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iOptron Smart EQ for beginner DSO?

beginner astrophotography mount
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#1 Walking_astrophotos

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 04:56 PM

Hello Everyone, 

      I'm really new to astrophotography, and I would like to get a tracking mount for the imaging rig I'm slowly building. I'm thinking of the iOptron Smart EQ, but I'm a little disappointed at the low payload capacity. So, does anyone have any low cost mounts that they would recommend? Also, what is your experience on the Smart EQ, and its payload capacity? Thanks for your help. 

      



#2 Aaron_tragle

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 05:09 PM

I am an owner of a SmartEQ and can say that it is a decent option if you are planning on staying under 300mm with guiding. I used a 360mm refractor on it and it worked decently, but I was definitely pushing it's limits even with guiding. Think of the SmartEQ as a suped up SkyGuider Pro or Star Adventurer, except it has goto. 



#3 bobzeq25

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 05:22 PM

Hello Everyone, 

      I'm really new to astrophotography, and I would like to get a tracking mount for the imaging rig I'm slowly building. I'm thinking of the iOptron Smart EQ, but I'm a little disappointed at the low payload capacity. So, does anyone have any low cost mounts that they would recommend? Also, what is your experience on the Smart EQ, and its payload capacity? Thanks for your help. 

Know this.  The two biggest beginner mistakes are skimping on the mount, and using too big a scope.

 

As stated above, the SmartEQ is fine for a camera lens no larger than 300mm.  If you want to use a longer telescope (and 600mm is absolutely as long as you should go), you need a seriously better mount. 

 

Some have good luck with an AVX, some don't.  Somewhat more people have luck with a CEM25P (the P is important).

 

But, with a scope my recommended minimum mount is either the Sirius/HEQ5 or the iOptron 30PRO.  All are $1200.

 

It's not that beginners aren't smart.  The problem is that it's simply not intuitive how good a mount you need or how much it costs to make one that good.

 

Skimp on the telescope, stretch for the mount.  The mount is both more important and more expensive. 


Edited by bobzeq25, 19 February 2019 - 05:27 PM.

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#4 photoracer18

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 06:30 PM

I agree with Bob. For visual you can spend twice as much on the scope as you do the mount. But in imaging its better to spend twice as much on the mount as you do on the scope. A $600 80mm ED refractor and a $1200 mount and you are set. Also save money and buy used.

#5 Walking_astrophotos

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 08:58 PM

Know this.  The two biggest beginner mistakes are skimping on the mount, and using too big a scope.

 

As stated above, the SmartEQ is fine for a camera lens no larger than 300mm.  If you want to use a longer telescope (and 600mm is absolutely as long as you should go), you need a seriously better mount. 

 

Some have good luck with an AVX, some don't.  Somewhat more people have luck with a CEM25P (the P is important).

 

But, with a scope my recommended minimum mount is either the Sirius/HEQ5 or the iOptron 30PRO.  All are $1200.

 

It's not that beginners aren't smart.  The problem is that it's simply not intuitive how good a mount you need or how much it costs to make one that good.

 

Skimp on the telescope, stretch for the mount.  The mount is both more important and more expensive. 

Thanks for the advice, this was really helpful.



#6 17.5Dob

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:12 PM

Hello Everyone, 

      I'm really new to astrophotography, and I would like to get a tracking mount for the imaging rig I'm slowly building. I'm thinking of the iOptron Smart EQ, but I'm a little disappointed at the low payload capacity. So, does anyone have any low cost mounts that they would recommend? Also, what is your experience on the Smart EQ, and its payload capacity? Thanks for your help. 

It's not a bad way to start and can give you excellent results with shorter telephoto lens, but it can't begin to replace a "real" mount if you ever plan on buying a telescope.

However, in the meantime, you can learn all of the skills needed to decide if AP is right for you, things like polar alignment, image sequencing, focusing, and the "other 90% of AP"...post processing.

After a few months of testing the waters using the SmartEQ, you will have a much better idea of how much work is actually required to even get an image that is recognizable.

If you decide to continue on, then I would recommend, at the bare minimum, an Orion Sirius/EQ5 mount to use with a telescope, but you'll still have the SmartEQ for a quick "grab and go" ultra light weight wide field rig.

 


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#7 ImNewHere

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:14 PM

I've gotten good results with mine at camera lenses or my AT65Q, but I'd likely keep it under 450mm fl. I have and have enjoyed using it.




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