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Buzzard75

Lunt LS80THa and eyepieces/accesories

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So I finally took the plunge and purchased a solar scope. I chose a dedicated scope over the Quark for ease and timeliness of setup and not requiring a power supply. It just seems more convenient. I talked myself up from the 60mm to the 80mm. I will mostly be doing visual observing for personal use and public outreach with the club. I will probably do a little imaging from time to time, but not my main focus. I'll also eventually get the DS etalon to add on at a later date.

In any case, does anyone have an recommendations for good eyepieces or other accessories to go along with it? It's new so it will come with the solar finder and the Lunt 7-21mm zoom eyepiece all in a nice carry case. For the time being, it will be mounted on my iOptron SkyGuider Pro. Should be able to handle the weight for visual observing no problem. Is the eyepiece that comes with it satisfactory or do you recommend something better? Would I benefit at all from something like a really nice fixed focal length eyepiece and Barlow or is that pushing the limitations of the scope? I have a nice TV Delos 10mm, but I fear that might be a bit too heavy for standard Crayford focuser. What combinations have you found to give you the most pleasing views of both the full disc and individual features?

Look forward to hearing more about your visual setups!

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Posted (edited)

Hiya and congratulations on your purchase 😀 I found the Vixen SLV eyepieces the best performers, I used the 9mm for the 60mm Lunt so maybe a slightly lower power would be more appropriate for the extra focal length of the 80mm. They are also extremely light so will be fine in your focuser. 

Edited by Pig
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Posted (edited)

The Vixens mentioned above are great, having said that, once you've used your Lunt zoom eyepiece for a while i can almost guarantee it won't leave the scope. It is a great eyepiece and 

maintains good image quality throughout  its range, i tried several different eyepieces but the lunt zoom ended up winning a spot on the scope. As for nothing things you may want? i really

really recommend some sort of sun shield, i made one out of sturdy cardboard and use an alligator style clip to clamp it to the dovetail bar. it makes observing so much easier and comfortable.

A sun shield will keep stray light away from the eyepiece and also keep the sun from cooking your face, sunburn comes easily when you're distracted for long periods looking through the eyepiece.

Don't forget the sunscreen also! i noticed early on that a solar scope keeps you in the sun a lot more than you may have normally been exposed.it will invite you outside a lot, especially when you're new to HA, you must 

take into account how much more than usual you may be exposing yourself to UV in the open sun.

 

I tried to get rid of this blasted double spacing which only i seem to suffer from, with no success

Edited by Sunshine
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8 minutes ago, Sunshine said:

The Vixens mentioned above are great, having said that, once you've used your Lunt zoom eyepiece for a while i can almost guarantee it won't leave the scope. It is a great eyepiece and 

maintains good image quality throughout  its range, i tried several different eyepieces but the lunt zoom ended up winning a spot on the scope. As for nothing things you may want? i really

really recommend some sort of sun shield, i made one out of sturdy cardboard and use an alligator style clip to clamp it to the dovetail bar. it makes observing so much easier and comfortable.

A sun shield will keep stray light away from the eyepiece and also keep the sun from cooking your face, sunburn comes easily when you're distracted for long periods looking through the eyepiece.

Don't forget the sunscreen also! i noticed early on that a solar scope keeps you in the sun a lot more than you may have normally been exposed.it will invite you outside a lot, especially when you're new to HA, you must 

take into account how much more than usual you may be exposing yourself to UV in the open sun.

 

I tried to get rid of this blasted double spacing which only i seem to suffer from, with no success

Good to know about the eyepiece. I haven't even looked through it yet, but was mostly curious what others thought of it. Will save me some money there I suppose.

I just saw someone posted a shade for sale over in the UK. I hadn't even thought about it, but I can see how that would help. I can certainly make one out of cardboard or a cereal box.

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I have an LS50 and I invariably use an Opticstar XL 7.2mm-21.5mm zoom eyepiece. For I while I had a Lunt zoom, but the contrast was not as good as the Opticstar.

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I strongly recommend using your zoom alone, for a while at least. If you later feel a need for something else then is the time to think about it. 

Eyepieces are a very subjective topic but from what I read the Lunt zoom is no slouch. Take your time with that wonderful scope, enjoy and have fun ... 🤗

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As mentioned a zoom works very well, I've used the Baader and Leica zooms in my LS60DS the most worthwhile upgrade I've done is add a Moonlight focuser with a manual motor focus unit, especially useful for outreach where folk want to adjust the focus to suit their eyes, with your head under a hood you can make fine focus adjustments without touching the scope.

Dave

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Before I converted to binoviewing for solar I always used a zoom eyepiece, so easy to set just the right magnification for what you wanted to examine.    😎

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Baader or Leica zooms 😁😁.

I find that having the ability to tweak the mag really makes the difference for solar viewing. It is worth spending a little more to get Baader 8-24 with its gourmet coatings. They are generally a bit better corrected than the 7-21mm designs for solar viewing. Some Astro designs don’t worry too much about spherical correction to the edges (stars & DSO don’t have spheres to bend!). You soon get annoyed when the solar disc looks like a rugby ball.

I’d stear clear of the Delos lineup. These are my absolute favourite eyepieces for night time. But, for some reason they seem to be a very sensitive to eye placement during Solar observing. Ethos work well though.

Here is my old solar setup with a pair of Baaders:

8DB62545-1535-4441-8025-8602E4F6FC98.thumb.jpeg.486a87a09649cbc3ac11a8255b850c2c.jpeg

That is a cracking scope. Looking forward to reading your First Light.

Paul

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22 minutes ago, Paul73 said:

Here is my old solar setup with a pair of Baaders:

Where have those sunny days gone ? :hmh:

Dave

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14 hours ago, Sunshine said:

I tried to get rid of this blasted double spacing which only i seem to suffer from, with no success.

If you press Shift ^ while hitting Enter, for a new line, the double spacing is gone.
I asked the same question only recently.
So now I can pass on my good fortune to another.  :thumbsup:

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I found I only used the Lunt Zoom to start and then it gathered dust until I sold it, the tunnel like views at high low power settings kind of bugged me, and at higher power the SLV’s where much better. 

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Got it today and by the time I got setup the sun had gone behind a tree so didn't get to see much. Really hard to focus behind a tree and see any detail. But it seemed to work fine and everything was nice and smooth. My one complaint is this big scratch on the focuser. Not sure what caused it or if I should bother to do anything about it. I just racked the focuser out like the instructions said and there it was. No resistance on it or anything so I'm fairly certain it was there already.

IMG_20190110_171553.jpg

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Looks like there are a couple of other marks on the focuser body too? Is this a new scope?

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36 minutes ago, Moonshane said:

Looks like there are a couple of other marks on the focuser body too? Is this a new scope?

Supposedly. I pulled it out and looked at it again a little closer this time. I think what appears to be marks in the picture were just dust and reflections from the light directly overhead. It's pretty clean and it was packed in the case inside the original box INSIDE the OTHER original box with the original tape still intact on both boxes. That scratch along the focuser markings is certainly real though. The only other mark I see on the focuser itself is that one right behind the knob. That particular piece appears to be made of plastic and I believe it's from the molding. There's a circle on the opposite side that looked like it had some mold flashing at one point.

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What you see is typical tracking marks from the roller bearings in the Crayford.

Nothing to worry about, all Crayford show similar marks......

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9 minutes ago, Merlin66 said:

What you see is typical tracking marks from the roller bearings in the Crayford.

Nothing to worry about, all Crayford show similar marks......

But when it's brand new?

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Hmmm

I'd expect there may be minor marking from "factory testing"

The only new Crayford I bought was on a TS102 scope - a Baader steeltrack design....I've just checked it, it's about 5 years old - the track marks are visible but do not break through the anodising - just a faint visible mark.....

[edit] Tried to photo the faint tracks but they are too faint to show........

 

Edited by Merlin66
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I certainly wouldn't expect (or accept) that on a new scope, particularly one which cost as much as a Lunt 80! Those marks tend to appear after quite alot of use, and more often I think when the scope has been used by an imager who tend to have them tightened up alot more than you need for visual which outs more pressure on the bearings.

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The scratches do happen over time but I wouldn’t expect this on new scope and I wouldn’t accept it. 

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Sorry, but that is completely unacceptable in this class of instrument.
Where [on Earth] is their quality control? NO blemish is acceptable at this price point.
It should never have passed the first line of factory inspection let alone reached packing and dispatch.

I would not expect such markings on a dirt cheap, Chinese Crayford bought new.
I have had a dirt cheap one for ages, which has been much abused by trying to get it to lock securely.
Its bearing tracks are merely polished after several years. Certainly not worn!

My first guess would be yours had a locked up, bearing race which failed to rotate at the first attempt.
Which may speak volumes about their bearing sources or outsourced focuser assembly?
There are also marks visible on the focuser wheel, axle boss in the same image.

As a paying customer I'd be absolutely livid to be sent this glaring example of lack of care.
Ask for a fully inspected replacement. Or a full refund and look elsewhere.

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I'd ask for a substantial discount and put it towards a replacement focuser, a Moonlight or Feathertouch.

If the focuser on the LS80 is anything like the one on my LS60 it's nothing to write home about and worth upgrading.

Dave

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My Lunt 60mm has marks like that on the drawtube, present from brand new.  But it is not pitted or scratched - just a mark on the surface when the drawtube functions. Is yours actually a cut into the surface?

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4 hours ago, Rusted said:

Sorry, but that is completely unacceptable in this class of instrument.
Where [on Earth] is their quality control? NO blemish is acceptable at this price point.
It should never have passed the first line of factory inspection let alone reached packing and dispatch.

I would not expect such markings on a dirt cheap, Chinese Crayford bought new.
I have had a dirt cheap one for ages, which has been much abused by trying to get it to lock securely.
Its bearing tracks are merely polished after several years. Certainly not worn!

My first guess would be yours had a locked up, bearing race which failed to rotate at the first attempt.
Which may speak volumes about their bearing sources or outsourced focuser assembly?
There are also marks visible on the focuser wheel, axle boss in the same image.

As a paying customer I'd be absolutely livid to be sent this glaring example of lack of care.
Ask for a fully inspected replacement. Or a full refund and look elsewhere.

The mark on the focuser wheel axle boss appears to be from the molding process. I believe that part is made of plastic. I'm willing to let that one slide.

1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

I'd ask for a substantial discount and put it towards a replacement focuser, a Moonlight or Feathertouch.

If the focuser on the LS80 is anything like the one on my LS60 it's nothing to write home about and worth upgrading.

Dave

I got a pretty good discount on it at purchase. I've since contacted the store I bought it from and asked about the origin of the scope. They were closed for the day when I tried to contact them so I'm waiting to hear back from them now. As I said previously, all indications are that it was a new, in box item. All the orginal packing tape from Lunt on both boxes was intact. In fact, the shipping label to my house from the store I bought it from online was placed over top of the original shipping label directly from Lunt to the store. The Lunt-to-store label was on top of all the tape so I'm fairly confident it was an unopened item. I will most likely upgrade the focuser at some point though. The stock focuser works well enough for me and the mount and tripod I put it on is sturdy enough that the image doesn't bounce too much. A motorized focuser sounds nice.

40 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

My Lunt 60mm has marks like that on the drawtube, present from brand new.  But it is not pitted or scratched - just a mark on the surface when the drawtube functions. Is yours actually a cut into the surface?

I'm at work now and I'll have to look at it more closely with a magnifying loop when I get home, but I don't believe it's gouged into the drawtube. It appeared to just be the top layer of anodizing.

 

As I said, I did get a really good deal on it. I actually got such a good deal on it, the money I saved would pay for the Lunt feather touch focuser upgrade and then some. It appears to work correctly otherwise. I knew it was a good deal going into it so I was actually suspicious of it, but took the chance. For that reason I printed out the page listing just in case. My real concern is there were no indications on the website listing that it was a used, open-box or refurbished item. If it falls into any of those categories, it must be advertised as such. Again, other than this mark, it appears to be new. Whether they come back and tell me they did or didn't know about it, but are willing to do something, great. If they aren't willing to do anything about it, then we've got an issue. If they claim it was new and no fault of their's, then I'll go to Lunt as it should fall under warranty. If they claim it wasn't actually new and aren't willing to compensate somehow, then they're going to have a problem of the legal variety.

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I use the Baader zoom in mine. The Lunt is good but I tend to use the ED120 with Baader Herschel wedge alongside the LS80 and actually find the Lunt zoom works very well in that. 

Also one of the best I’ve used is my TV radian 10mm. 

Solar shield is a very good idea and I also made a large cover to allow longer sessions without frying. 

A great choice of scope but I would question the focusser marking with the retailer and seek a replacement. 

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