Solar Scope Advice

this is the main message area for anything solar :)
brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:45 pm

I’m fixing to invest in a Solar Telescope. I will have more fun getting images than anything. I will be mounting it on my iOptron ZEQ 25 with my Canon 5D Mark III.
Maybe one that I can add accessories on to later? I want to be able to have fun viewing and have the satisfaction of my final photo having great details. So, in your opinion, should I get the Meade, or the Lunt…?

Solarmax II:
60 Single BF 5mm
60 Single BF 10mm
60 DS BF 10mm

OR -

Lunt:
LS60THa - B600 (60mm single stack) ($1200 or $1500)

Or do you have another completely option you would suggest?

User avatar
longtech
Im an EXPERT!
Im an EXPERT!
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:00 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by longtech » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:22 pm

I started with the SM60 II DS with BF15 and as much as I loved it, I always wanted more aperture...and I was totally frustrated trying to contact Meade for any kind of support. I discovered that my research was terminated prematurely...had I learned a little more I would have discovered that Lunt was the way to go.

Within a year I ended up buying a larger aperture Lunt and now almost 2 years later I know I made the right choice.

FWIW the same team currently building the Lunt products, designed the original Coronado scopes and they are works of art...but the Coronado scopes are now being built by Meade in their their northern Mexico factory. They are generally well built but missing the attention to detail of the original Lunt made Coronado scopes. The other thing to consider is that the design is unchanged since Meade took over years ago.

Lunt Solar Systems on the other hand continues to refine their product line...constantly pushing the envelope and discovering new ways to improve the reliability, performance and safety of the entire product range...and if you call Lunt you can speak directly to their technical staff that actually build their products and get questions or concerns addressed immediately.
As an example of customer service; I stopped by the Lunt tent at a small local tradeshow and mentioned an issue I was having...they had me bring it over and fixed it on the spot...bottom lkine, everyone I've dealt with at Lunt has been exceptional and made me feel like they understood my issue and went above and beyond to deal with it...everyone, every time!

...compared to the one time I called Coronado where I spent 10 minutes of pushing buttons to navigate a call center to reach a guy who wasn't sure what H-alpha referred to trying to leaf through a stach of customer service scripts trying to figure out which one to recite...totally clueless :-(

my 2 cents
--SP

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:17 pm

Awesome reply!! Thank you. So now I'm thinking I may as well upgrade and go to the Lunt LS60THa with the B1200 BF and DS with the pressure tuner. This will cost twice as much as I originally wanted, but I think if I get this one, I will not need to get another one. Plus, isn't this a model that can continue to be upgraded?

User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 23673
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Contact:

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by marktownley » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:43 pm

brianm910 wrote:Awesome reply!! Thank you. So now I'm thinking I may as well upgrade and go to the Lunt LS60THa with the B1200 BF and DS with the pressure tuner. This will cost twice as much as I originally wanted, but I think if I get this one, I will not need to get another one. Plus, isn't this a model that can continue to be upgraded?
That sounds the best option to me...
Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

User avatar
longtech
Im an EXPERT!
Im an EXPERT!
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:00 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by longtech » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:41 am

Glad it was helpful...and I truly believe you'll be stoked with any of the Lunt products as your first solar scope...and a year down the road you'll still be happy

BTW not to throw a wrench in the works but I was checking the Lunt site and noticed that the LS60 THa DS with BF1200 and the LS80 THa SS with BF1200 are only a few hundred dollars apart.
...Now the LS80 THa I mentioned is only single stack but its 80mm aperture and 560mm focal length...and you can always add the DS module down the road...but the aperture is the aperture.
I got the DS for my Lunt as soon as they were available and kept it on for a couple months but eventually pulled it off since it forced me to push the camera's sensitivity too high for my taste. Its a better visual experience but its more difficult to tune...nowadays, I use my DS about 2-3% of the time...usually when my wife forces me to set up for visiting family and friends.
...again, just my opinion...your mileage may vary

FWIW these are the types of images I can get with my Lunt in SS mode;
Attachments
RED-MONO-DRAGON-4K-PROMS_SURFACE-A008-C013-033115-4K.jpg
TRIPTYCH-AR12384-071415.JPG
DIPTYCH-C.JPG
LS-A006-C088-032_g2_ap3572-4K-RS2201-2nd-CRa-CHR-2d.jpg

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:01 pm

Hmm, those are awesome photos. I would like to go to the 80mm but I'm running out of money because of you guys. LOL
I'm thinking I will be happy with the 60mm DS. I can always enlarge my photos digitally when I shoot them at 18 mp.

User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 23673
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Contact:

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by marktownley » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:01 pm

Just as a heads up you wont get good results shooting Ha with a DSLR, far better to use a dedicated monochrome imager.
Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:29 pm

Thank you Mark! I guess I'm use to my other astrophotographywork. So, without spending a lot of money, which CCD camera would you recommend to get clear images? Maybe I can go with a budget one to start with? But not one I will wish I didnt' get? I spend a lot of time on Amazon, is there one over there I could get that I would have fun with?

User avatar
longtech
Im an EXPERT!
Im an EXPERT!
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:00 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by longtech » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:18 pm

Hands down the best dedicated solar imagers are using Sony's IMX174 Exmor sensor.

Point Grey, Basler and ZWO make dedicated astro-imagers using this sensor and the least expensive is from ZWO at $599 http://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/pro ... /asi174mm/

If the budget is being squeezed then you could get similar performance although a slightly smaller sensor and lower framerate with the ASI120MM for $289: http://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/pro ... si120mm-s/

If you're ok with USB2 the the previous version of ASI120MM is $229

again...this is based on my experience and preference...but one thing I think most forum members will agree with...You'll get better performance from any of these vs a DSLR

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:46 pm

Thank you Longtech!!!!
I'm assuming I can use either one of these with my nighttime photography too? I have a Williams 105mm Refractor that has great optics. I guess I really do need to switch over to CCD and reserve my heavy camera for other projects. I'm sure I will enjoy a whole different world when I do.

So, quickly explain since I'm new to CCD. The 1st camera you recommended is a monochrome CCD. When I take pictures with that one, will my photos be in monochrome too? If so, I'm assuming I would use software to bring it to color?
These CCD cameras just fits into the eye piece, right?
I'll stop bothering you guys on this once my mind is satisfied with what I need to get.

User avatar
Montana
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Posts: 19043
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:25 pm
Location: Cheshire, UK

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by Montana » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:40 pm

Reading this thread will help http://solarchat.natca.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17660

Yes, monochrome will give you black and White, and colour can be added in post processing. Halpha is monochrome so you will utilise every pixel on the chip.

These CCD cameras just fit on the eyepiece end https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexandra ... 535593245/ the blue box is the DMK41 on the telescope.

Alexandra

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:50 pm

So do you think I will be okay if I choose the ASI174MC? http://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/pro ... /asi174mc/ - That way I want have to do as much post processing? Or do you still think that I will loose out on detail if I go the color route?

User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 23673
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Contact:

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by marktownley » Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:38 pm

Yes, you will lose out on loads of detail. It has to be the mono camera.
Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:03 pm

Ok I understand. Do I need to purchase a filter wheel and filters when I get the camera? I have Photoshop to help with post processing.

User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 23673
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Contact:

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by marktownley » Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:04 pm

No filter wheel or filters needed, colour is added in photoshop in post processing
Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:38 pm

Welp.... It looks like I know what my solar setup will be - the Lunt Solar 60mm Ha Solar Telescope Double Stacked with Pressure Tuner / B1200 Filter / 2" Crayford Focuser/ and the ASI174MM/MC CMOS camera.

It would be cool to get the 80mm or even the 100mm, but I just can't afford it.

If you can think of anything else that would make things easier, let me know. I'm sure I can figure out how to add colour with Photoshop.
I trust your knowledge. And again thank you for helping me decide my setup.

User avatar
longtech
Im an EXPERT!
Im an EXPERT!
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:00 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by longtech » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:08 am

You're going to love it...looking forward to seeing some pics from you

User avatar
solarchat
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3947
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:10 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Contact:

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by solarchat » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:42 pm

"Im fixing to"....??

Do you live near me in Atlanta?
Stephen W. Ramsden
Atlanta, GA USA
Founder/Director Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project
http://www.solarastronomy.org

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:15 pm

LOL, yep - Stephen. I'm in North Carolina. It's cool you recognized the southern way of saying, "I'm going to do something."

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:57 pm

After reviewing everything, I know I want to some deep sky imaging, Do you think I should get the ASI178MM (mono) cooled? Is this model just as good a the ASI174MM/MM model?

User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 23673
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Contact:

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by marktownley » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:07 pm

Noooo, get the 174
Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:33 am

I just committed to the setup except I got the one with the feather touch focuser. I got the 174 Mark. Thank you. I'm a bit nervous. But I've already been doing some astrophotography, so I'm sure I will get results with the solar setup within a short period of time.

Derek Klepp
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Posts: 12473
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:02 am

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by Derek Klepp » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:24 am

Look foward to your pics.

brianm910
Oh, I get it now!
Oh, I get it now!
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC USA

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by brianm910 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:55 pm

Okay my friends.... I got all my equipment in. Obviously solar scopes have more moving parts than a regular refractor. So... I have no idea how to get started. I got the basic instructions that came with it, but I don't know how to identify the parts. So, is there a diagram or better instructions on how to identify the parts and how to use the focusing system on my LS60THaPT? I have the extra filter too (DS)
Thanks if you can help!

User avatar
T McVicar
Almost There...
Almost There...
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:24 am

Re: Solar Scope Advice

Post by T McVicar » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:21 am

That last sunspot pic longtech in color is a killer! Awesome shots, and you make a compelling case haha
Tyson- my amateur photography https://www.flickr.com/photos/134930728@N02/
Lunt LS50THa
Meade 10" F10 ACF
Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT
ASI224MC
Orion Skyview Pro

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], gabrieli and 13 guests