I received my new-to-me solar scope and was granted with sun (for an hour before it clouded out and had to go to work)! It has been awhile since I was able to get out and observe, and should never have gotten rid of my hydrogen alpha scopes. This one is staying.
This Solarmax III has the new R & P focuser which I like better than the old helical focuser on the solarmax II. It also has tube rings, which is different. And apparent one can use this at night time too? Very cool.
One thing I found strange, is having a ton of backfocus. I needed to use a tele vue 3.5" extension tube just to focus my eyepieces, in addition to almost racking out the focuser all the way and almost pulling out the long nose of the diagonal from the focuser a ways out. Perhaps this was done for binoviewers? Or this gets chewed up a bit using a larger BF30?
The single stack views lacked surface details, but admittedly I wasnt sure I was even tuning it properly. Proms were visible around the periphery though. Double stack views though were amazing. I knew how to tune it because one of the etatons looks identical to the picture in the manual and the tuning ring was labelled and with knurled ring in a yellow color.
Gongs view from Chile showed what I saw https://gong2.nso.ed...622205330Ch.jpg.
AR2833 was very nice with plage visible and a nice sunspot. A few filaments, the best one by the active region. Some large proms on the top of the disk, one on each side. The surface features were super contrasty, albeit a tad dim with the 18.2mm Delite and 17.5 Morpheus, but tolerable. The 25mm tak abbe was fantastic, as was the 32mm brandon, but that required the most backfocus.
All in all, great first light. The scope is right at home on my AZEQ6 which was fast to set up with tracking and tracked perfectly with the mount pointing rather crudely in the north direction somewhat by polaris but obviously had no idea how close or off I was.
Here are some pics