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RickV's Best Ha Scopes in Order of Best to Worst

solar imaging
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#1 RickV

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 05:43 AM

This is my ranking for Full Solar Discs ONLY - no mosaics.

 

I'm no expert so take my free opinion for what it's worth - next to nothing lol.gif.

 

Further, I have owned two of the three units listed... I judged only by repeatability of posting of high-quality images... here on Cloudy Nights Forum.

 

#1  Lunt 60mm Front Etalon Tilt Tuned  (Note: Pressure tuned does not make my cut.)

 

#2 Quark Chromosphere

 

#3 Lunt LS50, rear etalon, Pressure Tuned

 

With so many people seeking direction on what scope to buy, perhaps it's time we had good discussion (cat fight) about this - Ha options for full-solar Disc images (no mosaics).

 

Best,

Rick


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#2 MalVeauX

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 07:58 AM

Hrm,

 

I know what it would be for me in the future (and I've seen the outputs).

 

Two~three options on the near-top-shelf end ($4k~7k, so an option for mortal people), no particular order. Top tier would likely be the 130~150mm double stacks with perfect uniformity, but unlikely, and crazy costly.

 

Solarmax 90mm III double stack with 30mm blocking filter, IMX183 sensor based camera (achieves full disc FOV in one shot, sampled well), or 1600MM based camera (for undersampled but much larger FOV).

 

Lunt 80mm or 100mm double stack with 18mm~34mm blocking filter, IMX183 sensor based camera (full disc FOV) or 1600MM again (depends on blocking filter size).

 

Cost is the only reason I'm not doing it. So until then, I'll continue doing mosaics... flowerred.gif

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 16 January 2020 - 09:13 AM.


#3 descott12

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 08:46 AM

I think the Lunt 80 DS will be my next scope when I am ready to upgrade...but that won't be for a long time.



#4 torsinadoc

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:58 AM

Hrm,

 

I know what it would be for me in the future (and I've seen the outputs).

 

Two~three options on the near-top-shelf end ($4k~7k, so an option for mortal people), no particular order. Top tier would likely be the 130~150mm double stacks with perfect uniformity, but unlikely, and crazy costly.

 

Solarmax 90mm III double stack with 30mm blocking filter, IMX183 sensor based camera (achieves full disc FOV in one shot, sampled well), or 1600MM based camera (for undersampled but much larger FOV).

 

Lunt 80mm or 100mm double stack with 18mm~34mm blocking filter, IMX183 sensor based camera (full disc FOV) or 1600MM again (depends on blocking filter size).

 

Cost is the only reason I'm not doing it. So until then, I'll continue doing mosaics... flowerred.gif

 

Very best,

I really miss my Lunt 80DS. It was a great scope.


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#5 torsinadoc

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 01:13 PM

In fact of all the solar scopes I own/owned (Daystar Quantum, Solarmax 60 DS, Lunt 100 front mounted single stack), I liked the DS 80 the best for visual and low to medium resolution imaging


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#6 MalVeauX

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 01:19 PM

In fact of all the solar scopes I own/owned (Daystar Quantum, Solarmax 60 DS, Lunt 100 front mounted single stack), I liked the DS 80 the best for visual and low to medium resolution imaging

I would argue that the 80mm~100mm apertures are ideal for most things for most people and the 80 will work in most seeing conditions short of the very worst ones. Bigger scopes always seem like a great idea until one discovers poor seeing mid-day when they're used. Of course, its different if talking visual vs imaging. Visually I am often far more interested in a smaller aperture scope that is double-stacked compared to a single stack but much larger aperture. I prefer a steady view and high contrast, so the 60~80mm range is great for visual with lots of room. I agree the Lunt 80mm Double Stack is really an excellent all around performer for visual and imaging. Would love to have one!

 

Very best,



#7 PilotAstronomy

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:32 AM

I did a lot of research and looked through a lot of scopes in good and bad conditions and bang for buck it’s hard to beat the LS80. Not cheap, but this is solar we’re talking about.

#8 auroraTDunn

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 03:46 PM

A silent stranger coming out of the woods here. I have a Daystar Quark for my EON130 but I've never had much 'happy' success with (plenty of great swearing if that counts for anything). I read this forum at least daily and usually twice a day, just in case something cool pops up.

So my question is why is there such a preference for say a Lunt 80 versus a Coronado 90 assuming double stacking on either. I try to rationalize its just the price difference but many suggest go with a 100 if you can afford it so that appears to crush that theory. I ask because I plan on getting a dedicated scope and as much as research and advertising makes me lean to the Coronado 90DS I have to weigh the talk on this forum as a major deciding factor. After all users trump advertising and numbers 90% of the time!



#9 MalVeauX

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 04:43 PM

So my question is why is there such a preference for say a Lunt 80 versus a Coronado 90 assuming double stacking on either. I try to rationalize its just the price difference but many suggest go with a 100 if you can afford it so that appears to crush that theory. I ask because I plan on getting a dedicated scope and as much as research and advertising makes me lean to the Coronado 90DS I have to weigh the talk on this forum as a major deciding factor. After all users trump advertising and numbers 90% of the time!

Between 80mm, 90mm and 100mm, I would say it's mostly splitting hairs in terms of resolution relative to seeing that even permits the limit of the resolution to be realized. It's also not a brightness thing inherently because you can have a lower transmission etalon system and blocking filter with a larger aperture and still have a lower transmission system than something with a smaller aperture potentially that has a higher transmission etalon system and blocking filter. There's variation in the copies and they're not all equal, but some of them are at least held to a standard to at least perform at a base level. You also have to compare if you're wanting a double stack compared to a single stack and whether you're imaging or visual or both.

 

The Lunt systems tuners are near the focuser, so you don't have to have a custom rigging system to operate the tuning system while looking through the eyepiece or standing on your tippie-toes while staring at a laptop LCD. The Solarmax III series on the 90mm size scope, the tuners are on the etalons at the front of the scope, both tuners and the tilt mechanism. Not everyone can reach them while looking through the scope. That's something to consider (there are work arounds but we're talking about making a custom rig just to adjust the tilt and tune, etc).

 

The Solarmax III etalons are all front mounted, which is ideal for full discs. The Lunt etalons are not all front mounted in each model. It has to do with angles and dimming of the limb on a full disc, if you care about that (some do!)

 

The tuning systems are also something to consider. Solarmax III is rich tuning and Lunt uses pressure tuning. They're a little different mechanisms. Most of the information I've seen in reports lean towards saying that the Lunt pressure tuning has a more uniform effect. I can't really speak to that. And there's very few solarmax III users and examples at the moment to compare to, unlike the Solarmax II series. If nothing has changed, that would be unfortunate because when you compare a good Lunt pressure etalon to a Solarmax II rich view etalon the Lunt seems to have better uniformity in most of the examples I've looked at. Again, may just be anecdotal evidence on my biased behalf. But it's worth exploring and researching.

 

I think the biggest concerns I would have right now is support and availability of parts. Lunt supports their products locally. You can get parts and double stack and get all kinds of stuff from Lunt. Coronado is owned by Meade. You cannot buy Solarmax III etalons right now separately, only as a package, so if you don't double stack right away, can you ever? There are blocking filters available, only. Nothing else is even an option it seems? I could be wrong there. But worst of all, Meade is going bankrupt after major lawsuit stuff. Not sure what their future is or what the future of the Solarmax series stuff is. I would not be comfortable with a $7k scope that may lose any support for in the future. But I may just be worrying too much about it. Still, it's worth knowing about and looking into perhaps.

 

I would go Lunt 80 double stack with the biggest blocking filter. If you can afford a Lunt 100 double stack, by all means, go for it. Or the new 130 triplet. Or the 150! Those etalons get way more expensive as they get larger.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 17 January 2020 - 04:55 PM.

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#10 sunnyday

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 04:49 PM

hi,

my next solar telescope will be a 100mm lunt ds.



#11 auroraTDunn

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:42 PM

Between 80mm, 90mm and 100mm, I would say it's mostly splitting hairs in terms of resolution relative to seeing that even permits the limit of the resolution to be realized. It's also not a brightness thing inherently because you can have a lower transmission etalon system and blocking filter with a larger aperture and still have a lower transmission system than something with a smaller aperture potentially that has a higher transmission etalon system and blocking filter. There's variation in the copies and they're not all equal, but some of them are at least held to a standard to at least perform at a base level. You also have to compare if you're wanting a double stack compared to a single stack and whether you're imaging or visual or both.

 

The Lunt systems tuners are near the focuser, so you don't have to have a custom rigging system to operate the tuning system while looking through the eyepiece or standing on your tippie-toes while staring at a laptop LCD. The Solarmax III series on the 90mm size scope, the tuners are on the etalons at the front of the scope, both tuners and the tilt mechanism. Not everyone can reach them while looking through the scope. That's something to consider (there are work arounds but we're talking about making a custom rig just to adjust the tilt and tune, etc).

 

The Solarmax III etalons are all front mounted, which is ideal for full discs. The Lunt etalons are not all front mounted in each model. It has to do with angles and dimming of the limb on a full disc, if you care about that (some do!)

 

The tuning systems are also something to consider. Solarmax III is rich tuning and Lunt uses pressure tuning. They're a little different mechanisms. Most of the information I've seen in reports lean towards saying that the Lunt pressure tuning has a more uniform effect. I can't really speak to that. And there's very few solarmax III users and examples at the moment to compare to, unlike the Solarmax II series. If nothing has changed, that would be unfortunate because when you compare a good Lunt pressure etalon to a Solarmax II rich view etalon the Lunt seems to have better uniformity in most of the examples I've looked at. Again, may just be anecdotal evidence on my biased behalf. But it's worth exploring and researching.

 

I think the biggest concerns I would have right now is support and availability of parts. Lunt supports their products locally. You can get parts and double stack and get all kinds of stuff from Lunt. Coronado is owned by Meade. You cannot buy Solarmax III etalons right now separately, only as a package, so if you don't double stack right away, can you ever? There are blocking filters available, only. Nothing else is even an option it seems? I could be wrong there. But worst of all, Meade is going bankrupt after major lawsuit stuff. Not sure what their future is or what the future of the Solarmax series stuff is. I would not be comfortable with a $7k scope that may lose any support for in the future. But I may just be worrying too much about it. Still, it's worth knowing about and looking into perhaps.

 

I would go Lunt 80 double stack with the biggest blocking filter. If you can afford a Lunt 100 double stack, by all means, go for it. Or the new 130 triplet. Or the 150! Those etalons get way more expensive as they get larger.

 

Very best,

OK, that wraps up a bunch of sporadic things I've heard/read/watched into a perfect and concise manner which works perfectly for me. Thank you.

As for aperture , I'm actually basing it more on ability to 'want' to grab the gear from the basement and move it outside, or very probably throw it all into my car and hall int into my office and then outside to observe and educate (I'm a university prof), haul it back in, ect. Note this is actually an issue thanks to 2 bad knees and a bad back, bad combo for 60+ lb mounts!

 

THANKS!


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#12 bigdob24

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:53 PM

hi,

my next solar telescope will be a 100mm lunt ds.

Your going to love the LS100THA, a great scope . Can’t commit on the DS yet.
I’ve got one that has not seen the sun yet, soon.

BD


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#13 RickV

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 07:51 AM

But worst of all, Meade is going bankrupt after major lawsuit stuff.

That came as a surprise so I looked it up...

http://www.astronomy...-for-bankruptcy

 

Basically...

"Meade Instruments, based in Irvine, California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on December 4, 2019, following its loss of a multi-million dollar antitrust lawsuit brought by Orion Telescopes & Binoculars. The filing claims Meade's debts range between $10 million to $50 million."

 

So that does raise the question of what happens to Coronado?  Perhaps someone will take it over, Orion being a likely candidate.  Yes, until the dust settles, wait and see may be wise.

 

Best,

Rick


Edited by RickV, 18 January 2020 - 07:51 AM.


#14 George9

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 08:20 AM

#1  Lunt 60mm Front Etalon Tilt Tuned  (Note: Pressure tuned does not make my cut.)

Rick, I missed why the pressure tuned did not make the cut. The ones I have looked through have pretty much looked extremely nice. Perhaps there is a sweet spot while imaging that I would miss visually? Or perhaps you happened to have a very good tilt-60 but a not as good PT-60?

 

George



#15 RickV

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 07:11 PM

Hi George,

I just compared my Lunt LS50 pressure tuned images to those of Warren (Rigel123) with his older 60mm Coronado with a front mounted tilt etalon.  Warren's images always showed way more detail than my images... obviously his scope had a superior, narrower band etalon.

 

Best,

Rick



#16 rigel123

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 09:34 AM

Hi George,

I just compared my Lunt LS50 pressure tuned images to those of Warren (Rigel123) with his older 60mm Coronado with a front mounted tilt etalon.  Warren's images always showed way more detail than my images... obviously his scope had a superior, narrower band etalon.

 

Best,

Rick

Actually the etalon is not front mounted, the tilt mechanism is internal similar to where the pressure tuned etalons are placed.  The DS is of course front mounted, and it is a Lunt rather than a Coronado, but I think Rick knew that already!  


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#17 RickV

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 10:07 AM

Actually the etalon is not front mounted, the tilt mechanism is internal similar to where the pressure tuned etalons are placed.  The DS is of course front mounted, and it is a Lunt rather than a Coronado, but I think Rick knew that already!  

In other words, Rick got it all wrong!  lol.gif

Makes you wonder... can you trust anything he says?  undecided.gif

 

Best,

Rick


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#18 rigel123

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 10:13 AM

In other words, Rick got it all wrong!  lol.gif

Makes you wonder... can you trust anything he says?  undecided.gif

 

Best,

Rick

wink.gif




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