You know, there is 1 main advantage I noticed with inexpensive telescopes/mounts, they're usually a lot lighter and smaller.
Very true. I guess that's one of the biggest pros of going inexpensive. If you need portability, then high end stuff just isn't viable. That's one of the reasons I got the Orion Atlas...I do take it out to dark sites about 40 miles away or so. The 10Micron GM2000HPS has an ultra portable version, where the head disassembles into two lighter weight parts, plus the control box. But it's still heavier than the Atlas...
I do love using my 600mm lens as a telescope. It's relatively short, so good for wider field work. Optically, it's as good as the $12,000 Officina Stellare HiPer API 152, and faster. Once I get a mono CCD camera, it will make for a superb wide field setup. I also like using my 100mm and 50mm lenses with my DSLR mounted to a Vixen dovetail for really wide field stuff. I haven't had many opportunities to do that...but the first clear night in almost four weeks is supposed to happen on the 13th...I plan to take the Atlas, my DSLR and those two lenses out to a dark site and see if I can get some wide field shots of the milky way core, scorpius, and a few of the Ha nebulas near the galactic core. I've been waiting for the 13th for so long, I'm kind of chomping at the bit.
Luckily, it won't be Friday on the 13th but anyway, I tried using my Sigma 105mm on the 7D, and I found near impossible to get near accurate focusing, especially on the moon. I also have an image of Jupiter and it's moons.
(deep sky stacker was used)
How are you focusing? Live view 10x? You should be able to get pretty accurate in-camera, especially with the short focal length of 105mm. Trying to focus through the viewfinder is pretty much impossible. I can't even do that with my 600mm lens. I either use live view at 10x zoom, or I use BackyardEOS in it's focusing mode while tethered to the camera.