Capturing the cosmos in magical images requires complex equipment and the telescope mount is one of them. It is the seat of support and all the filming action. The ideal telescope mount should enable efficient object tacking, come with an impressive database, and most importantly enable easy adjustment of your camera-telescope interface for the best image and video quality.
Best Telescope Mounts for Astrophotography
Below we look through a list of our top five telescope mounts that will serve well to capture awesome images of the moon, stars, and other celestial bodies.
1. Orion 10010 Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G Computerized GoTo Telescope Mount
This state of the art telescope mount yields exceptional functionality and can carry a 20 kg payload. It has an accurate belt-driven stepper motor drive system that allows you to locate over 42,000 celestial bodies. You can load one telescope in GoTo Equatorial mode or two different telescopes in GoTo Altazimuth mode. It is the ideal telescope mount for both stargazing and astrophotography.
- 20 kg maximum payload capacity
- High-accuracy belt-driven stepper motor drive system
- Can support one or two telescopes at once.
2. Celestron CGX Computerized German Equatorial Mount and Tripod
With its motorized EQ mount and 25 kg payload, this beast finds exceptional application for your astrophotography and observatory needs. It runs on high-torque servo motors and a belt-drive for easy and quick adjustments and tracking. It comes with an exceptional 40,000 object database and a tough casing for durability.
- 25kg equipment payload
- High power motors and drive system for easy and quick adjustment and tracking
- 40,000 object database and durable housing
3. Sky-Watcher EQ6-R GoTo SyncSCan Equatorial Mount
Stability and quiet operation are two words for this mount. It runs on efficient stepper motors to yield degrees of freedom in 64 micro-steps and yields heavy-duty latitude adjustments. It also comes with a snap port for compatibility with DSLR shots.
- Quiet and quick operation.
- Excellent degrees of freedom.
- Excellent compatibility with cameras.
4. Orion 9055 Min-EQ Tabletop Equatorial Telescope Mount
This small, rugged table telescope mount is ideal for campouts and to support smaller telescopes. It is an amazingly effective mount for its size and makes for a portable, stable platform for wide-field astrophotography with a 35mm DSLR or SLR camera. It can be used either indoors or outdoors and is lightweight.
- Lightweight, portable, and affordable.
- Compact and highly compatible with smaller telescopes.
- Great compatibility with SLR and DSLR cameras for astrophotography.
5. Celestron Advanced VX Computerized Mount
This telescope mount is designed for excellent object tracking and comes with a special error correction feature. It yields exceptional interference-free viewing and supports a range of 7 to 77 degrees latitude. It also comes with a hand control module and a special all-star polar alignment.
- Excellent object tracking with error correction.
- Interference-free viewing and high latitude range.
- Hand control module.
Telescope Mount Buying Guide
As a rule of thumb, do not load your mount more than 60% of its maximum payload for extended periods. To achieve this, you need to carefully analyze the weight of the equipment you want to put on it. This will ensure optimum performance and long service life.
Telescopes can be anywhere from a few hundred grams to a few hundred kilograms depending on the aperture size. Most times, however, purchased come with mounts that have been designed with this condition in consideration.
Altazimuth vs. Equatorial Mounts
Telescopic mounts come in two major forms; the Altazimuth mount and the Equatorial mount. Altazimuth mounts have simple constructions and are the most common types of telescope mounts. They have two degrees of freedom; vertical and horizontal and are the preferred choice for the astronomy enthusiast on a budget. They are great for land viewing but not ideal for deep space.
Equatorial mounts, on the other hand, are more sophisticated and come with computerized functions that allow for easy object tracking. They are ideal choice for astrophotography enthusiasts and come at higher price tags than Altazimuth mounts.
Mounts come in various sizes to match the telescope’s size. As they can get quite bulky for larger telescopes, portability comes into play. A good telescopic mount should be easily foldable and packaged for quick transit.
The material from which the mount is made also goes a long way to determine how portable it is. Composite materials and alloys yield lightweight, strong units that enable portability without sacrificing its load capacity much.
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