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Hello all,

I have been researching for the past two months what equipment I will need to buy to photograph the upcoming solar eclipse, I have everything under control except the goto mount.  Because I am new to this, forgive me if I have made any false assumptions or have any misunderstandings.

So after going back and forth with my short-term goals, long-term goals, and budget, I have decided I want an equatorial mount since I have read that alt-az mounts are not well-suited for 30~60 second exposures, due to image rotation.  Although the price is a little higher, I figure it is worth it since I want to be able to use the mount for non-eclipse photography in the future, like star clusters, planets, the moon, etc. .

So I have my eyes squarely set on the EXOS-2GT, for its capabilities and its price point -- I really can't go higher than this price at this time.

But I have struggled to answer some basic questions about this mount that I'm hoping you all may be able to tell me:

Can the mount be aligned during the day?  Can I use the sun for alignment?  Other clever ways to align during the day that don't involve aligning before sunrise?

Is the tripod interchangeble?  Is there any reason why I may not want to use a shorter tripod than the one supplied with the mount?  (this is purely for travel convinience, and reuse with other equipment)

Is there any other eq tracking mount within this price range that you think is better for my needs?  Is there any reason you would not recommend this mount for my needs?

And lastly, can it be controlled from a laptop? (this is not for the eclipse, but in general, if I can re-use the mount to do precisely panned video, or panning time lapse video, it would be a big plus)
(I'm assuming this mount does not have a shutter release port, is that correct?)
(on this note, I am aware of cheaper alt-az mounts that do have this capability, but as mentioned above, i would rather go with an eq)

Thank you so much, and do clue me in on anything else you think I should know.

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Hello and welcome to SGL. You have not mentioned anything about which telescope you intend to use with the mount, which may dictate its suitability. The Bresser / Explore Scientific Exos 2GT is a clone of the Vixen Super Polaris and was originally a Meade LXD75. A thread on Cloudy Nights has mixed reviews of the mount, some good some not so. 

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4 hours ago, Cornelius Varley said:

Hello and welcome to SGL. You have not mentioned anything about which telescope you intend to use with the mount, which may dictate its suitability. The Bresser / Explore Scientific Exos 2GT is a clone of the Vixen Super Polaris and was originally a Meade LXD75. A thread on Cloudy Nights has mixed reviews of the mount, some good some not so. 

Right, for now I plan to use an 800 mm f/8 lens attached to a DSLR camera.  Combined weight should be close to 5 pounds.

Before I began to consider the EXOS 2GT I was considering the Sky-Watcher AllView, which would work perfectly for the solar eclipse but is not equatorial.

I may be convinced to go with the AllView if the EXOS 2GT is majorly problematic, I would rather have a good alt-az mount than a bad eq mount.  My mind changes every few hours these days, which is why I've finally decided to come to the astro forums and seek some input from people who know, live and breathe this stuff.

Also, something I notice generally about reviews of expensive products: it is hard to tell if the reason why a product gets a poor review is that it is actually bad or is it just "bad" because the reviewer prefers models double the price?  In photography for instance, some lenses get negative reviews because the reviewer is comparing them to the $1000+ equivalent ... that does not make the $200 lens "bad" though.

Edited by henryhudson
typoe
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