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Celestron VX mount

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#376 munchmeister

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:37 PM

I use a Canon 5D MKII with a Canon 70-200 2.8L, 300 2.8DO and a 400 5.6L. I did get the Vixen Polarie tracker but it wasn't up to snuff. The VX mount is a bit more for a more substantial platform.

The reason I asked is I've never seen it used like I want to.

Yes I do want to get a proper scope down the road but didn't want to dive right in as such. A Edge HD 8 is on my list.

As noted above, all you need is a Vixen style mounting bar with a 1/4-20 hole in it, which most have, and you can then mount any DSLR with lense in place of a telescope. What you might have problems with is getting the go-to aligned. Most alignment procedures generally rely upon a scope with one of the steps being to center the star that the alignment procedure goes to, in the center of the eyepiece. Even with live view, without some kind of finderscope, you'll have a tough time, unless you are shooting a wide field view and just want to get in the general vicinity with your framing of the subject(s). Live view is almost worthless for finding your targets, IMHO. And unless your camera has an LCD that articulates upward to let you see it, you'll have to be on your knees most of the time trying to find something. You can add a computer to the mix, sending the camera view to the computer screen. This also lets you use some of the software that aids in focusing. Or, connect your mount to an iPad or iPod Touch and Sky Safari. Haven't tried that but it might work well.

If the Polarie was not "up to snuff" you might look into the Kenko Sky Memo tracker or the Losmandy StarLapse system, which are much beefier that the Polarie or the iOptron SkyTracker, the new kid on the block. The Kenko and StarLapse should handle much more weight but finding and framing your target(s) are still somewhat of a challenge (at least for me :p ) YMMV.

#377 GTBaker

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:27 PM

Thanks. That's the exact info I need on the dovetail. I don't have an issue of looking at the LCD I just use a mirror. After using the Vixen I think I'm done with those type of trackers. I think I'll order my VX mount this weekend.

So to do an alignment I can pick any 2 bright stars far apart from each other?

Here is the only shot I was kinda of happy about out of the tracker. It was from my backyard and the LP was bad.

Posted Image

Larger size.

Camera...............Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Exposure.............15 secs
Aperture..............f/3.5
Focal Length........200 mm
ISO Speed...........640

#378 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

Even with live view, without some kind of finderscope, you'll have a tough time, unless you are shooting a wide field view and just want to get in the general vicinity with your framing of the subject(s). Live view is almost worthless for finding your targets, IMHO. And unless your camera has an LCD that articulates upward to let you see it, you'll have to be on your knees most of the time trying to find something.


You should clarify that you are specifically speaking about the Canon live view. The live view with Micro Four Thirds Cameras can allow you to select the shutter duration of the live view.

For Panasonic cameras you can select anywhere from 1/1000th of second to 8 seconds for the live view. At ISO 12,800 that is plenty to see even some of the darker objects.

With the Olympus OMD EM5 you can select a specific shutter duration up to several minutes like a Malincam. You can also select intervals where it will show you periodic updates where it shows you the integral of what it has imaged so far. That is a great way to figure out where the sky back ground begins to over expose. You can set it to show you a live view update every two seconds and just stop it when the sky begins to bloom.

I know that Canon cameras have been considered to be the only DSLR cameras worthy of doing AP for a long time. That is starting to change now. There are other options out there.

#379 R L Harris

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

Astro-Tech 8" AT8IN Imaging Newtonian
How do you like this scope and is push pull on rear cell
easy to use for collimation

#380 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

Are Micro Four Thirds cameras actually usable for astrophotography these days? I have a Pen E-PL2 which, while a nice little camera, is absolutely swamped with noise and banding at exposures of 30 seconds and longer.

#381 Raginar

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:43 PM

Astro-Tech 8" AT8IN Imaging Newtonian
How do you like this scope and is push pull on rear cell
easy to use for collimation


I love mine. The springs are weak on the primary mirror and it benefits greatly from bob's knobs. Otherwise, it's a joy. It requires good collimation however; you'll see I was lazy in many of my older pictures.

#382 morecoffee

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

mpgxsvcd,

Was it the Olympus OMD EM5 or the Malincam you were talking about the where you can select intervals where it will show you periodic updates where it shows you the integral of what it has imaged so far? That is a nice feature I have never heard about before. Thanks in advance.

#383 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:17 PM

mpgxsvcd,

Was it the Olympus OMD EM5 or the Malincam you were talking about the where you can select intervals where it will show you periodic updates where it shows you the integral of what it has imaged so far? That is a nice feature I have never heard about before. Thanks in advance.


The Olympus OMD EM5 is specifically the camera that will let you pick what integral time you want. My understanding is that the Malincam does something similar as well though. I will find out when I try out the Malincam for the first time tomorrow.

Micro Four Thirds has come a long way in the last half decade. The original Panasonic G1, GF1, and Olympus EP1, EPL1, EPM1 cameras were not much better than the original 1st series Rebel cameras. However, the latest Olympus EM5 and GH3 cameras use sensors supposedly built by Sony that resemble the ones in the NEX and Nikon D7000.

I had the GH3 for a couple of months before I had to send it in for repairs. They are shipping me a new one next Tuesday so hopefully I will get to try it out again before the moon comes out for most of the night.

My camera is the only one that has had an issue like this so I wouldn't worry about any defects in other cameras.

Olympus and Panasonic do not market their cameras for AP at all. However, Panasonic built in camera RAW stacking into theirs and never mentioned it at all. I just discovered it one day and was blown away by its potential.

I am not saying that Micro Four Thirds is the end all be all. However, it is so much better than it was before that it must be at least considered now especially when its live view is completely usable for all situations.

I had no issues at all with aligning, centering, and imaging objects when I had the GH3. It simply did everything I needed a camera to do.

The biggest thing for me is that Micro Four Thirds does everything that any of the Canon cameras can do and so much more that they can't do. The noise on the GH3 and EM5 is definitely better than even the T2i. They also have the crop video modes for Planetary that Canon has except for the GH3 modes are truly lossless crop modes unlike Canon that scales even in crop mode.

Nobody is going to run out and trade their Canon gear for M4/3s gear all of a sudden. However, if you are deciding on what equipment to get started with m4/3s should at least enter the discussion especially if you want to do AP without needing a computer or any wired connections.

#384 iceblaze

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:18 PM

OK Guys & Gals,

Let's keep this on topic in regards to the Celestron VX.

Thanks,

-James

#385 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:21 PM

Are Micro Four Thirds cameras actually usable for astrophotography these days? I have a Pen E-PL2 which, while a nice little camera, is absolutely swamped with noise and banding at exposures of 30 seconds and longer.


I have the GF1, GH2, and GH3(coming back next week) and the GF1 and GH2 are just like your E-PL2. The GH3 uses an entirely new sensor that is more like the sensor in the D7000 or the NEX cameras. Noise is better than even a T2i with the GH3 and the features it has like built-in wireless and in camera stacking make it the best camera for AP that I have tried so far.

#386 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:22 PM

OK Guys & Gals,

Let's keep this on topic in regards to the Celestron VX.

Thanks,

-James


Sorry, I just answered a couple of questions and I won't say anything more about it.

#387 R L Harris

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

not trying to be of topic!
just wanting to Know if this mount and 8" newtonian
will give me what i want for visual and astro photography
or should I get atlas mount and 10" newtonian

#388 rmollise

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:10 AM

Going to the 10-inch will have one major effect: less field. Smaller objects will appear larger. If that's what you want, go for it. Otherwise, the 8-inch will be much easier for a beginning imager to handle.

#389 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 04:57 PM

I find it instructive to read about people planning to put some pretty big telescopes on this small, inexpensive mount and even trying to image with them. It makes me think I should concentrate on doing the best I can with my G11 instead of imagining ways of overturning heaven and earth so I could afford an Astro-Physics mount.

#390 chasdz

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:06 PM

Are there any more hands on reviews under dark skies out there? Lots of box talk and speculation . I've ordered mine and like to know it was a good choice or not.

#391 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

I have one and have had a lot of fun with it. The Celestron ASCOM driver works well. This mount comes with The Sky X first light edition which is nice to have. I already own the Pro version which I have also added the T-Point addon. I spent an evening making a 100 point pointing model for it just because I could. I had a 30 pound Meade 10" ACF on it and it zipped around without complaint. The pointing even without or I will say "prior to" the Tpoint model was really good placing objects well within the FOV of whatever I had on the back such as my DSLR, my Orion SSAG or a 20mm 82' eyepiece. So far I have found nothing to complain about and I LOVE to complain. For $799.00 it is everything it should be and more. I plan to put a 8" or maybe a 9.25" EdgeHD SCT on it eventually.

#392 chasdz

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

Iv'e owend a lx200 for years. It was time for something new. I'll be using a Meade 8" ACF on it with a Orion ED80t CF sitting side by side, hope this will work for some good AP.

#393 powerstroke01

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:04 PM

First weekend with the mount. I'm in love with it!

Some pics taken with it.
http://www.cloudynig...5674602/page...

#394 chasdz

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:08 PM

Great pics !
Thanks for your replies.

#395 186vett

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:30 PM

Wonderful pics! Thanks for the post!
Jerry

#396 Ben B

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:20 PM

The counterweight hitting my altitude adjustment screw issue I briefly mentioned earlier is more of a problem than I thought - I can't use GOTO without babysitting the altitude screw and rotating it to the horizontal position temporary then tightening it back. And of course the mount likely shifts a bit when doing that throwing off my alignment off.

Here's a picture of the clearance between the counterweight and my altitude adjustment screw under optimal conditions: http://www.flickr.co...ing/8453228753/

And here's a picture of how they contact when the declination axis rotates at all so that the flat side of the counterweight isn't directly facing the screw: http://www.flickr.co...ing/8453229061/

I've put an email in to Celestron's support to see if they offer any suggestions. Does anyone else have ideas to workaround this? Things I've thought of so far but don't really like are attaching more weight to the telescope so I can slide the counterweight further down the shaft and cutting the altitude screw to a shorter length but losing its rounded top in the process.


I just wanted to reply that with the help of Celestron's tech support I've realized that it is possible to adjust the mount to any altitude setting and have the front screw always end up in the horizontal position, thus eliminating any issues with hitting the counterweight.

You can tighten the front altitude screw until it's just snug or you can continue to tighten it a bit more, raising the altitude. So by varying the amount you turn the front altitude screw after it's snug and careful adjustment of the rear screw, you can always end up with the front screw horizontal.

#397 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

That is really cool to hear about the front screw not having any clearance issues.

#398 morecoffee

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:19 PM

powerstroke01 Very nice thanks for sharing.

#399 GTBaker

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

I have my VX mount with 8" Edge HD ordered. Only issue it's back-ordered till April. No odds as the weather sucks. But I bet now till it comes will be dark clear skies. Except tonight as we're having another snow storm. :lol:

#400 powerstroke01

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

powerstroke01 Very nice thanks for sharing.

Thanks!






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