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William Optics scopes being used for solar imaging?

Equipment Filters Imaging Observing Solar Refractor Accessories
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8 replies to this topic

#1 Antarctic_Aurora

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 06:08 AM

Hello, 

I am wanting to expand my scope usage, and I have come down to either the RedCat51 or the ZenithStar61, these are both from WO. I want to be able to use them for solar observations and to also have it for night time astro-imaging. I have made a short list for each option and what my current thoughts are on them.

 

IF I was to go with the RedCat51

  • I can use a glass white light filter and do visual solar observations
  • I cannot use filters such as calcium K or white light Herschel wedges due to the base of the RedCat having a 1.25" eyepiece opening and this 1.25" is only accessible using the specifically made WO diagonal for the RedCat. 
  • I do not know how viable the RedCat would be if I ever planned to do calcium K imaging, I have read about the Baadar K-Line 1.25" filter that can used - does anyone have experience with this filter? I understand it is strictly imaging and requires the secondary AstroSolar Photo Film to be at the front of the scope. Would this be safe to use with the RedCat, would I risk damaging the internals of the scope?

IF I was to go with Zenithstar61

  • I can again use the glass white light filter and do solar observations 
  • With this scope I have the ability to use 2" accessories, such as calcium K or white light Herschel wedges 
  • The regular night time use of this scope for astro-imaging is less than that of the RedCat, I want to be able to have wide field imaging - the zenithstar doesn't seem to have the same backing that the RedCat has in this regard....
  • From what I have found, the LUNT calcium K filters - are these usable with the Zenithstar or have I misread the instructions in using this filter? would this need a front film filter as well to protect the internals of the scope?

I would love to here other peoples thoughts on this and what you would do, and if there are other options/accessories I could add or change to improve the solar imaging experience but to also maintain a night usage scope. 

 

Thank you smile.gif



#2 Whirlpool51

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 10:01 AM

I have a Z61. Brought it last year after reading the many excellent reviews of this telescope. 

If I were you I would use the Z61 because of the accessories you've mentioned but also the fact that you should be able to use it with a QUARK at a later date. I like those Redcats. But they look to much like a Telephoto lens for visual observing. So again the Z61 wins.

 

BTW. I use my Z61 for Astro-imaging with a modified Canon 600D. I have never looked through the Z61 or pointed it at the Sun.


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#3 marktownley

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 10:50 AM

I wouldn't recommend either for CaK work, they are both fast focus scopes full of spherical aberration at 393nm.  I know, I have the 60mm f6.  It is just about usable in CaK if stopped down to 40mm.   The Redcat is going to be worse still as is faster focal ratio.

 

If you are planning on doing CaK you're much better with a longer focal ratio scope.


Edited by marktownley, 23 June 2021 - 10:52 AM.

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#4 highfnum

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 11:25 AM

I use WO ZS 66mm



#5 Antarctic_Aurora

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 10:45 PM

I wouldn't recommend either for CaK work, they are both fast focus scopes full of spherical aberration at 393nm.  I know, I have the 60mm f6.  It is just about usable in CaK if stopped down to 40mm.   The Redcat is going to be worse still as is faster focal ratio.

 

If you are planning on doing CaK you're much better with a longer focal ratio scope.

You mentioned you have a 60mm f6, can you please explain what you meant by 'stopped down to 40mm'? I am leaning towards the Zenithstar61 due to its ability to still do white field night astro-imaging, I am a bit hesitant to move to different branded scopes due to my familiarity with the WO but would you have other suggestions that is not WO?

 

My long term goal is CaK but I want a scope that is partially multi use, so I am figuring the Zenithstar61 does tick a few boxes for me. I understand the FOV will not be fantastic with the Zenithstar61.

 

Do you have an opinion about the Lunt CaK filters, I have read they can be used with any refractor but have failed to find much information about people doing so... which lead me to the Baader K-line calcium filter... using astrobin I have found some images that people have taken with both the Lunt filter and the Baader and have successfully found a 60mm solar image, which gave me hopes about the Zenithstar61.

 

I had a look at images in the weblink https://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.com and are the ones labeled with the 60mm apertures done with that 60mm f6 scope you mentioned? Do you use a filter on an exisiting night-scope or..?


Edited by Antarctic_Aurora, 23 June 2021 - 10:58 PM.


#6 Antarctic_Aurora

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 11:04 PM

I have a Z61. Brought it last year after reading the many excellent reviews of this telescope. 

If I were you I would use the Z61 because of the accessories you've mentioned but also the fact that you should be able to use it with a QUARK at a later date. I like those Redcats. But they look to much like a Telephoto lens for visual observing. So again the Z61 wins.

 

BTW. I use my Z61 for Astro-imaging with a modified Canon 600D. I have never looked through the Z61 or pointed it at the Sun.

How do you find the FOV for the scope? I plan on also being able to use it for wide field astro-imaging, and having used FOV calculators such as the astronomy.tools page and telescopius I am relatively content with what it can do, but first hand use as you have would be a good insider to what it can do.

 

I do have a 10" Meade SCT, so deep field imaging and visual is usually done with this scope. 


Edited by Antarctic_Aurora, 23 June 2021 - 11:05 PM.


#7 marktownley

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 07:39 AM

You will find this thread of interest.  https://solarchatfor...php?f=7&t=32338

 

I would recommend a Lunt CaK filter, but, personally, wouldn't bother with the Baader K-line, I think you will get better results with a continuum filter.



#8 rigel123

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 07:43 AM

I would also recommend the Lunt CaK.  I have had mine about 7 years and use it with my Orion ED80T which is an f6


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#9 Antarctic_Aurora

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 01:36 AM

You will find this thread of interest.  https://solarchatfor...php?f=7&t=32338

 

I would recommend a Lunt CaK filter, but, personally, wouldn't bother with the Baader K-line, I think you will get better results with a continuum filter.

Thank you very much for this link!

 

Your assistance is appreciated smile.gif


Edited by Antarctic_Aurora, 25 June 2021 - 01:37 AM.



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