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FLO

Vixen Polarie Mount and accessories at First Light Optics

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The Vixen Polarie mount and accessories are now available from First Light Optics (apologies for arriving late to the party!) :smiley:

The Vixen Polarie is a sturdy, ultraportable tracking mount designed to follow the apparent motion of the stars caused by the earth’s rotation, so eliminating star trails. This enables sharp wide-field photos of constellations, shooting stars and the Milky Way. You can also photograph 'starscapes' by adding a darkened landscape or silhouetted figure in the foreground of your frame.

The bare-bones package includes the Polarie with an in-built tracking motor, compass and latitude meter/scale suitable for camera lenses with focal lengths up to around 100mm, but this can be increased to around 200mm through the use of an optional dedicated Vixen Polar Scope that enables precise alignment on the true Celestial Pole.

Vixen also offer a useful Quick Polaris Locator Compass to assist with alignment.

Designed for use with a photo/video tripod, tripod head and ball-&-socket head (mid-range kit from Manfrotto, Velbon or similar would be ideal).

The Vixen Polarie has a 4.4 lb payload capacity (a DSLR typically weighs around 1-2 lb and a quality ball-&-socket head around 1lb, leaving around 1-2.5 lb for your camera lens or telescope). For heavier setups or focal lengths longer than around 200mm we offer the larger Astrotrac TT320X-AG.

For further details including a downloadable instruction manual and user-guide please visit our website's Vixen Polarie section.


vixen-optics-polarie-polar-scope.jpg

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yes but will it blend/autoguide?

No :smiley:

To be fair you wouldn't normally expect autoguiding from a mount that can fit in a coat pocket. The latest Astrotrac TT320X-AG is an exception, having an autoguide feature on it's axis and greater load-bearing capacity. But the Astrotrac is not quite as compact as the Vixen Polarie and I have yet to meet someone who has actually used it's autoguide function.

The Vixen Polarie offers an interesting alternative to the Astrotrac (we offer both) with an even more minimalist approach to astrophotography where ease of use, portability and fun are king. Most people will use it for trips to dark sky locations or Star Partys with a DSLR and lens, or possibly a compact refractor.

HTH,

Steve

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I know soemone who is using the auto guiding on the Astrotrac - David Bernard. I'll see if I can get him to post here tomorrow. He us using a Tak 60 & think I recall him running 8 min subs recently......

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....John & David have also installed the polarie finder on their astrotracs with a custom built adapter.

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I know soemone who is using the auto guiding on the Astrotrac - David Bernard. I'll see if I can get him to post here tomorrow. He us using a Tak 60 & think I recall him running 8 min subs recently......

I am sure some people do use the guiding function but I am guessing most find the Astrotrac's non-guided performance more than adequate for a DSLR and lens up to around 100mm, which is what these types of mounts were originally designed for. It is in our psyche to push kit beyond what was intended, Astrotrac noticed this so added the guiding function for those using longer focal lengths. It has done the Astrotrac no harm whatsoever but I personally hope Vixen don't follow suit because I feel it would not be in keeping with the Polarie's design philosophy, which is portability, ease of use and fun.

I could be wrong and we offer both the Astrotrac TT320X-AG and Vixen Polarie so please do post your thoughts :smiley:

Steve

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Steve, it would be helpful to potential buyers of this if they had some idea of what periodic error or tracking speed error they can expect.

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Steve, it would be helpful to potential buyers of this if they had some idea of what periodic error or tracking speed error they can expect.

It would but I don't think we'll ever be given that figure. Only the best of the best (most expensive) tend to give data like that so we must rely on end-users sharing their experiences. To be fair most people buying a Polarie will be casual astronomers or photographers who will think in terms like "how long will it track and still produce round stars". The Polarie is new onto the market but I found one review in the US quoting about 5-mins with a 100mm lens when aligned through the sight-hole and triple that when aligned using the polarscope.

Themos, your questions suggest you are looking for something more capable than a pocket mount. Have you considered a Skywatcher HEQ5 Syntrek or PRO?

HTH,

Steve

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Hi

Shame that, I bought mine a couple of months ago now. If I had known I might have waited.

My experience so far has been limited.to 3min exposures near the ecliptic using a 70mm lens. I'm finding squinting on Polaris through the 7mm finder hole easy, but as you pull back for a longer and hopefully more sensitive alignment, its hard to keep in sight.

I may yet splash on the polar scope!

Mike

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Thanks, Steve, I see your point about the intended market. It may well be that the Polarie is accurate enough not to need autoguiding (at the intendend focal length). I just think that adding autoguiding capability to the tracking motor is actually very cheap so it's a bit of a shame that it wasn't done. I have gone ahead and made my own "holiday" photo-mount out of an EQ1 that I converted to autoguiding. And I already have an EQ6 (supplied by FLO!) for the home.

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I have one on my shopping list. Could come in handy if next years comets put on a show.

M

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Shame that, I bought mine a couple of months ago now. If I had known I might have waited.

Thank-you for the thought Mike :smiley:

It is in our psyche to push kit beyond what was intended,

I have gone ahead and made my own "holiday" photo-mount out of an EQ1 that I converted to autoguiding.

I rest my case :grin:

And I already have an EQ6 (supplied by FLO!) for the home.

Ah yes. Good choice :icon_salut::smiley:

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It would but I don't think we'll ever be given that figure. Only the best of the best (most expensive) tend to give data like that so we must rely on end-users sharing their experiences.

Steve

Well, just out of interest, I asked Vixen Japan the question... and in a very roundabout avoiding-the-question kind of way they said they don't have data on PEC.

Time to do some measurements of our own...

Cheers, Pete

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That's a good saving. The quality of the Vixen polarscope is very high indeed and unlike many other polarscopes, it is a doddle to use as a circular sliderule as the simple bubble level halves the calibration time.

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Yes. It is the Japanese build quality and attention to detail that sets Vixen's Polarie and polarscope apart from similar-looking Chinese models :smiley: 

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…. apologies for arriving late to the party!  :smiley:

Unfortunately we are once again late to the party! Sorry about that  :blush:

Orders received today or tomorrow should be with customers before Christmas, otherwise delivery will be in the first week of January. 

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The Vixen Polarie was what gave me the Astro bug. I bought one last year as I wanted something ultra portable (I do a lot of off grid motorcycle touring). This little beauty together with a belatedly purchased Polrascope fit inside my tank bag along with my Fuji X-E1 and a few primes. Running off  a USB power pack, this thing will go all night and it works exceptionally well with wide angle lenses (Fuji XF-14).    

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The Vixen Polarie was what gave me the Astro bug. I bought one last year as I wanted something ultra portable (I do a lot of off grid motorcycle touring). This little beauty together with a belatedly purchased Polrascope fit inside my tank bag along with my Fuji X-E1 and a few primes. Running off  a USB power pack, this thing will go all night and it works exceptionally well with wide angle lenses (Fuji XF-14).    

Thank-you for the feedback :smiley:

I think the Polarie has shaken up the portable astrophotography market in much the same way the Astrotrac did when it was released.

Regarding the new Vixen Polarie and Polarscope package. We are not sure at this stage if it will be a limited promotion or an ongoing offer. As soon as we do know we'll post the news here. 

vixen_polarie_polarscope_package_thumb.j

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Forgot to mention, you can use these for panned timelapse photography, just set the Polarie level (as a turntable) on a tripod and choose one of 4 racking rates and timelapse away!

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The price of the Vixen Polarie and the Vixen Polarscope have been significantly reduced :glasses2:

Partly due to the Japanese Yen / UK £ situation but I daresay competition from Chinese me-too products have also played a part. 

The Vixen Polarie Star Tracker was £379, now £265.

The Vixen Polarscope for Polarie was £159, now £129.

The Vixen Polarie and Polarscope bundle was £449, now £375.

The only thing that has changed is the price, the Polarie is still designed and manufactured by Vixen in Japan :smiley:

vixen-optics-polarie-polar-scope.jpg

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That's quite some tumble - it was a great product even at the original price so this makes it even more appealing.

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