DayStar's new Camera Quark # DSZTNC turns your Nikon SLR lens into a Hydrogen Alpha Solar Camera or Telescope!
The new, all-in-one design of the Quark marries high quality components of a telecentric barlow, adapters, snouts (nosepiece barrels), and Daystar hydrogen alpha filter into one simple assembly. Through design efficiency and optimization, users can now enjoy the known high quality optics of DayStar at an affordable price on ordinary telephoto camera lenses.
1. How is this configured?
The DayStar Camera Quark has a Canon or Nikon lens mount and directly attaches to lenses on the front side. To use your telephoto lens as a H-alpha solar camera, simply attach your camera body to the rear of the Quark using the integrated camera body mount.
To use your telephoto lens as an H-alpha solar telescope, you need to remove the camera body mount exposing the integrated 1.25" eyepiece holder. Insert a diagonal and eyepiece (not included) into this holder to convert your lens into a telescope. Camera Quark accepts all of the universal DayStar Quark accessories so it may be used as a telescope with an eyepiece.
The entire setup is focused by focusing your camera lens. Using the zoom features of camera lenses allows you to explore wide-field to high-power views without changing the set-up or configuration.
The patent pending QUARK contains a custom Daystar Instruments 4.2X telecentric barlow teleconverter lens fully optimized in coatings and optical design specifically for the Hydrogen Alpha wavelength. Baffles have been added to increase contrast and AR coatings are optimized for the 656nm wavelength. This highly specialized telecentric lens offers superior field flatness. It's all combined in one lightweight device. Quark can now operate all day with optional small, palm-sized,battery pack. Note that all Quarks require a power source and time to warm up before you can view or re-tune the H-alpha filter.
2. Chromosphere or Prominence Model - Which one should I buy?
The H-Alpha Quark is offered in two versions - the Chromosphere Model (this item) or the Prominence Model (sold separately). With this, observers can buy a filter based on their desired observing goal. Either way, you will be able to see amazing, high-powered views of the Sun in H-alpha in the telephoto lens you already own.
- The surface or Chromosphere model contains an etalon with a bandpass in the range of 0.3 - 0.5 Å (angstroms). Choose this model if want to see details on the Sun's surface. The Chromosphere model will show the highest contrast on the solar surface, and will show some broad prominences, although not in detail.
- The Prominence model contains an etalon with a wider bandpass in the range of 0.6 - 0.8 Å. Choose this model if want to see prominences in all their fine glory. This model will show some surface features as well.
Note that the exact bandpass of the Quark you receive will be in the range mentioned above, but it can be anything within that range. For example, a Chromosphere Quark you receive might have a bandpass of 0.3 Å or 0.5 Å or anything in-between. DayStar does not mark individual units with their specific FWHM bandpass, and we cannot test and cherry-pick specific Quarks for customers.
Using DayStar's superior etalon technology, double-stacking is not required to reach narrow bandpass for chromosphere or prominences. If you have to choose one Quark, pick the Chromosphere model since it allows you to view a wider variety of solar features.
3. How do I use a DayStar Quark?
As mentioned above, just mount the Quark between your camera lens and camera body, warm it up, and enjoy low-powered views of the Sun.
The Quark requires a power source for operation and it needs to be plugged in and warmed up for about 10 minutes before you can use it. A wall-mounted AC adapter is included for this. They have even reduced power consumption, so the Quark can now operate all day off a small, palm-sized optional battery pack.
Note that changing the focus of the telescope requires the Quark to retune, and this again requires a few more minutes for the unit to stabilize before you get the best views of the Sun again.
4. Additional Specifications / Features
- Nikon style bayonet mount for snap-lock mounting to selected lens type
- Comes standard with corresponding Nikon style camera body adapter
- Focus and clearances are not guaranteed for 100% of Nikon or Canon style lenses
- Does not support auto-focus or electronic aperture control. No electronic pass-through
- Camera body and lens not included
- Requires USB power, 5v 1.5amp
- Includes reversible combination lens foot with 1/4-20 tripod holes and standard Vixen style dovetail mount for telescope mounts
- Includes 90-240V AC wall adapter with international plug adapters
- Includes additional focal extender spacer ring to ensure compatibility with a wide variety of lenses
- Includes 1.25" drawtube adapter
- Tuning knob allows wing shifting +/- 0.5Å with detents at every 0.1Å
- LED indicator for power, warming, ready, fault
- 5 year US warranty
- Optional 8-hour battery pack available
- Integrated, fully baffled 2 element telecentric 4.2X barlow optimized for 656nm
- Full disk viewing possible on lenses up to ~450mm focal length
- Ships in convenient twist-case for safe, dust-free storage
- Daystar recommends use of red, orange or yellow colored glass lens front filters such as Cokin, Hoya brand, etc. or similar on lenses above 80mm in aperture
- Diagonal and eyepieces not included
- Uniformity: SE (Standard Edition)
5. Important note about cosmetic finish of new Quarks
Please note that many new Quarks may have what some will consider to be a cosmetic blemish on the red anodizing on the Quark barrel. These artifacts (mottling) are a product of the anodizing process that DayStar uses, and they do not indicate a defective, used or blemished Quark.