Mounts and Tripods

Questar

The Questar includes an integrated fork mount and 9 Volt battery powered clock drive. I've used a Davis and Sanford Tripod model C/BB with a custom built wedge for the Questar. You can learn how to make the wedge. Here's the Questar taking images of Mars at opposition:

I've used a Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer adjustable wedge and Manfrotto tripod with the Questar. This combination makes it easier to make find adjustments and increased the stiffness of the mount. I compare these wedges and tripods along with some sample images in a post in my blog.

I've since switched the Sky=Watcher wedge to use with the Polarie mount and a small refractor. I now use the Questar with an Astrotrac wedge and custom adapter.

Vixen Polarie

In addition to the Questar with its built in fork mount, I also use the a6300 with a Vixen Polarie mount and both wide angle and telephoto lenses. This makes a near a near ideal ultra light weight package for nightscape and time lapse photography. I use the Polarie with either a camera or a small refractor on a classic Tiltall tripod made by Marchioni in New Jersey. The Tiltall is a classic lightweight tripod, but lacks cross braces for the legs making it less stiff with heavy loads like a telescope.

With a small refractor or heavy long focal length lenses, a counterweighted kit allows longer exposures. I use the Polarie with the Davis & Sanford compact C/BB tripod and the small Sky-Watcher wedge. Here it is set up with a William Optics RedCat 250/51mm Petzval Refractor for DSO astrophotography with:

  • Davis & Sanford C/BB compact tripod
  • Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Equatorial Wedge Base
  • Vixen Polarie Star Tracker mount with polar scope
  • Vixen Polarie Multi Mounting Block
  • Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Dec Bracket with optional SVBONY Dovetail Clamp

Vixen Porta II

I like the Manfrotto 046B (also Bogen 3036 or 3236) that I use with the Questar so much, I got a second one to use with the Vixen Porta II alt-az mount for my refractors: the tiny 51mm WO RedCat and the 4" Explore Scientific AR102 shown below.

Content created: 2015-05-18 and last modified: 2020-08-06

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