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#AskPS: Should I get a GEM mount to use with my Nikon DSLR?

R asked:

I mostly do landscape and flower photography. I have recently been to Acadia National park for night/milky way photography and caught the astrophotography bug/virus…

I have telescopic 200-500 Nikkor lens and Nikon D850.

So I am thinking to get a good GEM (German Equatorial Mount) and may be start with it for now. What are your thoughts? Thank you for your time and input.

Best wishes,

Hi R,

It’s definitely a virus, and it’s hard to kill. Beware!

A long lens with the D850 on a solid GEM mount will get you some great results! Try and plan ahead a little if you want a telescope, and make sure you get a mount capable of a decent payload.

Also, check out this article on how to start with deep-sky astrophotography without a telescope: https://www.photographingspace.com/deep-sky-astrophotography-without-telescope/

Mounts similar in size to than the Celestron AdvancedVX (and even a bit smaller) are great for getting into it and preparing a bit for the future. Even the smaller travel mounts like the iOptron Sky Guider and Sky Watcher Star Adventurer can get you going and won’t be a waste if you later decide to upgrade to a bigger mount and telescope.

Hope that helps!


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About the author

Cory Schmitz

Co-founder of PhotographingSpace.com, co-owner of several telescopes and mounts, too many cameras, and not enough hard drives, Cory is an American expat living in South Africa with his wife, Tanja Schmitz.

An avid astrophotographer for timelapse, deep-space imaging, lunar, planetary, and star trail imagery, he is an all-around jack-of-most-trades for night-sky photography.

He is also an internationally published and commissioned astrophotographer, where his photos have been used in multiple online and print publications.

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