Capture stunning wide-field portraits of the Night Sky
with this Compact Electronic Camera Tracking Platform for tripods
 

Polarie Star-Tracker

 
Buy now from the exclusive Australian Distributor direct! The clear choice for the discerning novice and professional photographer seeking classic Japanese precision engineered and highly portable star tracking drive system.
When you hold a Polarie in your hand you can feel the build quality right away. Great for travellers needing to keep luggage weight down and feeling confident that you're taking a highly reliable device on your travels.

 

  ORDER A POLARIE NOW

Meet the professionals who use Polarie

See magnificent results from others using Polarie around the world


 

SIMPLE AS 123

After aligning Polarie to the celestial pole with the handy compass and tilt meter, just turn the dial to the desired tracking mode.

Also features a special starscape speed setting to allow for distant foreground features like tree line, mountains or buildings to feature in the shots without blurring when the correct exposure time is selected.

The Polarie Star Tracker is manufactured in Japan by Vixen co. who have been manufacturing fine optical telescopes, spotting scopes and accessories for over 60 years and comes with the full technical support and warranty of Vixen Co. Japan and Binary Systems P/L Australia.

See HOW TO video tutorials here!
See tutorial here on how to set up Polarie and motion panning platform for dramatic results
See review by Australian astro-photographer and astro-photography educator Paul Russell


Image courtesy Mike Salway

The beautiful long exposure images above from Cape Leveque in Australia show just what can be achieved with the amazingly portable and precise star tracking platform that is.. Vixen Polarie. Courtesy - M Salway


 Vixen Polarie mount on Polarie Velbon Tripod Portable - Lightweight and Easy

Stars and other celestial bodies move across the sky because our planet is in constant motion and because taking photos of the night sky requires long exposure times, this motion shows stars as drifted in the final result. The Polarie Star Tracker抯 electronic motor drive system allows a mounted camera to move smoothly at the exact same rate the Earth rotates to ensure beautiful deep colourful exposures of the Milky Way, Moon and planets with nice pinpoint stars.

With its sleek, compact & sturdy design, it is the perfect accessory for any professional or hobby photographer and with its ability to work in either hemisphere is also great for outback and overseas traveller / adventurers. Amateur astronomers will love it!

See HOW TO video tutorials here!
 


FEATURES

- Four Tracking Speeds (southern and northern hemisphere switchable)
- Powered by 2 x AA batteries or external USB power
- Can handle spotting scopes or Digital Cameras up to 3 kg
- Fits onto any standard camera tripod
- Built in Tilt Meter (correct axis South Celestial Pole set for your latitude)
- Micro Ball Compass (to aid in finding celestial south or north)
- Detailed instruction manual

Note: The Polarie Star Tracker uses the very same precision ball bearings as are used in the super high grade SXP equatorial mount.


Galactic Centre Rising from IISAC2013 star party
Credit: M.Salway

 

See recent product reviews here:

Astronomy Now magazine U.K

Sky & Telescope magazine U.S.A

Astronomy Technology Today

See HOW TO video tutorials here!

BUY Vixen Polarie Star Tracker Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


BEWARE OF INFERIOR COPIES

Avoid cheap Chinese "look similar" copies of the classic and original Vixen Polarie if you are genuinely seeking the Rolls Royce of portable sky trackers in this class. Despite some misleading advertisement driven reviews and ad hype from some advertising hungry magazines, much information has come to light about poor periodic error and inferior build of one model sold under the iOptron brand. Poor altitude adjuster remains slack when tightened and difficult to read the altitude scale on the altitude adjuster. The gear on the altitude adjuster detaches when the altitude below horizontal (lower than 0 degree).  Your optical instrument may be damaged if the product falls forward.  In addition, when you have completed your imaging session, the altitude adjuster must be set back to near 0 degree to fit in the product case.  It is not only awkward but also you must take care not to separate the gears from each other.

The Chinese version has the fine adjustment mechanism in the altitude direction only and the coarse adjustment mechanism in the azimuth direction implies that the setting is somewhat awkward, while a ball-head mounted Polarie is easy to set up. Also, it is not possible to make a correct polar alignment with the provided polar scope, polar alignment system, and mount design.  The polar alignment can be accomplished using a Smartphone App which allows you read the angle of Polaris in your observing site.

However, the flaw in the above system is there is no method to level the product or polar scope in the east-west directions.  As a result the cross hair of the reticule must be perpendicular in the direction of 6-hour and 12-hour in the polar scope.  In addition when you attach the polar scope to the hole on the body, slackness in the revolving direction ruins accurate settings for the polar alignment.

The quality of the reticule is poor.  The lines on the reticule are unnecessarily bold, not constant and irregularly distorted. The camera fixing screw is easy to lose on the iOptron product.  Its location in the centre hollow of the body makes a rattling noise.  The Polarie has a built-in spring-loaded camera fixing screw. Heaver than the Polarie in weight, the iOptron copy weighs about 1260g (2.77 lb) without batteries and without polar scope and the comfortable portable weight of the Polarie is only 740g (1.62 lb) for convenient overseas travelling restrictions. With misleading advertising it is actually physically bigger than the original Vixen Polarie dimensions.  The iOptron catalogue quotes  the size of their product is 153mm x 104mm x 58mm, but it does not include the portion of the altitude adjuster.  The actual size is 153mm x 173mm x 58mm.   The size of the Polarie is 137mm x 95mm x 58mm.

Comparison long exposure testing showed very poor periodic error in the worm of the iOptron product over the Vixen Polarie. Yeah, but you'd expect that because we sell the Polarie but we were also once selling the iOptron copy and discerning wide-field astro-photographers and professional nature photographers around the world confirm that the Polarie is the premium choice.

After proper alignment of a tracking mount (no matter what design) when we see things from a stand back view or rather zoomed out perspective, things can often look ok but the true result is revealed when we zoom in on the stars to see the actual tracking accuracy performance of an electric motorised mount. The results below speak for themselves.


VIXEN Polarie close up


iOptron Star Tracker copy close up


Internal view of the Vixen Polarie reveals its precision compact design and highest quality engineering.

 

-Tracking Modes: Celestial tracking rate, 1/2 celestial, Solar & Lunar
-Usable in both northern and southern hemispheres
-Wheel Gear 57.6mm diameter aluminium 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
-Duration of operation approx 4hours:At 20 C (68 F) degrees temperature, a 1.5kg (3.3 lbs) loading weight with use of Alkaline batteries
Dimensions 9513758mm (3.7x5.9x2.3 inches)
Weight 1.4 lbs (without batteries)

Another cheap and cheerful Chinese product to avoid goes by the name nano tracker or Sightron brand - is even worse the iOptron and very flimsy according to some regretful customers.
If you are a serious or professional photographer products want to do it properly then don't muck around with poor "me too" products. The choice is clear and simple... Get the original VIXEN POLARIE Star Tracker!
Designed and built in Japan it uses the very same bearings as their super high precision SXP equatorial mount.

ORDER A POLARIE NOW

 

Binary Systems P/L are the official distributor for Vixen Japan and the Vixen Polarie Star Tracker in Australia & New Zealand so be sure to secure genuine manufacturers warranty and after sales support with us and purchasing online with AstroShop

AstroShop reviews are only intended to provide purchasers our own first hand impressions of performance and build as has been our long time policy. 


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