- Nikon D750
- alignment system
In my backyard, Polaris is obscured by trees. The iPolar aligns perfectly without being able to see Polaris. As of this writing, I've only had three sessions, but so far the tracking is spot-on. I'm shooting with a 300mm lens for 3 minute shots and no star trailing whatsoever. The battery easily lasts for a night's session. My only complaint is that the declination rotator does not have a slow motion control like the Star Adventurer 2/Orion Compact Astro Tracker. However, this is a very minor complaint and the provided declination rotator works acceptably well. This is an excellent star tracker and is now my go to mount for astrophotography.
Versatile Sky Tracker
I have only had a chance to use it once but setup was easy and the iPolar alignment system got me good polar alignment. I used an Orion ED80T CF with a .8 flattener reducer and a Nikon D750 which weighed in at about 9 lbs. With a 7.5 lb counterweight I already had, the system was balanced and tracked well. I can also configure it to hold my camera with its own lenses by simply removing the ***** dovetail plate and changing to the supplied 3lb counterweight. I was able to get 5 min. exposures with nice round stars at 400mm focal length. I am looking forward to using the autoguide port with a mini guide scope and camera to see if I can expose for longer. I do have a couple issues with it: 1) I was dismayed to learn I’d have to lug a laptop out with me to polar align it. I contacted iOptron support and they said they are working on a wi-fi accessory that will enable it will work with mobile devices. They said it will work with the existing iPolar hardware. This is a must if I want to take it hiking or backpacking. 2) Lots of people complain that tightening the locks down, after getting it polar algined, knocks it out of alignment. I did experence this if I really cranked down on the locks. But if I tightened it so the adjustment knobs were a little stiff to turn I could still make adjustments and didn’t need to lock it super down tight. The tripod mount is barely sufficient but it does work. I am considering the William Optics upgrade for it for more stability and it’s matching red color. Overall I am very happy with my purchase. I am going camping this weekend and hopefully will get to use it if the weather cooperates.
Works as intended
Skyguider Pro Experience
This is my first star tracker and I am very pleased. OPT delivered it quickly with no issues in the delivery. There were a couple of minor problems/issues with the manuals, tracker, and software that could be improved. The manuals aren't well written for a beginner as they assume a lot of knowledge on the part of the user that a beginner may not have. The gear for the latitude adjustment on my unit isn't smooth, it tends to stick and slip as you turn it. The iPolar camera and software worked really well. I had no problems connecting the camera to my computer and running the software. One thing that would make it better is to enlarge the font used and not have the messages that guide you in the software flash on and off. I found it difficult to read the flashing message while also trying to adjust the alignment. Now that I've been through a night using it, I think it will be a breeze to use from now on.
So far I haven’t had the opportunity to test this product, but not from lack of trying. I’ve spent hours trying to get the iPolar to find any stars. I subsequently spent many days trying to get some help from iOptron. Although their email support line was covered, getting one brief email suggestion every couple days dragged out over two weeks until I was able to send it back for them to check out or replace. I’m hoping to hear something soon. Looking forward to giving it another try, and hopefully give it a glowing Review.