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swag72

A terrible start with the Lunt LS60THa

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The highest magnification I ever used was with an 8mm though I did try higher. I tended to like a 10mm but we are 3000 feet here and the sun is bright, as it is for you.

Olly

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*groan* so do I go zoom or not? That's my dilemma in reality ......... 

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Lots of experienced solar types like a zoom. I tend to be wary of the number of elements they contain but I ùmay be fretting about nothing. Worth a punt?

Olly

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I just don't want to see eye lash shadows and half images as I have to move my head around..... I thought that a long eye relief EP would be good for this, but maybe I'm wrong :(

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I don't think I've ever seen my eyelashes or floaters in my eyes using a zoom on the Sun, unlike the Moon that needs a filter to cut down the glare.

Is it still your mum who will be using it mostly ? if so I would defo get the Baader zoom from FLO, never seen any complaints about it optically, the twist up eyepiece extender tends to twist right off if you're not careful.

Dave

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Having the same tilt tune LS60 I'd steer away from the idea of a Baader zoom. No disrespect to Dave or the Baader zoom but the LS60 seems focuser heavy to me and a great old lump of an eyepiece is going to mean balancing issues or tight mount clutches to compensate.

I would not get too hung up on eye relief Sara as Ha is totally different to night time. As mentioned before you have a tiny B600 or B1200 (you didn't specify) blocking filter meaning that if you don't get everything aligned perfectly your going to experience black outs. You can have an eyepiece with an AFOV of 100° but the blocking filter is restricting this to maybe 30-40° so if you don't get the sun dead centre in view and everything lined up including your eye to the exit pupil /eye relief of the eyepiece your going to loose sight of the sun. If you have long eye relief then your going to be hovering over the eyepiece straining to keep your head perfectly aligned. It can take a while to get used to with shorter eye relief eye pieces but when you do it all comes natural given you have eyepieces that suit you as we are all different.

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9 minutes ago, spaceboy said:

Having the same tilt tune LS60 I'd steer away from the idea of a Baader zoom. No disrespect to Dave or the Baader zoom but the LS60 seems focuser heavy to me and a great old lump of an eyepiece is going to mean balancing issues or tight mount clutches to compensate.

 

A nice front mounted DS etalon will balance it nicely :evil4:

Dave

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Hi

I'm another zoomer! Baadar Mk111 8-24mm with the 2.2x Barlow. Can't stand the thing for night use in any scope faster that Eric the snail ? ?. But it is super comfy to use. It beats the Delos range hands down!!! The Plossles (TV) shade it for quality, but the immersive view is hindered by my eyelashes and the odd blackout. This may be down to my unfortunate "nodding dog" technique of observing .....

I was also rather underwhelmed with th view through my PST until Moonshane & Co explained things. Now I am a dedicated  solar observer. Often with an ED80 with Lunt Wedge for white light side by side with a PST plus Double Stack unit for Ha. 

For the mount. It doesn't need to driven. Slow Mo controls are a must in my book. I use a Sky Tee 2 on a solid tripod. Probably overkill and heavy.

The SolSearcher will cure your finding woes in a heartbeat!

Looking forward to hearing how you get on.

Paul

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Hi Sara, I have the same LS60Tha and I am surprised you are having such a bad experience!

 

 I use many different EPs including an Orion 7-21 Zoom with no problems.

I made my own finder using a small piece of aluminium sheet, bend up both ends then drill a hole in one end, when you centre the sun mark the spot on the other end, it works with a cardboard version as-well.

I also made a screen from some foam sheet, just put it round the OTA and it will make a huge difference when at the eyepiece.

The main problem as you have already identified is the mount you were using, I piggyback (piggySIDE to be more accurate) on my main scope.

 

Keep at it, you will of-course get it right in the end, Solar is a fantastic part of passion, welcome to the light side!

 

David B.

 

Finder.jpg

screen.jpg

scope.jpg

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Sara, I haven't had my Lunt long enough, or used it enough, to give you any technical help, but for us early views were improved 500-fold by the additional of a thick black towel . . .

Ignore the mount in this picture, it was our first outing and I was using an iOptron SkyGuider.  Once was quite enough - although theoretically it can take the weight I wasn't happy with the ballhead and just didn't trust the setup.  I've now muscled in on husband's EQ5 Pro mount (needed a dovetail bar and chose to get a smaller counterweight rather than use the existing 5kg one at the extreme end of the shaft). Everything now feels secure and safe.

First light.JPG

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OK two Celestron XL EP's ordered from FLO - 18mm and 9mm....... I went for these more specifically due to the longer eye relief. Perhaps I am getting hung up on this, but I think it could be a deal breaker. The mount and Sol searcher has been paid for too, so in a few days I should get an interesting parcel or two ...... lets hope it all goes well. I will gladly tell the world if it all goes well on the second outing!

The idea of a dark towel or hood of some kind sounds like a great idea.

Thank you for all on here who have contributed and helped more than you will ever know :)

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There is a company in the US that make proper hoods for solar observing but they aren't cheap. I found a black T shirt handy. If you put your head through the neck then inverse the shirt over your head and hey presto you look a total plonka but your shaded from the sun and it's cheap as chips.

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I found a black T shirt handy. If you put your head through the neck then inverse the shirt over your head and hey presto you look a total plonka but your shaded from the sun and it's cheap as chips.

Great idea LOL.  I used to get really overheated with a towel over me, and anything smaller would fall off, so this looks a great solution, I must remember that if I ever do any solar again. 

Sara if you ever get lulled into taking photos of the Sun, I found focus the most difficult thing, plus reflections on the laptop.  So what I did was put the laptop inside a box upside down, i.e. the laptop is sitting underneath an open box, then I cut a slit at the top corner to look through, and a flap at the bottom so pass my hands under to get to the laptop keyboard.  Bingo, no reflections.

Carole 

Edited by carastro

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1 hour ago, spaceboy said:

There is a company in the US that make proper hoods for solar observing but they aren't cheap. I found a black T shirt handy. If you put your head through the neck then inverse the shirt over your head and hey presto you look a total plonka but your shaded from the sun and it's cheap as chips.

A black T shirt is good as you wear it normally when imaging and it doesn't reflect so much in the laptop screen and then stick it over your head for visual.

Dave

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1 hour ago, carastro said:

Sara if you ever get lulled into taking photos of the Sun,............

No, no, no , no..... absolutely not!!! :D 

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11 minutes ago, gnomus said:

Never say never .......

I predict ......

:D:D I'm telling myself that it's my Mum's scope ..... I really don't want to try it!!!

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6 minutes ago, swag72 said:

:D:D I'm telling myself that it's my Mum's scope ..... I really don't want to try it!!!

Just a laptop and a simple video camera ........ :evil4:

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1 hour ago, swag72 said:

No, no, no , no..... absolutely not!!! :D 

I am really looking forward to seeing your first Solar images :icon_biggrin:

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If you persevere it will come it took me a while to work out the fine tuning on theese solar scopes and just as night time seeing is important so is day time seeing I find ad others for the more simple eyepieces are best Orthos I really rate the Lunt Zoom as well and black cover is a must it really improves your view through the eyepice I'm glad I stuck with it even if it is costing me an arm and leg .

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I've now recommended this eyepiece on SGL many times, but it still stands - best zoom of the many I've experienced for ha solar is the Pentax XF 6.5-19.5mm. Great sharpness, contrast and flexibility - and very light. Only Eps to have produced even better views are TV plossls - 11mm & 15mm - but am sure the Celestrons will be very good too.

 

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16 hours ago, Highburymark said:

I've now recommended this eyepiece on SGL many times, but it still stands - best zoom of the many I've experienced for ha solar is the Pentax XF 6.5-19.5mm. Great sharpness, contrast and flexibility - and very light. Only Eps to have produced even better views are TV plossls - 11mm & 15mm - but am sure the Celestrons will be very good too.

 

How do you find it compares to the Leica Aspheric Mark ?

I use one on the LS60DS, a bit weighty but the DS balances it out nicely :grin:

Dave

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I have used the Lunt zoom in my solar scopes, but didn't get on with the shorter eye relief. The WO Zoom-II 7.5-22.5 seems to cover all bases in my SolarMax-II 60 (DS), and has more eye relief. It is no longer made, but a clone is sold by Omegon

http://www.omegon.eu/omegon-premium-7-5mm-22-5mm-zoom-eyepiece/p,33244

 

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8 hours ago, Davey-T said:

How do you find it compares to the Leica Aspheric Mark ?

I use one on the LS60DS, a bit weighty but the DS balances it out nicely :grin:

Dave

Dave - the Leica is by far my most used EP for night time observing but I only rarely use it for solar for two reasons - it's just too heavy for my puny set up - photo tripod and mini giro - and I find the Pentax XF zoom is just as good for solar - and TV plossls best of all. 

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