New to the forum and just getting restarted in this hobby after a 40-year break! I would like your advice on a mount for a recent purchase of a SW 120ED scope. My short-term goals are just to get reacquainted with the sky after this long break and to take advantage of the huge upgrade in optical performance (my last scope was a Tasco 60mm ). My long term goal is to use the scope for astro-photography (AP). I have been doing a bit of reading about the importance of mounts and the different advantages and tradeoffs (portability vs stability, EQ vs Alt-AZ).
I have only used an alt-az mount in the past and recognize the simplicity of operation, but having read about the setup and use of an EQ mount, I don't think I will find ti that hard (I live in SF bay area and would use the scope somewhere between 30-50 deg lat).
The scope weighs about 14lbs.
I have been considering the Celestron CG-4 EQ mount as my first one, but understand its 20lb payload limit may not work for photography. However, the next step up in payload size seems to be large and the mount then gets so big as to not be portable (more than 40 lbs). I also considered an alt-az mount for my first visual use, but cannot seem to find a reasonably priced (around $300) one that works with a 14lb payload and am not happy to spend more than $300 for a mount that I will potentially abandon as soon as I start taking pics. Buying used is no problem. I have seen go-to mounts and such and not really interested in those just yet. I want to keep my hand on the tiller so to speak
So, here are my questions:
1. Did I overlook anything important in my summary?
2. What is the downside of trying the CG-4 as an AP mount? Fuzziness due to vibration? What about exposures under 60 sec?
3. Is there an alt-az mount I missed?
4. Is there a slightly beefier EQ mount I missed?
5. If I do go with the CG-4, I am correct that I will need extra weights? It comes with 11lbs.