To test the unit, I set up a Nikon D610 digital camera on the Polarie U to take a few photos under a partly cloudy sky.
Taking good star photos depends on a number of factors. One of the most crucial ingredients is the skill and experience of the photographer. Thankfully, Vixen has provided one of the best beginner’s guides I’ve ever seen to help you get started if you are new to this process.
Another factor in taking good star photos is the quality and precision of the star tracker itself — and at this, the Polarie U excels. The manual recommends the half-speed starscape mode to increase exposure time when capturing a landscape with stars above, which makes the foreground appear to move less. With the camera on manual, the ISO at 1600, and the lens at f/2.8, I experimented with 30-second exposures before moving on to longer exposures. The Polarie U worked flawlessly at every exposure time.
When I used the Polarie U, I was brought back to the first photo of the night sky I ever captured. As a kid, I had to be more inventive with my setups. To take a long exposure, I covered my lens with a scarf, taped the shutter button down, and pulled off the scarf. After five minutes, I put the scarf back over the lens and released the shutter. The result was my first image of Orion in classic black and white.
Half a century later, technology has made it easy for anyone to take wonderful photos of the night sky, thanks to trackers like the Polarie U Star Tracker.
Vixen’s Polarie U Star Tracker
Tracking rates: Celestial speed, 0.5x celestial, solar, lunar
Maximum load: 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms)
Power: Four AA batteries, Ni-MH or Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries, or USB Type-C external power batteries
Battery life: About 7 hours at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees C)
Dimensions: 88.5mm x 72mm x 110.5mm
Weight: 1.26 pounds (0.57 kilograms)
Price: Not available yet
Contact: Explore Scientific (U.S. distributor)
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, Arizona 72762