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gazmass

Which Solar scope should I buy?

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Sorry if this is in the wrong area but I was not sure and thought this was the safe bet. So please feel free to move this if it is wrong

This Christmas I am thinking of buying myself a solar scope with some of my Christmas bonus. The question is which one should I get? I have not looked at any before and so have no idea. Also I do not mind paying a bit more if I get one which I will not have to upgrade. I was looking at the Coronado double-stacked PST which is about £900 as it was recommended by sky at night. Although the normal one is about £450 and is still highly rated. So is it worth the extra? Or am I missing another good scope? Guess my question is what would you go for?

Thanks for your help

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Many get the standard Coronado, so it would seem to do the job. Don't have one but have looked through two or three and they are fine.

However it is your money, your scope and you are going to look through it.

When you say "I have not looked at any before and so have no idea." Well it is time to start looking into them and getting details and information. Almost anyone will tell you what to buy as it is not their money, so if it is wrong, they have lost nothing, you have however. You have a few weeks before Christmas start searching.

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The double stack option dramatically improves the resolution in Ha for surface features...doesn't do much for Proms etc....

HTH

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You should also consider Lunt. They are recommended by many due to their superior customer service over Meade. Lunt Solar Systems LLC - Solar Telescopes, Solar Filters & Accessories

I have the LS60 pressure-tuned, single-stack, and I really like it. Been imaging with it once (on a friend's AP mount) and the shots were fantastic. It gives a much more uniform image than the double-stacked PST (which has a bar-shaped sweet-spot). There is more detail than a single-stack PST. The PST isn't very suited to photography. The Lunt is a very capable photography instrument. Solar photography is actually rather easy, much easier than deep-space, so you might want to keep that in mind as an option.

The image through a double-stacked scope shows substantially more contrast than single-stacked. But all these scopes can have a double-stack module added later, so you don't need to buy it all at once. If you have the money, I'd suggest buying something nicer than the PST and going for double-stack at a later point. I know I prefer the views through my single-stack LS60 compared to the double-stacked PST, despite the fact that more surface detail is visible in the PST.

Lunt Solar Systems LLC - Solar Telescopes, Solar Filters & Accessories

SOLARSCOPEREVIEWS.COM

Edited by umadog

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I should add one thing: the views through PST (even single-stacked) are really quite nice. It's very captivating and I highly recommend it. Solar viewing is very rewarding as the sun is always changes. Plenty of changes over short periods (15 minutes) so the sun makes a dramatic target.

If your weather is changeable then solar viewing maximises your observing possibilities. If you have long summer days with short nights, solar makes a nice alternative. I'm a pretty committed DSO visual observer, and was surprised to find how much I enjoy solar observing as an alternative when the DSOs aren't accessible. The solar cycle is currently ramping up so there's loads to see. Transit of Venus is next year and we'll all be dead by the time the next one comes along.

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Woah! Cheekiness. That's how many dollars those things are here. Lunt also make a 35 mm version, for 559 by the way. I would seriously consider that as an alternative to the PST. Also note that the 60 mm with a 6 mm blocking filter is 200 quid less. If you're certain you won't do prime-focus imaging then the 6 mm would be fine.

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I have been looking at the Lunt, but like I say I do not know which one to get. I thought the views on here, to see which people found better and why. I have looked though a PST but it was cloudy at the time (at a show) so I could not judge it. Where I live there is no Astronomy shops so I can not go and compare them. But i am glad that you told me I could add to it to make a double stacked I did not know that.

The transit of Venus is one of reasons that I am getting it this year rather than later on. Looking forward to seeing it.

All I am thinking is I would rather buy one that would last rather than it be ok for a bit then me want to upgrade and have to save up all over again. Although I think I would be looking under 1000

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For your suggested budget I would recommend a PST, if you eventually decide to go further upmarket a PST is one of the easiest scopes to sell. You do not need a Ha solar telescope to view the Venus transit. :)

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If you want to stay below a grand then the PST and the Lunt 35 mm are your obvious choices. You may need to budget for a mount. Without needing to buy a mount you could double stack either and stay within (or very close) to budget. According to Stephen Ramsden's review page, the Lunt produces a substantially better image than the PST and also has various other advantages. I haven't looked through the 35 mm, so I can't comment. But based on what I've read, I'd go for the Lunt over the PST.

I don't see why a 35 mm or 40 mm scope wouldn't "last", there's plenty to see in these scopes. Then again, the LS60 is a substantial improvement so maybe it's worth saving up for it. The 80 mm is over 3 grand so prices really shoot through the roof. Your choice is really between 60 mm and 40 mm. Remember that the 60 mm comes with a Crayford focuser.

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If you think that it is better for me to save up a little longer and buy the lunt 60 then that is what i will do. I do not mind waiting longer just want to get one for the transit. Although not sure which one to get. Should I just use my normal telescope stand?

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Slightly above your proposed budget but do have a look at the Coronado Solarmax 60 II BF10 (c£1350.00). I have had one of these for a few months and can highly recommend it; observing the Sun becomes addictive!

Edited by duncan.p

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If you think that it is better for me to save up a little longer and buy the lunt 60 then that is what i will do. I do not mind waiting longer just want to get one for the transit. Although not sure which one to get. Should I just use my normal telescope stand?

I don't believe the transit is visible from the uk?

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You should see some of the transit form the UK: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/venus/Map2012-1.GIF

I don't know if I can tell you what is "better for you"; since it is, of course, your money. All I can say is that I was going through the same choice (considering a PST) and eventually went for the LS60. Really glad I did that and the reasons are self-evident if you look at the reviews. I hope to upgrade to double-stack before the summer. The only catch is that a 60 mm stack is very expensive. Most people who double stack the LS60 do so with a 50 mm filter. I haven't, therefore, decided what to do. Seems silly to loose 10 mm, but the 60 mm filter is super expensive. Am hoping prices on the 60 will drop.

You can mount any dove-tail to the scope so you can mount it however you like. I use a Vixen Porta II.

Edited by umadog

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Of course, the key thing will be the weather. I'd suggest trying to be somewhere on the continent where you're more likely to get clear skies. It'll be silly to miss it due to cloud. Rent a car and be ready to drive. Or simply take the ferry and drive over there.

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No way will I want to miss it. Started to look up the Lunt scopes, and will wait little so I can get a good one. Although there are so many options I am unsure what to get added. Although I am awful at trying to wait with Astronomy stuff I just get too excited!!! I have seen one on astrobuy and sell but it is £2000 not sure how much it is worth.

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Yeah, I see that one. With the 50 mm DS, 12mm blocking filter, and some eyepieces that seems like a good deal. Even if you have to wait to save up, I think you'll be happy with the performance of a larger solar scope. It's worth the wait.

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How much would that one be worth if it was new do you think? I am really looking forward to it although it will me the scope will be worth more than my car and normal scope! Hope it does not go

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This Christmas I am thinking of buying myself a solar scope with some of my Christmas bonus.

Some. SOME?! I wish i got a christmas bonus, letalone a bonus that big.. :)

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I get it for working 16 hour shifts on Christmas and boxing day and new year. So my christmas will be spent outside freezing cold, staying in hotels. But hoping it will be worth it for a scope!

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