I have a while doing astrophoto with a DSLR and a IOptron Skytracker, and I'm looking to advance in astrophotography. The problem is that I live in Canada, Montreal to be exact. The weather here is very awful: is unstable and it is cloudy almost all the time. Given that, buying a expensive mount/tripod and telescope will be a waste of money. That's why I'm looking for a good mount/tripod that I can carry on a plane (if that kind of thing exists) so I can go out of Canada a do astrophoto anywhere else once or twice at year ( like Arizona or New Mexico ).

I asked to a friend to recommend me a entry level mount to do serious astrophoto with a refractor telescope, then he recommended me the Celestron AVX.

The AVX it is a very nice mount, but it is heavy and its not the kind of thing I can carry in a airplane.

I actually did a research and Explore Scientific has a nice APO carbon fiber low-weight refractor.

The question is: Can someone recommend me a good portable low-weight german equatorial mount-tripod that can supports a refractor telescope to do astrophography ?

  • 1
    Do you want to use a telescope as a lens for your camera, or are you looking for a telescope mount to use to "piggyback" your camera with its own lens? – Michael Clark May 30 at 5:49
  • No, I'm looking for a not so heavy tripod and mount for a refractor telescope that I can carry in a airplane. – tapatio May 30 at 16:48
  • What type of astrophotography are you looking to do? Wide-field, most-of-the-Milky-Way type shots? Or deep field, absolutely requiring a GEM+tracker type shots? – scottbb May 30 at 20:26
  • When you say "carry on an airplane", do you mean in carry-on? Between a DSLR, OTA, mount, tripod, and various hardware adapters, etc., some stuff will absolutely have to be checked. What are you willing to have checked, and what do you minimally require to carry? – scottbb May 30 at 20:30
  • Airplanes let 25 kg ( 55 lbs ) per checked bag. Actually I can carry with a lot of stuff like my IOptron Sckytracker ( mount + tripod ), an extra tripod, 2 DSLR, etc. I'm looking to do deep space object photography like galaxies, nebulae, clusters, etc. – tapatio May 31 at 1:38

Heres the problem with astrophotography you need the mount to be rock solid, otherwise the slightest bit of wind and the motors on the mount and scope movement will move the set up and you will not have a sharp image. Portable means light so dont expect sharp images. An EQ5 is as light as you want to go and its not light. Have you tried to hire equipment such as the mount and scope and just take your imaging stuff.

  • No, is there a mounts or equipment rental services ? I didn't know about that – tapatio Jun 1 at 13:58
  • Look what I just found. The problem is that its expensive as hell. avalon-instruments.com/products/… " Made entirely from anodized aluminum, worked using 5 axes CNC machines. The mount weights only 6 kg/13.2 lb and, combined with the new T-Pod 90 tripod, reaches a total weight of 12 kg/26.4 lb. " – tapatio Jun 1 at 14:05
  • Yea some astronomy centres have rental equipment so have a look for any centres around your next site and give a call or email in advance. – PhotographySteve Jun 1 at 17:06
  • That mount looks really cool tha main reason astrophotographers use a heavey mount is for the better gears more accurate and its stabile. And can take a bigger payload. However, great images have been taken on cheap gear so if you can do it have a go. – PhotographySteve Jun 1 at 17:13

I can't give a specific recommendation for this kind of mount, but what you are looking for is something like a Fotopro C5i. It is very lightweight, stable, compact and rugged. It is true that you want something heavier for astrophotography, but this is where this (type of) tripod can be helpful: While it is lightweight, it comes with a detachable hook at the bottom, on which you can attach weights or just a bag full of lenses to make it that much less susceptible to wind and shake.

  • Hi, thanks, but the Fotopro C5I is a simple camera tripod, not a telescope/astrophoto mount. – tapatio Jul 9 at 17:58

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