dSLR and EQ mount?
Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:39 PM
Would stepping up to a heavier EQ mount be better?
or what about just mounting the dSLR directly to an EQ mount and use a low power finder scope to manually guide?
I'd like to eventually like to add a motor to the mount, but to keep the rig minimal and light weight, I'd like to be able to track manually (something I've never done before). I'm a videographer by trade so I'm very used to tracking and looking through viewfinders for extended periods of time ...
Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:34 AM
c) iirc forum rules prevent posting pictures that do not belong to the poster (including mfg photos) - it would be nice if it were possible to include a quick snapshot of each mount imo.
So here goes:
1) Vixen Polarie US$430 - 4 track rates
2) Vixen GP2 Photo Guider US$1,100 - complete with wedge, tripod
3) Kenko Sky Memo US$800 - two versions, R and RS (adds 4 track rates)
4) AstroTrac US$580 - 3 track rates
5) Losmandy StarLapse US$700 - 9 track/pan rates
6) TOAST Pro US$1,100 - 2 track rates
7) unitec SWAT-200 US$1,000 - 6 track/pan rates
8) Sightron nano-tracker US$250 - 5 track/pan rates
9) MusicBox EQII US$250 - mechanical wind-up tracker!
10) eyeball CD-1 US$435
11) Pentax O-GPS1 (technically not a mount, but it tracks! ) US$200 - useable on some Pentax DSLR
12) PanHeadEQ US$550 - 6 track/pan rates
13) Takahashi Teegul Sky Patrol III US$1,300
14) Takahashi PM-1 US$3,200 - 5 or 7 track/pan rates, multi-configuration GEM, 2nd version PM-1XY
15) Orion Min-EQ Tabletop EQ manual drive US$70, drive motor +$80
16) iOptron SmartEQ GOTO GEM US$399, complete with tripod, US$60 polar scope optional
17) iOptron SmartEQ Pro US$499 - metal gears ,polar scope, guide port
Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:19 AM
Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:44 PM
Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:10 AM
Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:11 AM
Many people figure they want an entry level mount and think they will keep the investment small, then after their first successful shot of M42 they are bitten hard to find the faint stuff and photograph it. This will most likely involve getting a more substantial mount than they first anticipated. Be sure you get what you need to keep yourself happy for at least a year or two.
Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:32 AM
Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:04 PM
the Ioptron Skytracker ...
This so far is tops on my list. Includes a polar scope and has a higher weight capacity than the Vixen Polarie.
Cost is probably more of a factor then portability, so a used CG-5 at $450 is attractive. I also like the Astrotrac but it would be close to $800 after adding the polar scope. The Vixen Polarie is $650 with it's scope but the capacity is a bit too light for me (4.5 lbs). But Ioptron's Sytracker, at $350 with a polarscope and a 6.6 lbs capacity seems like a no-brainer for my needs. I just wish there were some reviews or peoples' pix taken with this gear -- just about to pull the trigger ...
Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:09 PM
Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:16 AM
Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:31 AM
or for a $100 more, the Pro with a guide port, metal gears and polar scope
I know I'd be better off in the long run with a real GEM goto mount in regards to being able to mount an OTA in the future.
Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:29 PM
Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:01 PM
Ordered iOptron's Startracker ... on sale on their website. But, then they say that they won't arrive until the end of November. I was hoping to have it for the Thanksgiving holidays in the dark skies of the western carolina mountains, dang.
Taken delivery yet? Have you tried it out? UPS tracking says the iOptron Skytracker that I ordered will be delivered today, so I am anxious to try it out. FWIW, I wanted something relatively portable to go with my DSLR gear, which I usually take on trips (avid photographer). Adding the tracking mount to my DSLR gear, which always includes a Manfrotto tripod and ball head (or two), will allow me to expand my day, so to speak, to include the night sky when I'm on a trip. Just as an example, a trip to southern Utah would have been even more fantastic if I'd been able to shoot wide field Milky Way shots with backgrounds of the Utah red rock country. Ditto for about anywhere, of course, but the portability of it can't be beat, IMHO.
Looking forward to trying it out and posting some shots.