Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

New Solar Scope Purchase.

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 olebellow

olebellow

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 120
  • Joined: 18 Feb 2008
  • Loc: SoCal

Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:39 AM

After years of looking at the sun through my 10" LX200 with a 1000 Oaks optical standard solar filter and 100mm binos with Baeder film filter, I have decided to get myself a dedicated solar scope in Ha to use mostly for eyepiece viewing and maybe a little photography. I'm looking at the Lunt scopes. I see scope sizes from 50mm to 120mm with all kinds of options and gizmos. Looking for recommendations for optimal scope size, single or double stack? Blocking filter size,Tilt tuned or pressure tuned, focuser, eyepiece...etc....Im curious if the image quality improves as the scope size increases.
Thanks,
Barry

#2 Stellar1

Stellar1

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 553
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2018
  • Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:11 PM

If you have the funds, i would suggest an 80mm Lunt, pressure tuned with B1800 blocking filter, if you have even more funds, put a double stack on that puppy. Looking through that exact same scope once, i just about fell over, amazing scope while still being easy to tote around. Having had a couple of solar scopes, the 60mm Lunt pressure tuned being the latest, i can say that they are fine solar scopes.


Edited by Stellar1, 01 August 2020 - 12:12 PM.

  • olebellow likes this

#3 Hank Molesky

Hank Molesky

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 264
  • Joined: 05 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Tampa, Fl

Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:15 PM

If you have the funds, i would suggest an 80mm Lunt, pressure tuned with B1800 blocking filter, if you have even more funds, put a double stack on that puppy. Looking through that exact same scope once, i just about fell over, amazing scope while still being easy to tote around. Having had a couple of solar scopes, the 60mm Lunt pressure tuned being the latest, i can say that they are fine solar scopes.

I second that! The 80 is an awesome setup and even better double stacked.

Best....Hank


  • olebellow likes this

#4 vincentv

vincentv

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 195
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2017
  • Loc: Costa Rica

Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:30 PM

Tilt vs pressure: tilt is mechanically smoother but has a more pronounced band effect. Pressure tuned offers a more even image but some folks don't like the stiffness. It also allows a wider altitude range in case you observe from mountain sites. Lunt is phasing out their tilt tuners and will only offer those in the external etalons.

Basically, don't sweat it, either one works.

 

Size: Aperture determines the resolution you'll see. 40mm is a fine visual size but don't expect those "zoomed in" views. If you're serious about solar don't settle here.

I consider 60mm the smallest of the  big apertures. It offers enough resolution to keep you happy for years. Look around for pictures taken with this aperture. It also offers a wide focus range and will work with any camera you care to use. Binoviewers will require less magnification to reach focus.

As you move beyond 100mm the value proposition of a rear etalon (Solar Spectrum, Daystar) becomes strongly compelling. You'll need to chose between convenience, ability to show a full disk and price.

Another consideration is your seeing (atmospheric turbulence). Since you have used 10" I suspect you know what you're dealing with.

 

Focuser: Single eyepiece and light imaging? The standard crayford will do fine. Serious imaging or binoviewers? Get the feathertouch if possible. It's possible to upgrade later.

 

Blocking filter: Get the larger one.

 

Double stacking: This one's hard to say. Basically get the largest aperture you can or are willing to use. Then consider the second filter. The views are great but there's a definite learning curve and of course the price.

 

The 80mm recommended by Stellar1 is considered a sweetspot by many.


  • olebellow likes this

#5 Gregory Gross

Gregory Gross

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 480
  • Joined: 13 May 2017
  • Loc: Pacific Northwest

Posted 01 August 2020 - 02:00 PM

Size: Aperture determines the resolution you'll see. 40mm is a fine visual size but don't expect those "zoomed in" views. If you're serious about solar don't settle here.

I consider 60mm the smallest of the  big apertures. It offers enough resolution to keep you happy for years. Look around for pictures taken with this aperture. It also offers a wide focus range and will work with any camera you care to use.

 

+1 regarding vincentv's comments regarding aperture. With my double-stacked 60mm Lunt, the resolution breaks down when I really push magnification. Don't get caught thinking that, since there's plenty of light where the Sun is concerned (and there is), aperture is less a concern. More aperture = more resolution. That's what you're ultimately going for in terms of aperture increases.

 

Personally speaking, my 60mm Lunt with 60mm DS module offers the best balance for me between aperture and weight for the kind of full-disk solar observing I like doing best. My preference is for lower-magnification views of the entire disk of the Sun and for using a simple, lightweight, manually-driven equatorial mount (Orion AstroView) that rests on a set of homemade tripod legs that represent a substantial improvement over the flimsy aluminum legs that came with the mount. My 60/60 Lunt is probably the heaviest solar scope I'd ask that mount to handle. Anything heavier and more cumbersome and I would probably not get out as much as I do with my current setup.

 

I'm also very much sold on the value of double stacking. No question about it: I'd pick a smaller double stacked solar scope over a larger single-stacked one any day of the week.

 

A better solar scope not only should have more aperture but a better etalon with wider sweet spot. The quality of the etalon, generally speaking, and its sweet spot size, in particular, are also very important and, I find, often overlooked characteristics of an H-alpha solar scope. Search the solar forum for "sweet spot" or "Jacquinot spot" for more on this important topic.


  • olebellow likes this

#6 hopskipson

hopskipson

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,595
  • Joined: 24 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Queens, New Yawk, Light pollution Headquarters!

Posted 01 August 2020 - 03:16 PM

The best solar scope is the one you use!  If you have no trouble lugging out a 10 " SCT then something in the 80-100mm range will be fine.  Of course, the price goes up fast once you jump from 60 to 80.  I would say best to start with single stack and then double stack later, because you will be able to afford more aperture.  If money is no object then by all means go for the 100mm with the external DS.  Solarmax by Meade is also another option.  They offer the SMIII with all external etalons.  The etalons are full aperture and supposed to offer better contrast.  Most folks here prefer Lunt but I'm not biased, I have both.  I started with a Quark Chromosphere then bought a Lunt 60 SS.  I then got a Lunt CaK filter and a Solarmax PST.  My most recent purchase was a Solarmax II 90mm DS.  I have multiple options for imaging, and visual.  I find solar the most interesting aspect of astronomy.


  • olebellow likes this

#7 SteveFPV

SteveFPV

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 25
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2020

Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:25 PM

Well, I purchased the Lunt LS80MT not long ago........very nice build quality and amazing views, so that is what I recommend although I do not have much experience as a lot of the folks here.


  • olebellow likes this

#8 bigdob24

bigdob24

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,333
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Central Illinois

Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:47 PM

I’m all about aperture, bigger is better. If the seeing doesn’t support it mask it down, If ya don’t have it ya can’t use it wink.gif

That being said 60mm and up would be a lifetime scope for visual and photography. 
Lunt makes great scopes and to make that better , there customer service is second to none.

Then a double stack puts the WOW in observing , I never setup without it, there’s always something to look at with a DS.

Go big on the blocking filter especially if photography is involved.

I’ve always had FeatherTouch focusers , they’ll do whatever you want.

Eyepieces are a personal choice and a Binoviewer is hands down the best for solar viewing, adds contrast and that means more detail.

Tilt or Pressure Tuned , either works well , Ive got one of each on my scope and DS.

I would say image quality does get better with more aperture as resolution is better if seeing supports the size scope and magnification you can use, more detail .

You'll get a lot of great opinions here, I for one love to spend other people’s money in the hobbywaytogo.gif


  • olebellow likes this

#9 statfreak

statfreak

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 306
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2020
  • Loc: Las Vegas, NV

Posted 01 August 2020 - 08:52 PM

As others have said, larger aperture in solar means higher resolution (more detail). I love my Lunt LS80 DS but I added a polarizer in between the two etalons (mod) to cut out the glow that many complain about. It has a very large sweet spot and great views with up to 150x magnification IF your seeing can handle it. I went with Lunt because Meade's customer service is non-existent and the company is in financial trouble. Lunt has top notch customer service. My scope is very well built.

 

If money were no object, I'd get the LS100 with the front mounted DS etalon ($$$$) instead of the internal pressure tuned DS, and then I'd get a quark with a 150mm refractor for close up detail photography. But again, your seeing has to support it.


  • olebellow likes this

#10 briansalomon1

briansalomon1

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 93
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Oxnard CA

Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:40 PM

I've had the Lunt LS60FHa etalon with the B600 blocking filter H-alpha filtering system that can go on any refractor for several months now and I'm completely satisfied with 60mm aperture. Lunt makes it very easy to upgrade the blocking filter and I'll get a larger BF in a week or so as I've added a binoviewer.



#11 MalVeauX

MalVeauX

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,485
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Florida

Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:58 PM

After years of looking at the sun through my 10" LX200 with a 1000 Oaks optical standard solar filter and 100mm binos with Baeder film filter, I have decided to get myself a dedicated solar scope in Ha to use mostly for eyepiece viewing and maybe a little photography. I'm looking at the Lunt scopes. I see scope sizes from 50mm to 120mm with all kinds of options and gizmos. Looking for recommendations for optimal scope size, single or double stack? Blocking filter size,Tilt tuned or pressure tuned, focuser, eyepiece...etc....Im curious if the image quality improves as the scope size increases.
Thanks,
Barry

Hi Barry,

 

It's best to start with what's your all in budget or budget over time for this.

 

Very best,


  • olebellow likes this

#12 Gregory Gross

Gregory Gross

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 480
  • Joined: 13 May 2017
  • Loc: Pacific Northwest

Posted 02 August 2020 - 01:09 PM

So... after a number of us have weighed in on the questions you posed in your opening posting, where do you think you'll come down in terms of making a decision, Barry?



#13 olebellow

olebellow

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 120
  • Joined: 18 Feb 2008
  • Loc: SoCal

Posted 02 August 2020 - 01:40 PM

I want to thank everyone that has responded to my initial post thus far. You all have provided me with some very good suggestions and answers to my questions. I've still got a few things to consider, but right now I'm leaning towards the Lunt 80mm or the 100mm DS PT solar scope.

 

Barry



#14 bigdob24

bigdob24

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,333
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Central Illinois

Posted 02 August 2020 - 04:19 PM

The 100 is a great scope , DS it and it’s even better.

I did not like the internal DS and sent it back and went for the full aperture DS . 
There are things to try with filters to tone down the red glow , with my blocking filter there still is some red glow but it’s manageable.


Edited by bigdob24, 02 August 2020 - 04:19 PM.

  • statfreak likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics