromosphere with a 400 or 450mm focal lenght telescope ? is comparable to Lunt 35/50/60  model  in a full disk sun image ? and the Prominences in this Cromosphere model is OK ?

Sorry too much question!!

Paul



#9 SteveSMS

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 02:49 PM

The Quark Chromosphere model shows prominences extremely well and in my ST80 (400mm FL) provides an extremely detailed full disk view that is better than either my PST DS or my SM60II DS.



#10 Kevdog

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 05:09 PM

I had an ETX-70 with a 350mm focal length.  It was definitely at least as good as, if not better than my Coronado 60mm.

 

I sold it as the Orion 120mm blows it away, though I can't get a full disk image.



#11 paulsky

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 05:49 PM

The Quark is more dependent of seeing conditions that a solar telescope like Lunt or Coronado?

For a ED 80 is convenient a UV/IR filter in the star diagonal? Or some ERF method?



#12 paulsky

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 06:26 PM

For detailed visual image and good resoluciĆ³n a Lunt solar scope like for example a Lunt 50 can to compete with the Quark?

Thanks for advice

Paul

 

 

od resolution



#13 George9

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 11:21 PM

They are equally dependent on seeing.

 

Yes, a 2" UV/IR cut filter for an 80mm.

 

The Lunt 50 will be more portable and won't require warmup or a battery. Otherwise the Quark will be more versatile and will be capable of better views (depending on the refractors).

 

George



#14 bill1234

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 07:52 AM

The Quark is a great product, but as a long time viewer, if I could only have one setup, it would be a dedicated H-Alpha scope. Quick views are not an option with a Quark. Most of my viewing is 5 minutes at a time on every sunny day. With poor seeing many sessions are even shorter. I keep a scope on a mount next to my back door. Open door take 3 steps and I am viewing. Quick view option will have you using your equipment much more often . IMO

#15 SteveSMS

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 08:26 AM

HI Bill,

 

My experience of actually owning a Quark and dedicated Ha scopes is slightly different from yours. The PST does give almost instant views but the SM60 DS takes at least as long to acclimate and provide decent views as the Quark takes to warm up. For me it's the same situation as if I could only have one refractor, a 60mm or a 120mm, the choice is apparent. The only dedicated solar scope that I would even consider after viewing through examples of dedicated scopes from 40mm to 90mm would be the Lunt 6"er. The Quark takes 8 to 10 minutes to warm up and provide on band views through my 6" refractor.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Steve



#16 bill1234

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 03:41 PM

Steve,

With all my Lunts I am able to use them with no cool down time or retuning from last use. So I do get the quick views mentioned. Also IMO the QUARK is amazing..I love the views and may even get one, but I am shore the Lunts will get more use with me.

     clear skies

     Bill 



#17 Mark9473

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 06:28 AM

So how long does it take for this Quark thing to provide an image?



#18 Footbag

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 08:02 AM

Great thread. I have a Lunt LS60pt, and am wondering about the quark. I understand I can double stack it on the Lunt. That seems attractive. But, i can also put it on any refractor I come across.

But, I'm also a 5m here and there viewer. Sometimes I use the solar scope to roughly polar align.

The only time I've looked through a quark, it was still warming up. The viewes probably weren't their best because it was about the same as my Lunt, but on an 80mm.

So I'm trying to decide quark vs doublestack. The battery and warm up time make it a tough choice.

I also don't find the tuning in the PT to be as responsive as a tilt. I'm thinking the quark is even less responsive to tuning. That's a real struggle for me.

Edited by Footbag, 22 March 2015 - 08:04 AM.


#19 George9

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 08:16 PM

It takes about 15-20 minutes to warm up. I plug it in first and then start setting up the scope, which saves a little time. The DayStar battery works well and holds a lot of charge. The Quark is definitely frustratingly slow to tune.

 

The big selling point for the Quark is that you can put it on bigger and bigger refractors and get amazing views. Of course you have to figure out the ERF or filter.

 

Yes, it could have been that the one you looked was not warmed up. Plus there is variation among units and perhaps it was a little wider than others. And there is not that much difference between the 60 and an 80 anyway.

 

On my 70mm f/6.8, it really didn't add much compared to my LS80 DSII, so I never used it that way. It was great on my 155mm, but that is obviously not for quick looks.

 

Now that I upgraded the 70mm to a 92mm f/5.5, and it is a different story. The 92 is big enough that I see impressive detail around ARs and really nice proms (due to the bright image). The LS80 DSII has significantly higher contrast. But the brightness of the image allows me to go to higher magnification in the Quark.

 

Tough choice. If you are really just 5m looks, the DS will give you better contrast and nicer low power views. If you think you might try bigger refractors, then the Quark will bring you to another league in resolution.

 

George



#20 Kevdog

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 11:25 AM

So how long does it take for this Quark thing to provide an image?

 

It depends on your ambient temperature.  Basically the etalon in the Quark is heat activated.  So the electricity warms it up to about 100F (37C).   I see you're pretty far north so your ambient temps are lower, so 15 mins or more to heat up.  Here in Arizona during spring, summer and fall it only takes about 8 mins or even less in summer to heat up as the ambient temp is near the operating temp.

 

If you do like to fiddle with your tuning, then it takes 2-3 mins (for a 1 click change) for the etalon in the Quark to change its temperature.   You can still view while it is changing.   But changing from viewing surface detail to viewing proms (the best you can with the chromosphere version, which is still pretty good) will take 5 mins or so, compared to near instant in the Lunt/Coronado.

 

If you want grab-n-go I would suggest a Lunt 50 or 60mm.   Then for a longer viewing session, I'd still get the Quark + 120mm or so scope.  You can't beat the detail for the price with the Quark.   I think the best views still come from a dedicated Ha scope, but a a significant $$$ premium.   I think the Lunt 100mm would probably outperform my Quark +  Orion 120mm.  But the lunt is $5,000 US and my Orion + mount + Quark was $1400 (including UV/IR cut filter)



#21 Mark9473

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 07:16 AM

Interesting thread.

 

For me, the main advantage of the Quark seems to be that you only have to choose between two models, compared to the dozens of options from Lunt.



#22 paulsky

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 10:15 AM

Very good Mark!!

Regrads

Paul



#23 marktownley

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 02:14 PM

I would go and try both out and then decide what exactly it is you want from solar viewing and then decide which to buy.



#24 Martins Eihvalds

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 11:13 AM

Hi, maybe I missed the path, but how about the full disk visual observations. I have a Lunt Ls 60 doublestacked scope, and mostly it is used for public observatory, so how about for a long time use in a hot days, and if I use it also in low temperatures. I heard about quark's disadvantages. If I use it with 80mm refractor should I use also rejection filter?




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