Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #1
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,244
Telescope tripod recommendations?

I've gotten a Celestron C90 scope and its just too much for the Manfrotto 496 ball head I have. Anyone have any experience with a nice, yet inexpensive, tripod/head for a small telescope they'd like to share?

12-29-2011, 10:54 PM   #2
Veteran Member
bossa's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 4,546
Surely you'd want a nice equatorial mount or a Celestron altazimuth mount? I wouldn't muck around with camera tripods if I had such a nice telescope.
12-30-2011, 06:06 AM   #3
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,244
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
Surely you'd want a nice equatorial mount or a Celestron altazimuth mount? I wouldn't muck around with camera tripods if I had such a nice telescope.
Thanks. I honestly thought tht since its essentially a 1250mm mirror lens that a camera tripod would do the trick.
12-30-2011, 06:24 AM   #4
Veteran Member
bossa's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 4,546
Do you want to use it as an astronomical telescope or a telephoto lens?

12-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,244
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
Do you want to use it as an astronomical telescope or a telephoto lens?
Both. The kids got a kick out of looking at the moon and Saturn last night. I'd really like to try my hand at some photos of the moon with it too.
12-30-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: May 2009
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 2,867
True telescope tripods can get into the thousands! Could we get hit with a dollar figure on this one? If you want to use it primarily for astronomy purposes, a dedicated equatorial mount tripod would be the best recommendation (also, speaking from experience, I'd get one that has tracking capability...finding the stars yourself and keeping the telescope aligned is highly likely to lead to frustration and eventually no use). A mount with (or without) tracking capability is likely to run (or, rather, start) in the neighborhood of $300.00. If you just want to plop it on a tripod, look at the moon and try to find a few planets, but want something you can use for photography as well, you'll still want an either heavy (metal, cheaper) or heavy duty (carbon fiber, more expensive), plus a good ballhead, but neither of those will be particularly cheap unfortunately!
12-30-2011, 12:50 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 4,664
I just looked up the Manfrotto 496. It has a 6 kg capacity. I think the C90 + camera weigh significantly less than that.

The moon (and bright planets) is bright enough to allow a small telescope on a camera tripod + ballhead. Let the ballhead slide down into the sideways notch, then connect the scope to the ballhead as close to the scope's center of gravity as possible (you don't need perfetc balance, just good enough so the scope doesn't move due to its own weight). The scope will be rotated 90 degrees; the bottom mounting plate will actually be on the side of the scope. To aim, pan the entire ballhead assembly for left/right, rotate the ball for up/down. You'll need to adjust the aim every few minutes as the moon moves across the sky. The moon is bright enough to use short exposures so there won't streaking in a single photographic exposure.

Some possible issues to watch for with the ballhead arrangement:
  1. I use a ballhead in the above manner with my Stellarvue refractor. That scope has a clamshell mount that's very easy to balance. I don't know the specifics of the C90 mounting plate.
  2. The scope will not be centered directly over your tripod because the ballhead is in the sideways slot. Tipping over might be a concern depending on how wide and stable your tripod is. Hang a bag or other weight from the center of the tripod to increase stability.
  3. I don't know whether the 496 ballhead allows easy panning. I use a Flashpoint F2 head from Adorama with my scope.
If you can't get your existing ballhead to work, maybe buy an altazimuth or panhead instead of a different ballhead. A ballhead can work with a light telescope but the other head types will probably be easier to use.

A tracking mount, a more expensive and complex option, slowly rotates the entire telescope to keep your target centered. It's helpful but not required for the moon and planets. Dim deep-sky objects that are tough to find in the sky and need long exposures greatly benefit from a tracking or go-to mount.
12-30-2011, 01:49 PM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
baro-nite's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,123
I agree that if you will use the scope for astronomy, an equatorial mount will make the activity much more enjoyable, particularly with kids involved -- tracking objects becomes so much easier. However, as a contrary view to pxpaulx, for me a computerized mount would kill the enjoyment of it. I had hours of fun learning my way around the sky, finding and tracking deep-space objects with my lowly 6" Schmidt-Newtonian and basic equatorial mount. I used ash tripod legs, relatively cheap and excellent performance -- stable and great for vibration damping. Heavy, of course. I'd still be using that kit if it hadn't been stolen years ago.

12-30-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,244
Original Poster
Thanks guys. I think the easiest, and quickest, option is to try using the "Let the ballhead slide down into the sideways notch" recommendation on the next clear night and see if that helps. The problem last night was constant loss of sight picture due to creep. If that doesn't solve the immediate problem then I'm going to be looking into a manual setup (I do want us to learn our way around the sky ourselves). I saw this one advertised by Celestron - any thoughts?


http://www.amazon.com/Celestron-93607-Heavy-Duty-Altazimuth-Tripod/dp/B0007UQNY0/ref=pd_sim_p_3
12-30-2011, 05:33 PM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
baro-nite's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,123
It's an altazimuth mount (pan-tilt), not equatorial. Much harder to track astronomical objects.
12-30-2011, 06:27 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,244
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
It's an altazimuth mount (pan-tilt), not equatorial. Much harder to track astronomical objects.
Thanks. It was the one recommended by Celestron for the scope. I guess I'll be putting in an equatorial tripod as the search now.
12-30-2011, 07:25 PM   #12
Veteran Member
bossa's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 4,546
The only issue with equatorial mounts is that they must be aligned with the celestial pole.. otherwise you may as well just use an altazimuth mount.
12-31-2011, 06:09 AM   #13
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
baro-nite's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,123
QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Thanks. It was the one recommended by Celestron for the scope. I guess I'll be putting in an equatorial tripod as the search now.
No surprise, as it's a spotting scope, for daylight use also. So it's a tough choice -- an equatorial mount won't be ideal for daytime use.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
telescope, tripod
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tripod Head - Recommendations hangu Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 29 01-23-2011 10:51 PM
Looking for Recommendations on a Tripod/Head that will hold a fairly heavy load? stl09 Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 19 09-11-2010 10:25 PM
Tripod Recommendations bonaprof Ask B&H Photo! 5 06-10-2010 02:24 PM
Tripod Recommendations? hockmasm Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 15 05-22-2010 08:38 PM
Tripod recommendations anyone? skydragoness Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 16 01-29-2007 11:00 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:05 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top