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Just asking for a friend, seriously!

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10 replies to this topic

#1 kevinbreen

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 09:45 AM

Greetings

 

A friend of mine bought my Star Adventurer a while ago, is struggling to find targets, and my other friends and I are considering surprising him for his birthday with a goto tracking mount. All going well I'll just buy the SA back from him. He's a DSLR imager (well, he hopes to be but hasn't had much success yet!), using a Canon D5600 and a a few lenses, the biggest of which is a 600mm Tamron beast. What would be a solid choice for him? I only have experience of Skywatcher equatorial mounts, mine being an EQ6 at the moment. I see the Skywatcher EQ3 Pro looks up to the job but it's expensive. Would you know of anything cheaper yet reliable?

Thanks



#2 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 10:27 AM

My birthday is April 27 if you wanted to get me a GOTO mount as well.  ;-)

 

If they already have the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer though, that can be upgraded to the Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi, which uses the Star Adventurer wedge for equatorial alignments.

 

However, if they already have a tracking mount, adding GOTO will not make the images any better.  With the exception of Solar System objects, tracking with or without GOTO is exactly the same, since everything outside of the Solar System appears to move at approximately the same sidereal rate.

 

My fantasy mount is a Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5.


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#3 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 10:31 AM

Note that long-exposure images should not use more than about 50% of payload capacity, which for the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer is 1.5 kg or 3.3 pounds (50% of 3 kg or 6.6 pounds).  A 600-mm refracting DSLR telephoto lens plus a DSLR camera likely weighs more than 1.5 kg, which could explain why they might be having some issues getting long exposures.  They should try a lighter payload and/or a shorter focal length, or upgrade to a mount with a higher payload capacity (such as the AZ-GTi with Star Adventurer wedge).


Edited by Nicole Sharp, 17 April 2021 - 10:34 AM.


#4 Nicole Sharp

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 10:37 AM

However, the equatorial mode for the AZ-GTi is still not officially supported by Sky-Watcher outside of beta development.  Next step up (from Synta) would be something like a Sky-Watcher EQM-35, Orion SkyView Pro, or Celestron Omni CG-4 with clockdrive.


Edited by Nicole Sharp, 17 April 2021 - 10:38 AM.


#5 kevinbreen

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 11:13 AM

Thanks Nicole.
I stated his camera and 600mm to give an idea of his payload. He doesn't use that lens atm, but I'm interested in a goto tracking mount sufficient for it.

#6 kevinbreen

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 11:16 AM

:My birthday is April 27 if you wanted to get me a GOTO mount as well. ;-)"

- No.

#7 BQ Octantis

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 09:26 PM

Wow, Canon bought Nikon?! And here I figured it would be the other way around! I hope they don't change the D5600…I was considering one of those for an astromod.

 

I assume your mate's Tamron beast is the SP 150-600mm that weighs in at 1.95kg. Between that and the D5600 (0.47kg), you probably want payload capacity of ~5kg. That should also accommodate an autoguider (which the GoTo brings to bear). The SkyWatcher EQ3 Pro fits the bill almost perfectly, with a capacity of 5.5kg.

 

https://skywatcher.c...ct/eq3-synscan/

 

I don't think you'll find anything cheaper that comes with GoTo and autoguiding. But you could always get him something that could accommodate that RASA-11 of yours… laugh.gif

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 17 April 2021 - 09:26 PM.


#8 the Elf

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Posted 19 April 2021 - 08:45 AM

Tele zoom lenses do not work for AP at all. Even a low priced telescope will be way better. E.g.

https://www.astronom...ed-doublet.html

 

But you asked for a mount. The only "mount" that comes to my mind is this:

https://www.ioptron....uct-p/3200-.htm

Here you can see Nico Carver achieving quite a nice result with it:

https://www.youtube....h?v=Qb1ceFM-DkQ

Mind the scope ;-) It is 3.25 pounds. A big zoom lens is about the same weight, so the mount can deal with the Tarmron beast but the beast cannot deal with the stars.


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#9 galacticinsomnia

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:07 AM

Tele zoom lenses do not work for AP at all. Even a low priced telescope will be way better. E.g.

https://www.astronom...ed-doublet.html

 

But you asked for a mount. The only "mount" that comes to my mind is this:

https://www.ioptron....uct-p/3200-.htm

Here you can see Nico Carver achieving quite a nice result with it:

https://www.youtube....h?v=Qb1ceFM-DkQ

Mind the scope ;-) It is 3.25 pounds. A big zoom lens is about the same weight, so the mount can deal with the Tarmron beast but the beast cannot deal with the stars.

The Smart Eq Mount is a great way to go.  A fellow guider loads an RC plus camera, guidescope, well over 14 lbs, and tracks amazing images.

So I would second that recommendation. :)

Clear Skies !!

 



#10 msacco

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:48 AM

Well that depends on budget a bit, the star adventurer should be pretty good tbh...you just need to learn how to use it properly in terms of payload, balance, star hopping(not specifically you ofc).

 

In terms of cheap EQ mounts, not really sure....I did just purchase the skywatcher AZ-GTi along with a wedge, that should be pretty much the star adventurer with GOTO functions.

 

I own an EQ5 GOTO mount, and for me it was pretty bad, but that's how I first started, and I didn't anything of what I'm doing. Also, I used a pretty big payload on that poor thing, so for rather low focal length imaging, maybe the Smart EQ/EQ3/EQ5 might just do a fine job.

Lucky friend you have :D



#11 the Elf

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:58 PM

Every now and then trackers and mounts are listed side by side as if they were equal options. This is not the case. As soon as medium to long focal lengths are used and as soon as more than 30s subs are needed guiding is a must. A guided mount with two motorized axes is corrected in periodic error and polar error. A tracker with only one axis can only be corrected for periodic error but just a bit polar error and there are star trails even in guided images. So, yes, you can get fantastic images with a tracker but you have to be very precise when polar aligning. With a mount you don't need to care that much (guided!).

When it comes to unguided imaging mounts that allow for periodic error correction can track longer, provided the polar alignment is good enough. So the two key questions are if the lucky friend will be guiding and if he will use a long focal length optics. It is a matter of fact that trackers are available for low pay load only. Should the lucky friend ever think of a telescope a solid mount is a must. Talking about $1500+ here. If this is predictable I suggest to get the ioptron smart eq because is works exactly like a real mount only that it is small. The upgrade to a big mount (next birthday or self bought) is a very small step.

 

Second big difference is GOTO which is kind of self explaining. If that friend has a good knowledge of the sky and the stars and is able to locate things a tracker is perfect. Without that knowledge finding an object can be a long and frustrating experience especially at a long focal length. I have seen several noobs post an image of whatever and a quick plate solve is proof that the object is just outside the field of view.

When imaging at home I'd always go for a mount. Tracker are perfect for hiking. If you spend a few weeks in the high mountains a tracker gives you the opportunity to image under dark skies and get images you could never have in the light pollution at home. When the user is going to image at home or go to a dark place by car there is no point in using a small and light device when Goto plus an option for guiding is available for the same price. My opinion. YMMV. Don't want to start a discussion here, just want to point out that there is a huge difference between tracker and mount. They are made for different use cases.


Edited by the Elf, 20 April 2021 - 02:01 PM.



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