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Omegon MiniTrack LX2 Tracking DSLR Mount


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4 hours ago, Mr niall said:

No just let it run, keep snapping until the timer runs out then wind it up and start again! 

Thanks so much and apologies for being a bit thick. This is an upgrade on an old manual barn door mount for me so wee bit more technical

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Well the wedge arrived this morning so I just set it all up for a looksy. I think I'm all set now for some clear nights. Some pics of the setup and a bonus image of Andromeda I did a few weeks back be

Hi, Right so tonight was the first night I got to use the tracker. Lack of time, poor choice of location for first pic, iffy at best polar alignment in second shot, forgetting to level tripod, an

I used my new minitrack lx2 for the first time last night. Managed to get a decent shot o Pleiades, using my Canon 600d and a pentax 40-80mm zoom lens at 80mm. Took 25 exposures at 45 seconds each, an

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3 hours ago, Nigella Bryant said:

Using one as we speak on a camping trip in the southwest of England. I'm keeping to two mins sub's which I'd say is about right with my modded 1000d Canon at iso800. First time I've really used the mini mount, I've found polar alignment fairly difficult or should I say fidly. Last night messed up 6x2min sub's as I realised I wasn't polar aligned properly, got star trails. Second lot of 15x2min sub's seem good, I'll see when I'm home and able to process then. I captured m16 and m17 quite by accident as I was trying to aim for the lagoon nebula, lol. I'm using around 100mm telephoto. 

I found when the drive runs out turning the winder takes the camera off target and you have to realign. Fine if you've finished that shoot on that object but a pain if you want more subs. Moral of that story is rewind and align with each new object you wish to image, that will give probably 40 to 50mins of subs, which is plenty. My brief take on it, seems good but proof of the pudding will be what comes out of my images when home. 

Thanks for this info

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14 minutes ago, asset189 said:

Thanks so much and apologies for being a bit thick. This is an upgrade on an old manual barn door mount for me so wee bit more technical

No probs pal ask away. 

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On 24/04/2019 at 10:57, petevasey said:

But of course if the tripod has a pan/tilt head - often the case if already being used for photography, that will also do the job.  Like the one to which I posted a link earlier in this thread.  Personally, and particularly if using an accurate polar scope, I would prefer a head which has fine adjustments in both Alt and Az.  There is a Manfrotto unit. but it's expensive, as are most look alikes.  It's possible to buy separately the geared wedge for the Star Adventurer.  Strong, stable and good value.  The only problem there might be the fixing to the short dovetail if that comes with the wedge - it has a 3/8" bolt, but I think the Minitrack only has a 1/4" thread.  Relatively easy to sort with a bit of ingenuity.  A pity the LX3 doesn't have the larger 3/8" thread with a 1/4" insert - even more adaptable to a variety of mountings.

A little later just to mention again the Andoer ball head which is good quality (I have one) and a substantial saving over the one supplied with the Minitrack.

Peter

Hi Peter, 

I'm thinking of buying the LX3 and as this would be my start in astrophotography I'd need a tripod and head too, you seem to know of some good alternatives so I'm wondering if you can offer any advice to someone who doesn't have Manfrotto money. I've read that Vanguard make decent budget tripods so do you have any idea if something like this would be sufficient for the LX3 with my Nikon D5600 with 18-55mm kit lens, 70-300mm and 50mm Nikon series E lens?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vanguard-Alta-Pro-263AB-100/dp/B004OYUDG4/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=vanguard+alta+pro+tripod&qid=1587317337&sr=8-3

Any advice on tripods and heads would be much appreciated. 

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Have you considered the used market as well? There are good Manfrotto tripods available, like the famous 055, going for around £100. Could be a chance to get a more premium tripod for a good price.

I can't comment on Vanguard tripods, but I'm using this tripod from Neewer since a couple years, and I'm very happy so far. I think a few other people on the forum use it as well. For the price, it's excellent and very stable. The ballhead is also good, and will easily carry your setup. The carbon fiber makes it surprisingly light and yet, quite solid.

Also, 2 interesting features this tripod has, and that you should be looking for, IMO:

  • a hook under the central column, that allows you to hang something and improve the stability of the tripod, by lowering its center of gravity
  • removable rubber feet, with included metallic spikes: this is great if you're imaging in the grass. You can keep the rubber feet if you're on a hard surface, like concrete or pavement.

The only downside is that the glue used on the rubber knobs starts to wear off, which makes tightening it more difficult. I need to add some glue. That's the downside of cheap Chinese brands, but to be honest, for the price it's really not a big deal!

ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTFhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/-/en/gp/product/B01I1C8VGI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

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1 hour ago, Space Oddities said:

Have you considered the used market as well? There are good Manfrotto tripods available, like the famous 055, going for around £100. Could be a chance to get a more premium tripod for a good price.

I can't comment on Vanguard tripods, but I'm using this tripod from Neewer since a couple years, and I'm very happy so far. I think a few other people on the forum use it as well. For the price, it's excellent and very stable. The ballhead is also good, and will easily carry your setup. The carbon fiber makes it surprisingly light and yet, quite solid.

Also, 2 interesting features this tripod has, and that you should be looking for, IMO:

  • a hook under the central column, that allows you to hang something and improve the stability of the tripod, by lowering its center of gravity
  • removable rubber feet, with included metallic spikes: this is great if you're imaging in the grass. You can keep the rubber feet if you're on a hard surface, like concrete or pavement.

The only downside is that the glue used on the rubber knobs starts to wear off, which makes tightening it more difficult. I need to add some glue. That's the downside of cheap Chinese brands, but to be honest, for the price it's really not a big deal!

ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTFhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/-/en/gp/product/B01I1C8VGI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

I haven't looked at used yet so I'll definitely see what's available for around the £100 mark. If I don't see anything the Neewer you suggest could be a good option, I'm familiar with the brand so would sort of know what to expect in terms of quality. If it's used by a few other people of the forum I guess this level of tripod and head is sturdy enough to image with - do you know if anyone has used it with the Mini Track LX2/LX3 because I'm pretty sure the LX3 is the route I'lltake but just need to sort a tripod and head too? 

Thanks for your response and I hope you don't mind a follow up question, I just want to make sure I'm spending my hard-earned money on equipment that will get me started. I know I'm definitely at the budget end but from what I've seen, if I spend wisely, things like Andromeda and Orion nebula should be possible. 

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"Hi Peter, 

I'm thinking of buying the LX3 and as this would be my start in astrophotography I'd need a tripod and head too, you seem to know of some good alternatives so I'm wondering if you can offer any advice to someone who doesn't have Manfrotto money"

Sorry, but I'm not really up to speed as far as tripods go. For some years now I've been using a Manfrotto unit, a 190XPro 3 section, which happily carries my Star Adventurer.  But as you say, Manfrotto are quite pricey, albeit very well made.  That Neewer unit looks very nice, and with carbon fibre is not only light, but won't freeze your skin in sub zero weather!

Best of luck, Peter

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9 hours ago, LottJT said:

I haven't looked at used yet so I'll definitely see what's available for around the £100 mark. If I don't see anything the Neewer you suggest could be a good option, I'm familiar with the brand so would sort of know what to expect in terms of quality. If it's used by a few other people of the forum I guess this level of tripod and head is sturdy enough to image with - do you know if anyone has used it with the Mini Track LX2/LX3 because I'm pretty sure the LX3 is the route I'lltake but just need to sort a tripod and head too? 

Thanks for your response and I hope you don't mind a follow up question, I just want to make sure I'm spending my hard-earned money on equipment that will get me started. I know I'm definitely at the budget end but from what I've seen, if I spend wisely, things like Andromeda and Orion nebula should be possible. 

I used the Minitrack a couple times with this tripod, but also heavier payloads: about 2,5 kg for the lens, camera and filter wheel, 1.2 kg for the mount (AZ-GTi), 1 kg for the wedge. So almost 5 kg in total for deep sky imaging, and no problem :) 

As I said, the only gotcha with this tripod is probably durability. A brand like Gitzo or Manfrotto, who are dedicated tripod companies, probably uses better quality and more proven materials than Neewer. My tripod still works fine, but isn't as smooth as its first days. But for the price, it's totally fine with me ;) 

If you can find on the used market, for the same price, a good Manfrotto or Gitzo tripod that suits your need, I would go for it. If you prefer something new, carbon fiber, then the Neewer is a good option. 

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I use that exact tripod (except its branded as Rollei) with my LX3 and a Canon 250d. Its rock solid cant recommend it enough. Mine is only the aluminium one too not the carbon version so you should be fine.

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21 hours ago, petevasey said:

"Hi Peter, 

I'm thinking of buying the LX3 and as this would be my start in astrophotography I'd need a tripod and head too, you seem to know of some good alternatives so I'm wondering if you can offer any advice to someone who doesn't have Manfrotto money"

Sorry, but I'm not really up to speed as far as tripods go. For some years now I've been using a Manfrotto unit, a 190XPro 3 section, which happily carries my Star Adventurer.  But as you say, Manfrotto are quite pricey, albeit very well made.  That Neewer unit looks very nice, and with carbon fibre is not only light, but won't freeze your skin in sub zero weather!

Best of luck, Peter

Yes, I've read that carbon fiber is a good option and I know Neewer make decent budget alternatives to the higher quality brands so I may go for that if I can't find a Manfrotto or Gitzo for similar money. Thanks for getting back to me. 

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7 hours ago, Mr niall said:

I use that exact tripod (except its branded as Rollei) with my LX3 and a Canon 250d. Its rock solid cant recommend it enough. Mine is only the aluminium one too not the carbon version so you should be fine.

Thanks for the recommendation. Good to read of someone using a similar set up to what I'm proposing. I know it's more suited to wide angle Milky Way images but have you managed to capture any DSOs with it?

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14 hours ago, Space Oddities said:

I used the Minitrack a couple times with this tripod, but also heavier payloads: about 2,5 kg for the lens, camera and filter wheel, 1.2 kg for the mount (AZ-GTi), 1 kg for the wedge. So almost 5 kg in total for deep sky imaging, and no problem :) 

As I said, the only gotcha with this tripod is probably durability. A brand like Gitzo or Manfrotto, who are dedicated tripod companies, probably uses better quality and more proven materials than Neewer. My tripod still works fine, but isn't as smooth as its first days. But for the price, it's totally fine with me ;) 

If you can find on the used market, for the same price, a good Manfrotto or Gitzo tripod that suits your need, I would go for it. If you prefer something new, carbon fiber, then the Neewer is a good option. 

I've looked at some used Manfrottos and Gitzos but the only ones in my budget seem to be the less sturdy models or those without heads. As I need to get the LX3 and probably a Starwatcher equatorial wedge as well as the tripod I need to keep the costs down where possible so something like the Neewer seems to fit the bill. Thanks a lot for the advice, it's all been really helpful. 👍

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33 minutes ago, LottJT said:

Thanks for the recommendation. Good to read of someone using a similar set up to what I'm proposing. I know it's more suited to wide angle Milky Way images but have you managed to capture any DSOs with it?

Yes I’m doing an M51 / M101 widefield as we speak!

E132B884-9DA1-487A-87EC-25B554C44ABB.jpeg

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1 hour ago, LottJT said:

Hope it went well. I'd be very interested to see how you got on.

I’m not very good so it may not be very inspiring! Was really windy last night too. Lost quite a few subs, but I’ll share what I end up with for reference if nothing else.

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1 hour ago, Mr niall said:

I’m not very good so it may not be very inspiring! Was really windy last night too. Lost quite a few subs, but I’ll share what I end up with for reference if nothing else.

I'll await your Hubble level images with anticipation! 😉

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As promised - bit windy last night so ended up with 35x 60sec at 80mm, ended up throwing the rest away. Alkaid in middle, M51 on right, M101 on left. Sure you could do better much better pal. But mount worked fine.

gimpoutput.jpeg

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On 22/04/2020 at 14:59, Mr niall said:

As promised - bit windy last night so ended up with 35x 60sec at 80mm, ended up throwing the rest away. Alkaid in middle, M51 on right, M101 on left. Sure you could do better much better pal. But mount worked fine.

gimpoutput.jpeg

Well the only imaging I've ever done was 1x 30sec shot of the Milky Way taken on holiday with my DSLR propped against a shoe to point it skyward...so this is definitely better than what I've produced! I'm obviously not in a position to judge other people's images but it definitely looked like the tracker has done what it promises. Thanks for sharing. 

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Hi, Niall,

Unless you cropped your image it looks as though you were imaging with a 100 mm lens or thereabouts.  So bang on the suggested maximum time of 100/focal length minutes.   Yet no signs of trailing - presumably examination of the full sized image is equally satisfactory.  With the 250D 3.72um pixels, that would put the resolution at 8.9 arc-secs per pixel.  Larger pixels would allow longer exposure times without signs of trailing.  Very impressive!

Cheers,

Peter

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58 minutes ago, petevasey said:

Hi, Niall,

Unless you cropped your image it looks as though you were imaging with a 100 mm lens or thereabouts.  So bang on the suggested maximum time of 100/focal length minutes.   Yet no signs of trailing - presumably examination of the full sized image is equally satisfactory.  With the 250D 3.72um pixels, that would put the resolution at 8.9 arc-secs per pixel.  Larger pixels would allow longer exposure times without signs of trailing.  Very impressive!

Cheers,

Peter

Hi Peter - well this is the LX3 rather than the LX2 so it is even more stable. But yes I agree I think much longer exposures are possible. I reckon on a good night you could push to 90 secs at about 100mm. As a disclaimer - I was also dealing with the following that prevented longer exposures:

  • A reasonably light weight tripod on a smooth glass table - I am reasonably confident my polar alignment probably shifted slightly during setup.
  •  I'm not using a wedge - just a ball head. This makes alignment a little tricker and more vague!
  •  focus could have been better
  • I possibly could have paid more attention to the tensioner spring. If you download a metronome app - you can listen to how effectively your tracking is working. Omegon say you want to keep it at about 130-135. Mine was ticking away at about 130.5 and slowed down ever so slightly towards the end of travel so I probably could have tensioned it better.
  •  As I said, very windy!

I reprocessed the image and came out with the below. The mount isn't really designed for longer focal lengths but my 18-55 kit lens stops down to f5.6 st 55mm - but my 75-300 opens to f4 @75mm, so until I get hold of a nifty fifty I'm using either 18mm or 75mm!

Having had both the LX2 and LX3 I would say the LX3 is definitely definitely worth the extra investment over the LX2 if at all possible (but the LX2 is still pretty great).

 

startools output.PNG

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Great shot @Mr Niall, I'm actually in Staffs myself (south staffs ST19) :). I was just looking for some info on the Omegon Minitrack... now I don't know if I should go for the LX3, everyone who had the LX2 says get the LX3 :D. lol. Didn't fancy the Move Shoot Move too much.

Edited by ljwhitehouse88
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8 hours ago, ljwhitehouse88 said:

Great shot @Mr Niall, I'm actually in Staffs myself (south staffs ST19) :). I was just looking for some info on the Omegon Minitrack... now I don't know if I should go for the LX3, everyone who had the LX2 says get the LX3 :D. lol. Didn't fancy the Move Shoot Move too much.

If you can afford it - definitely LX3. LX2 is great, but LX3 is much better.

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On 21/09/2018 at 03:53, Swoop1 said:

It's reviewed in this months Sky At Night mag. Gets 4.5/5 stars overall.

Just seen it and it has got me interested!

I've had one for a year and it's not a joke.  Just remember to level your tripod and align it the "Polar Finder" with Polaris.  Gives amazing results!

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I've spent quite a bit of time looking up cheap trackers over the last few weeks as have decided to get one later this month. Today I saw this thing and after reading pretty much only positives I think I'm going to get the LX3 over a star adventurer or similar. The sky at night magazine review of the LX2 and this review https://issuu.com/amateurastophotography/docs/issue62 (starts at page 14) plus this thread have sold me for sure. Cheers :)

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

can anyone help,

 

i recently brought this tracker and managed to take it out last night, however i followed the instructions and set it up to take a shot.

 

i was shooting with a 20mm lens so in theory i can shoot a 4 min exposure, however when i looked at the photo i had trails, what am i doing wrong?

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