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twelly27

Lunt 50mm/60mm comparison

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Hi everyone!

Ive been thinking about getting a proper solar scope for a while now. 

basically id like to know the differences if any, either how large or how small they are between a 50mm and a 60mm lunt solar scope. 

so any info, opinions etc would be very much appreciated

thanks

Chris 

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Good question. My own Lunt LS60 was damaged in an accident so I'm wondering about the 50 instead. It's a lot cheaper! On the face of it I wouldn't expect a huge difference visually and the shorter focal length of the 50 would make it easier to capture full disk images on smaller chips - and most of them are small.

I hope someone will have tried both and comment.

Olly

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Thats what i was thinking, there cant be much of a difference, hence asking, i dont want to be spending about £1500 for a small difference. im hoping someone will bring up double stacking aswell havent a clue if i need it for imaging 

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You might be better served by purchasing a Quark and fit it to a 80mm-100mm achromat around F5-F7. Double stacking is of great benefit to imaging the Sun.  :smiley:

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This chap has had and compared just about every solar scope going. I don't see a direct comparison between the 50/60 on his site - but if you send him an email I'm sure he'd send you some sound advice. My 60 has the 1200 filter and d/s and it's superb for viewing but not tried imaging yet. Soon I'll get chance to compare the 50/60 side by side when my buddy gets his 50. :)

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They use similar etalons, the 50 has a helical focuser, the 60 a Crayford.

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I have a good 40mm Coronado PST and a good  Coronado SM60, the SM60 is noticeably better than the PST, I would expect the Lunt 60mm to be proportionately better than the Lunt 50mm.  :smiley:

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It struck me while doing full disc single tile imaging on hols with my SolarMax 60 that I was not pushing the 60 to the max and really a 50mm should do about as well for detail (unless you were using a huge chip or tiling and using a strong Barlow), so I was tempted to downsize it to the Lunt 50. Smaller, compact, lighter.

My own plan is to go Quark only, I like the idea of keeping the SolarMax 60 but it's not been getting the usage it deserves since I got the Quark, part of the problem being I adore my Tele Vue 60 scope and the Quark in it treads on the toes of the SolarMax 60 more than I was expecting.

Mean pants me, out of the 50 and 60, I would get the 50 as it strikes me as being the better bang for buck.

Edited by Luke
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No complaints from me about the Lunt 50 (Used single stacked).  I speak as an observer only, and have never done a side by side comparison.

The true joy for me of this scope is keeping the image scale down and sharpness of features as high as possible, its then I have done 1 hour almost non stop viewing. 

I like the views it gives at ~ x 23 which gives you a nice balance.  

However this scope is more than capable of useful magnifications into the high 40's - 50.  I do this type of observation on interesting features on both disc and limb. However I find this type of viewing is never sustained for long periods of time. 

I find that for night time planetary viewing & solar, sacrificing image scale for sharpness is much more important.  

Given my own personal viewing habits each 25mm of aperture gives a very comfortable & sustainable ~ x12.5 view, with that in mind it makes me want a Lunt 80 more than the Lunt 60, a Lunt 100 more than an 80 etc etc.  

Very addictive...be aware :) 

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Hi, is the lunt 50 mm 400 BF and lunt 16 mm eyepiece a good choice for visually use? Or do you prefer the fiews of the coronado PST? Thanks!

 

 

 

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Chris,

I am sure either would serve you well.

Solar is an expensive business! So the key is get a setup that will last you out. If you have to sell it and buy another then it can become a very expensive ride...

You are getting what you pay for in either case, Lunt are NOT ripping people off on the LS60! 60mm gathers 44% more light than the 50mm. That makes for a much brighter image and allows greater magnification. 60mm comes with larger blocking filters than the 50mm if I remember correctly.

Dont get hung up on the one focuser over another. This seems that part of the scope where Lunt look to save some money. The LS60 focuser, its not very good (cheap chinese affair) and I certainly wouldn't hang expensive photographic equipment off it. I replaced mine with a "Baader NT" focuser.

If you intend to double stack later then the extra 44% of the LS60 will make all the difference. I think the LS60 will be a more future proof way to go. Double stacking is a whole new ball game and the views reveal much much more detail - there is no comparison.

The LS50 can be double stacked with a DS50mm front lens. The LS60 can be double stacked with either DS50mm or DS60mm front lens. There have been people dissatisfied with the LS60 double stacked with front 50mm due to severe drop in brightness. As I say, the 60mm gives much brighter image. I have a LS60 with DS60 double stack and its gives excellent detailed solar views. I have no plans to upgrade from here :)

If you want to save some money then look for a good second hand deal on an LS60 pressure tuned model.

Alernatively, look into a Quark solar eyepiece - but beware their quality is inconsistent and you may have to return several before you get one that actually performs to the quoted level. For this reason I would avoid the Quarks unless you are buying a second hand "known good one"!

 

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
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I would love an LS60, but in double stack mode it is around £4,000. For most observers, that's simply unaffordable. And no point trying to save some money by getting the 50mm double stack unit - may as well get the LS50 in double stack mode and save yourself £1,000. That's what I have and it's a great little 'scope. But the focuser is poor, so may need to factor in that added cost.

Very good advice from Alan though. Try and get the package you'll want to keep. Upgrading at a later date is expensive. 

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While it's important to heed the advice given by others about resolution, image brightness and future proofing, may I just add that the sheer wonder of observing the sun through any solar scope is a magnificent experience. And to be able to do that as regularly as our weather conditions allow; to see the ever changing details with one's own scope is even better.

So if your budget is restricted be aware that you'll still get masses of enjoyment from wherever you enter on the "Solar Scope Sliding Scale". Clearly, a double stacked 60mm or bigger would be lovely. But not everyone has those funds.

The little Lunt LS50 we bought gave fabulous views that fascinated us. Even though it wasn't Double Stacked and had it's idiosyncratic Helical Focuser those things were forgotten as we observed. So, if funds allow, do consider the larger apertures. But be aware also that you'll get tremendous views from whatever you use, be it a White Light setup, a PST or a Lunt 80mm...

Ed

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Although reluctant to do so (Heheh) I sense that owners of 60mm
Lunts seem to produce rather better images that I do. Or at least at
less effort? The 60's more standard focuser makes it more versatile
re. Barlowing etc.. Though I have never felt "ruined" by the latter.
But I am (and still remain) of LIMITED budget re. Solar Scopes! :p

In similar way, I LOVE my 66mm APO, but sense owners of 80mm
APOs make rather better images. (Also a ratio of ~1.2x diameter).
But I did buy a 66, 'cos it was a fair bit LIGHTER for Grab & Go! ;)

NO shame involved. But with these smaller apertures,
I sense "every little helps"... *IF* you can afford it? ;)

I have always like to TRY a wide variety of (imaging) 
rather specialise (invest) in one particular field too. :)

Edited by Macavity

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On 2/21/2015 at 13:56, twelly27 said:

Hi everyone!

Ive been thinking about getting a proper solar scope for a while now. 

basically id like to know the differences if any, either how large or how small they are between a 50mm and a 60mm lunt solar scope. 

so any info, opinions etc would be very much appreciated

thanks

Chris 

I have used both.  I moved my Lunt 50 on for the 60 for a few reasons.  It depends a lot if you are visual only or intend to image.  The stock helical focuser on the 50 is dreadful in my view for an OTA of that level and as result partly of efforts from folks on this forum a Feathertouch upgrade is now available.  There are well documented issues in focussing a camera chip with the stock 50 focuser.  In my case it was lack of in-focus and the only way round it was to image through a Baader Hyperion EP connected directly to my DSLR.  The 60 package although more expensive is a much better option.  You get a better focuser and the option when purchasing to have the B1200 (12mm) blocking filter which improves your imaging options considerably.  With the B1200 BF the views through the 60 are much better than the 50.  Whatever you choose make sure you get the PT version for superior contrast performance.

Another point, getting such scopes is often a bit difficult and I would imagine the upcoming eclipse may have affected that too.  Always check items are definitely in stock before parting with your money. Good luck.

Edited by Owmuchonomy
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Hmmmm.

if you're not interested in obtaining "Solar Image of the day/ week/ year" then there are a few options available.

For the past ten years the PST has been a relatively cheap option for visual solar work....It will show the prominences  and the Ha filaments as well as being easy to use.

The Lunt 50 when launched was as an alternative to the PST......

Double stacking and larger apertures is always great for solar - but at a cost which may be beyond the average amateur.

Solar observing is unique - seeing the Ha features is absolutely amazing!!! If you can get this experience with a PST or Lunt 50 then think seriously about it.

 

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Hi,

Anyone use a Baader Maxbright binoviewer with a Lunt LS50THA? - and if so what GPC & eps do you tend to use? I have read comments that the LS60T is better for reaching focus with binoviewers? (aside from being brighter)

Cheers,

-Niall

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Niallk, the Lunt blocking filter can slide out a couple of inches on top of the out focus available from the focuser so there is plenty of adjustments available to get focus.

i use a x1.7 GPC with the ls60 and markV binos.

you just need to be prepared to replace the stock focuser as they are not very good. I certainly would not trust expensive binos plus two nice EPs to the standard Chinese focuser on the ls60 so I swapped it for a Baader focuser.

a disadvantage of the ls50 is the lack of focuser alternatives available except for the expensive feathertouch. Or did someone mention that moonlight are making one for the ls50??

 

Alan

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@alanjgreen Thanks again for the great feedback :thumbsup:

Right now, an LS50THA, B600, LS50C, and FT focuser upgrade is what is on my 'wish list'.  I think the 60mm version is more than I can justify (although hung for a sheep as a lamb comes to mind...).  Ordering from the US, taking advantage of exchange rates, and taking a chance on customs would be the only way.  Right: so what do I sell?!!!

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7 hours ago, niallk said:

@alanjgreen Thanks again for the great feedback :thumbsup:

Right now, an LS50THA, B600, LS50C, and FT focuser upgrade is what is on my 'wish list'.  I think the 60mm version is more than I can justify (although hung for a sheep as a lamb comes to mind...).  Ordering from the US, taking advantage of exchange rates, and taking a chance on customs would be the only way.  Right: so what do I sell?!!!

Exactly what I eventually ended up with, LS50THA, B600, LS50C, and FT focuser upgrade took a lot of saving for the upgrades. The double stack/focuser for imaging has made a big difference!

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Faciating thread chaps.

Basic basic question though... for visual observing, what is the difference, other than a heap of cash, is there between BF500 and BF600 and  BF1500?

Paul

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Basically you are looking through a bigger window. It's not quite the same but it's like comparing say a plossl with a BST with an ethos. There won't be a difference in the quality of view but I have been advised against changing my BF5 in my Coronado PST mod as the BF5 is based on various visual tests, sharper in binoviewers than the BF10 and BF15.

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That said, I got a set of maxbrights, a few pairs of eyepieces and a couple of GPCs for the price of a new BF10 and I'm very glad I did!

 

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I suppose the most perplexing thing about (many Lunt) solar
scopes is the presence of these off-axis HALOS on the image?
Rather than worry anyone (or myself!) I show a Gong example:

gonghalo.jpg.a1b5a701ffac778ea650c8c1c0ebcb15.jpg

Anyone know the WHAT/WHY of this particular phenomenon?
I am extremely reluctant to start messing with the innards. lol
However you describe it there is a left/right gradient (halo)! ;)

For me, this "feature" manifests when I "crank up" the gain to
show the prominences. Maybe additional aperture *helps* with 
Signal to Noise ratio in eliminating them? But ALL the Pressure
Tuned scopes might be potentially prey to this? As with most of
my scope limitations, others might rush to demand exchanges,
whereas I (as characteristically British) "make do & mend"? :p 

Our UK dealers are great! But we are (both) a long way from
"Lunt Central". Exchanging "solar technology" seems a fraught
and a lengthy process. I both admire and "resent" [teasing!!]
our U.S. buddies on their third or fourth (e.g. Celestron C8) to
ensure they get a "good one"! And whither the "bad" ones? :D  

To SOME extent, one has to be "pretty amazed" (reading
the spec of solar scopes!) that such technology is available
to Amateurs. Budget and Tolerance are coupled variables!
At the cost of a Lunt 50 I am happy enough. For a bigger
aperture Lunt I might not have been so accommodating?

KUDOS to ALL fellow "Solarites"! I feel it is not an *easy*
area of interest to pursue. My scope benefited from a fair
bit of "tuning" and is certainly much improved compared
to first light. Though ANY upgrade remains expensive... :) 

Edited by Macavity
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Could be internal reflections? It looks a bit like the image from a double stacked scope where the DS hasn't been tilted enough. I also got similar effects when the ERF in my PST mod was not tilted and positionined correctly. 

Re. The original question. I would take a double stacked PST over a naked Lunt 50 every day. The lower band pass of the PST DS shows noticeably more detail than the Lunt (0.5 vs 0.75). Sure, image is darker due to the reduced PST aperture, but well worth it imho. The other nice thing about DS units is that you can take them off and enjoy enhanced proms.?. My 100mm PST mod is awesome on the proms but only 1 angstrom so surface detail is a bit limited (needs more fetling to get it bang on).

When the money allows I'll be heading for the Lunt 50 with DS unit rather than a naked Lunt 60.

Paul

PS. I am visual only.

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