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Alt-Az Astromount vs Photo/Video heads

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#1 bdg


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Posted 27 February 2014 - 01:42 PM

I am putting together a GNG/Travel/Camping/Backpacking setup. what are some of the advantages of photo heads like fluid heads and Manfrotto 410 slow-motion head as compared to traditional light weight premium Alt-AZ Astro mounts DSV-M/UA Dwarfstar/FTS.

None of the the above astro mounts come with Slow-Motion, but a Manfrotto 410 has slow motion capability. Does the Photo heads deliver much better experience than an Astro mount also they are priced higher than Astro Alt-Az mounts.

#2 JMW


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Posted 27 February 2014 - 06:49 PM

The DM4 and FTQ style mounts keep the scope mass balanced and not top heavy so it can handle the scope near the zenith much better than a lot of photo heads. At 3 pounds the FTQ isn't much more than a photo head. I think the DSV-M would also be a good light weight head. It all depends on the scope weight, focal length and desired magnifications.

For backyard and car travel grab and go my DM4 is no compromise. The FTQ has much lower limits but can be a good small scope solution. If you focus on wide fields that dark sites are great for then you don't need to use high magnifications.

#3 DocFinance


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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:03 PM

Celestron used to sell a slo-mo that fit on a 1/4 thread, and I've used that and some flex cables on a heavy fluid head to good effect with a 60 mm Balscope and with my Orangetube C5. In both cases I fit a 1-pound counterweight on the fluid head using the handle bracket, and that helped a lot. Many times I've left the slo-mo block out to good effect, but missed it when seeing was good and Jupiter or Saturn were easy to view and I could turn up the power.

#4 bdg


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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:26 PM

Planning to use it with a C5 and 60-70mm Reflector.

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