Agena's compact 50mm StarGuider Mini Guide Scope package will be just the ticket for your long exposure astrophotography autoguiding needs. It is an excellent accessory for telescopes with a focal length of up to 1500mm, and is perfectly suited for use with small-chip CCD autoguiders. Its light weight adds very little to your autoguiding setup thus putting less strain on your mount's tracking mechanism, allowing for smoother guiding. A guidescope is a must for accurate astrophotography exposures even with high precision mounts. And the price of this accessory will add little strain to your astrophotography budget.
The StarGuider features a 50mm fully-multicoated achromatic doublet objective. Its 162mm (f/3.2) short focal length design provides a bright, wide field which aids in the location of suitable guide stars. All internal surfaces of the tube are painted a flat black to improve contrast.
In addition to an optical tube, this package includes an adjustable finder bracket, a universal dovetail mounting base, as well as an adapter plate to allow you to easily mount this guide scope on a variety of telescopes in various configurations. The bracket should also fit directly into the Synta/Vixen style finder bases already found on many telescopes, without the need for the included mounting plate/base (although these are also provided should the need arise). However, please note that although this base has a standard Vixen/Synta style design, there is no standard defined size for this design. As a result, it is possible that this bracket may not fit into other bases and some filing/adaptation may be required.
A 1.25" parfocal ring and adjustment Allen wrench are also included. The 1.25" CCD receptacle features three locking thumbscrews for a secure fit. Simply insert the 1.25" nosepiece of your CCD camera and tighten. Couple this package with a main scope and a 1.25" autoguider CCD, and you will be ready to experience a new level of accuracy that autoguiding brings to long exposure astrophotography - without the bulk and expense of a larger dedicated guide scopes that were formerly required.
Focusing is achieved as you would in many of today’s optical finders - rotate the dewshield/objective assembly until focus is achieved and then use the front ring to lock the focus into place. Using the included parfocal ring on the autoguider or CCD camera nosepiece provides some more focusing flexibility, and it also allows you to repeat the autoguiding setup between different imaging sessions.
- Objective Diameter = 50mm
- Focal Length = 162mm
- Focal Ratio = f/3.2
- Fully multicoated, air-spaced achromatic doublet objective lens with adjustable focus
- OTA Material = Aluminum
- OTA weight = 16 oz.
- OTA length = 180mm (7.09")
- Main OTA diameter = 53.4mm (2.10")
- Dewshield outside diameter = 57.45mm (2.26")
- Focus lock ring outside diameter = 58.70mm (2.31")
- OTA locking screws = 3x, M4 threaded aluminum
- Finder adjustment screws = 3x, M6 threaded plastic (may be white or black)
What's Included and What's Not:
A 50mm achromatic doublet guidescope, finder bracket, dovetail base, flat mounting plate, 1.25" aluminum parfocal ring, Allen wrench (hex key), objective end cap, and 1.25" dust plug are included. Please note that no instruction sheet is included, but you can find this easily online for similar guidescopes. Also note that no CCD is included but compatible CCD cameras are readily available. The only requirement is that the CCD has a 1.25" nosepiece installed.
Jan 1, 2018
Looks fairly well made.Pros: Cons: Comments:
I have not had a chance to use this guidescope yet. It looks fairly sturdy with little movement when mounted on the scope. I did remove the spring loaded stud and replaced it with a bolt to make the guidescope connection more solid. The test will come in actual use.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comAug 6, 2015
Rock Solid GuidescopePros: Cons: Comments:
I chose this over the helical version because I absolutely did not want any possibility of flexure in the focuser. The helical version may be fine, and may have no flexure issues whatsover. However, I have not used it nor do I know of anyone who uses the helical focuser version.
Focusing is easy on this version. Just rotate the focus lock (i.e., the knurled ring toward the objective lens end of the tube) to unlock, rotate the objective end of the guidescope to focus, and then lock it down again with the focus lock. Install the parfocal ring on the nosepiece of your guide camera for perfect focus, and the focus on the guidescope rarely needs more than a slight adjustment for perfect focus from session to session.
I just find this arrangement makes me feel more secure while guiding. Rock solid and no fuss in the dark.
I do not use the included bracket. I was able to easily remove it and keep it in the box for possible future use. My William Optics scope has rings, and this combination works really well so far. Only used once, but was able to do 6 minute subs on a Celestron AVX on the 478mm scope with plenty of guide stars available, and guiding with PHD worked really well. Clouds set in before
Don't underestimate the value of having a lightweight guidescope, either. I highly recommend this since it is proven, lightweight, and it works. It also doesn't cost a lot of money. The service at Agena is always first rate, too. Received the item from California in only 3 days.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comJan 27, 2014
Baseplate very specific, won't fit SyntaPros:
Mount Bracket ArmComments:
Bought this item and it has very specific baseplate requirements. It will not fit normal synta plates without requiring filing of the mount bracket base.
Nothing terrible about this product, good construction, optics, and all, but is not compatible without the baseplate included which makes this difficult to mate with other refractors or telescopes that you do not with to mount another bracket onto. Would consider different options with more accessible mounting options between scopes. (Agena Note: This issue has been addressed, and current versions of this guider will work for virtually all Synta-style bases)
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comMar 24, 2013
Great little guidescope!Pros:
Strong Construction,Compact,Lightweight,Easy to UseCons: Comments:
The mounting shoe that it comes with is not "universal" - I still had to search for an extra one. For scopes that have as molded-in shoe or otherwise included shoe (such as many by Astro-tech or Orion) this is "plug in play". Works flawlessly with the orion star shoot autoguider.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comSort by
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