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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Keith_H
journeyman


Reged: 06/12/12

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Mihai]
      #5648611 - 01/28/13 04:19 PM

The Polarie has Lunar and Solar tracking rates and is 15% more expensive than the iOptron, albeit without a Polar Scope. The Polarie has some after-market equipment options also. I`m just struggling to understand why there is a $200 mark-up on a Japanese product being sold in Europe. License agreements prevent US stockists from selling overseas.
I`ve been looking at the Sightron/Kenko Nano Tracker but the quality is a big concern.


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Hikari
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/11

Loc: Maine, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Keith_H]
      #5649424 - 01/28/13 10:50 PM

The Vixen polar scope has a much better design from what I can see. The Polarie is manufactured in Japan and I would imagine the design and QC are higher. We have no idea about components which can also add to the difference in price as well as each companies business model to make a product profitable. Takahashi and Celestron make GEMs. Should they be the same price?

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Hikari]
      #5649767 - 01/29/13 07:03 AM

QA has NOT been Vixen's strong suit in recent years.

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Keith_H
journeyman


Reged: 06/12/12

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Hikari]
      #5649789 - 01/29/13 07:25 AM

Quote:

The Vixen polar scope has a much better design from what I can see. The Polarie is manufactured in Japan and I would imagine the design and QC are higher. We have no idea about components which can also add to the difference in price as well as each companies business model to make a product profitable. Takahashi and Celestron make GEMs. Should they be the same price?




I don`t know why your throwing Takahasi/Celestron in the mix. This discussion is about the iOptron Sky Tracker and my point was why the same product coming off the same production line costs $350 in the US and $550 in Europe.


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Hikari
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/11

Loc: Maine, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Keith_H]
      #5650058 - 01/29/13 11:03 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The Vixen polar scope has a much better design from what I can see. The Polarie is manufactured in Japan and I would imagine the design and QC are higher. We have no idea about components which can also add to the difference in price as well as each companies business model to make a product profitable. Takahashi and Celestron make GEMs. Should they be the same price?




I don`t know why your throwing Takahasi/Celestron in the mix. This discussion is about the iOptron Sky Tracker and my point was why the same product coming off the same production line costs $350 in the US and $550 in Europe.




I was talking about the price difference between iOptron and Vixen.


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Hikari
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/11

Loc: Maine, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Keith_H]
      #5650080 - 01/29/13 11:20 AM

Quote:

This discussion is about the iOptron Sky Tracker and my point was why the same product coming off the same production line costs $350 in the US and $550 in Europe.




Production line costs are not the final costs. There are exchange rates, taxes and tariffs, regional costs of business, shipping, translation, packaging costs, size of market, and a host of other factors that influence price.


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Keith_H
journeyman


Reged: 06/12/12

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Hikari]
      #5650296 - 01/29/13 01:13 PM

Hmmm, I still can`t see $200 difference in any of those.

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Hikari
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/11

Loc: Maine, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Keith_H]
      #5650440 - 01/29/13 02:22 PM

But the difference is there as you can see it in the price.

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Keith_H
journeyman


Reged: 06/12/12

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Hikari]
      #5650521 - 01/29/13 03:05 PM

Clearly

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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: rjweng]
      #5650783 - 01/29/13 05:22 PM

Quote:

So can this tracker take 4 to 5 min subs say with a 200mm lens? If you can only get 60 sec subs might as well make a barndoor tracker and save yourself the money.



Stay tuned for testing that very thing. Just don't know yet, and sorry I have not had time to test this myself

But a home built barndoor is certainly an option. Lotsa plans, descriptions, etc. out there to get you going. One of the main benefits of the StarTracker to me, was the way iOptron implemented polar alignment. First, the PA scope comes with the unit, at the price I mentioned earlier. That may, or may not be the price now. But I think it is still cheaper than Polarie. Second, it has a notch in it to allow the "on" LED (red) to shine into the PAS, illuminating the concentric circles which indicate placement of Polaris. And they make an iPod/Pad/Phone app that determines where Polaris should be giving iPod owners a very quick way to determine the placement of the celestial pole quickly. Haven't tried that yet either (need to update the OS on my 'pod). Third, the PAS is not located in the camera mount ring. It is off to the side so you can continue to use it-- and fine tune polar alignment-- once the camera is mounted. Fourth, the SkyTracker's built in altitude "hinge" means you do not have to set altitude with the tripod ball head or geared head or whatever. It's built in, lessening expense for a ball head etc. And, the implementation of a geared knob to set altitude is, IMHO, easier. It also means less equipment to carry if portability is important to your use. (It is to my use). 4 AA batteries as opposed to 2 (I think) for Polarie. But the ease of polar alignment is key for me, as is portability.

I think that the Polarie is a great unit, as is a well made barn door tracker. Choice, choices. For that matter you can likely find a nice CG-4 mount for about the same or less money. Not so portable though. Just food for thought, folks, food for thought.

When I have time to get out there, I plan to test the length of subs. As for a 200mm lens, I don't know. Again, it is all about what DSLR you are using, etc., and the combined weight of your specific gear. The Kenko SkyMemo and the Losmandy StarLapse, I believe, have higher limits for loading, so those could be considered as well, if you have the $$$.

Hope this info helps. As I said, stay tuned !


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5650804 - 01/29/13 05:38 PM

Nice post and food for thought and look forward to more of your results:)

Bob


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Mad MikeE
member
*****

Reged: 05/28/06

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: MikeML]
      #5654335 - 01/31/13 01:33 PM

Mine shows up tomorrow - should be snowing

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PGW Steve
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/03/06

Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Mad MikeE]
      #5654367 - 01/31/13 01:49 PM

I've got an Astrotrac, Vixen Polarie, Smart EQ pro, and hopefully a SkyTracker soon. I had a Sightron Nano, but it was DOA, and was sent back for a credit on the SkyTracker yesterday. I'm taking a couple of these to Costa Rica in March, I have to do some testing as to which ones....And then a bigger shootout in April with any luck.

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luigis
sage


Reged: 07/27/10

Loc: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #5686639 - 02/18/13 09:13 AM

I got one to test, it's nice and solid but it has one fundamental design problem. No Azimuth control.

The Ioptron has a geared knob to control declination so this would mean you don't need two tripod heads as you need with the Polarie or Astrotrac. But if you attach the unit to a normal regular tripod you have to move the tripod legs to setup azimuth and that's a big no-no. What were they thinking?

I guess a tripod rotating base would be the answer but it's a pitty to need one and I can't find a cheap one.

I'm quite furious with this design they went from a great idea to a total failure.

Edited by luigis (02/18/13 09:14 AM)


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Peds
sage


Reged: 03/07/07

Loc: Brasília, Brazil
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: luigis]
      #5687287 - 02/18/13 04:44 PM

Quote:

I got one to test, it's nice and solid but it has one fundamental design problem. No Azimuth control.

The Ioptron has a geared knob to control declination so this would mean you don't need two tripod heads as you need with the Polarie or Astrotrac. But if you attach the unit to a normal regular tripod you have to move the tripod legs to setup azimuth and that's a big no-no. What were they thinking?

I guess a tripod rotating base would be the answer but it's a pitty to need one and I can't find a cheap one.

I'm quite furious with this design they went from a great idea to a total failure.




Was about to purchase one of these but you've now changed my mind and I will go for a Polarie w/ polar scope instead. Just have to find Sigma Octantis...

P.


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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Peds]
      #5687310 - 02/18/13 04:56 PM

I am currently using is on a 3 way Manfrotto geared head. I just looked on B&H Photo and found this Feisol PB-70 Panning Base for $39. Shipping is free. Solid and simple. It looks like a lighter and cheaper option than my geared head. I just ordered one. Would also be useful for doing terrestrial pano photos. I like the peep hole and polar scope combination on the SkyTracker. The peep hole is useful for getting close the the polar scope with hour scale is good for nailing done the polar alignment. I like how the main unit provides the red LED illumination for the scope. Saves having to provide another battery for the scope.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/848913-REG/FEISOL_PB_70_PB_70_Panning_B...


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luigis
sage


Reged: 07/27/10

Loc: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: JMW]
      #5687614 - 02/18/13 07:25 PM

Peds & JMW:

It's funny to compare the polarie and the skytracker, they have both advantages and disadvantages.

So far my summary is:

Polarie:

+ Excellent polarscope (works wonderfully in the south hemisphere too)
- Batteries last about 2 hours
- You need 2 tripod heads
- You need to remove the camera to polar-align, so when you put the camera back the alignment might be off a little.

SkyTracker
+ Longer battery life
+ You don't need two tripod heads if your tripod can magically rotate (sigh)
- With a normal tripod you still need two tripod heads or a rotating base
- Polar scope not so good and really bad for the south hemisphere (no octans in the reticle)
+ No need to remove the camera to polar-align or refine

--------------


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: luigis]
      #5687690 - 02/18/13 08:08 PM

Luis,

All other things being equal, it looks to me as if the SkyTracker is the mount I'd buy.


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Peds
sage


Reged: 03/07/07

Loc: Brasília, Brazil
Re: iOptron SkyTracker [Re: Mkofski]
      #5687741 - 02/18/13 08:30 PM

Luis,

I was under the impression that the polar scope for SkyTracker also worked for southern hemisphere? The manual states that the outer rings (60' to 70') must be used instead of the inner rings on the polar alignment scope for those of us below the equator.

This said though, you're still depending on an iPhone or iPad app to tell you where to place Sigma Octantis or Polaris, which I don't think I like (+ for the Polarie and - for the SkyTracker, no tech required approach).

I already own a Manfrotto geared head and a ball head but was hoping to be able to leave the geared head home as it can be heavy to lug around. Without a rotating base on the SkyTracker I'd have to take it with me anyway.

What worries me about the Polarie is accidentally messing up the alignment when attaching the camera after removing the polar scope. It is a great comfort to know that the polar scope works wonderfully here in the southern hemisphere though!

Decisions, decisions...

P.


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luigis
sage


Reged: 07/27/10

Loc: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Re: iOptron SkyTracker [Re: Peds]
      #5687896 - 02/18/13 09:53 PM

You are right, decisions, decisions.

The skytracker is a new unit I used the Polarie and the Astrotrac last weekend. (I'll leave the AT outside this discussion)

The Polarie was very easy to align with its excellent polarscope. I went from Beta Hydri that is easy to see with the naked eye towards the trapezium asterisk in Octans. Then
I placed the asterism in the polarscope,the polarie scope is not illuminated so I used a small red led torch. With that alignment I could do 4 minutes exposures with a 50mm lens no problem. But I had to realign a few times after changing lenses.

If I were you I wouldn't know which one to buy :-) What about an astrotrac ?


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