Budget Astrophotography Star Tracker

A star tracker is an equatorial mount that sits atop a tripod to capture the movement of celestial bodies in the night sky. It enables the camera to follow a celestial object as it moves across the sky.

Get more idea by referring this video.

Budget Astrophotography Star Tracker

Star tracking gear is being hailed as an entry point into the world of ‘real’ astrophotography. However, in my view, you may begin star tracking and continue to develop your approach and tactics until you get the most spectacular photographs and accurate professional results.

Indeed, many photographers are doing precisely that, tracing the movement of the stars using a variety of lenses, methods, and locations. In the vast field of astrophotography, star track imaging is but a speck.

Even if you use the most sophisticated equipment, you will get results that are more significant with a DSLR star tracker because of your dedication and skill. Sky trackers, ‘tracking camera mounts,’ and other similar terms all refer to the same thing: to monitor the position of a camera in the sky.

For long-exposure photography, they effectively correct the apparent spinning of the sky at night that we can observe from Earth’s surface.

  • IOPTRON SKYGUIDER PRO

2022’s most excellent star tracker is the iOptron SkyGuider Pro. This star tracker won’t let you down if you’re trying to capture stunning astrophotography shots with your DSLR and mirrorless camera.

Sky guider’s 11-pound (5 kilograms) payload capacity allows it to accommodate larger lenses and tiny telescopes, allowing for up to 5-minute exposures on a long macro lens with no difficulties.

An excellent polar alignment mechanism distinguishes this star tracker from the competition. Using the tracker’s built-in polar scope, which is lit, is straightforward. This tracker also comes in an iPolar variant, including a small camera to simplify polar alignment.

If you’re looking for a long-lasting tracker that’s both small and sturdy, this one is for you. But the equatorial base is fragile and not up in line with the rest of the quality and design of this tracker.

  • Omegon Mount Mini Track LX2

The Omegon mechanical star tracker does not need an app for polar synchronization but does not require batteries to work.

A decent deal? Isn’t it possible? Yes, but you’re limited to it. The tracking of the Sun and Moon is the same at all speeds. You can only use it in the eastern latitudes since there is no globe switch.

If you are looking for a camera mount that can be attached to any tripod, this one is excellent. Anyone who appreciates wide-field night sky photography, time-lapses, and nocturnal wildlife photography will find this camera ideal.

This is the best and most economical device to capture stunning images of the galaxy, the Milky Way, massive constellations like Orion, or deep-sky objects such as the Andromeda galaxy or Rho Ophiuchi. For a whole hour, before it has to be reset, the mount can monitor the sky without interruption.

It is like a clock timer, and you will have to wind it up with the knob before you begin firing. The timer will sound once the hour is up, alerting you that the mounting is going to lose its position. It’s always a good idea to have it in your backpack or even your tripod bag.

  • SKY-WATCHER STAR ADVENTURER PRO 2I

In terms of conventional camera star trackers, this Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro 2i is among the finest. Even with more extraordinary focal lengths, this tracking mount can capture long-exposure photographs of the night sky for five or six minutes. 

These are all excellent qualities in a piece of machinery. Consider that this tracker is hefty and large, making it unsuitable for long-distance hiking and travel. Despite its limitations, the Sky-Watcher Stars Adventurer Pro 2i remains one of the best, excellent star trackers in 2022 since it monitors the stars. 

It is possible to choose from three different packages: Pro, Astro, and Photo. The Pro package, in my opinion, is the most cost-effective option.

What Do Star Trackers Do?

CubeSat can find its way around in the cosmos using information from the star tracker and the separation angle between the camera and the stars. Sextants have been used for centuries by sailors, but they have no one to do the calculations on a CubeSat.

Do I Need A Star Tracker For Astrophotography?

For photography, the answer is no; we wouldn’t need a star tracker at all. A star tracker isn’t necessary for beginning astrophotographers learning the fundamentals of the craft. If the skies are bright and dark, you will be able to capture stunning photographs of the Milky Way.

Which Star Tracker Is Best For Astrophotography?

  • Move Shoot Move 2-in-1

The Shooting Move-In our tests, we found that the Star Tracker was a great tracker for individuals who wanted to capture wide-angle photographs of the Milky Way in stellar fields. Thus we did not view this limitation as an issue.

In addition, because of its lightweight construction, it is tiny enough to put in your pocket. The overall quality of the construction is excellent.

We could not have hoped for better photographs of a night sky considering the low price of a Move Shoot Move polar alignment rotator, which uses a green laser for polar alignment, before using any astrophotography program to modify the photos.

However, there are several drawbacks to the Move Shoot Move, including a control panel that is difficult to illuminate in daylight and a few flimsy screws that may be lost during imaging. The battery’s life is significantly reduced in colder weather, making it less helpful.

  • Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro

Additionally, it has four AA batteries lasting 72 hours, more than double the battery life of a Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Mini. For a field excursion into distant places, that’s ample time for a mid-shoot replacement.

While it’s simple to set up with a polar scope and the free SynScan software for iOS and Android, the original mobile tracking mount, the Pro, is heavy in engineering and hence less portable than its rivals. 

In addition, a counterweight kit is included for use with optical zoom up to a focal distance of approximately 400mm. Photographers need to have a stable mount and tripod to use this star tracker.

Cheap Star Tracker For DSLR

Vixen Optics 35505 

Despite its small size, there is a lot to love about the Vixen Polarie as an astrophotography mount. It can support a 7-pound camera or giant telescope despite its small weight of 1.6 pounds. With an 8.9-degree visual field, the device’s polar scope is ideal for stargazing. 

This makes it much easy to locate your reference star. Once the system is aligned, you may pick from four different tracking speeds and utilize the system to shoot long exposure photographs.

iOptron SkyGuider 

With this mounting kit, you’ll see the night sky clearly, and your camera will be steady. It comes with a soft-sided case to preserve the camera and its attachments. 

The camera mount is light and portable, weighing slightly over 10 pounds. It features two ports: one for attaching to your cameras and the other for guiding and moving your camera. There is also a built-in source of energy that may be recharged at any time, if necessary.

Your camera’s view and the photos it captures are entirely under your command when using the iOS app. There are four tracking possibilities to select from based on whether you want to photograph the sun or the moon. 

Other alternatives may be used for landscapes and other subjects. The mount is compatible with a wide range of cameras, and you may screw your own onto the top for additional stability.

DIY Star Tracker For DSLR

When photographing the stars, one needs a device that can accurately measure the night sky’s rotation. If you do not, you’ll see nothing but blurs and streaks.

You can purchase expensive motorized “equatorial mounts to track a telescope or camera.” However, you can construct your own inexpensive “barn door” tracking mount by utilizing a long bolt and threaded rod as the driving screw. You attach a camera on the “door” and then angle its hinge toward Polaris (the North Star). 

The door is opened extremely slowly by the motor to mimic the sky’s rotation, allowing for exposure of minutes or hours without blur. A microcontroller or even a simple circuit may be used to regulate the speed.

Constant angular motion cannot be achieved with a straight-drive screw rotated at a constant pace. To avoid the “tangent mistake,” some of our favorite DIY barn trackers came up with a clever solution.

  • Analog Trackers
  • Digital Trackers

Conclusion 

We believe that the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer is the excellent overall star tracker, with the SKY-WATCHER STAR ADVENTURER PRO 2I a very close second in our evaluation.

Since there is not much difference between the two and they are both well respected, it’s a good idea to compare costs and availability before purchasing. Wide-angle and telephoto lenses are also included for astrophotography of the Milky Way and other deep-sky objects.

When it comes to landscape or Milky Way astrophotography, the Move Shoot Move may be the most satisfactory solution for your needs.