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Helen

Star Adventurer Mini - opinions?

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I'm off to Rhodes for a (comet :glasses9:) conference in a few weeks. I'm hoping to get at least one night to sample the islands skies, but I think I'll have a balcony from which to watch sunsets so maybe some timelapse too?  I'm wanting to travel light, so was thinking that a little SAM might do the job better than the full size Star adventurer I have.  I'm also attracted by the app functionality for setting up timelapses (setting up timelapses in the Staradventurer seems really clunky!!). 

I've got a Sony mirrorless camera with a 12mm lens, and a couple of longer zooms (but not huge).  Wondering about the little Borg 71 too.

Any users here care to share their experiences?  Would it cope with the Borg plus camera?  and is the app as easy to use as it looks?  Anything else I should take into account?

Thanks

Helen

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The Mini Sam should be fine for 12mm lens.  I used an 18mm at crater lake last year and got a decent image of the milky way despite the smoke from forest fires everywhere.  Note that it was only a rough polar alignment so limited me to 60s exposures.

https://www.astrobin.com/309623/?nc=all

I also used a longer sigma lens for the solar eclipse (sigma 135-400mm IIRC) - I ran it about 300mm.  That was more tricky (but worked) because of balancing the lens.  There didn't appear to be any tracking issues, but these were very short exposures, but it stayed in the centre unless I made an adjustment.

The real issue was with the connection screws which are difficult with this weight as they tended to want to unscrew if there was any unbalance.  If you are going for a large lens/Borg and want to do long exposures then get a decent method of connecting your telescope/lens and the mini.

Also at this weight you need a decent tripod.  I've not tried long exposures at the Borg FL (400mm?) but I would be hesitant.  On the other hand there may be ways of doing this.

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On 05/05/2018 at 18:44, Whirlwind said:

The Mini Sam should be fine for 12mm lens.  I used an 18mm at crater lake last year and got a decent image of the milky way despite the smoke from forest fires everywhere.  Note that it was only a rough polar alignment so limited me to 60s exposures.

https://www.astrobin.com/309623/?nc=all

I also used a longer sigma lens for the solar eclipse (sigma 135-400mm IIRC) - I ran it about 300mm.  That was more tricky (but worked) because of balancing the lens.  There didn't appear to be any tracking issues, but these were very short exposures, but it stayed in the centre unless I made an adjustment.

The real issue was with the connection screws which are difficult with this weight as they tended to want to unscrew if there was any unbalance.  If you are going for a large lens/Borg and want to do long exposures then get a decent method of connecting your telescope/lens and the mini.

Also at this weight you need a decent tripod.  I've not tried long exposures at the Borg FL (400mm?) but I would be hesitant.  On the other hand there may be ways of doing this.

Thanks for this :smile:  I took the plunge and ordered.  It arrived today.  My first reaction was 'how dinky!'  it is much smaller than I expected.  I'm looking forward to experimenting with lenses and the Borg.  I've got the choice of a Gitzo or a Manfrotto carbon tripod.  The Gitzo is lighter, but doesn't have a centre column.  Thanks for the heads up on connection - thinking about it I remember that being a problem with the scope on the full size star adventurer at the eclipse!  I was wondering why my tracking was suddenly getting much worse :rolleyes2:

Watch this space...

Helen

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Wise choice, mine fits in the camera bag in one of the lens positions, so dinky !

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Helen, I bought some of these for my SA, not sure if they will work with the SAM

0

https://www.darkframeoptics.com/index.aspx?pageid=2013569&chainID=217905&txtQuickSearch=clover

I haven't used them yet as I haven't been away when it has been clear, but you may find that you can modify them to work with yours, taking them with you will save any weight restrictions and all you'll need some cans filled with sand, or slowly empty the booze from them :-)

HTH

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So I've been playing a bit tonight... :glasses9:  Good fun!  (lots to learn about both the SAM and my Sony camera though!)

5afe2e56aea45_SmoothstartrailsovertheObs.thumb.jpg.114512d6218b1dadc1ff5205d0a03dda.jpg

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