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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 07 Apr 2012 (Saturday) 10:25
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STICKY: Astrotrac questions

 
Mark ­ Brim
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Apr 19, 2012 14:50 |  #16

hollis_f wrote in post #14291476 (external link)
I'm thinking about asking for one of these for my birthday in July. What's the heaviest setup you can realistically use?

Ive had a canon 400mm 2.8 L on mine and that weights 11.8 lbs. (5.370kg)....fair​ly heafty lens...not at all practical for what i wanted to do mind


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tutwood
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Apr 29, 2012 17:02 |  #17

i also am very interested in this astrotrac mount althouth the firm says it can hold 15 kgs when you put it on the manfrotto 410 geared head manfrotto dont advise 15kgs in fact i think they say 10kgs
whos right . live in the scottish borders lots of dark nights up here




  
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tutwood
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Apr 29, 2012 17:07 |  #18

in fact just checked manfrotto site they advise 5kgs , so am i right in assumming that it will be the wieght of the astrotrac and anything else up to 5 kgs




  
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thakursam
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May 16, 2012 14:02 |  #19

I went for AstroTrac this year. Its very costly thing when you consider all things you need to make it work. But the portability is the thing you want then there is nothing that can beat AstroTrac.

AstroTrac needs something to point it to Pole and then mount Camera on AstroTrac. Ball Heads or Geared Head can do it, but those are not efficient, when you need accurate polar alignment it can be pain with Photographic Geared Heads. I opted for Astrotrac Wedge, which is designed to do this.

Setting up Astrotrac is very easy and it fun, in just 10min you are ready to shoot including focusing (believe me its not as easy to focus stars with wide angle lens)

For Wide angle shots astrotrac can easily track for 5-10min, I have seen someone tracked for 20mins too !!!

So far i am not able to use it much but will be in pace soon. I have tried 200mm with simple polar alignment and 2min is not an issue.

For Higher Weight, Yes Astrotrac can work to stated capacity of 15KG but you need counter weight system, sold as add-on. People have used telescopes on it with successful results.

Checkout below blog if you have doubts what Astrotrac can do (its not mine ;) )

http://cosmicbug.wordp​ress.com/astrotrac-photography/ (external link)

Best of Luck


Sameer Thakur
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mtbdudex
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Jun 15, 2012 08:16 as a reply to  @ thakursam's post |  #20

[edit] saw it made a sticky/thx Peeka!

bump and solid VOTE this thread should be a sticky.


This is the best commercial solution for portable astrophotography.
I'm placing my order this weekend!
(just got my work bonus check :D )


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calypsob
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Jul 20, 2012 05:26 |  #21

Ok no offense to anyone who already has an astro track but if you are that hardcore about astrophotography why not just get a real astrophotography mount? http://livinginstylene​wyork.com …unt-w-tripod-detail-30726 (external link) http://www.amazon.com …5&creativeASIN=​B000FAD1O2 (external link) These 2 mounts will hold the weight of your lens without question and the orion will find everything you need by itself after you align it to 3 stars. They are quite heavy but you probably dont need all of the counterweights even with a 400mm lens so realistically you wouldnt have to carry around much more than you already have now.


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thakursam
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Jul 23, 2012 17:22 |  #22

calypsob wrote in post #14743568 (external link)
Ok no offense to anyone who already has an astro track but if you are that hardcore about astrophotography why not just get a real astrophotography mount? http://livinginstylene​wyork.com …unt-w-tripod-detail-30726 (external link) http://www.amazon.com …5&creativeASIN=​B000FAD1O2 (external link) These 2 mounts will hold the weight of your lens without question and the orion will find everything you need by itself after you align it to 3 stars. They are quite heavy but you probably dont need all of the counterweights even with a 400mm lens so realistically you wouldnt have to carry around much more than you already have now.

Dear calypsob,

This is exactly every Astrotrac buyer thinks of before jumping on. Once you look at price factor of Astrotrac and what it can do, you will realize that has many dis-advantages when compared to dedicated equatorial mounts.

BUT....

Astrotrac can go to places where normal mounts cant... in terms of portability, setup simplicity and quality of tracking stars !!!

The Astrotrac gives you accuracy of tracking to 5 arc seconds, you can't get that level of accuracy from mounts cheaper than 3K. and you have to manage with auto-guiding.

Most Astrotrac buyers already have feature rich equatorial mount, and they still go for astrotrac spending much more on it.

i will give you my own example, I had a Meade LXD75 with full set up for autoguiding, but due to bulk and portability issue i tend to use it very little. if you are not in US / Canada or Europe then you might know that having personal vehicle is not that common in other part of the world and that creates major portability problem with big setups.

And this is where Astrotrac comes to rescue, you can go virtually anywhere with your astrotrac and shoot from there, in just few mins of setup.

Though Astrotrac is insanely costly people buy it for only single intention "Using it more and more under stars" !!!

I hope this helps...


Sameer Thakur
www.sameerthakur.net (external link) & www.indussky.com (external link)
Body : Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 1D Mark II N, Canon EOS 400D
Lenses : Canon EF 70-200 F/4 L, Tamron 17-50 F/2.8, Canon EF-S 18-55 kit, Canon EF 75-300 USM III, Nikon 28-105, Kenko 1.5x, Kenko 2x

  
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FuzzSummit
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Jul 23, 2012 17:35 |  #23

thakursam wrote in post #14758832 (external link)
Astrotrac can go to places where normal mounts cant... in terms of portability, setup simplicity and quality of tracking stars !!!

The Astrotrac gives you accuracy of tracking to 5 arc seconds, you can't get that level of accuracy from mounts cheaper than 3K. and you have to manage with auto-guiding.

Most Astrotrac buyers already have feature rich equatorial mount, and they still go for astrotrac spending much more on it.

This perfectly encapsulates my thoughts (which is why I started this thread). I already have the Sirius EQ-G mount (that calypsob linked in his post) set up in my backyard (yellow on the Bortle scale). But it is not portable, and I would like to travel to shoot under really dark skies -- hence my interest in the AstroTrac.


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calypsob
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Jul 25, 2012 16:47 |  #24

thakursam wrote in post #14758832 (external link)
Dear calypsob,

This is exactly every Astrotrac buyer thinks of before jumping on. Once you look at price factor of Astrotrac and what it can do, you will realize that has many dis-advantages when compared to dedicated equatorial mounts.

BUT....

Astrotrac can go to places where normal mounts cant... in terms of portability, setup simplicity and quality of tracking stars !!!

The Astrotrac gives you accuracy of tracking to 5 arc seconds, you can't get that level of accuracy from mounts cheaper than 3K. and you have to manage with auto-guiding.

Most Astrotrac buyers already have feature rich equatorial mount, and they still go for astrotrac spending much more on it.

i will give you my own example, I had a Meade LXD75 with full set up for autoguiding, but due to bulk and portability issue i tend to use it very little. if you are not in US / Canada or Europe then you might know that having personal vehicle is not that common in other part of the world and that creates major portability problem with big setups.

And this is where Astrotrac comes to rescue, you can go virtually anywhere with your astrotrac and shoot from there, in just few mins of setup.

Though Astrotrac is insanely costly people buy it for only single intention "Using it more and more under stars" !!!

I hope this helps...

Ok rad that makes sense I was wondering what all the fuss was about. I had now idea about the arc seconds thing that is very interesting. I think if I get more serious about wide field I will go with an astro track.


Wes
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calypsob
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Aug 27, 2012 07:03 |  #25

is this an alternative to the manfrotto junior gearhead? http://www.ebay.com …isers&hash=item​3cc9df3954 (external link)


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SimonClarkson
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Mar 22, 2014 04:11 |  #26

Hi Guys n Gal's,

I recently purchased the Astrotrac after reading and seeing what a great product it is thanks to the good folk here. However upon unboxing and setting up, I have encountered a few problems which I have managed to fix except one.

Has anyone here had issues with connecting the astrotrac to the head of the tripod. I have a decent Manfrotto tripod and head however I noticed that I had to use the larger screw to attach the astrotrac which is where my problem has started. The primary problem is my larger screw is too long so I have a gap between the tripod head and the tracking arm.. this is only between 5-10mm but its too much. Even if the screw was the correct length I still feel that two flat surfaces wont grip against each other.

What do you guys use?

I have tried a rubber washer as depicted in the picture but there is still very slight movement. I am not a mechanically minded person, so for me making bits isn't an option.

The evenings have been terrible here so my patience hasn't yet been tested. I contacted Astrotrac but haven't yet got a reply.

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calypsob
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Jan 24, 2015 04:13 as a reply to  @ SimonClarkson's post |  #27

I made a post about this a while back but here you go, http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …venturer_latitu​de_eq.html (external link) This wedge is cheaper than the astrotrac wedge, and an alt az wedge is exactly what you need.


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Astrotrac questions
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