Coronado SolarMax III 70 Double Stack F/5.7 solar telescope with 15mm blocking filter


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This 70mm Coronado SolarMax III 70 DS RichView tuning solar telescope has dual etalons for both <0.5 and <0.7 Ångstrom passband H-Alpha solar observing and binoviewing. Its large 15mm clear aperture blocking filter provides excellent imaging with large chip DSLR and CCD cameras . . .
Our Product #: SM7015DS
Coronado Product #: 324006
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Product Description

This Coronado SolarMax III 70 DS Hydrogen-Alpha solar telescope by Meade is "double-stacked," with two filter etalons for increased contrast of solar disk features. The primary 60mm etalon uses Coronado's unique RichView tuning system. The removable second etalon threads onto the front of the scope giving you the ultimate solar view.

Double-stacking the etalons improves the scope's already outstanding resolution and contrast by cutting the single etalon model's narrow <0.7 Ångstrom passband to a very narrow <0.5 Ångstrom. Narrowing the passband improves the contrast and visibility of subtle disk features, although it slightly reduces the brightness of prominences. For maximum prominence brightness, the front etalon of the SolarMax III 70 DS can be removed to let the scope function as a single etalon solar scope providing a <0.7 Ångstrom passband. The 15mm clear aperture blocking filter is designed for binoviewing and imaging with large-chip DSLR and CCD cameras in both single and double etalon configurations.

The Coronado SolarMax III 70 DS is designed to do much more for you than merely show you sunspots, as an ordinary white light solar filter can. The SolarMax III 70 DS will reveal the ever-changing tapestry of prominences leaping off the edges of the solar disk, the explosive upheavals of flares on the face of the Sun, and the subtle mottling of granulation across the face of this nearest of stars. And it will let you image all of it in exquisite detail.

The three-piece solar filter consists of a 60mm primary etalon, a second 60mm etalon at the front of the scope, and a 15mm clear aperture blocking filter in the scope's 1.25" star diagonal. The dual-etalon "double-stacked" solar filter has a <0.5 Ångstrom passband, centered on the 6562.8 Ångstrom H-Alpha line. The very narrow passband width gives you higher contrast on disk details than a single etalon system, with only a slight reduction in prominence brightness. The filters are thermally stable, so there is no drifting off the H-Alpha line as the filters heat up during extended use.

The 15mm clear aperture of the blocking filter built into the star diagonal is designed to provide full disk views of the Sun for visual use and is well suited for binoviewer use and for imagers who need a wider illuminated field for use with DSLRs and larger chip CCD cameras needing a long back focus. It is better suited for binoviewing and larger format imaging.

The joint action of the individually tuned etalons lets you observe Doppler-shifted solar activity with exceptional finesse and subtlety. This lets you determine whether Doppler-shifted features, such as flares, are moving towards you or away from you as they leap off the surface of the Sun. No other commercially available H-Alpha telescope can provide the tuning range and accuracy of the SolarMax III DS. Now you can tune for the highest contrast views of active regions, flares, filaments, and other surface detail at a finger's touch, then quickly and easily re-tune for prominences on the solar limb.

The SolarMax III 70 DS has a new two-speed rack & pinion focuser which creates a more user-friendly interaction with the telescope. The two-speed, 2” focuser has both coarse and fine focus controls allowing the user to get a more precise focus, critical for both solar imaging and visual observing.

A Coronado Cemax 18mm 1.25" eyepiece is standard equipment. You can use most 1.25" eyepieces with the Coronado SolarMax III 70 DS, as well. Any good quality 50° field Plössls will work well, as their contrast is generally good and their fields are wide and flat. For optimum solar detail, however, consider adding a 12mm (33x) or 25mm (16x) Coronado Cemax eyepiece to your system. Like the supplied 18mm, these Coronado eyepieces use an anti-reflection multicoatings formula that has been optimized for the highest possible contrast during solar viewing of subtle prominence and surface detail. For still higher power views, consider adding the Coronado Cemax 2x Barlow to your system. Like the Cemax eyepieces, its performance and coatings are optimized for solar observing.

A hard carrying case is standard equipment to transport and store the 70mm Coronado SolarMax III DS. A 1/4"-20 thread tripod adapter socket is built into the scope's dovetail. The supplied Coronado Sol Ranger Sun Finder makes it easy to center the Sun's image in the eyepiece. The Sol Ranger connects to the supplied SolarMax III DS mounting rings as can be seen in the image above.

Tech Details

Aperture 70mm
Binary and Star Cluster Observation No
Focal Length 400mm
Focal Ratio f/5.7
Galaxy and Nebula Observation No
Lunar Observation No
Weight 8 lbs.
Planetary Observation No
Resolution 1.93 arc seconds
Warranty 1 year


Review by:
I've had this now for almost two months and couldn't be more pleased. Despite the ongoing issues with Meade I decided to take the plunge anyway. I've had a PST for a long time and enjoyed it but I wanted better views. Scope arrived in great packaging and the included case is beautiful. Scope looks great, but the real payoff is the performance. Out of the box it only took a few minutes to setup, find the sun, focus (need to pull out the diagonal drawtube several inches), adjust the front Richview tuner, then tweak the front etalon tilt tuner to get rid of the ghost images. Didn't need to mess with the second etelon tilt tuner at all. Despite the lack of current solar activity the views are still worthwhile. Sharp surface granularity and enough prominences to enjoy. Can't wait for increased solar activity in the coming months and years. The scope weighs right at 10 pounds with included eyepiece, so you will need a solid mount. (Posted on 2/12/2020)
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Supplied Accessories

This very high quality 70mm solar telescope features an 400mm focal length, f/5.7 focal ratio, 10mm blocking filter, and 60mm external Hydrogen-alpha Etalon double-stack with T-max Tuner. Includes mounting rings, Cemax 18mm eyepiece, Sol Ranger solar finder and black & gold aluminum hard carry case.