Goto mount for DSLR camera

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  • #573434
    Roger Dymock
    Participant

    I am considering buying a portable goto mount for my DSLR camera. Requirements are;

    – tripod mounted

    – adaptor to mount DSLR camera

    – polar scope

    – hand controller

    – PC compatible

    – mains power option

    The two which have caught my eye are;

    – Ioptron Smart EQ Pro (or Portable) Goto Equatorial Mount

    – Skywatcher EQ3 Pro Synscan Goto Equatorial Mount

    Any thoughts, comments, alternatives would be appreciated

    Regards

    #576851
    Callum Potter
    Keymaster

    Hi Roger,

    i’ve not come across anyone using this for wide-field imaging, if that is what you are thinking of.

    The ‘trackers’ like the iOptron Sky Tracker and the Vixen Polarie are both popular, and the Astrotrak gives good results.

    What are you wanting to do with the setup, and why looking for Goto?

    Callum

    #576852
    Dominic Ford
    Keymaster

    Callum,

    That’s interesting to hear! I’d assumed the EQ3 was quite a popular wide-field imaging mount.

    If I recall correctly, Ian Sharp uses an NEQ6 as a slightly-overkill DSLR-mount-with-autoguider, and a few people seem to use the HEQ5?

    Not seem too many people use an EQ3, but then I guess it limits your options if you want something you can also put a telescope on. And I have no idea how stable it is…

    Dominic.

    #576853
    Callum Potter
    Keymaster

    Hi Dominic,

    For the widefield Lovejoy and winter dso’s that Ian took from Spain at the beginning of the year, these were with 50mm to 200mm lenses, and Canon 6D camera, and using an Astrotrac mount – according to Ian’s notes.

    Callum

    #576854
    Dominic Ford
    Keymaster

    OK – Yes, I think it was those images I was thinking of. It was something I saw scroll past on twitter a couple of months ago, so I can’t go back and check!

    I suppose the selling point of a Goto system for me is that I’m often giving people tours of the sky, and you’ve usually only got half an hour before they get bored/cold, so a Goto system lets me show far more objects in that time than if I was finding them manually. Perhaps I’m just slow at star hopping…

    What really annoys me about Goto is not being able to declutch and yank the telescope around without losing alignment. I’m quite tempted by the SkyWatcher FreedomFind thing which solves that by putting encoders on both axes. But I think the cheapest FreedomFind mounts are about £950, and at that price it’s not exactly top of my wish list…

    #576855
    Roger Dymock
    Participant

    Thanks for your replies. I have a Skytracker but, to me, the big disadvantage is that you can’t easily move the camera from one object to another (or make fine adjustments). Goto – why not – makes life a lot easier. Never was into setting circles!!!

    Regards

    #576856
    Peter Carson
    Participant

    I know someone who uses an Ioptron Smart EQ pro for wide field imaging. It is a very successful set up. The mount is quite light, self contained and will track accurately past the 2 hour limit of an Astrotrac. The Ioptron tripod is a bit flimsy, but my friend uses a camping ground anchor wound into the earth and attaches a”bungy” chord between the anchor and the underside of the mount, that firms it up no end. One of the very annoying features of an Astrotrac or similar trackers is the inability to make fine positional adjustments to frame the picture or infact to find an object when its not near a bright signpost. The Ioptron has a motor drive in RA and Dec and a goto feature which speeds up the framing of a picture. I’ve got an Astrotrac but would have purchased an Ioptron Smart EQ Pro instead if they were around at the time.

    Peter

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