The Solarview Range
Solarscope's dedicated solar telescope range is called Solarview (SV).
The take anywhere SV-50 has 50mm of unobstructed aperture which delivers a high contrast image full of intricate detail. Its larger brother, the SV-60, is still extremely portable and providess an extra 10mm of aperture in a slightly longer package. Although 10mm may not sound much, it means that the SV-60 has 40% more area than the SV-50 and delivers images which show even finer detail.
Both instruments have a focal ratio of f/8 giving the SV-50 a focal length of 400mm and 480mm for the SV-60. Basically, if you used the same eyepiece with both scopes, the SV-60 would give you a 20% higher magnification.
The additional tube length required for the SV-60 to achieve f/8 is provided by an extension piece which assembles onto the main tube body. This quick and easy to assemble extension, allows the SV-60 to be carried around in the same size carry case as the SV-50 while retaining its greater image scale.
The etalons used in both scopes have a bandpass of 0.7 Angstroms which makes them ideal for viewing both surface and prominence detail. All optical coatings are ultra-hard which means that they won't degrade over time like softer coatings can.
A thumbwheel tilt mechanism is provided to allow you to adjust the tuning of the etalon slightly. This may come in useful to study material which has been ejected from the Sun's surface at such a speed that the light it emits has been shifted slightly away from the main h-alpha wavelength.
The SV-50 and SV-60 come with a flexible mouting plate at their base. As well as having a number of standard tripod threads for direct mounting on a photographic tripod, the plates also fit the popular Vixen/Synta dovetail couplings found on many astronomical mounts.
Finding the Sun by just pointing the telescope by eye is a potentially dangerous exercise so every Solarview telescope comes with a simple to fit and incredibly safe Tele Vue Sol-Searcher solar finder. The tools to fit and adjust the finder are included in the package. Once fitted, the device allows a spot of sunlight to fall on a small circular screen at the rear of the finder. If the finder is aligned to the scope then positioning the dot in the centre of the screen means that the Sun will also be in the centre of the telescope's field of view.
Delivery of optics Solarscope ST 50/400 SV-50:
- Optical tube with 50mm aperture and 400mm focal length
- Etalon filter with FWHM 0.7 Å at 656.28 nm
- TeleVue Sol-Searcher
- Mounting rail Solarscope Universal Plate
- Carrying case with foam inserts fit precisely
Without a doubt, Solarscope currently produces the best solar telescopes and solar filters.
The definition and contrast provided by the Etalon filters are impressive, which in part may be due to the obstruction-free optics but, in my opinion, also has a lot to do with the quality of these filters. The face plates for the Etalon are polished to lambda 1/100 by Solarscope Ltd. - I know of no comparable manufacturer who does this.
The large 20mm aperture blocking filter is pleasant to use, as well as having a long focus travel - so that the entire Sun can be imaged with a DSLR camera without any vignetting. A 2X Barlow lens is recommended for higher magnifications or the use of a SPC900 or DMK camera.
Although the Solarview filter and telescope are more expensive than those with the same aperture from other manufacturers, they can be recommended without hesitation. You would have to buy a much larger and therefore more expensive filter to obtain the same image quality from other manufacturers.