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Celestron CG-4 vs. Skywatcher EQ-3-2

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#1 Franky

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 03:27 AM

Hello everyone.
So here I am with new dilema... I am looking for mount to use with my Meade 5000 ED APO 80mm. I found Celestron CG-4 and Skywatcher EQ-3-2 in my price range, and both seem very similar. EQ-3-2 sells for 205€, while CG-4 sells for 265€.

Do you have any experience with these two, please? They have same payload of 8kg, both come with tripod. From the images I've see, CG-4's tripod seems sturdier, but images can lie. Are there any other differences? Sturdiness, quality, reliability, comfort of use, etc? Is CG-4 woth 60€ extra?

My setup weights approx. 4,5 kg, so there is a reasonable reserve. Do you think CG-4's sturdier mount will make difference with 4,5kg setup (if it is any sturdier, at all)?

Thank you guys so much for your advice, I really appreciate any help, as I really have no clue.

Thank you once again, wishing you clear nights
Frank.

#2 rmollise

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:26 AM

Hello everyone.
So here I am with new dilema... I am looking for mount to use with my Meade 5000 ED APO 80mm. I found Celestron CG-4 and Skywatcher EQ-3-2 in my price range, and both seem very similar. EQ-3-2 sells for 205€, while CG-4 sells for 265€.

Do you have any experience with these two, please? They have same payload of 8kg, both come with tripod. From the images I've see, CG-4's tripod seems sturdier, but images can lie. Are there any other differences? Sturdiness, quality, reliability, comfort of use, etc? Is CG-4 woth 60€ extra?

My setup weights approx. 4,5 kg, so there is a reasonable reserve. Do you think CG-4's sturdier mount will make difference with 4,5kg setup (if it is any sturdier, at all)?

Thank you guys so much for your advice, I really appreciate any help, as I really have no clue.

Thank you once again, wishing you clear nights
Frank.


These two mounts, the CG4 and EQ3 are made by the same people, Synta, and are usually nearly identical. Choose the one with the best price and most accessories (drives, etc.).

#3 Franky

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:59 AM

Thanks for your valuable advice Rod. It seems that they are shipped with different tripods (see attached pictures). From a mere picture it seems that CG-4's tripod is more rigid and sturdy, but it can be hardly claimed with confidence when all I have is a set of pictures :shrug:

Can anyone comment on the stability of these tripods? As Rod said, is all about price and accessories now, so in my case, the better tripod wins the deal. But which one is better? :help:

Thanks, Frank.

Attached Files



#4 Franky

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:00 AM

Here's picture Skywatcher's EQ3

Attached Files



#5 hapo

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:55 AM

CG4 as a whole mount, as it is shipped by Celestron, is more stable than the EQ3-2. And that is due mainly to the tripod. The CG4 looks nicer too. I have the Omni XLT 150 on the CG4 mount and I can say that it is sturdy and well mounted on the CG4 mount, no flexes at all and vibrations from focusing are almost nonexistant. My C8 on HEQ5 has more vibrations than this 150mm newton on CG4. I would go with the CG4.

#6 Franky

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:19 AM

I kinda had that feeling Hapo. I am very happy you reassured me in this and helped me with the choice.

Thank you very much for your valuable help,
Frank.

#7 groz

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 12:36 PM

Our eq3 came with the sturdy tripod pictured above with the cg4. We got the 'neq3' variant, complete with synscan, packaged with the 127mm mak, our first telescope. We've bought a _few_ more scopes and mounts since :) heq5, eq6 etc.

I've compared the cg4 in the local telescope store with our eq3. The mount heads look identical except for paint, to the point I believe most/all parts would be interchangeable.

Ours is a very solid mount for visual use, tracks exceptionally well for visual. We only upgraded because we bought bigger/heavier telescopes for photography, and bought an heq5-pro and eq6-pro to carry those. We use the eq3 for visual stuff still, while the others are taking photos.

I'm on the road right now, but if you are interested, drop me a pm, and I'll see about taking a picture when I get home tonite.


#8 Franky

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 01:10 PM

Groz, thank you for your reply. I am more or less firm to buy CG4, due to its sturdier tripod (actually it is the one you've got with your EQ3).

I'll let you know how it all ended and how I liked the mount :)

See you, Frank.

#9 groz

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 01:17 PM

The part numbers and accessories tend to change from area to area with the skywatcher stuff, but in our part of the world, the -2 variation (also called neq3 in some places) means it has the sturdier tripod. Mileage may vary in your part of the world.

Either way, they are pretty much the same mount head, and if the pricing is similar, the one with the better tripod is the one you want. If they have the same tripod, then I'm partial to the skywatcher brand, but that's a personal preference, simply because we have a closet full of them. In our case, the eq3 is outfitted with the synscan, so interchangeable hand controllers between the 3 mounts is a huge bonus for us. If we are out on a 2 week trip into dark areas, and one hand controller starts to act up, we sacrifice the one on the visual kit, to keep the photography kits running. Been there, done that, saved our bacon on the holiday once before.

#10 Eddgie

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 01:21 PM

An important difference not mentioned (At least I didn't see it). The EQ3 mounts do NOT take a Vixen style dovetail (unless they have changed them very recently). The rings screw to the tabs show in the photo above.

Some of the older EQ4s did not take a dovetail either.. The newer White CG4 should all take a standard Vixen Dovetail.

Jus thought I would mention this in case you are buying used.

MOST people prefer a mount that takes the Vixen Pattern dovetail, so if you are all but firm, this should hopefully give you the concrete info you need to PLACE THE ORDER.. LOL...

#11 hapo

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:22 PM

The EQ3-2 mounts from Sky-Watcher take the Vixen dovetail at least from 2005 (when I first bought an EQ3-2 mount).

#12 neptun2

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 03:27 PM

About the tripod - it has 2 versions. The steel tripod shown with cg-4 on the picture looks the same as the tripod used with heq5 and eq6 mounts. It is much more stable then the aluminium tripod shown with eq3-2. As far as i know some time ago eq-5 was also sold with the aluminium tripod and but this changed and it is now sold with the better steel tripod. So it is possible that the latest eq3-2 are also sold with the steel tripod but i can not confirm that because i only have heq5 and have seen new eq5 also with the steel tripod. Anyway - get the mount with beter tripod. If the tripods are the same i would go with the skywatcher because of the better price for practically same mount.

#13 Eddgie

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 03:56 PM

My bad... Last time I saw one from Orion it did not have a dovetail saddle. Sorry for mis-information.

#14 Franky

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 04:26 PM

Thanks everyone for valuable advice!
I'll check what tripod is actually supplied with eq-3. If it is the sturdier steel tripod, then I'll change to EQ-3 as it is 60€ cheaper. Same mount, same tripod, 60€ off = clear deal.

I will also check whether they accept the vixen dovetails.

The information you gave is very helpful for me, so thank you all one more time!

BTW, I plan to use this new mount with my Meade 5000 ED APO 80mm. Does it use what you guys refered to as "vixen dovetial". Or in other word, will it be compatible with either of these mounts?

Thank you and wish u a beautiful day,
Frank

#15 Joe Aguiar

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 05:56 PM

I had both mounts untill i soldit last month.
Both the mount are identical in every way.

There sis only 2 things the CG4 has over the EQ3.

1-vixen dovetail on the cg4, where the eq3 has a plate that you must attcked rings & they stay with the mount.

2-The cg4 has 1.75" stell legs where my eq3 has the alumimum.

It will come down to price i have seen a eq3 with alumimum legs & a single axis drive with hand controller selling on canadabuy&sell for $125cdn or $100us so you cant beat that.

The alumimum legs are not that bad but its nice to have a much heavier legs & vixen bar is handle though.

I dont think Celestron should call this a CG4 though because its not a true CG4, they should have called it CG3.5.
Also a think a 6" reflector should be on a real EQ4 or better EQ5 mount not a eq3 type mount even with the better legs.

Joe






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