Why solar? Well, I spent years of my life as a vampire. I finally got back onto a daylight schedule. I'm not up at night and there's really only one thing to look at.
Lunt had an edge on Coronado, particularly in regards to photography. I searched for the nearest Meade dealer and found Hands On Optics in Damascus, Maryland. I talked to Joe on the phone and he agreed with what I had already decided after a couple of weeks of reading: given my budget and needs the Lunt LS60Tha-B1200-FT was the glass slipper.
|Joe goes out on the limb|
My new telescope order is sitting in the queue at Lunt as I type this. In a couple of months (hopefully) it will be here. I also ordered the solar finder and dovetail. As for the tripod, I had originally planned on buying a Meade DS-2000 but Joe talked me into a Celestron CG-5 instead. So much for my budget. But after observing with his personal telescope I had a feeling I'd need something stiffer because of all the trouble I had seeing something in the eyepiece.
The problem is that I'm extremely nearsighted. My glasses are about -16.00/-3.75 diopters (both lenses). Even with the highest index resin available today (I can't remember precisely but I think they're Seiko's 1.74) the distance between my cornea and the front surface of the lens is almost 20mm! I had to take my glasses off and substantially refocus to actually see the entire disc. Even then I was seeing reflections on the surface of the eyepiece. Obviously I'm going to need some sort of hood. Photography may be less of a problem than picking a suitable eyepiece.
We'll figure that out when my new telescope gets here. Later on I'll be thinking about the pressure tuning retro-fit, better imaging, etc...