I've lately been piecing together a (very) wide-field rig (Sigma & Canon EF L lenses, 35-200mm) and am considering picking up a dedicated light-to-medium duty mount to complement what I already have.
Currently I'm imaging with a WO GT81 on an EQ6-R, which I'm pretty happy with. In addition to my wide field project, I'll be in the market for a larger refractor within the next year or so (TS 130mm Photoline currently tops the list).
It'd be nice to have a lighter more portable rig for widefield, but one that could still easily handle my GT81 setup (about 18 lbs with all accessories). Ultimately I'd like to have a dual mount setup to get better ROI for my imaging time: wide field or GT81 on a lighter rig, and the bigger frac on the EQ6-R.
Prologue out of the way, what mount meets these needs best? The CEM26/GEM28 seem ideal - when they're good they're good (<1" RMS guided), though my broad impressions from browsing other threads is that there are still some growing pains/QC issues. The CEM25p also seemed to have a reputation for needing delicate handling - not sure if that's been remediated in this latest generation.
The HEQ5 is tenured and stalwart, and while still portable seems like more of a tank, though the guiding performance may not rival that of the iOptrons. Setup & EQMOD would be familiar, coming from my EQ6-R. I'm intrigued by the belt mod, though I have a moderate amount of apprehension re: possibly tearing pins loose and bricking the motherboard.
While I don't need the weight capacity of my EQ6-R for my very-wide-field or even my GT81, and would like greater portability, I don't want to sacrifice accuracy & resulting sub quality either.
I've also been eyeing the GEM45, but I feel that may be overkill for either the very-wide field setup or the GT81, and is heavier than the CEM26/GEM28