on 10 January 2012
I was almost put off buying one of these fantastic scopes because of the one star rating from the other daft review which isn't actually about the product itself (or anything worthwhile for that matter). I took the plunge and bought one of these mainly on the strength of the images that are available on youtube and google.
I can honestly say that the scope more than lives up to these. I had reservations because at 40mm, this is a small aperture scope but of course the sun produces plenty of light so the detail is very good. Prominence arcs can be seen easily with good surface detail, you can buy a double stack add on for even more surface granularity but I wouldn't bother unless you're really serious. I also wouldn't bother splashing out expensive high end plossl eyepieces for this scope since it works really well with much cheaper Kellner eyepieces.
There is a built in solar range finder for finding the sun in the sky (I'm serious, it's harder than it looks without it) which makes locking on a doddle. What isn't included and is worth getting is a sun shield for the PST, you can get these from most astronomy and photography outlets. This creates a shadow over the eyepiece so that in really bright conditions there is no external light pollution. It's not absolutely essential but I think it's a very very useful add on.
The scope is pretty light and will sit with no problems on a reasonable quality photographic tripod with a quarter inch thread.
All in all a low cost, enjoyable and effective way to look at our very own star. You'll see far more with this than you will with an add on filter for a regular telescope.
on 25 May 2012
Nothing quite like this for the money. Stunning views of the sun and easy to use although it does help if you are familiar with telescopes in the first place to get the alignment and focus right. I had been using a regular refractor telescope with a Baader Solar Filter which shows you sun spots and the some surface detail (but not much). You really need one of there guys to view solar flares and prominences. They truly are a wonder to behold.
Agree with not blowing a fortune on expensive eyepieces for use with this one. The cheaper ones provide perfectly adequate views. A solar shield is a must though for keeping the glare off especially and freeing up your hands. Disagree with the guy who says that you can just use a towel, that is missing the point, the solar shield is much more effective and they are washers to buy.
It's maybe not the best for solar photography although some guys out there have come up with ingenious ways of adapting webcams and the like to the adapter socket to allow proper focussing. The Solarmax range is better in this regard but they cost way way more to buy.
All in all, there's not much else to touch this telescope at the price.
on 15 March 2012
I have read many of the reviews here and to be honest even though i never bought mine here, i have had it out to view the Sun with at every opportunity. It isnt going to give you the magazine views you see in the astro mags. But if you have never seen prominences or solar flares before, this is the telescope for you. It is pricey, but an investment. Don't worry so much about the eyepieces that come with it, i use a 6mm TMB ep which is fantastic you get a decent size sun in the same FOV.
I would not bother with the solar sheild (i have one buy never use it). You will find a towel handy though. One thing i have learned from mine, i want the next stage up. There is no telescope like it for the price which will afford you views of the Sun (safely).
on 26 January 2014
I purchased a Coronado PST a few months ago given that the sun was set to reach solar maximum at the end of 2013. I am absolutely delighted with my purchase.
Now, don't think for a moment that the images of the sun delivered at the eyepiece are anything like the processed photographs you find on-line: they are not.
Through a regular PST the sun appears as a blood red disk. Surface "mottling" caused by solar convection cells is visible, but not well contrasted in my experience and requires some concentration to resolve. I understand that much more of the fine surface detail can be observed by fitting a secondary HA filter or "double stacking" the PST. That said, sunspots appear very sharp, are well contrasted, and stand out prominently on the sun's surface.
Where the PST truly excels is in showing details of beautiful solar prominences. My very first view through the eyepiece was a jaw-dropping experience as I observed a large prominence arching away from the solar limb into space. Tuning the PST's etalon will allow you to quickly draw out more contrast between either the surface detail or the prominences on the limb.
The focus knob is small and a little fiddly-so I purchased the dedicated replacement manufactured by CMC. This simply fits over the existing focus knob and is secured in place with a small grub screw; no further modification is required. Admittedly this was a slight extravagance-but I do not regret the purchase as it makes focussing the PST much easier and is a nice addition to the overall appearance of the telescope.
The supplied 20mm Kellner eyepiece is disappointing and I would advise upgrading to a better quality eyepiece as soon as funds allow. I find that a 12mm plossl and 2x Barlow work very well with the PST. This telescope seems very easy on eyepieces, and I am sure that more experienced owners than me will have clear opinions on the best ones to use.
Imaging the sun through the PST with a DSLR is a challenging task due to the limited back focus-but it is possible and I have not given up!
The PST is a fantastic telescope and is a great introduction to solar astronomy. This is an addictive hobby and I am confident that I will get many years of enjoyment from mine. It is very rewarding to offer the eyepiece to family and friends and to observe their reaction when they see the sun in a way they have never seen it before: "oh wow!" are usually the first words followed with a big grin. Go on-push the boat out and get yours...welcome to the sunny side :)
on 19 December 2010
The Amazon ad. for the PST does not state:
1. Whether there is an eyepiece included,
2. IF there IS an included eyepiece what is the magnification ???
3. If a CEMAX eyepiece at around GBP 80 has to be purchased as well, the the whole PST is not worth considering. Too costly.