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Posts Tagged 'mount'

New additions to the MiniTrack family: the new LX Quattro NS

November 22 2021, Marcus Schenk

We’ve expanded our range and have welcomed a new member to the MiniTrack family: the MiniTrack LX Quattro NS. Unlike in most families, the new arrival is not the smallest member of the family, rather it is already fully grown. This means that our product developers were able to considerably improve the LX Quattro even more. But what exactly has changed?

MiniTrack, what is it?

The MiniTrack is a minute and fully mechanical travel mount (also known as an astrotracker) for astrophotography. You can use it to effortlessly produce images of the night sky. Cameras that are mounted on it follow the movement of the stars over a prolonged period. These photos often include the landscape of the night. This results in fascinatingly beautiful shots. It is also the perfect way to get into astrophotography.

 

 

The MiniTrack LX Quattro NS

LX Quattro stands for precision, increased power and a four-kilogram load capacity. The new MiniTrack combines all of this in one. Compared to the LX3, the load capacity is even higher. This means that you no longer need to avoid using your favourite lens, which was previously too heavy. Even with longer lenses, the MiniTrack takes things easily in its stride.

Tracking with the Quattro is extremely precise as a newly constructed needle bearing provides greatly improves this. This step was necessary to guarantee smooth tracking with heavy weights.

A brand new spring bar design provides better draft to move the load even more precisely. There is no longer any unilateral strain within the mechanical system. Yep, the Quattro simply has more oomph. An attractive side effect is that the MiniTrack is significantly more elegant and more user-friendly.

The MiniTrack LX Quattro is also a tracker for capturing the night sky using wide-angle and normal lenses. Anyone who has already gained a little experience can also treat themselves to a lightweight telephoto lens.

Overview of features:

  • 4kg load capacity for larger cameras or larger lenses
  • New and stronger spring system
  • Needle bearing for softer, precise movement
  • New, more stable CNC body – the Quattro should survive every night of observation with no scratches
  • Integrated Gp-style mounting as well as ¼“ und 3/8“ threads
  • Holiday anywhere now: usable beneath the northern and southern night skies.

You can find further information on the MiniTrack LX Quattro NS and its benefits on our product page. Furthermore,  this MiniTrack can be bought in a set with a ball head or with a ball head and polar wedge.

 

The other members of the MiniTrack family

What do you need to take beautiful photos? A MiniTrack alone is not quite enough. So we would like to introduce the other family members to you:

 

Omegon 32mm carbon tripod Thanks to the 32mm tripod legs, this tripod provides a sturdy foundation. Weighing only 2kg and with a length of 59cm, is it ideal for travel.

Stativ für die MiniTrack

Deluxe polar wedge: You can simply secure your Astrotracker to the tripod head. However, this is easier and more precise using a polar wedge. This enables you to precisely align the north celestial pole. The provides the benefit of providing a stable north orientation.

Polhöhenwiege Deluxe

Pole finder light: Being able to see the pole finder’s images in the night sky is a priceless advantage. At night you tend to have your hands full. It is good when you don’t need to use a lamp to complicatedly light up the polarscope. The pole finder light is convenient and evenly illuminates the images using a red LED.

Polsucherbeleuchtung MiniTrack

OM10 ball head Still don’t have a ball head? You need one to align your camera with areas of the night sky. The Omegon OM10 fits perfectly on the MiniTrack.

Kugelkopf für MiniTrack

MiniTrack LX3: The white version holds cameras up to 3kg in weight and contains an optical polarscope. To mount the LX3 on a polar wedge, you require the 55mm MiniPrismRails.

MiniTrack LX3

MiniTrack Essentials: Exceptionally good value and sufficient for getting started with wide-angle lenses. The MiniTrack Essentials contains a small polarscope that can be used to align the tracker with the Pole Star. This basic model can be upgraded at a later date.

MiniTrack Basis Version

Interested in taking your first images with the MiniTrack? You can find out how to do this in our step-by-step video “Astrophotos with the MiniTrack – a how-to guide”. Have fun observing and photographing.

Video: astrophotography with the Omegon MiniTrack

November 3 2021, Marcus Schenk

In this video, you will get to know the Omegon MiniTrack astrotracker. What equipment do you need for good landscape astrophotography? And what do you need to watch out for, adjust or activate once you’re outdoors?
We’ll take a step-by-step look at everything from set-up to capturing an image.
After the video, you’ll be ready to create your own beautiful pictures with the MiniTrack.

Hot off the press: we are also introducing the new MiniTrack LX Quattro!

Products used in the video:

Omegon MiniTrack LX3 mount set Product no.: 62037

Omegon MiniTrack LX Quattro NS mount Product no.: 69307

Omegon Deluxe polar wedge Product no.: 69370

Omegon Pro 32mm carbon tripod incl. ball head Product no.: 60251

Omegon polar finder light for MiniTrack LX 2 + 3 and EQ mounts with light unit Product no.: 69568

Omegon 55mm prism rail with screw Product no.: 64965

New version: the Polarie U star tracker mount from Vixen

October 28 2021, Stefan Taube

A few years ago, the Japanese manufacturer Vixen launched the Polarie, the first tracking unit for cameras that can fit in every photographer’s bag. The tracking device, also called a star tracker, compensates for the celestial rotation. With it, a camera remains aligned with a section of the night sky for many minutes, and can gather light from faint stars, the Milky Way and cosmic nebulae.

Vixen now offers a new version of its successful star tracker mount, the Polarie U Star Tracker.

Fotomontierung Vixen

Polarie U star tracker mount with camera and optional ball head

Compared to the classic Polarie, the new Polarie U is significantly lighter whilst at the same time having a higher load-bearing capacity. The distance between the two bearings supporting the rotating shaft is approximately four times that of its predecessor. This has led to a higher load-bearing capacity despite a 20% weight reduction. It can carry 2.5kg for wide-field astrophotography using lenses with a short focal length. The optional mounting accessories comprising a prism rail and counterweight can be used to increase the load capacity to 6.5kg, so that the star tracker mount can also carry cameras with large lenses.

In addition, the  Polarie U creates its own WLAN. You can connect your smartphone to the mount and control it using a free app. With a suitable cable release from the Polarie U accessory selection, you can also control the camera itself via the app, for example to set a series of exposures. This is not only convenient, but also very useful thanks to the hands-free operation.

The Polarie U can of course also be converted for use in the southern hemisphere. The lightweight mount is therefore ideal for your next expedition south of the equator.

POLARIE U Star Tracker Astrofoto-Montierung

Build your own OpenAstroTech mount!

June 11 2021, Stefan Taube

A photo mount allows you to track the rotation of the night sky on a camera equipped with a photo lens or a small telescope. This allows for long exposure shots of large areas of the night sky.

The manufacturer OpenAstroTech now offers a very functional, yet particularly inexpensive variant of a photo mount. The OpenAstroTracker is a mount you can build yourself!

Der OpenAstroTracker mit Kamera und optionalem Autoguider

The OpenAstroTracker with camera and optional autoguider

Building the mount yourself is not only fun and educational, you also get a powerful GoTo mount at an extremely low price thanks to the DIY approach!

Some of the features:

  • GoTo: The mount comes with full, computer-control functionality. The electronics are compatible with commonly used astronomy software.
  • Suitable for DSLR cameras with a maximum total length of 35cm (camera body with lens). The maximum recommended focal length without autoguider is 200mm.
  • High-precision stepper motors: GoTo positioning accuracy of approx. 1 arcmin, tracking accuracy of 25 arcsec, guided accuracy of approx. 1 arcsec.

What you will need: A USB power bank able to deliver at least 5V 1A

The OpenAstroTracker is available in different latitude setting versions. We will supply you with a set that allows you to set up the mount for a latitude of either 35° to 45° or 45° to 55°.

Der Bausatz OpenAstroTracker

The OpenAstroTracker kit

No need to worry: The electronic components are all designed for easy use. No soldering is necessary.

A matching DIY autoguider is also available as an option: OpenAstroGuider V2

New: Skywatcher Star Adventurer with Wi-Fi

October 16 2020, Stefan Taube

The manufacturer Skywatcher has now equipped its Star Adventurer with Wi-Fi. This means that the popular photographic mount can now be controlled conveniently and most importantly, remotely, using a free app.

The set also includes a polar wedge, a counterweight and an L-bracket.

What hasn’t changed is the proven concept: the Star Adventurer allows the tracking of the night sky with a camera. In this way, long-exposure images of the night sky can be taken without a telescope, simply through the camera lens. Such photographic mounts are enjoying ever-increasing popularity. The Star Adventurer is one of the larger models with a load capacity of five kilograms.

We offer the Star Adventurer as a photographic set with practical accessories, or in the standard configuration . All you need is a photographic tripod and of course a camera. However Skywatcher itself also offers a tripod for the Star Adventurer.

As far as the camera is concerned, we offer a wide range of DSLR cameras which are specially modified for astrophotography.

CEM70 with iGuider – the latest innovation from iOptron

September 23 2020, Jan Ströher

The American company iOptron, which has already built a good reputation for itself in recent years with innovative, efficient and quiet mounts, launched a worthy successor to the popular CEM60 in April this year: the CEM70.

The new CEM70 comes with the characteristic appearance of the proven CEM mounts. CEM stands for centre-balanced equatorial mount. This design allows a particularlyfavourable ratio of load capacity to actual mount weight. In the case of the CEM70, the ratio is 2.3. This means that the mount carries more than twice its own weight! So, the CEM70 is still suitable for mobile applications, but is also a very good mount for observatories.

The stepper motors and the toothed belt drive allow high pointing accuracy in GoTo operation, but most importantly, a very precise tracking accuracy with a periodic error of less than +/- 3.5 arc seconds. All this with the usual welcome quiet operation of all iOptron mounts.

Just like the CEM25P or the CEM60, the new model is perfectly suited for astrophotography. The highlight is a version which comes with iGuider, an integrated autoguider! In addition, both versions of the CEM70 have an ST4 interface, built-in GPS, a sturdy transport case, quiet stepper motors, the proven Go2Nova hand controller, as well as a dual mount saddle for Vixen and Losmandy dovetail plates.

With a maximum load capacity of 31kg, the CEM70 offers great flexibility for different telescopes and the appropriate photographic equipment. All in all, the new CEM70 is an even more portable mount with a wellthought-out design, useful functions and additional features, which also carries a higher instrument load even more safely, tracks quietly and precisely, and thus will never let you down during astrophotography! Both model versions can be found from us here at Astroshop.

MiniTrack with Polar Wedge: Photos made even easier.

May 6 2020, Marcus Schenk

Have you spent months marvelling at the photos of the night sky which your MiniTrack produces? Or have you often caught yourself thinking that you would like to take photos like these?

Today we would like to show you a combination which helps to make everything function even better.

MiniTrack mit Polhöhenwiege

A sample set-up for more professional photos: The Omegon MiniTrack with a camera and polarscope on the new polar wedge.

 

Picture this: It is dark, you can only just make out the outline of your MiniTrack and are kneeling in front of your tripod in order to line it up. You could say it is a bit of a test of your patience. Finally, you have to align the ball-head with the celestial pole. Ugh. If that doesn’t make you sweat at minus 5 degrees, nothing will.
Is there a simpler way? With more precision? Perhaps like you are accustomed to on big mounts?

A clever idea: now also for the MiniTrack.

Whether you have a MiniTrack LX2, an LX3 or the North and South variant: When combined with the compact Omegon pole height cradle, alignment with the north celestial pole is even more precise. Using adjusting screws for the azimuth and the polar height, you can set the required angle to the precise degree. This means you can work with your MiniTrack as easily as with any large mount. Due to the more precise setting, you can achieve exposures with fewer errors. This is indeed a clever addition which has been long awaited by many people.

 

How do you assemble your MiniTrack?

It’s simple: the polar wedge attaches to your tripod via a 3/8” thread. An integrated spirit level shows you when you have reached a level setting. Simply secure your MiniTrack using a standard Vixen-style dovetail bar. Your mount is then assembled and subsequently can be stowed away again in seconds, as usual.
Do you have a different manufacturer’s model instead of a MiniTrack? Of course, you can also use a different travel mount on the polar wedge.

Are you also inspired by the idea of creating better shots with the help of your MiniTrack? Then take a look at the Omegon Polar Wedge.

It’s finally here! The Unistellar eVscope is now available.

April 24 2020, Elias Erdnüß

The Unistellar eVscope is a computer-assisted Newtonian telescope on an altazimuth GoTo mount.

 

After years of development, the eagerly-awaited eVscope from Unistellar, a French start-up company, is now finally in stock.  Until now it was only available to early supporters of the successful Kickstarter campaign, but now you can also buy it from Astroshop.

The eVscope simplifies the operation and extends the functionality of a classic telescope. It ensures that getting started in the fascinating hobby of astronomy is made as easy as possible.

Thanks to live stacking, the eVscope displays the structures and colours of nebulae and galaxies.

 

Unlike a classic telescope, the image is not generated directly, but instead is captured by a highly sensitive sensor. The image is then processed by an integrated computer, and projected through an eyepiece to the observer’s eye by means of a high-contrast OLED screen. The telescope can collect light over a long period of time (live stacking) and process the image in such a way that enables the structures and colours of faint nebulae and galaxies to be clearly visible! These details are usually not visible with purely optical telescopes of this size.

With an eVscope, a sensor takes an image of the night sky. This image can be viewed on a smartphone or via a live projection system using a high contrast OLED display.

 

In addition, the integrated computer makes operating the eVscope very easy: using visible stars the telescope calculates its exact position (plate solving). Then the built-in motors can accurately point to any selected observing target. Unlike conventional GoTo telescopes, you are spared the cumbersome input of GPS coordinates and the time, as well as star alignment which, for beginners, is thoroughly confusing. Simply switch on and get going!

You control the eVscope using a smartphone app. You can find more information here!

Skywatcher EQ8-R: The new observatory class mount!

February 5 2020, Stefan Taube

Skywatcher’s EQ8 series astronomical mounts are the most capable models from this manufacturer. They can carry telescopes and accessories weighing up to 50 kilograms! This makes EQ8 mounts particularly interesting for observatories – no matter whether garden, school or club observatories.

Skywatcher EQ8-R Montierung mit Stativ

Skywatcher EQ8-R mount with tripod

Skywatcher has updated its EQ8 mount and now offers it in two versions: the EQ8-R and EQ8-RH mounts. The EQ8-RH version has a high-resolution Renishaw encoder on the right ascension axis. This eliminates the need for tracking control during astrophotography.

Both versions of the EQ8-R mount come supplied with the Skywatcher’s proven SynScan control.

These latest EQ8 models offer the following improvements as compared to the initial version:

  • Internal cable routing prevents cable clutter and cable damage
  • More connection options for accessories: 4x USB, 3x 12 volt outputs
  • Optimized positioning of the drive motors for improved balance
  • Improved clutches on the axes for a more secure grip
  • Improved clamping screws on the prism clamp for greater comfort and greater clamping force
  • Belt drive on the declination axis for smoother running

Skywatcher offers a special tripod for its EQ8 mount. The tripod also allows portable use of the mount, but does require two people for setting it up.

If you want to set up the mount on a fixed pier, you can simply order the EQ8 mount without the tripod. The tripod may also be ordered at a later date. All versions of the EQ8 mount can be found here at Astroshop.

With its EQ8-R, Skywatcher offers a modern mount for large OTAs – which the latest stage of development has made almost perfect!

The SkyGuider Pro camera mount from iOptron is now available with an electronic polar finder

January 8 2020, Stefan Taube

The SkyGuider Pro is a very light mount on which you can set up a camera with interchangeable lenses or a small telescope. This approach allows longer exposure times and so you can create fascinating wide-angle shots of the night sky.

iOptron Montierung SkyGuider Pro iPolar Set

iOptron Mount SkyGuider Pro iPolar Set

The SkyGuider Pro is now also available as a set together with the iPolar electronic polar finder, which has been built into the mount. With this accessory, you can easily and very precisely polar-align your mount.

The electronic finder has a built-in camera. This shows the position of the northern celestial pole and the location that the polar axis of the mount is pointing at, on your laptop. Simply bring the two points together by turning the adjustment screws for the azimuth and altitude axes of the mount – and you’re done!

SkyGuider Pro mit iPolar

SkyGuider Pro with iPolar

The location of the celestial north pole differs somewhat from the location of the Pole Star. The electronics calculate the exact position using the date and time. Thanks to the sensitivity of the camera and the large field of view, this so-called polar alignment is successful even when the mount has been only roughly positioned. This also works in the southern hemisphere and even takes into account atmospheric refraction at low latitudes!

If want to do without iPolar, you can of course still purchase the SkyGuider Pro mount without the electronic polar finder here.

30.11.2021
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