In many cases the type of tripod that one chooses for their orion telescope is just as important as the telescope itself. No matter how powerful or modern the telescope is, a substandard or incorrect tripod will hamper the abilities of the scope. As well, different uses for the telescope will dictate the style tripod that becomes necessary. Uses, stability and cost all become factors in the decision making process behind choosing the proper tripod for the telescope in question.
One of the first questions that come to mind and by far one of the more important ones is use. Mildly put, what does the stargazer want from his telescope? Is it astrophotography, stargazing or maybe viewing the planets of the solar system? Once that has been decided, then a choice of tri-pods becomes somewhat easier.
One thing that should be taken into consideration in deciding at this point is the level of knowledge the stargazer brings to the equation as this will affect the style of tripod. For the more experienced stargazer there are the standard mounts such as the Orion Sirius EQ-G that offers the user great stability, control and portability. For the less experienced or beginner there are tri-pods on the market that offer on board databases that will help the stargazer pinpoint hundreds if not thousands of celestial objects such as the Celestial Advanced CG-5.
A major factor in the choice of tripod is without doubt stability. A telescope with all the bells and whistles can soon be rendered useless should the tripod be unstable. An unstable tripod will cause stargazing to become off track. Having to constantly reacquire the target can make stargazing a chore and make astrophotography all but impossible.
Should the stargazer wish to have different views of the cosmos, or wish to see constellations and other celestial bodies that normally would not be viewable from the backyard then a portable tripod becomes necessary. With that ease of assembly, and stability becomes paramount considerations. It does not pay to have a tripod that will take so long to assemble on sight that hours are needed. Under those circumstances either the stargazer would spend hours before dark setting up, or by the time the telescope was ready for viewing precious time has been lost.
Likewise, a portable mount would be rendered useless if once on site, offered no stability to positioning.
Sadly, many a telescope has suffered from poor tripods because of the cost factor. There are many tripods on the market that can easily cost as much or more than a mid ranged price telescope. The stargazer needs to ask tough questions at that point. To what degree of accuracy is the stargazer willing to pay for. It would be foolhardy to invest large sums into a telescope only to cut costs on the tripod.
Market costs on new tripods can easily cost hundred or more dollars, for such models as the Orion TeleTrack, all the way to several thousand dollars, tripods such as the Vixen Atlux.
Sadly, in the rush to choose the right telescope, many stargazers forget that the choice of tripods is just as an important choice to make. Careful planning and study can make this a relatively simple choice. The eventual payoff makes the investment more than worth it.
Recommended Telescope Mounts
Please go to our telescope mounts page for product recommendations.