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.