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Buying a Solar Scope - Did I make a mistake?

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#1 Mike Sandy

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 11:06 AM

Back in May, I ordered a Lunt 60mm Universal Scope with the Feather Touch and 12mm blocking filter.  I called yesterday to get a status and found that the scope was still a month or so away from being ready to ship - in line with their original estimate.  I then launched a second order for the 60mm Double stack Filter (estimated 5-6 month leadtime).  I thought to myself - I wonder if by some chance there are any of the double stack filters in inventory somewhere.  As I was looking through the various dealers, I came across an in stock LS80MT with an 18mm Blocking filter and a Feathertouch focuser.  I really don't need another general use 60mm refractor, so I would have preferred the dedicated solar scope to start with, the cost of the single stacked 80mm was about the same as what I had in the DS 60mm, there is always the option to double stack the 80mm (for about the same price as the 60mm DS filter) in the future, and the 80mm would ship the same day.

 

I called Lunt and cancelled my two orders, and went back and hit the "Buy It" button from the dealer.  Now I wonder (isn't that always the case) - did I screw that up?  I don't think I did, but I figured I'd ask.  In the end the 80mm will cost about $2K more to have double stacked once the filters are available, but I will have the scope tomorrow. Is the 80mm really worth the extra $$?



#2 Siderius

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 12:15 PM

Tomorrow will tell, Mike!

 

A similar 80mm is my first 'serious' Hα telescope for two years now, and it's a wonderful instrument. Now I'm pondering whether to upgrade by double stacking, or go for more aperture, or both!

 

It takes a while to get the hang of tuning, and a with a single stack is easier to master that proficiency before adding a second etalon.

 

Optics generally seem to hold their value, much better than computers or electronic gadgets, so I don't think there are any wrong choices, especially if you are enjoying what you see.


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#3 dhkaiser

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 12:45 PM

Only you can answer that question.  In the meanwhile take a look here, scroll to the top...

 

https://www.cloudyni...m#entry11830427


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#4 MalVeauX

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 01:29 PM

Hi,

 

The 80 is worth it. Life time class instrument. It's the best aperture and quality etalon ratio system you can get for the cost while still being a manageable instrument (ie, not a monstrous super heavy thing needing a very heavy duty mount to handle) and you can still reach the tuning system without acrobatics.

 

You made the best choice for the long term.

 

Very best,


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#5 Mike Sandy

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Posted 10 August 2022 - 02:06 PM

Thanks for the responses.  I've spent a good deal of time reading a number of the various threads in this forum, but I hadn't read the one Dan linked to (thanks for that Dan - it was right on point).  I owned an early Lunt (one of his first scopes shipped)  a 60mm with a 50mm DS - but regrettably decided to sell it when I downsized (maybe better read - exited) my astronomy hobby a number of years ago.  Being now kinda retired - I look forward to watching our nearest star, and trying my hand at imaging it.

 

Thanks again for confirming that I'm not entirely senile yet.  Hopefully UPS comes through, and the fog stays away for some viewing this weekend.


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#6 Zhengyi

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 03:55 AM

No, you did not make a mistake and you won't be disappointed.

I have had my LS80MT (same configuration as yours) for exactly one year now. I have been using it whenever I have the time to observe. It has given me a wonderful view of the Sun.

I have also taken it on a trip half way across the planet. The scope is very portable and yet it has enough resolution to see small details.

Before you DS it, you should consider getting a binoviewer. It will take your solar viewing experience to another level.

Edited by Zhengyi, 11 August 2022 - 03:56 AM.

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#7 BGazing

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 12:58 PM

I just received my 80MT and it is a cracking scope, I am going to do a thorough review soon.

I did get it marred in transit, my focuser has to go back to FT for repair and I have a speck inside the doublet lens. smile.gif Contacted dealer, who a week ago said that Lunt will contact me either directly or through them (the dealer). Tumbleweeds...

Other that that, it is a great scope, really, views are superb.grin.gif

You are never going to regret that extra aperture. It is still portable, though heavy,  80mm  can fit on AZGti.


Edited by BGazing, 11 August 2022 - 05:29 PM.


#8 vincentv

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 01:21 PM

This is a hobby not a job. As long as you didn't overstretch your budget it will be alright. Whether you like the scope or not it will be a learning opportunity.

 

That said the 60 and 80 are Lunt's goldilocks offerings. Both:
-can show a full disk

-have enough aperture for close ups

-have plenty of focusing range for anything you care to use

-not absurdly expensive

 

The 60 is slightly more portable and can be used with smaller mounts. The 80 is better at closeups. Half a dozen of one, six of the other.


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#9 lbs-kgs

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 05:39 PM

You went through the same thing I did, and I'm grateful in particular to MalVeaux's valuable advice here and in private.  In terms of pecking order on orders, I'm behind you on settling for ... .... the 60mm, back in April.  The reason I went that way was in part what Vincent said above (even more portable) and also sticking to a budget according to some goals I would like to attain (the what and why).  In deeply researching this prior to my decision, I thought that the 60 would be 'good enough' for my purposes and be content with that.  Without getting into detail, yes one can utilize all the bits and pieces in different ways to come up with some new approaches to looking at the sun.  Just have to think beyond the confines of the 'conventional'.  Now, did you make a mistake?  Only you can answer that based on your criteria for engaging in this part of the hobby.


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#10 tommyboy

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 07:19 PM

I just received my 80MT and it is a cracking scope, I am going to do a thorough review soon.

I did get it marred in transit, my focuser has to go back to FT for repair and I have a speck inside the doublet lens. smile.gif Contacted dealer, who a week ago said that Lunt will contact me either directly or through them (the dealer). Tumbleweeds...

Other that that, it is a great scope, really, views are superb.grin.gif

You are never going to regret that extra aperture. It is still portable, though heavy,  80mm  can fit on AZGti.

I had to return my 80 to Lunt due to specks on the glass. They dealt with it professionally of course but it was a slow turn around and shipping was $$$. If you can get Faye Roman on the phone or by email she is very helpful.


Edited by tommyboy, 11 August 2022 - 07:22 PM.


#11 Mike Sandy

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 09:11 PM

Well, the “Brown Santa” arrived today, as scheduled, and delivered a big old box.  It took all of about 10 minutes before that scope was out, mounted, and showing its stuff.  Dropped in a zoom eyepiece, burped the pressure tuner, worked to get an initial focus, and then began try to figure out the tuning.  After some fiddling, I began to extract some nice views of the surface and a large prom.  There’s definitely some learning going to be required, but it felt very good to get those views at first light.  I couldn’t be happier.


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#12 BGazing

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 02:32 AM

I had to return my 80 to Lunt due to specks on the glass. They dealt with it professionally of course but it was a slow turn around and shipping was $$$. If you can get Faye Roman on the phone or by email she is very helpful.

I am sort of surprised that, apart from etalon checking, there was no QC to speak of on a very expensive telescope about to be shipped halfway across the world.




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