Are you looking for a star tracker that is lightweight and versatile? In this review, I will list a few features, pros, and cons of the Vixen Polarie Star Tracker.
The Vixen Polarie has multiple useful modes:
- Side reel tracking (star tracking)
- ½ side reel tracking – useful for time lapses and longer milky way exposures
- It has a tilt meter to set it to your latitude
- This tracker runs off of AA batteries OR can be powered with an external battery. Also, in the battery compartment, this is where the switch for north and south is located, so this can be used anywhere.
- The bottom of the tracker has a ¼ inch screw base making it compatible with almost any camera tripod or ball head
- Cold shoe on top for any accessories you might want to use, although I have never needed to use it personally.
- Compass unscrews from the back to help you point in the right direction if it’s still light out. This can be useful for setting up during the day and orienting the right direction.
- Lightweight – useful for hiking for milky way pictures
- Small size – doesn’t take up a lot of room in camera bags.
- Camera mounting block is removable to help with this. You’ll want to screw a ball head into it to make it easy to aim the camera.
- Ease of use
- Comes with a very nice user manual. This manual helps show exposure length recommendations based on latitude and focal length of lens. Other star trackers don’t come with this! Even if you use a different star tracker, it’s a good idea to look at that chart because you’ll get some good tips from it!
The Vixen Polarie is not all pros, there are some major cons!
- Needs to be level to track with more precision – something other trackers do better. If you don’t have a wedge, use a tripod with a pan head to make sure it is level.
- No included counterweight system, you have to buy it. Adds $600 to the price
- Other similarly priced trackers have this included with at extra cost, as a result this could be a deal breaker for most.
- No counterweight limits the focal length capabilities to less than 200mm, however you can get lucky pushing it.
- Polar aligning isn’t super accurate without the polar finder.
- Yet another attachment that is included in other trackers for no extra cost. It isn’t really necessary for wide angle shots, however.
If you would prefer, you can watch my review on YouTube for this tracker:
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