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jetstream

Which Lunt solarscope?

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I am in the market for a Ha solar telescope and am looking at the Lunt 60mm.Lots of options available,but not sure which to go for.B600 or B1200 filter,single vs double stacked Etalon and pressure tuned or tilt?I will be using this for visual-at least for now.I have almost ruled out nightime astro photo due to the weather,so this may also rule out solar imaging as well.Any comments/experiences appreciated.

Edited by jetstream
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I have no experience but I've read that the Lunt 60mm is a real joy to use. In most reviews I've read, it seems that although the Lunt 35mm and Coronado 40mm are cracking entry level Ha solar scopes, if one can save up longer or is willing to part with more cash, the 60mm scope makes quite a significant difference.

The way I've come to understand this difference is that for a seasoned observer the 35mm ought to give 'wow' moments but may leave a casual observer a little 'flat' whereas the 60mm will give even the most hardened and cynical soul a gasp of wonder. Here's a nice review series on many things solar that might be handy.

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I have no experience but I've read that the Lunt 60mm is a real joy to use. In most reviews I've read, it seems that although the Lunt 35mm and Coronado 40mm are cracking entry level Ha solar scopes, if one can save up longer or is willing to part with more cash, the 60mm scope makes quite a significant difference.

The way I've come to understand this difference is that for a seasoned observer the 35mm ought to give 'wow' moments but may leave a casual observer a little 'flat' whereas the 60mm will give even the most hardened and cynical soul a gasp of wonder. Here's a nice review series on many things solar that might be handy.

That is exactly how I'd put it. I'm a provider so I need to cater for beginners as well as diehards and felt that the entry level Ha scopes might not quite 'wow' the beginners.

I think the larger blocking filter is needed for imaging. I'd advise it anyway to future proof yourself and have an eye for resale value.

I have the tilt tuner but rarely use it. Maybe the pressure tuner is more effective or maybe these scopes work best with the bandpass as tight as possible. Using the filter allows you to replicate the white light view, only in red. It kills the proms.

The double stack significantly enhances the surface detail but slightly dims the proms. For imaging it makes an even bigger difference. It's a lot to pay for a relatively minor gain but we all know about that little issue in astronomy! I don't have the double stack but would like the option. I've done a back to back and it certainly does lift the surface.

The standard cheapo Crayford is horrible and works for a few weeks before demanding constant fiddling. I must get round to hurling mine into a deep hole and buy a Baader or something.

Using a video camera means that solar imaging needs only a brief time window, unlike deep sky. In half an hour you can set up, grab some files and be done. Processing is fun, trying to blend proms data with disk and playing God by inventing a nice colour!!

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Tons of good advice to be had on this subject, but all lead to the same end. Buy the best you can afford.

I chose the Lunt60T pressure tuned with feathertouch and BF1200. No complaints at all and hundreds of wow moments. I added a 60f DS filter afterwards for even better views of the surface filaments, and can even put the DS filter and BF1200 onto larger scopes for a closer look.  

As Olly said, get the BF1200 no matter what other variation of scope you may choose. If you get the BF600 you will kick yourself later.

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Thanks people,I have some good direction now and can start lookig for a vendor-its hard to find them in stock,for the variant I think I want.Great idea about buying with an eye toward re-sale and it is also great to know that video imaging may opens some doors for me-pretty excited about that one!Gotta look at replacing the stock focuser -that kind of bugs me when a good product will have something like that hanging off it.Thanks again,going to go read Qualia's link....

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I only use mine for visual at the moment but do plan to image in the near future.  I have the BF1200 with this in mind.  I bought the standard focuser and regretted it almost immediately.  It wouldn't even hold some eyepieces still, forget imaging!  I upgraded to a Moonlite (and it looks cool!) but it would have been easier just to buy the Feathertouch in the first place.  A Baader steeltrack is a cheaper upgrade option.  I went for the tilt tuned and rarely touch it.  I've not tried the pressure tuned and can't comment on its benefits.

post-2973-0-07804000-1339056369_thumb.jp

Andrew

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I was in the exact same position as you are.  I decided on the 60 Lunt with B1200, tilt tuning and standard focuser.  As already mentioned, the standard focuser performed poorly.  I rebuilt it and this improved the performance considerably.  The main problem was that the flat surface on the focuser tube was not completely flat.  I filed it smooth/flat and then put it all back together carefully ensuring everything was tight and true.  It now works fine and can focus with binoviewers.  If you are not interested in rebuilding the focuser, buy an upgrade from the start. 

The views are great, especially in bino.  The difference between mono and bino is significant.

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If you are imaging then you will need the BF1200.

Again, if imaging, the single stack will produce better results. The double-stack narrows the bandwidth down a lot and you are seeing deeper into the Suns atmosphere. The single stack produced better images of the finer details in proms.

Personally, I think that the Feathertouch focuser is overkill on this scope, especially if all it is holding is a Barlow and small solar imaging camera. However, the standard GSO focuser is a piece of dross and has no place on a scope of this quality. I changed mine for a Baader Steeltrack which, for me, was a nice balance between cost and quality.

The pressure tuner gives a more even field than the tilt tuner. There's not much in it, according to reports, but the difference is noticeable.

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Hi, Gerry,

I also have a 60mm Lunt; I went for the B1200, but the regular focuser.

As above, the standard Crayford is just about adequate, if I am generous, but I would really have expected someting better for the quality of the rest of the scope.

Mine uses the tilt tuning, the pressure tuning option was announced soon after I took delivery. I do use it, to home in on different features, surface granulation is a slightly different setting to prominances, etc.

I note you are in Ontario,  Canada, there are some dealers there, though I think no-one stocks them. OPT in California used to keep some, but don't anymore.

I guess you have the option of purchasing direct from Lunt. Whoever you purchase through willl need to place an order on them anyway and if the dealer waits for a batch to be pre-ordered, then you might find you are waiting longer than you need to.

Lunt also do not keep stocks, but make to order with the usual backlog. If you are in a hurry, then there is the 60mm Coronado. I think the design was changed a couple of years ago and it now works the same as the Lunt. I could be wrong, so if someone knows a lot more about the Coronado, then please feel free to correct.

I took a look at the lunt site. Interesting to see the optional Feathertouch focuser costs more than SI sells them for... Either there is a very expensive adapter required, or the stock focuser is worth less than nothing...

If you ar esure you want the 60mm Lunt, then it's fine to start with the single, the B1200 should be the first priority for upgrade, then the pressure tuning option. Depending on what you want to do with EP's, imaging, etc. a focuser upgrade, but the Moonlite/Baader units described by AWR and Zakalwe sound better value and more appropriate.

Hopefully, one of them might post what's involved in the change to help with that decision.

Good luck and I am sure you will really enjoy the views. At the very least, we can be sure light polution will not be an issue!!

Gordon.

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Oh, yes,

sorry, missed one thing.

The "Optional" Televue Sol Searcher should not be an option.

You really need this, or a similar product, otherwise, you will spend time having to look at the sun.

Gordon.

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Hopefully, one of them might post what's involved in the change to help with that decision.

The details of my moonlite and some of the other focuser options I looked at can be found here:

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/152409-my-new-moonlite-for-my-lunt-ls60/

I'm reasonably certain that the Baader SteelTrack NT focuser for newtonians with the flange removed is the right one for the Lunt (this would make FLO cheaper than TS but I haven't had this confirmed!)

Andrew

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Thanks, Andrew,

While not overly impressed with the basic Lunt focuser, I was happy until I saw yours.

While risking a thread hijack, I can see an email to FLO very soon to upgrade mine.

I was wondering what to spend my spare money on, so thanks !!

Gordon.

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So, can anyone tell me now witch is the best 60 mm scope ; solarmax 2 60 =  lunt tilt tune 60 - or the lunt pressure tuned etalon 60?  ( or is this still a “ personal” question? Will Some have regrets if they go for a lunt, while others if they go for the solarmax 2? Or are they all good?)  its only for visual thanks! Sorry for this difficult question (?)

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On 1/1/2014 at 19:12, Zakalwe said:

Here's details on the Baader:

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/157674-replacement-focuser-lunt-l60/

The Steeltrack is very very close in quality to the Moonlites that I have on my other scopes.

Here is a pic of my LS60 double stack with the Baader NT focuser fitted

zz1zz.jpg.c124908213277df303a1c4ab97000020.jpg

I thought I read somewhere that the newer "Diamond" version does not fit the LS60 so you should check into that first before buying the new focuser. I agree with all other comments above that the standard focuser is a piece of trash capable of holding barely no weight at all !

You will also see that I have a "M90 rotator" for added tuning of the front mounted double stack 60mm etalon. You can get "more" from the surface by rotating the whole of the front etalon and stopping when you see the "max".

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p4295_TS-Optics-360--Rotation-with-M90-thread.html

I had a tilt tuned LS60 prior to this one and IMHO the pressure tuned version is much easier to use! (especially with the front mounted double stack etalon, the tilt tuner is harder to get good results with the front double stack fitted).

I would also make sure you get the 1200BF as it will be hard to sell a LS60 that only has a 600BF.

On a general note then I think that you cannot overstate the DIFFERENCE the double stack makes to the LS60. Its an apples to oranges comparison if you want to compare the solar surface on single with double stack. I NEVER USE SINGLE STACK.

A double stacked LS50 should beat a single stack LS60

A double stack LS60 will beat a single stack LS80 etc etc

If you go LS60 then DO NOT be tempted to put a 50mm front mounted etalon on the front, this is not a good scenario and basically you are turning your 60mm scope into a "LS50 DS50". If you go LS60 then only plan on mounting a 60mm front etalon otherwise you are wasting your money.

HTH & Good luck,

Alan

 

Edited by alanjgreen
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Agree with everything Alan has written about the Lunt 60. Only thing to add is I don't think the new NT Steeltrack focuser fits the LS60. I managed to track down the previous model being sold off cheap by 365 Astro. They may still have some in stock but this was 6 months ago.

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18 hours ago, alanjgreen said:

If you go LS60 then DO NOT be tempted to put a 50mm front mounted etalon on the front, this is not a good scenario and basically you are turning your 60mm scope into a "LS50 DS50". If you go LS60 then only plan on mounting a 60mm front etalon otherwise you are wasting your money.

All the DS images in my Flickr solar album were taken with a 50mmDS on 60mm PT Lunt scope. I agree that it is less than the perfect solution of a 60mm DS on a 60mm scope, however I wouldn't go so far as to claim it is a waste of money. I'd love to do a side-by-side comparison to see what the impact of losing the 10mm of aperture actually is.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjAQpKfG

A 50mm Etalon is a lot cheaper than a 60mm. I bought mine second hand and it was 50% of the price of a new 50mm Etalon. The increase in detail over the single-stack 60mm is mightily impressive

18 hours ago, alanjgreen said:

A double stacked LS50 should beat a single stack LS60
 

IIRC. the Etalon on the 50mm is a larger diameter than the Etalon on the 60. However, the bandwidth is not as tight (<.75 Angstroms compared to .70 Angstroms) which means that the 60mm will always show more detail. Again, I'd like to see a side-by-side comparison to compare and contrast.

Edited by Zakalwe
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Having owned several solar scopes from 40 mm to 80mm single and double stacked I would buy the biggest single over a double you can afford I double stack my Lunt 80mm but is it worth 2.5k to do so ummm I'm fortunate I can but I would def choose a single 80 over the 60 double it's a larger brighter image more detail the 60mm is a great scope but my two penny if you looking at double stacking buy secondhand I don't think the 60mm view double stacked for the same price as the 80 single is worth it in this country 

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