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mystarrymessengr

LUNT 35 BASIC PACKAGE HELP

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Dear Fellow Solar Imagers 

​A little advice and help needed please. 

I am a science teacher working in the west midlands. Last year our school received a grant to purchase a solar telescope. After much discussion I went ahead and purchased the Lunt 35mm basic model.  Since we obtained the scope, I have been a little underwhelmed with it's performance. 

I need some advice on this scope if anyone out there has this model of solar scope, as I'm at the point of thinking of selling it. 

Firstly, I know it's only a 35mm, but the size of the sun in the field of view is so small to really show it off to pupils. Is it suppose to be so small? I have used a PST before, and seem to remember the image being so much better and fuller in the PST model. 

I have tried a number of eyepieces in the Lunt and seem to find that the 10mm works best if at all. All other eyepieces that I use for my night scopes, 25mm, 35mm wide field, and even using a barlow lens all seem to make it impossible to view the solar disc. There seems to be a horrible sweet spot in all those eyepieces, and in 90% of them, it seems way to hard to even view the solar disc. 

Should i be using dedicated solar eyepieces for this scope (is this something that I am missing?) or can  I use traditional eyepieces for my night time astronomy? 

Would the image still be as bad and as small if I attached a web cam and tried to stream the image on a laptop screen?  

The scope is designed as a grab and go scope, which I'm really not seeing how this can be.  It's super hard to use on a standard camera tripod and only seems to keep the solar disc in the centre if it's tracking on a decent EQ mount.

Doing some online research, I can see that most solar scopes that give really great detailed images on the sun seem to be over the 80mm mark, but these also come with a heavy price tag too (which a humble teacher cannot really afford). 

Is there anything I can do? Any help please would really be appreciated, as I am thinking of parting with this scope if I cannot find a solution. 

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You can get a Quark chromosphere for about the same price as a Lunt 35mm, gets great detail but you need a scope to put it in.

Dave

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I started out with the basic LS35THa with B400 blocking filter and got good results. I used regular EPs between 24 and 7mm. I later used a zoom (7.5-22.5mm). The best results were at about 12mm. I later replaced the blocking filter with a larger one which gave better views, but our astronomy department now has my old configuration and is happy with it for visual.

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I am surprised you cannot get decent views with the Lunt 35. I have not used one but my pst provides great views albeit not as good as my pst mod.

At about 40x magnification I would expect you to see lots of detail. Are you using the tilt tuner effectively?

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Thanks all, for some excellent advice. 

I believe I am using the scope correctly, I'm just not that impressed with the view it is giving. It's really sensitive, once bump of the eyepiece and whole image is either out of focus or out of the field of view.

Supernova, when you created you mosaic, (which is amazing by the way), what camera / set up were you using? 

I am going to try a few different eyepieces and see if I can get a better image. I have looked at the lunt zoom eyepiece, which would cover the whole range, but it's rather expensive for what you get. 

Any eyepiece advice other than the ones I already own? for using the lunt?

Thanks

Ben 

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I have to agree with Michael. I own an LS35 and have found the views to be excellent. I'd also agree that the sweet spot is at about 12mm, this presents a large, full disc into the EP. I use a Baader Hyperion zoom in mine. 

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"I believe I am using the scope correctly, I'm just not that impressed with the view it is giving. It's really sensitive, once bump of the eyepiece and whole image is either out of focus or out of the field of view."

Hi Ben.  What you are describing here is a problem with the mount rather than the scope.    More money I know, but if you had something like a Vixen Porta mount with slow motion controls, your mount problems would be sorted. There are other similar mounts that would also be good.

I've had my Lunt 35 for over 5 years and always been impressed with the views.  Prominences look very similar to much more expensive Ha scopes, the main advantage to those being greater detail visible on the solar disc.

Regards, Ed.

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I use my Lunt 35 on an AZ4 - no need for slow motion controls. It is a nice stable mount though. I'd rather over-mount than use a camera tripod...

I also use an Lunt Zoom eyepiece, and as has been mentioned, find that the sweet spot is about 12mm. 

I did try some of my 'night' eyepieces too. I found some were very fiddly with regard to eye position, and my 6 and 8 mm were too high power. A 35mm wide field - isn't that going to suffer problems with the field stop? 

During the eclipse I got plenty of 'wows' from bystanders, so I'm surprised you're so unimpressed. I'm wondering what other problems there might be. I take it you're tuning the filter when you use it, too?

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Thanks all, for some excellent advice. 

I believe I am using the scope correctly, I'm just not that impressed with the view it is giving. It's really sensitive, once bump of the eyepiece and whole image is either out of focus or out of the field of view.

Supernova, when you created you mosaic, (which is amazing by the way), what camera / set up were you using? 

I am going to try a few different eyepieces and see if I can get a better image. I have looked at the lunt zoom eyepiece, which would cover the whole range, but it's rather expensive for what you get. 

Any eyepiece advice other than the ones I already own? for using the lunt?

Thanks

Ben 

Hi Ben,

I used the ASI130MM +B400 for the first image, and the mosaic was done with the DMK21AU618 with B1200. The latter was complete overkill, I could probably have done as well with the B400 given the tiny FOV of the DMK21. Visually the B1200 was also a bit over the top, but as I could get it secondhand for the price of a B600 I pounced.

Yoiu do need to tune the filter properly (with the little thumb wheel). Initially, mine felt a bit stiff, and I only turned it a little bit (to little effect). I later found I needed to apply a bit more force (just a little bit) to get the etalon to tilt over a significantly larger range, and reached perfect tuning that way.

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I've just brought one of these little Lunt 35's I've only managed to observe with it once but found the views to be very good indeed, when I wasn't battling the cloud. I used a Htperion zoom on mine & found that it worked fine. I haven't tried imaging with it yet & I don't know if I will but who knows.

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