Best Off-Axis Guider

5 Best Off-Axis Guider To Capture The Stars

Introduction

Looking up in the sky and wanting to capture the stars is the dream of many. Well, to be honest, Astrophotography is not a just conventional hobby it actually pure science. 

An astrophotographer can take the perfect aesthetic shot for a poster or maybe for scientific research. And, there are a lot of things unknown to us is out there in the universe. From the nebulae, stars, planets eclipse, and more. 

But, if you aspire to become an astrophotographer then you’ll definitely require the best off-axis guiders. Here are our top 5 best guiders after weeks of research. But, why do you even need one? 

Well, the main purpose of the off-axis guider is to capture a single star. And, how do you know which guider to use?

There are so many guider scopes in the market with different features. You don’t have to be afraid of wasting money on something ineffective. We have the solution for you. Because choosing the right one only will take you to your destination. 

Here we have the top 5 best off-axis guiders. You can compare and select any of them according to your need and preference. Thus, choosing from only 5 can be easy even if you are new to this. 

Let’s get started, on this note- 

Comparison Table 

Product  Item Weight Telescope Mount
SVBONY SV106 Guider  1.7 Pounds Fixed Mount
Celestron 93648 Guider 2.1 Pounds Alt-alt-mount
Astromania Off-Axis Guider 0.57 Pounds Fixed Mount
Meoptex Off-Axis Guider 0.65 Pounds Alt-alt-mount
Hercules S8239 Off-Axis Guider 0.0044 Pounds Fixed Mount

SVBONY SV106 Guider

Product Overview

SVBONY SV106 Guider Scope is first on our list. This scope will help you pursue your endeavor in astronomy. There are many reasons why it’s at the top of our list. 

We’ll break Stay every detail and feature of this amazing scope (the stats will speak for themselves)- 

First and foremost, this scope will give you very high-quality astrophotos. How? Well, with the help of the helical focusers. It has a 50 mm lens with helical focusers. 

These help at making the photos sharpen and it will also precisely reposition the camera focus. So, it will you get a realistic picture or view. 

Another great feature is its compact design. This makes this an easy-to-carry scope. The total length of the scope is 240mm which is very small. 

Then comes the weight which is 604g only. Therefore it is very easy to carry. As a result, you can carry it while trekking, hiking, or on a road trip.

There is an Autoguider system in the scope. It’s basically an automatic electronic tool used in astronomy. Still, it is very affordable in price.

The guider will keep the telescope at a precise object while you observe it. This will prevent any astronomical object from drifting across your view. Even at longer exposures, it’ll hold off well. Hence, the images will not be blurred or elongated. You can even use this for guiding with a small camera.

The SVBONY SV106 has a precise focusing. It has been designed in a way that it locks to any astronomical object you want to observe. The focuser will not disappoint you at all. 

The scope has pulled and focuses feature and it has a 30mm Stroke. This will give you a smoother experience. Moreover, it will make your exploration easier. 

Now comes the most exciting feature! The scope is a multi-use guide scope. It’s for those days when you don’t plan to capture Astro images. Then you can use it as a straight-through finder scope. You will be able to do this because it has a 1.25″ eyepiece installed in it. 

Lastly, the scope comes with 6 nylon-tipped thumb screws to attach it with the telescope. 

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable easy to carry 
  • Ensures a clear image of the astronomical objects
  • Very handy and easy to use
  • Affordable Scope 

Cons

  • There are no crosshair. 

Celestron 93648 Guider 

Product Overview 

The second one on our list is Celestron 93648 guider. An off-axis guider is necessary for the Astro pictures (that’s a no-brainer). 

Especially for telescopes with a long focal length that requires accurate guiding. Therefore Celestron 93648 is the perfect device for it. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the guide star from the edges of the focal plane of the telescope. Because of the small view and less illumination.

So, to locate a guide star, the Celestron guider intercepts a portion of the telescope’s focal plane. Which is outside of your view of the imaging camera. For this reason, any movement of the star will be shown the same by the camera. 

Therefore, there will be no tracking error or flexure. Not only this but also there will be no optomechanical error as well. For that, you will get better and more exact Astro images.

The guider scope has a large 12.5 mm prism. Among its competitors, it has a very large prism for the camera which will guide you to find the stars easily.

The prism can be adjusted or moved closer to the focal plane’s center of the telescope. It also depends on the size of the camera. 

Now for this reason you will get brighter around stars. Which will ultimately help the autoguider sensors.

You will also get a helical focuser that is fixed orientation. Hence you will get the accurate and smooth focus of the autoguider without twisting the camera orientation. Thus, you can click high-quality pictures. 

For most Astro imaging configurations, Nightscape CCD cameras, including DSLR cameras, and more, all necessary spacers and adapters are included. 

This is not all, it also comes with adapters for the camera side and scope sides.  As a result, it can easily be attached to a telescope. 

Lastly, it’s slightly expensive but it’s worth the price. Hence, the Celestron 93648 guider will take your astrophotography to another level. Therefore it is worth it to spend on something that ensures quality.

Pros

  • Exact and clear images 
  • Can easily be attached to the telescope.
  • Perfect for clicking images of round stars.

Cons

  • It might take time to set up at first.

Astromania Off-Axis Guider

Product Overview

Astromania Off-Axis Guider is one of the most lightweight guiders on the market. It comes third on our list. The Astromania off-axis guider sits in the 2-inch focuser which is located in front of your camera. 

The specialty of the guider is that it has micro focusing for crosshair eyepiece or the auto-guider. This feature will support taking images of small Astro objects.  

The prism of the guider is small thus it directs light to a distinct tube from the telescope. To put it simply, it will make it possible to fix any tracking errors. Especially for those long periods when your camera is exposing the pictures. 

Here, the small prism will also detect the light in the control unit of the guider. And into the 1.25inch helical focuser. The helical focuser can also be adjusted to 0.05mm using a scale. For that, you can quickly find the focus point. 

Next to keep the camera in position along its length the helical focuser is used for adjustment. Don’t worry there are screws to keep the camera and guider scope in place. 

Most importantly, you can insert the crosshair eyepiece or auto-guider. Then you can find your guide star with optimum sharpness. 

The guider has a socket for a 2-inch eyepiece and an M48 thread that is on the telescope side. It will make the connection easier thus you can adapt it quickly. In the accessories, you will get 3 screws and a flat m48 adapter. This adapter will connect the guider with the camera. 

Now, you have an advantage that is you can rotate the camera at any moment. Therefore, you will get the best astronomical object image and also find the optimum orientation. 

If you want to take long exposure photos it will require perfect tracking. We ensure you this is the main specialty of the guider. 

This is the device you need for your venture in astronomy. It will click the perfect astronomical photo without any tracking errors.

Pros 

  • It’s a very lightweight off-axis guider
  • The guider is very easy to operate 
  • Sturdy and solid build 

Cons

  • No prism adjustment

Meoptex Off-Axis Guider

Product Overview

This off-axis guider will guide your telescope to take the perfect astronomical shot. It is fourth on our list. Your telescope is small can’t withstand many accessories. Don’t worry we got you. 

The Meoptex Off-Axis Guider is not heavyweight so it can easily be mounted on a telescope. This guider is very compact as well as lightweight. Though it’s not the first lightweight guider on our list. 

Because of its lightweight, it can easily be installed in a comparatively smaller telescope. 

The prism of the Meoptex guider is tilt adjustable. The prism has more than 100 degrees of radial adjustment which is included for convenient guide star alignment. 

A small amount of light is diverted by a small lateral prism as it goes through the off-axis guider. 1.25″ extra opening will allow you to employ a reticule eyepiece or an auto guider. 

Now to make it compatible with astrophotography the auto-guider has a 1.25″ nosepiece or T-threads. 

The off-axis guider fits simply into your 2″ focuser which was then fastened in place. That is not all it also has a T2 thread on the camera side. 

The threads are typical for easy camera adaptation. To capture photographs with a DSLR camera, all you need is a matching T-ring.

You can also attach to any two telescope focusers using the provided two nosepieces. Or to any T-thread equipped telescope.

You’ve undoubtedly seen a lot of gorgeous astronomical photographs. Such as huge galaxies with red-glowing hydrogen nebulae, majestic spiral arms, and globular clusters with countless stars nestled in velvet. 

All of those photographs were taken with long exposures, which are possible with an off-axis guider.

You can now carefully regulate the tracking and create deep-sky shots with pin-sharp stars. Tracking issues caused by utilizing a separate guide scope, such as differential flexure, are eliminated.

Now, if you have found a good guiding star in your range of view. You don’t have to wait to get started with the meoptex guider. Just click the photos you desire. 

Pros 

  • Lightweight and easily carriable 
  • The prism is tilt adjustable 
  • It can be set on a small telescope 

Cons

  • There is no helical focuser

Hercules S8239 Off-Axis Guider

Product Overview

The last one on our list is Hercules S8239 Off-Axis Guider. You have reached the end of the list but this one is not the worst one. This is the one that comes last among the five but it has very good features as well. 

This off-axis guider is not the least expensive or very expensive guider it has a moderate price. Because of that many people will be able to afford it. 

The best feature is that it has a large prism. The large prism will allow you to magnify the sight of the astronomical object. Hence it gives you a more descriptive picture. 

The large prism is 12mm X 12mm that is up to a 1500mm telescope that can quickly find an astronomical object. 

It’s also compatible with the 183,174 CCD cameras. The prism is enough to use large sensor guide cameras. The non-rotating focuser is simple and smooth. Therefore it makes focusing simple.

The Hercules S8239 Off-Axis Guider will enhance your viewing and also guide you to take the perfect shot. 

With the large prism, your observation will be more clear than before. Thus, you get a clear view of the stars.

Moreover, it can be used for both photographic and visual purposes. Hence, you get to enjoy it and get the desired photos. 

Pros 

  • It has a large prism 
  • It can take magnifying photos of the astronomical objects
  • The price is moderate 

Cons

  • It has a non-rotating focuser.

Buying Guide

You have come a long way have a little more patience and don’t miss this crucial part. We have prepared a buying guide for you. You might encounter these types of questions in your mind while selecting the perfect guider for you. 

Do you need a guider scope for astrophotography?

Yes, Guider scope usually guides on stars. If you are looking to take pictures of stars specifically then it is necessary equipment. 

The guider scope will guide the telescope and also track the star perfectly while you take the shot. 

What should be the ideal weight for the off-axis guider? 

There is no ideal weight for an off-axis guider. It actually depends on the user. If you prefer to have a lightweight off-axis guider then you should buy one with less weight. The lightweight will also help you carry it.

Now lightweight doesn’t always mean that it’s a good product. Sometimes your guider may be heavy in weight because it has more features. Which you might need for your expedition. Therefore it’s up to you what do you need and prefer. 

Is having a large prism better?

The main function of the prism is to magnify an object and extend its effective range. So, when you will be clicking photos of up in the universe you will definitely want to see the stars clear and larger. Therefore having a larger prism can be an advantage.

But it is not always the same case, a smaller prism, can also provide you with solid astronomical pictures.

Now, we do believe that the guiders are worth buying. But while you choose the one for you be very careful and try to follow our instructions. 

So, to be safe you can choose any of the above off-axis guiders. None of them will disappoint you.

FAQs

What is the best way to focus on an off-axis guider?

To begin, focus on the eyepiece’s red reticle by spinning the threaded top end of the eyepiece. Then, using the DSLR, focus your telescope. Then unscrew the clamp screw that is keeping the eyepiece in place. Slowly retract the eyepiece from the guider body while looking through it.

What exactly is differential flexure?

Differential flexure occurs when one portion of the imaging system shifts significantly while the other parts remain stable. Although the autoguider tries to keep the guide star centered. But the image on the main camera shifts relative to it, resulting in smeared stars and hazy features.

What specifically is the guiding scope?

The guider scope is as the name suggests is a guide to your telescope and camera. It’s a modified finderscope or a refractor that is mounted on the telescope to capture astronomical photographs. It generally captures a single star with a camera of its own. After that, it analyses and tracks the movement of the star using guiding software. 

To Summarize

Hope that now you know which one you should buy. Pick any one among the best off-axis guiders after comparing the features and price. Remember every model is unique and different so get the one you need.

Good luck!

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