I've been trying out a new iOptron SkyGuider Pro, after owning a SkyTracker Pro for a couple years. I'm finding the wedge to be a weak point in the system, mostly while polar aligning. So, I'm looking into alternatives to the SkyGuider wedge. It looks like there are at least 4 alternatives, in order of increasing cost:
1. The Skywatcher Star Adventurer wedge ($55 USD). From what I've read, this is marginally better than the SG wedge.
2. William Optics wedge ($188). Sounds like it gives a more smooth and solid adjustment than the SG.
3. A 3-axis geared head like the Benro GD3WH ($185) or the Manfrotto 410 ($270)
4. The AstroTrac TW3100 wedge ($350)
I'd appreciate hearing any comments from people who have tried any of these alternatives and how they compare to the SG wedge. I'm teetering toward a geared head, but I've heard both good (very easy to tweak the polar alignment) and bad (not as stiff as a regular wedge).
For now at least, I won't be shooting longer than 200mm. The weight of my gear (SkyGuider+dec bracket+counterweight+Canon 5DIII+70-200mm F/2.8L lens) is 5.4kg (11.9 lb). I'm wondering if I'll be pushing the weight limit of the geared heads mentioned above (e.g. 11 lb for the 410). So maybe the WO wedge?
Comments & insights appreciated!