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Discontinued LS50 or LS60?

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#1 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 04:44 AM

I posted a while ago about looking into the new modular LS100 but in the meantime, the older scopes are on sale right now as a closeout. They have the same package available for the LS50 and LS60, both pressure tuned.

 

They each come with a CG-4 tripod, the larger option blocking filter B600 (50) or B1200 (60), a zoom eyepiece, a case and a couple of extras.

 

The LS50 is $1250 and the LS60 is $2150.

 

I'm still planning on getting either the LS80 or LS100 down the road but thought I'd snap up a less expensive and more portable scope in the meantime.

 

So my question is: which one would you suggest?

 

I'm leaning towards the LS50 because $1250 is a great entry level price and because I'm planning on spending a lot more down the road so I'm not sure that I want to put over $2K into this smaller scope. But I don't know how much better the view is for the LS60. Is it worth almost double the price of the LS50 given my situation?


Edited by statfreak, 03 March 2020 - 04:45 AM.


#2 rigel123

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 07:25 AM

Having only owned the 60mm I can’t say how different the view would be, the question I would ask is what focuser does the 50 come with as originally it only came with the helical focuser.  Not that it would be a deal breaker but something to consider in your choice if you are OK with that.


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#3 MalVeauX

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 07:56 AM

Get the bigger one you can, 60mm is a significantly better scope than the 50mm. More aperture, it matters, and better scope (focuser). These things hold value, so if you ever decide to trade up, someone will buy it from you for a good price, especially as we get closer to the maximum and suddenly everything is "sold out" everywhere, and used market will command prices due to no available stock anywhere. I would suggest getting all your solar stuff in the minimum, get it tweaked, get experience with it, so that you don't miss a day during the maximum waiting on forever shipment from low inventory and fussy stuff.

 

Very best,


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#4 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 08:18 AM

Thanks. I'm aware that the 50 comes with the helical focuser but the Crayford is only $40 more and I intend to upgrade if I buy it.

 

I hadn't thought about the sell off price at solar maximum so that's definitely a factor in favor of the 60. I do intend to buy the larger scope before solar max. 

 

If I have the 60, I might try photography. I know that the focal length changes the pixel size so I'd probably have to get another camera and that would deepen the money pit. Still, if the 60 is a much better scope then that definitely sways me in that direction.



#5 MalVeauX

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 08:39 AM

Heya,

If your goal is photography, get as much aperture as you can, and do not go near a 40/50mm aperture. Go to 60mm and beyond. It also matters for camera placement and focus, the 50mm is fussy to get a camera to focus with, it can be done, but it's fussy. The 60 is just frankly easier to use in every way, and is better in every way, except one thing.... price. :p

 

Very best,


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#6 bigdob24

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 09:52 AM

I agree, go big and get a decent focuser, better resale down the road.

BD


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#7 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 10:11 AM

Okay. Looks like an LS60tha is in my near future. bounce.gif

 

Thanks again everyone . 


Edited by statfreak, 03 March 2020 - 10:12 AM.

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#8 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 11:17 AM

I'll just be the lone advocate for the 50mm here lol. Not that the other posters are incorrect at all, but I just want to make sure you don't underestimate what can be done with a 50mm. I got mine double stacked and with the FT, and it has been a blast for photography. I just thought that I could just DS my 50 instead of keep a 60 SS. I use a ZWO ASI178 for the small pixels, and I think I have got some nice images with this setup. From an initial cost standpoint, I think the 50mm is a very good option.

Good luck with your endeavors!

https://www.captando...tema-solar/sol/


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#9 PhotonJohn

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 11:29 AM

Okay. Looks like an LS60tha is in my near future. bounce.gif

 

Thanks again everyone . 

Great choice, I love my LS60THa. It's portable, well made and produces great images. If only I knew what I was doing. Sometimes luck and superstition wins out over skill and knowledge. Special thanks to Marty Wise and Bob Yoesle for giving me a push down the road to imaging and processing.

 

08_56_19ar6ps (4)cn.jpg

Click on image for full size.


Edited by PhotonJohn, 03 March 2020 - 12:13 PM.

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#10 PhotonJohn

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 12:02 PM

I'll just be the lone advocate for the 50mm here lol. Not that the other posters are incorrect at all, but I just want to make sure you don't underestimate what can be done with a 50mm. I got mine double stacked and with the FT, and it has been a blast for photography. I just thought that I could just DS my 50 instead of keep a 60 SS. I use a ZWO ASI178 for the small pixels, and I think I have got some nice images with this setup. From an initial cost standpoint, I think the 50mm is a very good option.

Good luck with your endeavors!

https://www.captando...tema-solar/sol/


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Gustavo has a valid point. He has posted some great images.



#11 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 01:09 PM

Those are nice pictures Gustavo. 

 

Hmm. But if I'm going to get a larger scope down the road, I probably won't double stack this one. I also looked at the new modular LS60mt and one can get that for $2500 with the B1200 and a white light wedge. Of course, it's missing the $300 mount.

 

That sort of puts me back where I started because the whole point was not to get in that deep with this scope as I'd rather put the money into the larger scope later.

 

I also did a little more reading and appears that I cannot upgrade the LS50 to a crayford focuser and again, I don't want to put five hundred more dollars into a feather touch now.

 

I appreciate all the input. I need to weigh this a little more. undecided.gif


Edited by statfreak, 03 March 2020 - 01:11 PM.

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#12 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 02:22 PM

I also did a little more reading and appears that I cannot upgrade the LS50 to a crayford focuser and again, I don't want to put five hundred more dollars into a feather touch now.

Just to comment on the FT focuser price, it's only half of what you thought it was: https://luntsolarsys...-touch-focuser/

 

I think you have your thoughts correctly sorted out, so I'm sure you'll arrive at the right decision.

 

Clear skies,

Gustavo



#13 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 03:24 PM

Ah. That's the one without the 1/10 second focus knob. If I get that one, how does the precision or stability hold up if I want to image? Is it enough? 

 

The 1:10 feather touch is $515 for the 1.25" and $535 for the 2".


Edited by statfreak, 03 March 2020 - 03:27 PM.


#14 PhotonJohn

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 03:40 PM

Ah. That's the one without the 1/10 second focus knob. If I get that one, how does the precision or stability hold up if I want to image? Is it enough? 

 

The 1:10 feather touch is $515 for the 1.25" and $535 for the 2".

My LS60Tha focuser works great, no worries.

 

Transit12072019setup.jpg

 

 


Edited by PhotonJohn, 03 March 2020 - 03:47 PM.


#15 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 03:42 PM

In my experience, it's extremely more than enough. The 1.25" FT I have is just perfect, with no image shift or defect of any kind while focusing (my iOptron AZMP mount also helps, my LS50 is very overmounted). I really am satisfied with the focuser upgrade.799408ed3aede0228cd9997fd374b106.jpg

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#16 PhotonJohn

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 04:30 PM

Nice looking combo Gustavo.



#17 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 04:41 PM

Nice looking combo Gustavo.


Same with yours!
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#18 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 05:55 PM

Apollo, is that a pier? Looks great .

Viking 1, that "by the road" setup gives me ideas .



#19 Gregory Gross

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 06:34 PM

I posted a while ago about looking into the new modular LS100 but in the meantime, the older scopes are on sale right now as a closeout. They have the same package available for the LS50 and LS60, both pressure tuned.

Did Lunt really discontinue their LS50THa and LS60THa scopes? I like to think that I keep my finger on the pulse of the solar scope market, and I completely missed this.

 

Those are nice pictures Gustavo.

Hmm. But if I'm going to get a larger scope down the road, I probably won't double stack this one. I also looked at the new modular LS60mt and one can get that for $2500 with the B1200 and a white light wedge. Of course, it's missing the $300 mount.

That sort of puts me back where I started because the whole point was not to get in that deep with this scope as I'd rather put the money into the larger scope later.

I also did a little more reading and appears that I cannot upgrade the LS50 to a crayford focuser and again, I don't want to put five hundred more dollars into a feather touch now.

I appreciate all the input. I need to weigh this a little more. undecided.gif

I started out with the single stacked LS50THa in October 2017, later got a double-stack module in the spring of 2018, and finally upgraded to the LS60THa with 60mm DS module and FT focuser in the spring of 2019. In my experience, both the 50 and 60 have their upsides and downsides.

The 50 clearly has the price advantage, and it's a very, very capable scope for its aperture. The scales fell off my eyes once I double stacked it. I have zero--and I mean zero--regrets about double stacking. But I found that the lesser etalon on the 50 resulted in a well-tuned sweet spot that was just a bit smaller in diameter than the total width of the Sun's disk. But overall, my DS'ed 50 gave me satisfying views of the Sun in a compact, lightweight package.

But there came a point when I realized that I had grown very serious about solar astronomy and wanted to have a richer experience at the eyepiece (I'm strictly a visual observer). Last year around this time I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to visit Lunt in Tucson and try out some upgrade options in person. While I was there, I knew that I had been completely sold on the value of double stacking, and knew I wouldn't consider going back to single stacked mode. So I was intent on testing double-stacked options during my visit.

I was really impressed with the LS80THa even in single stack mode. The sweet spot seemed to cover almost the entire field of view. The contrast was excellent. But there's no going back once you double stack, so I knew I wanted to keep that going with whatever upgrade path I took. I found the internal DS module on the 80 does suffer from some glare issues, and the addition of a high contrast filter took care of them at the expense of dimming the view substantially.

I ended up going with the LS60THa that I tried at Lunt. I also got the bigger 60mm DS module as opposed to the still very satisfying 50mm DS module. The smaller DS module still performed really well, much better than I expected. But since more aperture means better resolution, I opted for the full 60mm DS module.

To my eye, the width of the sweet spot on the LS60THa is bigger than the Sun's disk (i.e., the sweet spot is maybe 120% the width of the Sun's disk), meaning that you get the full benefit of a well-tuned H-alpha view across the whole Sun. But I found (and other's don't seem to have this problem) that the 60 had more background glare than what I remember my 50 had. The 50 had much more of a jet-black background. But the 60 is a really satisfying full-disk scope.

Over the year that I've had it, I've settled in with my LS60THa and have really grown to like that scope. (I describe that scope in fuller detail here.) The addition of a simple ND filter took care of most of the glare I noted here (I describe my experience here). That glare is much more apparent in single-stack mode.

Bottom line: unlike nighttime scopes where aperture is king, the optical systems of H-alpha solar scopes are somewhat more complex. More aperture will give you more resolution, but aperture isn't everything. The etalon is also an important factor to consider. Solar scopes with more aperture will typically have a better etalon, although I suppose that's not necessarily so. Compared to the Lunt 50, the Lunt 60 will not only get you more aperture and better resolution but also a better internal etalon and larger sweet spot. (I raised the question of sweet spot here. Definately pay attention to anything Bob Yoesle says on that thread or any other on this forum.) The 50 is a really, really good starter scope. Indeed, calling it a "starter scope" isn't fair to it, because the 50 is just a plain ol' good scope in its own right. But if you're like me and get hooked on H-alpha solar observing, it won't be long before you want more aperture and a better etalon.

It's nice having the option for a two-speed focuser to really dial in sharp focus, so that's another thing the 60 has going for it.

If you can, I'd skip the cost involved with buying and selling scopes when upgrading and simply go straight for the 60. But I'd also keep in mind double stacking, which is definately not cheap (nothing made with quality ever is) but which adds an utterly enhanced observing experience that is far and away better than single stacked observing especially during these days of solar minimum. I can't stress that enough. Prominences do become somewhat dimmer, but not badly so. The rich contrast that the Sun's disk appears with is breathtaking in double-stacked mode. Single-stacked scopes, especially in the 50-60mm range, won't show that richness in contrast that a DS'ed one will.

 

If a DS'ed 50mm is too much for you at this point and a DS'ed 60mm is completely out of the question, go for the 50mm in single stacked mode and see how you go. You may find yourself saving for a DS module for your 50 in short order. You have the option to upgrade to the very worthwhile FT focuser for the 50.

 

If you know you are unable to or will never want to shoulder the expense of double stacking a 60mm Lunt but can swing a DS'ed 50mm Lunt now, I'd go for the latter. There's no question that I'd prefer having a smaller-aperture double-stacked solar scope over a larger-aperture single-stacked one.

 

If a SS'ed 60mm is within the realm of possibility, if you think you may want to double stack later on (and trust me, you will), and if you want to take it easy at first with this whole H-alpha solar observing business, go for the 60 in single-stack mode. You'll get a scope with a better etalon over the 50, and you'll position yourself well to double stack later on and have yourself a really great solar observing rig when funds become available and if the desire strikes you.


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#20 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 08:22 PM

Did Lunt really discontinue their LS50THa and LS60THa scopes? I like to think that I keep my finger on the pulse of the solar scope market, and I completely missed this.

 

I started out with the single stacked LS50THa in October 2017, later got a double-stack module in the spring of 2018, and finally upgraded to the LS60THa with 60mm DS module and FT focuser in the spring of 2019. In my experience, both the 50 and 60 have their upsides and downsides.

The 50 clearly has the price advantage, and it's a very, very capable scope for its aperture. The scales fell off my eyes once I double stacked it. I have zero--and I mean zero--regrets about double stacking. But I found that the lesser etalon on the 50 resulted in a well-tuned sweet spot that was just a bit smaller in diameter than the total width of the Sun's disk. But overall, my DS'ed 50 gave me satisfying views of the Sun in a compact, lightweight package.

But there came a point when I realized that I had grown very serious about solar astronomy and wanted to have a richer experience at the eyepiece (I'm strictly a visual observer). Last year around this time I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to visit Lunt in Tucson and try out some upgrade options in person. While I was there, I knew that I had been completely sold on the value of double stacking, and knew I wouldn't consider going back to single stacked mode. So I was intent on testing double-stacked options during my visit.

I was really impressed with the LS80THa even in single stack mode. The sweet spot seemed to cover almost the entire field of view. The contrast was excellent. But there's no going back once you double stack, so I knew I wanted to keep that going with whatever upgrade path I took. I found the internal DS module on the 80 does suffer from some glare issues, and the addition of a high contrast filter took care of them at the expense of dimming the view substantially.

I ended up going with the LS60THa that I tried at Lunt. I also got the bigger 60mm DS module as opposed to the still very satisfying 50mm DS module. The smaller DS module still performed really well, much better than I expected. But since more aperture means better resolution, I opted for the full 60mm DS module.

To my eye, the width of the sweet spot on the LS60THa is bigger than the Sun's disk (i.e., the sweet spot is maybe 120% the width of the Sun's disk), meaning that you get the full benefit of a well-tuned H-alpha view across the whole Sun. But I found (and other's don't seem to have this problem) that the 60 had more background glare than what I remember my 50 had. The 50 had much more of a jet-black background. But the 60 is a really satisfying full-disk scope.

Over the year that I've had it, I've settled in with my LS60THa and have really grown to like that scope. (I describe that scope in fuller detail here.) The addition of a simple ND filter took care of most of the glare I noted here (I describe my experience here). That glare is much more apparent in single-stack mode.

Bottom line: unlike nighttime scopes where aperture is king, the optical systems of H-alpha solar scopes are somewhat more complex. More aperture will give you more resolution, but aperture isn't everything. The etalon is also an important factor to consider. Solar scopes with more aperture will typically have a better etalon, although I suppose that's not necessarily so. Compared to the Lunt 50, the Lunt 60 will not only get you more aperture and better resolution but also a better internal etalon and larger sweet spot. (I raised the question of sweet spot here. Definately pay attention to anything Bob Yoesle says on that thread or any other on this forum.) The 50 is a really, really good starter scope. Indeed, calling it a "starter scope" isn't fair to it, because the 50 is just a plain ol' good scope in its own right. But if you're like me and get hooked on H-alpha solar observing, it won't be long before you want more aperture and a better etalon.

It's nice having the option for a two-speed focuser to really dial in sharp focus, so that's another thing the 60 has going for it.

If you can, I'd skip the cost involved with buying and selling scopes when upgrading and simply go straight for the 60. But I'd also keep in mind double stacking, which is definately not cheap (nothing made with quality ever is) but which adds an utterly enhanced observing experience that is far and away better than single stacked observing especially during these days of solar minimum. I can't stress that enough. Prominences do become somewhat dimmer, but not badly so. The rich contrast that the Sun's disk appears with is breathtaking in double-stacked mode. Single-stacked scopes, especially in the 50-60mm range, won't show that richness in contrast that a DS'ed one will.

 

If a DS'ed 50mm is too much for you at this point and a DS'ed 60mm is completely out of the question, go for the 50mm in single stacked mode and see how you go. You may find yourself saving for a DS module for your 50 in short order. You have the option to upgrade to the very worthwhile FT focuser for the 50.

 

If you know you are unable to or will never want to shoulder the expense of double stacking a 60mm Lunt but can swing a DS'ed 50mm Lunt now, I'd go for the latter. There's no question that I'd prefer having a smaller-aperture double-stacked solar scope over a larger-aperture single-stacked one.

 

If a SS'ed 60mm is within the realm of possibility, if you think you may want to double stack later on (and trust me, you will), and if you want to take it easy at first with this whole H-alpha solar observing business, go for the 60 in single-stack mode. You'll get a scope with a better etalon over the 50, and you'll position yourself well to double stack later on and have yourself a really great solar observing rig when funds become available and if the desire strikes you.

Very good advice. I really enjoyed reading this post.



#21 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 08:34 PM

Apollo, is that a pier? Looks great .

Viking 1, that "by the road" setup gives me ideas .

Assuming that by "Apollo" you were referring to me due to the post count title, then I'm going to answer your question. The mount is not a pier, but an iOptron AZ Mount Pro. It does an automatic alignment procedure (I call it the "alignment dance") that makes accurate alignment very easy during daylight. And since it's battery-operated, it's very portable.



#22 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 09:07 PM

Oops. Sorry about that. Is it a GPS alignment? 



#23 sunnyday

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 09:17 PM

The reason why I took the 60mm instead of the 50mm, I had the chance to look in a 50mm and I found the focuser of poor quality and complicated for nothing, so I chose the 60mm.
more I find the 10 mm more makes a difference in my opinion.


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#24 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 09:26 PM

Gregory , that was an excellent post. Thank you .

 

I mentioned in the op that I'm ultimately looking to get an LS80 or LS100, although that one comes to a bit over eight grand and that's an awful lot to put into a solar scope. The low price of the older 50 and medium price of the 60 with an intro mount that can be motorized with the Celestron kit is why I thought I might grab one now while saving up for one of the two larger scopes.

 

I have a double stacked pst and got to look through a Coronado 60 in Casper Wyoming when I was there for the eclipse, and it was wonderful to see difference between the two. I do like observing the Sun, but even so spending $8,000 to $10,000 (with a good mount and camera) is a major decision so I was thinking grabbing an inexpensive scope that would at least get me an upgrade from the PST and keep me going until I can afford the better scope.



#25 statfreak

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 09:30 PM

Gregory, I'm thinking about going to Tucson like you did to get some first hand looks though the scopes.

 

I when I saw these prices, I also thought it would be nice to have a really portable scope. I'm still considering the 60.


Edited by statfreak, 03 March 2020 - 09:35 PM.



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