January 20, 2017, 03:46:20 PM

Author Topic: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro  (Read 1977 times)

chrysoberyl

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • 6D
Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« on: December 15, 2016, 08:39:47 AM »
I have Wimberley plates on my gear, so the Manfrotto geared heads do not appeal to me.  Has anyone used the Arca-Swiss Monoball X-Table System?  I also shoot macro, so this is appealing from that standpoint.

Which tracking device is best for an enthusiast?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 08:44:24 AM by chrysoberyl »
6D, 80D, Zeiss Milvus 100mm Makro, Sigma 180mm/2.8 macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 24mm/1.4, Sigma 35/1.4, Tokina 16-28, Canon 1.4X III TC, Canon 2X III TC.

canon rumors FORUM

Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« on: December 15, 2016, 08:39:47 AM »

tron

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2943
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 10:19:43 AM »
I have Wimberley plates on my gear, so the Manfrotto geared heads do not appeal to me.  Has anyone used the Arca-Swiss Monoball X-Table System?  I also shoot macro, so this is appealing from that standpoint.

Which tracking device is best for an enthusiast?

Thanks!
I do not know about the X-table system. But I can say about the connection of gearhead and tracking systems since I use one. The manfrotto geared head is being used for polar alignment. On top of this gearhead you connect the tracking device (NOT the camera). On top of the tracking device you can connect your ballhead and on top of this you connect the camera...  The tracking device I use is Astrotrac.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 10:23:41 AM by tron »

Duckman

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 23
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 10:53:35 AM »
I have Wimberley plates on my gear, so the Manfrotto geared heads do not appeal to me.  Has anyone used the Arca-Swiss Monoball X-Table System?  I also shoot macro, so this is appealing from that standpoint.

Which tracking device is best for an enthusiast?

Thanks!
I do not know about the X-table system. But I can say about the connection of gearhead and tracking systems since I use one. The manfrotto geared head is being used for polar alignment. On top of this gearhead you connect the tracking device (NOT the camera). On top of the tracking device you can connect your ballhead and on top of this you connect the camera...  The tracking device I use is Astrotrac.

I am not familiar with the X-table either...
 I also use an Astrotrac; it's fitted with an RRS plate (to attach to a manfrotto geared head) and lever clamp (to attach my Markins ballhead).  The original manfrotto quick release was replaced with an RRS lever clamp.  The Markins head also uses an RRS lever clamp.  The camera then attaches via RRS L plate or RRS lens foot/plate to the ballhead.  This allows for more convenient travel packing and very quick assembly/disassembly even in the dark. 

I ended up with the astrotrac because it was accurate at tracking and it had very good weight capacity for it's size/weight.  It also looks nice. ;)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 10:59:16 AM by Duckman »

chrysoberyl

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • 6D
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 10:57:15 AM »
I do not know about the X-table system. But I can say about the connection of gearhead and tracking systems since I use one. The manfrotto geared head is being used for polar alignment. On top of this gearhead you connect the tracking device (NOT the camera). On top of the tracking device you can connect your ballhead and on top of this you connect the camera...  The tracking device I use is Astrotrac.
[/quote]

Thanks.  So I really need a dedicated kit, just for astro.  As an enthusiast, I hoped for flexibility.  This what you use?

AstroTrac TT320X-AG, ITEM # TT320X-AG

£373.53 
(exc VAT)
 

6D, 80D, Zeiss Milvus 100mm Makro, Sigma 180mm/2.8 macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 24mm/1.4, Sigma 35/1.4, Tokina 16-28, Canon 1.4X III TC, Canon 2X III TC.

Djaaf

  • Canon AE-1
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
    • MyFlickr
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 11:17:18 AM »

Thanks.  So I really need a dedicated kit, just for astro.  As an enthusiast, I hoped for flexibility.  This what you use?

AstroTrac TT320X-AG, ITEM # TT320X-AG

£373.53 
(exc VAT)

Yep, that's the one.
There are a few more models on the market now, though, so you may want to look at the competition too.

Astrotrac also sell a dedicated tripod head for their TT320. It's way easier to manipulate than the manfrotto, but it's also a lot pricier...

Djaaf.
Canon EOS 6D, 24-105 f/4 L, 100 Macro L IS, Voigtlander 20 f/3.5, Samyang 14 f/2.8

chrysoberyl

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • 6D
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 11:27:37 AM »
Thanks, all.  The iOptron SkyTracker appears to have a built in geared head, plus it has a Li ion rechargeable battery.  And the price is much lower.  But I wonder how well the geared head works.

As an enthusiast with limited clear air, I am hesitant to invest any more than I must.  I hope iOptron SkyTracker users will respond.
6D, 80D, Zeiss Milvus 100mm Makro, Sigma 180mm/2.8 macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 24mm/1.4, Sigma 35/1.4, Tokina 16-28, Canon 1.4X III TC, Canon 2X III TC.

lion rock

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 955
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 03:43:24 PM »
Have SkyTracker.  Built quality is great.
Unfortunately, the sky has not cooperated after I got the tracker, so can't use it. 
The Vixen device is compact, can't say of it quality, but looks like the payload is smaller.
-r

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 03:43:24 PM »

Don Haines

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • **********
  • Posts: 5524
  • posting cat pictures on the internet since 1986
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2016, 05:54:41 PM »
Have SkyTracker.  Built quality is great.
Unfortunately, the sky has not cooperated after I got the tracker, so can't use it. 


Same here.... got the Skytracker and the clouds moved in... last night was the first clear night in about 2 months, but it was -28C and windy so I stayed inside.....

It does appear to be well made and the tracking speed options are nice, plus the shutter cable to the DSLR really helps to automate the process.....
The best camera is the one in your hands

chrysoberyl

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • 6D
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2016, 11:32:16 AM »
The original manfrotto quick release was replaced with an RRS lever clamp.

Was this hard to do?
6D, 80D, Zeiss Milvus 100mm Makro, Sigma 180mm/2.8 macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 24mm/1.4, Sigma 35/1.4, Tokina 16-28, Canon 1.4X III TC, Canon 2X III TC.

LordofTackle

  • EOS M3
  • ****
  • Posts: 239
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2016, 12:23:05 PM »
I have also a question as to what tracking device to use. I would be interested in getting started in astro and after reading this thread I looked into the skytracker. Problem seems to be the payload.
I have a 1DXII and the "lightest" lens I would want to use ist the 16-35/2.8III, so well over 2kg in total. A read on several occasions that 1.5-2kg would be the highest usable payload for that tracking device (I think it's rated for 3kg by manufacturer), so my question ist: has anyone here used a similar combo, or an even heavier, with that tracker, or what would be a more suitable device?

-Sebastian

Don Haines

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • **********
  • Posts: 5524
  • posting cat pictures on the internet since 1986
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2016, 01:40:07 PM »
I have also a question as to what tracking device to use. I would be interested in getting started in astro and after reading this thread I looked into the skytracker. Problem seems to be the payload.
I have a 1DXII and the "lightest" lens I would want to use ist the 16-35/2.8III, so well over 2kg in total. A read on several occasions that 1.5-2kg would be the highest usable payload for that tracking device (I think it's rated for 3kg by manufacturer), so my question ist: has anyone here used a similar combo, or an even heavier, with that tracker, or what would be a more suitable device?

-Sebastian
I have used a 7D2 and a Tamron 150-600 on it....

The trick to using it is to balance the load. Slide the counterweight in/out until you find the point where if you release the clutch, the camera does not flop over..... you may need to use a heavier counterweight than the one supplied....
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 02:26:09 PM by Don Haines »
The best camera is the one in your hands

LordofTackle

  • EOS M3
  • ****
  • Posts: 239
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2016, 03:19:04 PM »
I have also a question as to what tracking device to use. I would be interested in getting started in astro and after reading this thread I looked into the skytracker. Problem seems to be the payload.
I have a 1DXII and the "lightest" lens I would want to use ist the 16-35/2.8III, so well over 2kg in total. A read on several occasions that 1.5-2kg would be the highest usable payload for that tracking device (I think it's rated for 3kg by manufacturer), so my question ist: has anyone here used a similar combo, or an even heavier, with that tracker, or what would be a more suitable device?

-Sebastian
I have used a 7D2 and a Tamron 150-600 on it....

The trick to using it is to balance the load. Slide the counterweight in/out until you find the point where if you release the clutch, the camera does not flop over..... you may need to use a heavier counterweight than the one supplied....
Thanks for the answer Don, so that's about 3kg, right?
So maybe 1DXII+70-200/2.8 II will also work...

chrysoberyl

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 374
  • 6D
Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 11:52:17 AM »
At this point, I am considering the iOptron SkyGuider, because the iOptron SkyTracker does not have the weight capacity I want.  Has anyone out there used the iOptron SkyGuider?
6D, 80D, Zeiss Milvus 100mm Makro, Sigma 180mm/2.8 macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 24mm/1.4, Sigma 35/1.4, Tokina 16-28, Canon 1.4X III TC, Canon 2X III TC.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Geared Head and Tracking Device Astro
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 11:52:17 AM »