Serious Solar imaging by definition requires a large investment of disposable income and time and effort.
Not really. Time and effort yes. But it doesn't have to be some huge financial gate keeper.
Serious solar imaging is much more about the academics of what you're actually doing, how you're doing it and presenting it (whether its observation or imaging). You can be a serious solar observer or imager with a 50mm or 60mm and see everything and not spend a ton. Really competent and accurate images can and are done with small scopes. Serious imaging doesn't have to uniquely be large aperture, attempts at high resolution, etc.
The original message from the OP was actually serious and high resolution, and that's a humdinger because no matter how much money you have to spend, it won't matter if your seeing is 3 arc-seconds, so this is why I stress over and over seeing conditions.
I think its far more critical to know as much of the academics about our star, about the filter systems, about wavefront physics, about sampling and resolution as an approach to serious imaging with respect to solar (or any astronomy imaging), far more than anything. And baring that, if it's just imaging and nothing more, just pretty pictures, that's fine by me, but serious high res or serious pretty images start and end with seeing conditions relative to the image scale. Everything else comes second. But certainly someone serious about all of this would not be too happy with a low quality filter, even if enjoying splendid high quality views of a full disc from a humble but excellent 60mm. And you can get into this, seriously, for little money really. I would say $2k is a good ballpark to get your hands on an excellent high quality solar scope with much less gamble (such as a Lunt 60) and that it's perfectly capable for a competent and serious solar imager and observer alike. Unfortunately very little is available for less, that isn't used or compromised in a major way. And spending more does not guarantee much of anything on many options.
Anyhow, not trying to soap box, just didn't want anyone to get an impression that they cannot be serious without a high buy in. I think its more important that someone who wants to approach this seriously know more about the subject, and less about the purchase choices up front.
Edited by MalVeauX, 25 November 2021 - 02:48 PM.