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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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krp
Vendor. DarkSiteFinder.com


Reged: 11/10/10

Loc: Central Illinois
Best Portable Astrophotography Mount
      #6135296 - 10/13/13 03:56 PM

I'm looking to buy a mount for astrophotography with a DSLR and lenses up to 200mm.

So far these are the options I've found:
Astrotrac
Vixen Polarie
iOptron Skytracker

The Astrotrac seems to be the best, but it's out of my price range. I'm leaning towards buying the iOptron, since it's the least expensive with the included polar scope. From what I've read, the Vixen Polarie is nearly useless without buying the polar scope. Are there any options that I've missed?
Also my tripod head has a 3/8" to 1/4" adapter stuck in it. I should have returned it when I first bought it. Does this mean I won't be able to use it with one of these mounts since they use a 3/8" screw?


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: krp]
      #6135320 - 10/13/13 04:08 PM

I would also suggest you check out the Losmandy Starlapse
web page
Rex


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: tomcody]
      #6135561 - 10/13/13 06:26 PM

I am very happy with my Kenko Skymemo. I can image with FL up to 400mm. 200mm definitely unguided. For 300 to 400mm I autoguide in RA. There is no Dec motor.
I recently bought an Ioptron Smarteq pro. I was really impressed with what it could do for less than $500 invested.

The trackers that you mentioned however are smaller than my options.

Edited by andysea (10/13/13 06:36 PM)


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Seanem44
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: andysea]
      #6135770 - 10/13/13 08:24 PM

I sold my astrotrac (which was great btw) and got a zeq25 which honestly isn't much harder to transport. Easier to polar align as well. Just a thought.

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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6136078 - 10/13/13 11:21 PM

The zeq25 looks pretty interesting. Are you happy with it Sean?

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Falcon-
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/09

Loc: Gambier Island, BC, Canada
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: andysea]
      #6137732 - 10/14/13 07:51 PM

I just got a ZEQ25 myself primarily for camera-based imaging. Only been able to use it a little bit so far but it certainly has worked well for me so far!

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Seanem44
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6137943 - 10/14/13 09:57 PM

I really am so far. Polar alignment is a breeze. It is light and a perfect combo for wide field with my AT65EDQ

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Maverick199
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/27/11

Loc: India
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: krp]
      #6138279 - 10/15/13 02:48 AM

I find the Skytracker holds itself very nicely with a 200mm lens. I use a Canon 70-200 f/4L and have managed ( test ) up to 4 minutes without star streaks.

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krp
Vendor. DarkSiteFinder.com


Reged: 11/10/10

Loc: Central Illinois
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: Maverick199]
      #6138297 - 10/15/13 03:15 AM

Quote:

I find the Skytracker holds itself very nicely with a 200mm lens. I use a Canon 70-200 f/4L and have managed ( test ) up to 4 minutes without star streaks.



4 minutes would be great. Can you tell me if the screw that you attach to the ballhead is 3/8" or 1/4"? It looks like it's 3/8" but I don't know if it's reversible.


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krp
Vendor. DarkSiteFinder.com


Reged: 11/10/10

Loc: Central Illinois
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: krp]
      #6156509 - 10/24/13 10:39 PM

I ordered the iOptron Skytracker from Astronomics on Monday and received it today. I set it up inside to familiarize myself with it. The first thing I noticed was the same wobble that 'dunk' described in this thread. When I separated the base I found two washers. After removing one of them, the wobble seems to be gone. I'm looking forward to first light tomorrow night. I just downloaded the polar alignment app on my Android and it seems pretty easy to use.

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Ed Wiley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: krp]
      #6157328 - 10/25/13 12:08 PM

I used a Kenko Skymemo for a several years. Just sold it as my weight requirements began to exceed the Skymemo limits. However....I found the Skymemo great for lenses up to 200mm. I could do 5 minutes unguided with 200mm lenses. The tripod is very portable, but light. One bump and done, so you have to treat it with respect. Like all such setups, target acquisition with longer lenses can be problematic and takes a bit of experience to master. Rigging a red-dot finder helps as does a laser if you are in a place where you can use it and use it safely.

Ed


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: krp]
      #6162515 - 10/28/13 01:21 PM

Quote:

I'm looking to buy a mount for astrophotography with a DSLR and lenses up to 200mm.

So far these are the options I've found:
Astrotrac
Vixen Polarie
iOptron Skytracker

The Astrotrac seems to be the best, but it's out of my price range. I'm leaning towards buying the iOptron, since it's the least expensive with the included polar scope. From what I've read, the Vixen Polarie is nearly useless without buying the polar scope. Are there any options that I've missed?
Also my tripod head has a 3/8" to 1/4" adapter stuck in it. I should have returned it when I first bought it. Does this mean I won't be able to use it with one of these mounts since they use a 3/8" screw?




Define Portable. I would consider my CG-5 to be portable.


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JazzSky
super member


Reged: 12/24/11

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Best Portable Astrophotography Mount new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #6163385 - 10/28/13 09:26 PM

I recently purchased set sky tracker, for the reasons you mentioned. Cost and included polar scope. I do like the app for the iPhone and actually find that use full for my other mount to polar align with. So far to get used to it just dong some wide fields with a 50mm lens n my cann 60da. Had some stars earlier tonight, but I accidentally hit the 1/2 speed switch. Corrected that and no problems. It does have the 3/8 socket but I got a reducer from a photo store to 1/4.
I hope that helps.
Alan


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