iOptron SkyTracker Pro Camera Mount with Polar Scope, Mount Only
|Price:||$299.00 & FREE Shipping|
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- Payload: 6.6 lbs (3 kg)
- Tracking Speed: 1X Cel, 1/2 Cel, Solar, Lunar, N/S
- Charging: Micro USB (5V), 80% charge in 5 hours
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Upgraded from SkyTrackerTM, the Pro is more compact, small enough to fit on your palm, better precision, silent tracking, it even has a built-in rechargeable power source that runs for up to 24 hours of continuous operation. The improved precision polar scope maintains a fine engraved reticule, now features adjustable illumination with eight brightness levels. Using with our smart phone app, quick and accurate polar alignment is just a joy. The SkyTrackerTM Pro features four tracking rates, 1X or sidereal, 1/2X for sky and landscape, solar and lunar. All 4 tracking rates work in both northern and southern hemispheres. We have also added a quick slew mode with both forward and reverse to help quickly reframing your image without disrupting the cameras position. We have made big improvements on the SkyTrackerTM Pro’s removable alt-azimuth base, which features a precision bubble level, degree markings for the altitude and a built in post for the azimuth control. You can also mount the SkyTrackerTM Pro head (without the base) directly to any standard photographic tripod with 1/4” or 3/8” threads. The SkyTrackerTM Pro is certainly a must have tool for any photographer interested in astroscape or wide field astrophotography.
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1) No more carrying AA batteries and working with that bad battery cover in older version. Now you can charge it through USB and rated for 24 hours.
2) Form factor is smaller and well balanced than older version
3) The removable base is a great addition and it is improved compared to older version. If you have ball head add a right plate to the device and you don't have to carry another weight in your bag
4) Easy to align with ioptron polar app and works without scope for 2 minute exposures
5) For more than 2 minute exposures polar align is necessary and its easy to do with the app.
6) Have a polaris finder app so you can point it at the right direction with latitude adjusted on the base first.
7) I added RRS BH-30 ball head which is the best light weight option and works well.
I don't have any CONS as of now and I bought this device directly from iOptron as I stumbled upon this release when I was trying to buy older version.
Warning: Do not I repeat Do not add ball head to the device without removing the plate off the device. I would have destroyed my OTUS 28mm and camera by doing this. The reason being when you screw ball head without removing the plate it unscrews at the bottom where you can switch out 3/8 to 1/4 threads. Always remove the plate to tighten the ball head, I was lucky nothing bad happened and I notice towards the end of my exposures.
Hope you enjoy this device like I do.
Bar none this is the best “bang for buck” star tracker currently available, it’s also the easiest to use as well.
It’s the best bang for buck because for $299 you receive the tracking device plus an included EQ base. The EQ base is a $70 option for all other star trackers, which is ridiculous because it’s essentially required to accurately polar align.
It’s the easiest because it literally takes less than 5 minutes to set up. It doesn’t require messing with Date Graduation Circles, Time Graduation Circles, or Time Meridian Indicators. You open any of the polar align apps, it tells you where Polaris should be positioned in the reticle and you adjust the Skytracker Pro to mirror that position. Done!
I’ve had success with this thing with a Canon 80D and a 70-200mm Tamron G2, and it easily handled 90 second exposures.
With that said, I did in fact sell it and bought a Star-Adventurer instead, but that was simply because the S-A has pre-programmed astrophotography modes that will automate the entire picture taking process through the “SNAP” terminal.
The price of these trackers is not cheap, but when compared to buying large fast glass the tracker can be a bargain. Although it was frustrating to pay $300 for the mount and then have to buy a seperate app $3 app to know where to put the moon in the alignment scope. I tried to use my 200-500mm with a D7000, which is right at the 3kg weight limit, and it worked but struggled. So I bought the counterweight (iOptron SkyTracker Pro Counterweight Package) now it works really well. Im annoyed that one would need to purchase another ballhead to work with this mount, I already had an extra, but that is another ~$50 that someone would need to pay out on top of the tracker purchase price.
TL;DR - New 'Pro' version better than old version
- Almost silent
- Integrated rechargeable battery
- Jog (forward/reverse) button
- 4 tracking speeds (Sun, Moon, Full Sideral, Half Sideral)
- Many fine tuning knobs
- Dimmable scope LED
- Lots of plastic
- Large lenses 70-200, 200-500, etc will need the counter-weight
- Mildly expensive
- Will need to buy a ballhead
- Separate App purchase needed to know where to align the moon in the scope.
Excellent for taking photos from a half the sky to 500mm lens zoomed in size. I have taken exposures up to a minute without difficulty,