Vixen Polarie Star Tracker for AstrophotographyItem#: HN-VIX307
$399.00 to $629.00
Introducing the Vixen Polarie Star Tracker for Astrophotography. This compact mount platform allows you to capture night scapes and star images with ease.
Set up is simple. The Polarie attaches to a standard camera tripod and can accept any digital camera weighing up to 7lbs. Using the included compass on the Polarie, orient the mount to face north. The Polarie features a North Star alignment window that you point at Polaris. The Polarie can also use a polar scope for alignment. Once set, the Polarie tracks with the motion of the stars to eliminate “star trailing” on your images resulting in sharp images of the Universe. The Polarie uses very accurate stepping motors and operates on 2 “AA” batteries.
Polarie is designed to not only be functional, but also to be compact and attractive. The Polarie has a smooth, good looking design. The unit has no visible screws and although, not waterproof, it is designed to function in most weather conditions.
- Tracking Mode - Celestial tracking rate 1/2 of celestial tracking rate. Solar tracking rate Mean solar time Lunar tracking rate Mean lunar time Usable in both northern and southern hemispheres
- Wheel Gear 57.6mm diameter aluminum alloy axis with full-circle 144-tooth
- Worm gear 9mm diameter high tension brass
- Bearings 2 pieces
- Drive Pulse Motor (Stepper Motor)
- Maximum Loading weight 7 lbs
- Polar sight hole About 8.9° field of view
- Standard accessory Compass
- Working voltage 2 x AA-size batteries DC2.4?3.0V External power supply DC4.4?5.25V
- Electricity consumption DCVA (At a loading weight of 7 lbs.)
- Duration of operation About 4hours:At 20 C (68 F) degrees temperature, 7 lbs loading weight with use of Alkaline batteries
- Dimensions 95×137×58mm (3.7x5.9x2.3 inches)
- Weight 1.4 lbs (without batteries)
- Optional accessory A dedicated polar axis scope for Polarie
- Tripod for Polarie (if purchased as a package)
- Model M-178V
- Legs 4 section
- Minimum Tripod Length 555mm (22")
- Working Height Adjustable from 540mm to 1,780mm (21.2 to 70 inches)
- Elevator pole extension Geared part?200mm (7.9”), Friction up and down part Center column 290mm (11.4”)
- Camera thread size UNC1/4 inch
- Maximum loading weight About 3.0kg (6.6 lbs)
- Weight Tripod 1.98kg without pan head (4.3 lbs)
- QHD-33 Ball head 130g (4.5oz)
- QHD-43 Ball head:158g (5.5 oz)
•The Polarie is designed to work with your photographic lens that takes wide-angle shots of constellations.
•The Polarie can work for more than 2 consecutive hours with two AA-size alkaline batteries.
•You can take the ultra-compact and lightweight Polarie anywhere with you to creating stunning images of the night skies and "Star-Scapes".
How to Use the Polarie
Remove the battery compartment cover on the side of the Polarie and insert two fresh AA-size batteries into the battery compartment. The tracking direction (N-S change switch) is set to use in the northern hemisphere. Switch it to S when Polarie in the southern hemisphere.
Setting up and Polar Alignment
(1) Attach the Polarie to a sold camera tripod securely with the 1/4" threaded screw.
(2) Remove the camera mounting block on the front of the Polarie by loosening the two thumb screws on its side.
(3) Attach a commercially availble Ball head adapter firmly on the camera mounting block. (The Ball head adapter is supplied as standard accessory if you purchased as a package of Polarie and tripod.) Then, attach the camera on the Ball head adapter.
(4) Set up the Polarie-mounted tripod on a level ground where you can view the polar star and the area of sky you want to photograph.
(5) Take off the compass from the back of the Polarie. Locate north with the compass and slew the Polarie on the tripod toward the north (in northern hemisphere.)
(6) Set the mode dial to preparation mode on the top of the Polarie. With watching the tilt mater on the side of the Polarie, tilt the Polarie until the tilt meter points the latitude of your location.
(7) Look through the polar sight hole and locate the polar star so that it is placed in the center of the field of view.
(8) Attach the camera mounting block with the camera to the front of the Polarie. Set the mode dial to either star-scape photography mode or wide-field astrophotography mode according to your intention. All is ready and turn the camera to the area of night sky you want to photograph.
What digital cameras are suitable for taking wide field celestial photography with the Polarie?
It is essential that a digital camera for astrophotography has the ability of opening a shutter for a long period of time and setting a focus at infinity.
Use of a DSLR camera (digital camera with intershangeable photographic lens), which has functions to control the focus, shutter exposure times and lens apertures manually, is recommended.
What equipment is required besides the Polarie?
A stable camera tripod and a ball head adapter, on which to attach the camera to the Polarie, are required. In addition, a shutter release (remote) cable is needed to avoid vibration.
What photographic lenses are suitable for the Polarie?
Generally it is advisable to use a wide-angle photographic lens. The wide-angle photographic lens offers a wide frame and it is suitable for taking photos of whole constellations and the Milky Way. With the longer shutter exposure, star trails are less conspicuous in the wide frame of the wide-angle photographic lens even if the polar setting of the Polarie is not precise. The longer the focal length of a photographic lens, the shorter the exposure time that allows pinpoints star images. As a result, more accurate polar setting is required when using a telephoto lens.
What should I consider to determine the shutter exposure times?
Generally you need to take into account the brightness of the sky' background, ISO speed setting and value of the aperture stop of your DSLR camera to determine the proper duration of exposure.
When using the Polarie in urban areas, acceptable exposure times will be shorter. When using the Polarie at a remote rural site, longer exposure times will be possible. How long you can go depends on how dark your sky is. The faster the ISO speed you set, the higher the light sensitivity your camera gains with a given time of exposure. This allows you take photos of many faint stars you cannot see with the naked eye but the trade-off is an increase in electronic noise on captured images that comes from the faster ISO speed. In addition, wider lens aperture (smaller F-number) allows for shorter exposure time, but it can result in distorted stars in the corners of the frame.
Dimensions & Specifications
Telescope Accessories Series
Vixen Polarie Star Tracker
Polarie Body Only, Polarie Body with Tripod
DocumentationDownload Vixen Polarie Star Tracker User Manual
- New Fourth Edition
- Perfect for any beginner or advanced astronomer
- Star Charts for stargazers
- Great for telescopes and binoculars
- Hard Cover, 192 pages, 11" x 10 3/4" x 7/8"