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iOptron SkyGuider Pro or SkyWatcher Star Adventure

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Hey, all! I'm pretty new to astrophotography, and at first I was pretty confused with what I should get but thanks to the helpful people here, I have narrowed my options down to the iOptron SG Pro or the SkyWatcher SA (I am open to new suggestions, though). I just don't really know which one to get. I am heavily considering the iOptron because it includes everything I need in the package, as opposed to the SkyWatcher which would require me to buy the EQ wedge, counterweight assembly, polar scope light, and ballhead mount separately. The Skyguider is more convenient, but I like the way the Star Adventurer looks better than the iOptron. 

Is there really any difference between the way these two function? There's a definite difference in the layout of the controls, but I haven't seen any comparisons of the way they track yet. The Star Adventurer seems a lot more popular here and on other forums, so does that say something?

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You might also look at the Skywatcher Star Adventurer Astrophotography bundle. It includes the wedge etc/

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43 minutes ago, kendg said:

You might also look at the Skywatcher Star Adventurer Astrophotography bundle. It includes the wedge etc/

Which one are you talking about? The photo packages I have seen only include the ballhead adapter and and the mount itself.

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53 minutes ago, knobby said:

Seems weird that it's not included in the bundle

it is included, I bought it a while ago, great bit of kit.  My thought process was that the skyguider doesnt mount a small telescope like the Skywatcher one does.  I use this with the WO61mm with good results.  Carrying the counterweight adds some weight, but the flexibility is unrivalled in my opinion, and you can still just use the head and wedge if mounting a camera

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4 hours ago, mikeyj1 said:

it is included, I bought it a while ago, great bit of kit.  My thought process was that the skyguider doesnt mount a small telescope like the Skywatcher one does.  I use this with the WO61mm with good results.  Carrying the counterweight adds some weight, but the flexibility is unrivalled in my opinion, and you can still just use the head and wedge if mounting a camera

Oh yes, I have the sam, doesn't come with the weight ... Stupidly assumed the big brother would be the same 😊

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Interesting and really strange. 

In Canada the Star Adventurer Astrophotography bundle comes with ball head adapter, illuminated polar scope, EQ wedge, mounting assembly, counter weight.

Looks like the same from FLO.

In the US, the EQ base and counterwieght are not included which would add about $95US to the price. 

Go figure......

 

 

 

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I doubt you'll find many who've owned both. It's either one or the other. 

FWIW, I doubt there's much difference in performance between the two.

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I have the Skyguider Pro myself. It works really well. With a so-so polar alignment I'm able to get 120 second subs with a DSLR and a 300mm focal length lens. If I spent a bit more time fiddling with it, I could probably get even better. And of course there's always the option of adding a guider to it.

Eventually I'll upgrade from just camera lenses to a small refractor, which you can also attach to the Skyguider Pro. Not sure why someone said you couldn't attach a small telescope to it. It comes with a vixen dovetail saddle specifically for that purpose.

I opted for the iOptron because, as was pointed out, the listings I saw for the Skywatcher available here in the US didn't have all the accessories. The only thing the iOptron didn't have that I needed was a ball mount, but my tripod had one already. Everything else was in the box that I needed to get started with extra stuff for future upgrades to my other equipment.

Either way you go, you probably won't be disappointed as they both seem functionally similar and quality products. All comes down to what you want, what you need right now, what you're willing to spend and the control scheme you prefer.

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Hi all. I have just invested in the Skyguider Pro so being a complete newbie with it, I am happy to share experiences once I figure it out properly. I am putting on a Canon 6d and from what I have read (and that was a lot), the guider should perform well when balanced. Being Southern hemisphere, my biggest issue is sighting Sig Oct, but a piece of clear plastic with holes drilled in it to match the southern cross and a cross hair where Oct is should help.

Is there a good resource to give exposure times and settings for this type of photography? There are a lot of photos with specs on them, but they were short stacked images taken without a guider. 

Any hints or tips would be greatly appreciated

Regards

George

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On ‎11‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 21:52, Ledge1962 said:

Hi all. I have just invested in the Skyguider Pro so being a complete newbie with it, I am happy to share experiences once I figure it out properly. I am putting on a Canon 6d and from what I have read (and that was a lot), the guider should perform well when balanced. Being Southern hemisphere, my biggest issue is sighting Sig Oct, but a piece of clear plastic with holes drilled in it to match the southern cross and a cross hair where Oct is should help.

Is there a good resource to give exposure times and settings for this type of photography? There are a lot of photos with specs on them, but they were short stacked images taken without a guider. 

Any hints or tips would be greatly appreciated

Regards

George

How are getting along with the Skyguider Pro as Father Christmas might be asked to bring me one, I had a Star Adventurer and found the engineering to be a bit flimsy. I have 2 other iOptron mounts and like them both so a 3rd might be on the way.

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I have used the skyguider a few times and can say it is a well built piece of equipment. I first used it with a visual polar alignment (just best guess with the eyes, not the polar scope) as I was still having difficulty with locating the South star. I took 5 x 5minute exposures with a 6d and Sigma 28mm lens. The photos were slightly over exposed, but there was little sign of star trails despite the lazy alignment. The guiding motor is very precise and quiet. The half speed option to take landscape pictures with no star trails is brilliant. 

The battery lasts well between charges and the buttons are easy to use too. I considered the handset, but for the price you pay, you do not get full functionality with it. 

I have since mounted the base on a 4x4 post in the back yard so I can just attach the guider without having to realign each time. As long as you keep the base covered, it stays clean and rust free.

Bottom line, I am happy with my one and do not regret buying it. Now if I can find a way to hook it up to a PC....

This is the 1st pic I took with the 5min exposure, and I have a lot to learn, but this gives an idea of its tracking. This is very low quality copy,  but it gives you the idea. 

image.png.f0018bbe812332b1e9ff282c4782ddbf.png

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