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IainMcD

Widefield/Landscape portable mount/tripod?

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Hi folks,

I'm going hiking in next week and I would like to take my 1100D to get some milky way shots while I'm out. The only mount I have is a CG5.... not exactly practical in the Scottish mounts!

I need a small portable tripod I can use, but I have no idea what I'm looking for, given that I've only ever used it while it's been attached to my scope!

Do I need one that can be polar aligned like a normal mount? Will a generic one off Amazon suffice? I'd be using it to take landscape/milky way shots, and maybe wide shots of Orion etc.

Thanks :)

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A standard photographers tripod will work just fine for widefield and landscapes. Exposures will be 30secs to 1 min iso 800 ish, obviously depending on the type of shot, and the conditions etc... Minimal startrail at 30 seconds, for most wide lenses.

just make sure you get a sturdy one and easy to use in the dark

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If the skies in the area are very dark then you may be able to get away with just a regular tripod and limit your exposures to between 8-30 seconds depending on which lens you use.

If you have the money to spare then the Vixen Polarie is going cheap over on amazon right now http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vixen-75505-Polarie-Star-Tracker/dp/B0061I3EKI and that is a cracker of a portable star tracker. http://astropaz.weebly.com/1/category/polarie/1.html

You will need a tripod and either one or two ball heads to go with it depending on the tripod but for milky way shots you just need to align Polaris through the sight hole on the Polarie which is real easy and you will be getting 3-5 minute exposures with an 18mm lens, easy.

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On a standard tripod allow up to 30 secs at ISO800 or 1600.

I think the Vixen Star Tracker is OK but well overpriced in the UK...I paid £120 in Japan.

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Great advice, thanks guys. I'll stick to a standard tripod for now, but that Polarie thing looks interesting. Hopefully I will have forgotten all about it by the time pay day rolls around!

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Not sure if something like this would be useful it would allow longer exposures with a camera set up than a fixed tripod before field rotation kicks in and could be handy for panoramic shots, i think it can be triopd mounted too http://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/skywatcher-heritage-90-virtuoso.html.

Alan

Thta's pretty neat. OK for up to a minute widefield as it is an AZ mount, but the price is good too.

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