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Solar disappointment

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#1 BillHarris

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 09:47 PM

I used my Q3.5 with the off-axis solar filter for the first time today and was genuinely disappointed. The image through the 24 or 16mm eyepiece was so dim that I almost had to use averted vision to even detect Mercury! Sad to say, this was the first time I'd gotten around to using the solar filter, being a lunar-planetary type.

I saved the event by remembering that I had a Mylar solar filter that I used on my 8" Newt back 35 years ago. It was still in it's mounting ring for that scope, so I just held the filter assy in front of the Questar. Good views of Mercury, granulations and couple of sunspots.

I'll be looking to replace the stock solar filter soon. I'm either going to mount a mylar filter into to off-axis filter cell or make a mount for a full-aperture solar filter.

Going off to check threads on Solar filters so I don't reinvent the wheel...
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#2 t_image

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 10:12 PM

I used my Q3.5 with the off-axis solar filter for the first time today and was genuinely disappointed. The image through the 24 or 16mm eyepiece was so dim that I almost had to use averted vision to even detect Mercury! Sad to say, this was the first time I'd gotten around to using the solar filter, being a lunar-planetary type.

I saved the event by remembering that I had a Mylar solar filter that I used on my 8" Newt back 35 years ago. It was still in it's mounting ring for that scope, so I just held the filter assy in front of the Questar. Good views of Mercury, granulations and couple of sunspots.

I'll be looking to replace the stock solar filter soon. I'm either going to mount a mylar filter into to off-axis filter cell or make a mount for a full-aperture solar filter.

Going off to check threads on Solar filters so I don't reinvent the wheel...

Ummm,

I don't know what you saw,

but there were absolutely zero sunspots on the Sun today.

The SDO satellite with an unobstructed view of the Sun doesn't show any sunspots......

https://sdo.gsfc.nas...1111_1024_HMIIC



#3 B 26354

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 10:18 PM

....and couple of sunspots.

Really??? You sure they weren't dust spots?

 

I didn't see any evidence of sunspots at all... and no one else seems to have captured any. Here's a shot from today, from the solar observatory at Big Bear:

 

http://halpha.nso.ed...111234850Bh.jpg



#4 munirocks

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 08:12 AM

I've also thought about replacing the glass in my off-axis filter with Baader solar safety film, in my case because the glass filter is too bright.

I'm still in the process of comparing the resolution of my various solar filters but the Baader film seems to be very good.



#5 Toddeo

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:33 AM

I bought this filter. $79-shipped. Screws right onto the front cell, works great! From Agena Astro.

 

Thousand Oaks Thread-On SolarLite Film Solar Filter for Camera Lens with 95mm Filter Thread # 95-T

Our #: OFIL-TO-CSF-95-TMfg #: 95-T
 

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1080038_opt.jpg
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  • P1080043_opt.jpg
  • P1080044_opt.jpg

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#6 BillHarris

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:51 PM

I'm debating between the blue-whitish Baader film or the orange-ish Thoudand Oaks film. Anecdotally the Baader give better definition but the TO is widely acclaimed.
And although the screw-in 95mm filter will be secure, one future solar project will need a quick and easy removal of the filter (partial to total phase) which would give the press-fit cell mounting an advantage.

#7 Erik Bakker

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:04 PM

Having had both at the same time, the Thousand Oaks filter was the better one. Though sample variation does occur with the quality of the glass used. The Baader has very even consistency, but is esthetically less pleasing to my eyes. Both should give you nice and safe images of the sun.


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#8 spereira

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:09 PM

I'm debating between the blue-whitish Baader film or the orange-ish Thoudand Oaks film. Anecdotally the Baader give better definition but the TO is widely acclaimed.
And although the screw-in 95mm filter will be secure, one future solar project will need a quick and easy removal of the filter (partial to total phase) which would give the press-fit cell mounting an advantage.

I have this Thousand Oaks full aperture filter:

https://www.amazon.c...ASIN=B01LYL3GEN

 

I originally purchased it for my TV-85, and I was pleasantly surprised when it fit well on my Q 3.5 also.  I found I had to add a 3/4" wide strip of the fuzzy side of Velcro around the inside of the shell to get the filter to fit snugly on my scopes, but it works fabulously.  Very easy on & off.  I use it primarily to get my TV-85 aligned on the Sun, prior to switching over to my Quark.  For events like this past Mercury transit, it is ideal.  It's just too bad that I was clouded out!  :lol:

 

smp


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#9 Toxo144

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:53 PM

@BillHarris,

 

You aren't the only one who thought that the off-axis solar filter on the Q3.5 looked dark.  Read Allister St. Claire's review:

 

https://www.cloudyni...nts/questar.pdf

 

here on Cloudy Nights.  He thought the same thing, and so do I.  I think you'll be happy with either the Baader, TO, or the Questar Full-aperture solar filter, whichever you choose. Remember, you have until 2032 to get your rig ready for the next Mercury transit so don't delay!!

 

Cheers,

 

Toxo



#10 B 26354

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 02:08 PM

Remember, you have until 2032 to get your rig ready for the next Mercury transit so don't delay!!

And prepare to do some traveling.

 

The next two Mercury solar transits -- 11/13/32 and 11/07/39 -- aren't visible from North America. The next one visible here, is on 5/07/49.  bawling.gif

 

https://www.timeandd...ry-transit.html


Edited by B 26354, 12 November 2019 - 02:09 PM.


#11 joseph daukantas

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:46 PM

Can't wait !!  11/13/32 I'll be 93 years old, 101 in 2039,  111 in 2049 might not make that one.

 

Joe D.


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#12 rcwolpert

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:47 PM

Pictures with a handheld iPhone 7S and my Q ( the pics with the LUMIX didn’t come out). In my location in FL I had clear skies from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. My setup:

 

med_gallery_211497_4490_1353497.jpg
 

At about 7:38 am into the transit. Mercury seen at the edge of the Sun in the 1:00 position.

med_gallery_211497_4490_105854.jpeg

 

Further into the transit:

med_gallery_211497_4490_708173.jpg


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#13 BillHarris

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:57 PM

Here is the plan:

The stock glass solar filter over the finder scope is as dim as the off-axis filter, or worse since it has a pinhole that degrades the faint image of the Sun. Since TO is "local" and sells from their office, I'm going to get a small piece of their film to replace the finder filter and get a slip-on TO full aperture solar filter.
That total Solar eclipse in 2024 is not that far away...
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#14 Terra Nova

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:11 PM

I have the full aperture glass thread in Quester filter for my Q but I must admit, I watched the Mercury transit the other day with my Takahashi FC-76 and a Thousand Oaks filter. I also prefer the TO to the Baader.



#15 rolo

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:11 PM

I've used both Questar filters and didn't have an issue with either full or off axis...



#16 BillHarris

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:01 PM

Then there appears to be a significant variation in the density of the Questar solar filters. I've read reports of the filters being "too bright" to "too dim".

#17 cbwerner

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:10 PM

Then there appears to be a significant variation in the density of the Questar solar filters. I've read reports of the filters being "too bright" to "too dim".

My full aperture filter is just right. The lesser one is way too dim. I wonder if it has more to do with variations in human eyesight?


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