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#1 rg55

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 06:38 PM

I'm looking for an alt-az mount that I can use for telescope-DSLR photography, astro- and terrestrial. The astro would *not* be for long exposures. The mount would need to accommodate up to a 5" Orion mak and Canon XSi with minimal shake.

This isn't a request for an offer of something to sell...just trying to research my options re: makes and models.

Thanks, all!

Richard

#2 Patrick

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 08:42 AM

The astro would *not* be for long exposures.



I assume by this you mean you don't plan on a tracking mount. There are a number of choices out there for alt/az mounts that would meet those requirements.

Astronomy oriented mounts might include these:

AT Voyager Mount
Orion Skyview Pro AZ Mount
Orion Versa Go Mount

If you go the more traditional photo gear route this tripod/head combo could work well:

Bogen 475B Tripod with Bogen 501 HDV Head. I have this setup and it's wonderfully versatile.

I would throw one caveat into the mix. Any physically short, but long focal length instrument like your 5" Mak is going to be somewhat challanged on any alt/az mount particularly for astronomy where you're using both axes simultaneously. For terrestrial, there's not much up and down movement, but astronomy is all about looking up.

Patrick

#3 rg55

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 08:51 PM

Patrick,

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my message. It so happens that I have the 501HDV head, but I've been using it on a Manfrotto 055XB, which is not a heavy duty tripod. I'm very interested in the Bogen that you mentioned. Do you think that it would be able to handle the mak and a C80ED on occasion (not at the same time), attached to a DSLR?

I'm also open to something like the AZ mounts you've listed, but I don't believe they would be as portable as the option above, without folding tripod legs? I would love to do more nature photography with the small telescopes as telephotos, but have to keep the kit as light as possible to get to where the action is.

Thanks for the information. I'm usually over on the cats & casses, glad I stopped by here.

Richard

#4 David Pavlich

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 09:44 PM

The astro would *not* be for long exposures.



I assume by this you mean you don't plan on a tracking mount. There are a number of choices out there for alt/az mounts that would meet those requirements.

Astronomy oriented mounts might include these:

AT Voyager Mount
Orion Skyview Pro AZ Mount
Orion Versa Go Mount

If you go the more traditional photo gear route this tripod/head combo could work well:

Bogen 475B Tripod with Bogen 501 HDV Head. I have this setup and it's wonderfully versatile.

I would throw one caveat into the mix. Any physically short, but long focal length instrument like your 5" Mak is going to be somewhat challanged on any alt/az mount particularly for astronomy where you're using both axes simultaneously. For terrestrial, there's not much up and down movement, but astronomy is all about looking up.

Patrick


Hey Patrick...not to hijack the thread, but I haven't seen your smiling avatar for a while. Everything ok?

David

#5 gnowellsct

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 09:45 PM

Get an SP then you'll have a mount that will work as Alt-az or German equatorial

super polaris in alt-az

#6 rg55

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:56 PM

Hmm...this complicates things, gnowell!...more choices! :question:

#7 GaryML

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:20 AM


It so happens that I have the 501HDV head, but I've been using it on a Manfrotto 055XB, which is not a heavy duty tripod. I'm very interested in the Bogen that you mentioned. Do you think that it would be able to handle the mak and a C80ED on occasion (not at the same time), attached to a DSLR?

I'm also open to something like the AZ mounts you've listed, but I don't believe they would be as portable as the option above, without folding tripod legs? I would love to do more nature photography with the small telescopes as telephotos, but have to keep the kit as light as possible to get to where the action is.


I have a 501HDV head that I use on a Manfrotto 028B tripod with my binoculars, and it is rock solid. I think it would be fine for astro use with a load of up to about 10-12 lbs. (The Manfortto 475 has similar specs.) For photographic use, you could easily go up to 15 lbs. and still use slow shutter speeds without camera shake.

For astro photography, you're probably better off with a GEM, especially if you use a telescope that is f/10 or slower (like most Maks). I'll defer to those with more AP experience than me to make recommendations.

#8 Patrick

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 01:07 PM

Hey Patrick...not to hijack the thread, but I haven't seen your smiling avatar for a while. Everything ok?



Yep...been on vacation, and now back to work. :smirk:

Do you think that it would be able to handle the mak and a C80ED on occasion (not at the same time), attached to a DSLR?



What Gary said. I'm not sure how much a C80ED weighs, but keep in mind that the physical length of the scope is going to come into play at some point. The Mak is probably a little shorter than the C80ED, so vibration at the eyepiece may not be as significant. Throwing a camera on the end of a longer scope will tend to increase the vibration, but how much?? Don't know. You might have to try it.

Patrick

#9 rg55

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 09:29 PM

At this point it looks like I'll be examining the tripod you mentioned and the Orion/WO alt-az units. I'll report back when I commit myself!

Thanks again for the input...

Richard






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