I am trying to reduce weight of my photo equipment and after the fail on skitoung trip in Austria the time has come for the equatorial mount. I finally decided to replace the Skywatcher Star Adventurer with “kitchen alarm” Omegon mini lx2″. It was a lottery because I did not find any relevant reviews. Now i can say the purchase was really worth it.
I bought the mount in Supra-dalekohledy in Prague in the beginning of January so I was able to try it in real cold weather.
In the box you you can find assembled mount, something like a polar scope, 1/4″ to 3/8″ screw reduction and a wrench for it. You have to buy a spherical head. I bought a cheap and light head from England about 20 USD. It weigh together 850 grams, which is 1 kilogram lighter than Star Adventurer. That is a big difference.
The weight is not the only advantage. Dimensions of Omegon are much smaller than Star Adventurer or Star Adventurer mini wifi. In fact the Omegon fits in a pocket.
Last advantage is especially in winter no batteries needed.
Omegon mini LX2
Star adventurer mini
– (1 h)
Every mount has a limit of maximal exposure time. Adventurer can do 5 minutes without problems on wide angles, at more accurate adjustment much more. Of course you cannot expect same results with Omegon.
The manufacturer recommends the longest exposure as 100/ focal lenght. It makes 4 minutes for 24 mm lens. Here comes the first disadvantage. 4 minutes sounds great but Omegon can achieve this only in some cases because of inaccurate polar alingment and construction of the device. On the other hand 2 minutes at f4 and ISO 3200 works very well in practical use for capturing Milky way without depp sky objects. With fullframe and ISO 6400 the exposure time can be reduce to only 1 minute.
I tested successfully 2 minutes at 75 mm and 1 minute at 100 mm. If you want a certain result shorten the time. 2 minutes at 75 is an extreme.
The main issue is the weight of camera and the balance due to construction of the device. The spring need a counterweight therefore the mount has a counterspring with scale from 0 to 6. This is the biggest problem. The set should be balanced. Definitely for shooting in portrait mode you need the L-plate. However I strongly recommend the L-plate for landscape photography in general. Be careful with telephoto lenses as well. In this case you need a sleeve.
Bellow I show tested settings of counterspring. The recommended settings by manufacturer was not good for my camera. In general: more weight and disbalance the higher level of counterspring. For center of gravity to the East the higher level has to be used compared to the West.
Unfortunately you cannot use this mount on southern hemisphere. It has to turn counterclockwise. Some tripods can be turn upside down but this solution is not a good idea because of really heavy stress for the spring. i was able to test it successfully only with light 50 mm lens at the hardest level of counterspring. Now it has begun to sell the new type “NS” which you can use down under but it is 50 USD more expensive. If you are a DIY you can do the modification by yourself.
You can find some test shots in the end of this article.
6D + 16-35
30°- 60° N. lat.
6D + 50
Pros and cons
- easy and fast ready to use
- battery free
- load 2 kg
- spring settings
- max 100 mm lens
- problematic on S hemisphere
If you do multiple day trails and you don’t want to do classic astrophotography then the Omegon is for you without any doubts.
If you want to take pictures on southern hemisphere and use 100 to 300 mm lenses at the same time, the Sky watcher Star adventurer mini wifi or bigger Star Adventurer with autoguider port is a better choice for you.