Monday, May 5, 2014

Daystar Quark First Light(s)

I wanted to wait until I had had some time with the new Quark before I posted any thoughts . The one I purchased is the chromosphere model and I have used it two times now . This filter has a 4.2 telecentric barlow so I figured using this with my long tube refractors could be iffy . The solution was an Orion Short tube 80 . At 400mm F/L the Quark bumps this up to 1680mm . My Moonlight focuser's are easily adapted to other scopes so I mounted one of them to the new solar weapon .. This is the configuration I used  for the first images


I use my scopes more for imaging than I do for viewing but what I saw through the eyepiece was impressive , the field is quite narrow compared to my SM 60 but the details were every bit as good . where it exceeds the SM 60 is in the even lighting and absence of any sweet spot .


So far I have found this to be quite an imaging friendly filter . On scopes up to 80mm nothing else is required , just drop it into the diagonal and you are good to go . I tried using it with and without a 0.5 focal reducer on the camera and had no issues bringing the scope to focus . With the 4.2 built in barlow this does not cover too much area and gets you in pretty close so I wanted to see if a reducer would work for a more backed out view . Here are 2 images with the 0.5 F/R mounted to my DMK 21 

AR 2058 , 2060 with AR 2061 just off the limb

Where all the action is , AR 2055 & friends

Now a shot of AR 2055 without the reducer

Even though this is not the prominence model it doesn't do a bad job

For comparison I took many of the same shots using my SkyWatcher / PST mod . There a couple of things to consider here , one is that I have had more experience imaging with this combination and two is that the SkyWatcher offers has a 100mm aperture with more than twice the focal length . here are the comparison shots

I wanted to try the Quark in my SkyWatcher and removed the blocking filter and 2" to 1 1/4" adaptor and put the 2" diagonal and Quark in it's place so this image is my SkyWatcher / PST mod double stacked with the Quark at a whopping 3780mm focal length !! I am surprised it turned out as good as it did .

Note ; All images were done with a DMK 21 

May 16 update

I had another go with the Quark on May 13 . This time I removed the mod from my SkyWatcher 100 F/9 and used this scope with my DMK 31 for these images . Using this scope with the Quark and it's built in 4.2 barlow lenses  brings the focal length up to 3780mm and was pushing the scope to it's limits . These being test shots I did not worry about identifying  them .

My 2" Eyepiece Adapter

Daystar recommends using longer focal length eyepieces with the Quark . I have a couple of long F/L eyepieces but they are in a 2" format . I have always wanted to view the sun through a 2" eyepiece so I made a simple adapter so I could mount a 2" SCT visual back to my Quark and allow me to try 2" ep's with it .

Antares 2" visual back with the adapter

Assembled 2" adapter

2" Adapter installed in place of the original 1 1/4" one


Bill Griffith and Mike Bridges said...

Great write up Mike. I know that you put a lot of work in to this. Nice job.

Bill Griffith and Mike Bridges said...

Thanks Bill , I need some more time with this new product and am confident that I will get better at using it as I gain more experience .I have not found the optimum settings for the filter or camera yet . I am finding that I do not need to see as much detail in the live view to be able to pull it out in the processing . I had been a bit heavy handed with the gamma to bring up contrast and will lighten this up for the next test

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Michael said...

Thank you Mike for this very informative analysis! I have ordered the Chromosphere version and are on a wait list. I know it will work on my Orion ED80T without a ERF, but I would also like to try it out on my Williams Optics FLT132. Sean from Daystar indicated that I shouldn't need a ERF up to 150mm. Instead, he recommends using a IR/UV cut filter a head of the diagonal. DO you have opinion on this approach? Thanks, Mike

Bill Griffith and Mike Bridges said...

Hello Michael

Forgive me for not answering sooner , We have not had many comments here and I was not keeping up . Your Megrez will be an excellent choice and should do a better job than your 80 . My preferred scope for my Quark is my 110mm Megrez . I have used it with an IR/UV filter as suggested but I all ready had a 100mm Lunt ERF so I now use this ahead of the aperture .
Be sure to let us know how you like your new Quark , and if you have any more questions I will watch out for them .

Best regards

Steve Bowden said...

Brilliant review - I especially like the part regarding the modification for a 2" eyepiece - that could lend itself for my DSLR imaging. You could find a market for these ;)

Bill Griffith and Mike Bridges said...

Thank you for your comments Steve , I am glad that you enjoyed my review . It is my understanding that Daystar is now offering a 2" eyepiece holder for the Quark

Martin Cohen said...

Awesome work and research with the Quark. I am considering getting the newer Quark Combo, which does not use the built in 4.2x Barlow. It will allow you to create your own configuration with a Barlow of your choice. It functions best between F/15 and F/30.
I am curious how well it will show a full solar disk. Any experience?