Friday, February 16, 2007

New small tracking mounts

With the growing popularity of DSLR and their capability to take long exposure, various astronomical equipment manufacturers are coming out of products which can let even non-astronomers to get into the field of wide field imaging easily without the need to buy heavy equatorial mounts and telescopes.

These small mounts also allow people to take starry night shots during non-astronomy trip, when they travel to darker skies. So, I believe that many people will be interested.

The first one which I'm going to introduce is the Eyebell CD-1, which is available mainly from Japan but is also available from a Hong Kong dealer below:-

Eyebell CD-1

it comes with a Vixen drive, so the quality is not a problem, it's very compact in size and thus you can take it any where. For many DSLR owners, they already have a tripod on hand, adding this small mount will enable them to take wide field shots of the night sky with their camera lenses, nothing more to bring other than this small thing.

Next is from Canada:-


It looks interesting too, and it can be folded to make it quite compact. It also mentions the possibility to combine with other compact telescope mounts to be used with small telescopes!

I expect more new exciting stuff are coming.

To me, I'll stay with my Takahashi TG-SP II, since it looks more like a real mount, more versatile as well, with Takahashi quality. For absolute portability, the counter weight shaft can be removed, and the DEC body can be replaced by a simple ball head, so it's indeed as portable (if not better) as the options I introduced above.

It's a really good time for wide field astronomy! Things are so compact and portable now, and they're also very affordable.

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