Gear Review: Move-Shoot-Move Tracker – A Great Addition for Astrophotography

I recently was able to test out a new product that I was really excited to get my hands on – the Move-Shoot-Move (MSM) 2-1 Star Tracker.

For a little background, star trackers have become very popular within the last 5 years, and for good reason. They give photographers the ability to capture low noise exposures of the night sky with incredible detail.

A big challenge of astrophotography is the lack of light. This forces the use of high ISOs (ISO 1600-6400+). The more that ISO creeps up, the more noise an image will have. Compare an ISO 100 exposure to that of an ISO 6400 exposure and the difference is literally night and day. The ISO 6400 will have much more noise.

A simple solution might be just taking longer exposures – multiple minutes long. Well, that’s not an option due to the Earth’s rotation. Any shutter speed longer than 20-30 seconds (depending on the lens and camera) will result in ‘streaked’ stars that are not sharp.

Now, this is where a tracker comes into play. Trackers operate on algorithms that help sync a camera up with the rotation of the Earth. Thus, using a tracker enables photographers to take an exposure that is multiple minutes long. The long exposure allows for lower ISOs to be used as well.

So, the end result is a low noise image with incredible detail and sharp stars. The MSM is not the only tracker on the market, but it is the first I’ve used, and it has some features that separate it from the rest. Let’s get into my findings.

Overview
The MSM 2-1 Star Tracker is designed to track the rotation of the Earth, allowing for long exposures of the night sky.

The tracker comes in many available purchase packages – ranging from just the tracker to bundles including the tracker, a scope, a ball head, and more. There are actually 12 bundles available.

I recommend the ‘Basic Kit B’, which retails for $279, but often is on sale for $218 at the time of writing.


The ‘Basic Kit B’ is the kit I tested out and it includes:

  •   Rotator
  •   Laser Pointer
  •   Laser Bracket


One of the highlights of the tracker, and one of the main reasons I chose this one, is its lightweight. It only weighs 1 lb. (450g) and it is very portable. Other popular trackers, like the iOptron Skyguider Pro, comes in around ~3 lbs.

The MSM max load is 6.6 lbs., which is a downside due to its lighter weight (iOptron can support 11 lbs.). It supported my BH-30 ball head, Nikon Z7, and 14-30mm f/4 no problem. There might be issues with heavier DSLR setups, but I do know photographers using the MSM tracker with their DSLR.

It’s perfect for a mirrorless and wide-angle lens rig.

Setup
Now, you will need two ball heads to run this tracker. The connection works like this – take a normal tripod and ball head setup, connect the MSM tracker via a mounting plate on the ball head, attach a ball head to the rotator, attach the laser pointer to the rotator, and finally attach a camera.

This is how my setup looked:

How Does it Work?
The tracker works via an alignment with the North Star (Polaris). Polaris is located very near the celestial north pole of Earth – meaning that when Earth spins on its axis, it also spins around Polaris, and Polaris is locked in position (although it does move a little).

Alignment is required for any tracker and with MSM, it can be achieved using a polar scope or a laser pointer. I highly recommend getting a kit with laser pointer, as it makes setup/alignment so easy.

If you’ve never observed Polaris or noted its position, it is the primary star within the ‘Little Dipper’. It can always be found by tracing a line from the ‘Big Dipper’, as in the diagram below.

The PhotoPills app for Android and iPhone is so useful for photographers – and one of its uses is a ‘Night AR’ mode that not only helps find the orientation of the Milky Way, but also helps identify the position of Polaris.

It’s a great feature to help you get the hang of locating Polaris.

You will need to turn on the laser point and adjust ball head #1 so that the laser is pointing right at Polaris. This takes a little bit of maneuvering, but it is so much easier and faster than using a polar scope.

Be careful with the laser pointer, it is very strong. You should toggle it on only to align with Polaris.

Results
Overall, I was very happy with the MSM Star Tracker. I found it easy to set up with a little research and I found performance to be great.

There is a definite advantage to tracking the Milky Way versus shooting at exposures with high ISOs. My tracked shots seemed to have more stars, were more vivid, and of course, had less noise.

I need to stress the importance of alignment and making sure the rotator is securely attached to the ball head though. I did ‘tracked’ shots where something was a bit off, and the stars were definitely a little streaked…not bad, but definitely not great.

For the majority of my usage though, the tracker worked great. I found these to be the ideal settings for wide-angle work – 4 minutes, ISO 800, f/2.8 (or f/4 depending on the lens).  

Below is an example that I shot a few weeks ago.

And when you compare this side-by-side with an ISO 6400 exposure, you’ll notice the difference right away.

One thing you’ll notice is the foreground is blurred. That’s a caveat of using a tracker. You need to blend the tracked shot with another exposure for the foreground. Because the tracker is following the Milky Way, the camera is moving and that’s why the foreground is blurred.

So, you need the prowess in Photoshop to be able to blend.

My preferred method, and the method of many astrophotographers, is to use a blue hour exposure. Blue hour is the period after sunset or before sunrise. It’s the period right after/before true darkness.

During blue hour, there is enough light on the landscape to take a low ISO exposure, but still, have it look very similar to an exposure taken in the middle of the night. With a little bit of postwork (darkening and desaturation), you can get even closer.

So, I always used the tracker with the intent to blend. Below is the blur hour exposure I took at 25 seconds, f/4, ISO 200. And below that is the final blended image.

I was able to really bring out the shadows and brighten the exposure with the blue hour exposure, and then I did some tweaks to get the color and brightness looking similar between the tracked Milky Way and blue hour exposure.

Closing Thoughts
Overall, I am very happy with the MSM star tracker and I will continue to use it during my night photography outings. It’s super portable and gets the job done. I’d be wary of using this setup with a heavier DSLR and larger lenses, but I don’t have much experience with that. For me, it works great for my mirrorless setup.

I found alignment and taking test shots to ensure proper alignment was crucial towards getting sharp exposures at 3-4 minutes.

The ideal settings to use for a wide-angle lens are 4 minutes, ISO 800, f/2.8 (or maximum aperture).

The tracker can also be used for moving time-lapses. I did not test out this mode, but there are various modes and tracking speeds on the rotator that work great for time-lapses.

I should note that MSM is a Chinese-based company and that results in a small language barrier with some of their materials, like manuals and how-tos. I did find some of the information hard to follow. With that said, they have a great resource database on their website of people using and explaining their products. I found that very helpful. They have also gone to great lengths to improve their tracker and multiple iterations have been released since their first model.

If anyone has questions with setup or use, I’d be more than happy to help. Really, after an outing, you get accustomed to the setup and use and it’s pretty straightforward.

Overall, I’d recommend this tracker as a great option for astrophotographers looking to produce the best quality night images.  

Matt Meisenheimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Meisenheimer is a photographer based in Wisconsin. His artistry revolves around finding unique compositions and exploring locations that few have seen. He strives to capture those brief moments of dramatic light and weather, which make our grand landscapes so special.  Matt loves the process of photography – from planning trips and scouting locations, taking the shot in-field, to post-processing the final image. Matt is an active adventurer and wildlife enthusiast as well. He graduated with a degree in wildlife ecology and worked in Denali National Park and Mount Rainier National Park as a biologist. He also spent 6 months working in the deserts of Namibia before finding his path in photography. Matt’s passion for the wilderness has taken him to many beautiful places around the world. As a former university teaching assistant, Matt is passionate about instruction. It is his goal to give his students the technical and creative knowledge they need to achieve their own photographic vision. He truly enjoys working with photographers on a personal level and helping them reach their goals. You can see Matt’s work and portfolio on his webpage at www.meisphotography.com

 

102 replies
  1. cok
    cok says:

    Красивый корейский секс с сисястой телкой после сочного кунилингуса Эротическое проникновение члена в попку Cherry Kiss Ферри Бертолет, художник, литератор и коллекционер китайского эротического искусства, был сражен наповал, когда около 40 лет назад, изучая историю искусств в Амстердаме, наткнулся на репродукции из коллекции китайской эротической живописи XVII века под названием “Сады удовольствий”. (от греч. phallos) – наименование эрегированного пениса, как символа несгибаемости и силы. Предмет культа многих языческих религий. 1. Прил. к эротика; исполненный эротики. Из земных предметов она удостаивала воспевать только возвышенные чувства да эротический разгул. Добролюбов, А. С. Пушкин. Такие комплекты могут быть от самых банальных (костюм медсестры, полицейской и т.д.) до пикантных и оригинальных как на фото. Современные секс-шопы и магазины эротического белья представляют огромный выбор сексуальных костюмов, которые способны создать совершенно новый образ для девушек и тем самым освежить сексуальную жизнь партнёров. https://fun-wiki.win/index.php/РџРѕСЂРЅРѕ_азиаток Премиум порно с невестой реальное любительское снимаем сами Русская мамка не устояла перед членом сына Девушка делает минет и занимается сексом в туалете. Видео присланное ну кто прислал не могу сказать. Часто присылают видео анонимно. Любительское видео секс в туалете. ЛУЧШЕЕ АНАЛЬНОЕ ПОРНО с 18 летней брюнеткой Поддержка Языков Русская девушка из Таганрога не хочет отношений, ей достаточно большого самотыка Горячая испаночка не боится, что мама увидит ее в порно, зато для русской публики говорит несколько заводящих слов Поддержка Конкурс / Деньги Пацан трахнул подругу на кухне Онлайн Порно Русское Любительское Порно Группа порно , free xxx videos Русский парень нежно трахает мачеху Девица морщится от необычного ощущения толстого члена в своей узкой по Поддержка Языков Эксклюзивное домашнее порно с замужней соседкой

    Reply
  2. cok
    cok says:

    An additional way to look at Bitcoin is to use its trendiness to spur more to invest for retirement. It’s the attraction to investing in it that makes it more likely people who don’t normally save for retirement begin to save. Don’t the ends of greater retirement saving justify the means of investing in Bitcoin? At the game? Just got a gut feeling? No problem! Now you can bet from anywhere, anytime with the all-new MyBookie mobile betting platform! With the MyBookie mobile platform you’ll enjoy the safety and convenience of at-home betting when you’re on the go! Try it out today and you’ll never miss another winning bet! Online Pokies Best Bonus – Pokies games for ipad South Australia Pokies Ban – Best Strategies for Playing Pokies Unfortunately, wesfarmers pokies but you’ll often find at least some information about how the casino handles money in their terms and conditions. These bonus deals always favor the casino in the long run, the first train arrives in Las Vegas. This makes sports gaming more difficult to implement, California. The game is based on making bets with your chips, Louisiana. Big and small jackpots are available, South Carolina. On the other hand, Oklahoma. https://irokothemes.com/community/profile/christelburn42/ Plus, keep your eyes peeled for exclusive Stake promo codes which only we carry – for more bonus offers than you can imagine. After all, fandom is a two-way street. And as an exceptional crypto casino, Stake knows how to pamper its players, especially loyal ones like us!! рџ‘Њ Stake.com is one of the next generation Bitcoin casino and sportsbook sites. They have a very neat design, incredibly easy registration system and decent product offers. Here is Bitpunter‘s take on Stake.com Review. Whenever a new piece of technology is adopted, a new industry formed, or some new territory opened up for development, pockets of opportunity appear with a Wild West mentality. Since bitcoin hit the scene in 2009, crypto has become one of the biggest changes to the way people conduct financial transactions. Proponents of crypto rap enthusiastically over an anonymous, decentralised currency, under the control of no government that can be sent anywhere in the world quickly and cheaply with zero oversight.

    Reply
  3. nkmo80
    nkmo80 says:

    It’s the foremost dispensary buy dapoxetine online around. Everyone is pleasant. As exacting as ever. Craig called my mom and helped her preserve small change on her meds. My peace ran at fault of his meds and was providentially helped minus after hours. Kudos. Lots of information.

    Reply
  4. Alfredemumb
    Alfredemumb says:

    Os Fan Tokens são ativos digitais conhecidos como Utility Tokens, sua característica principal é a ausência de promessa de valorização, ou de manutenção de seu valor em mercados. Ou seja, funcionam como uma espécie de item de colecionador. De acordo com a CoinMarketCap, atualmente, o valor de capitalização de mercado do CHZ está em US$ 2,8 bilhões. Analistas destacam de alta prevê que o preço de Chiliz está se preparando para uma alta de um a quatro candles no gráfico de 4 horas . Sediada em Malta, a moeda é o combustível da plataforma socios.com. Os detentores de Chiliz podem comprar tokens dos clubes e acabam ganhando direito de participar de enquetes e ações promocionais. Chiliz é atualmente classificada como a 49ª criptomoeda mais valiosa do mundo, atrás apenas de Dash e Decred. https://lexuskwhite.com/community/profile/rrralina725520/ Como o Bitcoin Cash é uma criptomoeda relativamente nova, nem todas as principais casas de câmbio o suportam ainda. Logo abaixo há uma tabela de casas que operam em todo o mundo nas quais você pode negociar BCH por uma moeda fiduciária ou outra criptomoeda. Uma lista completa de todas as casas que aceitam o Bitcoin Cash pode ser encontrada aqui. A conclusão é clara na nossa análise Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin é mais adequado para investidores de valor de longo prazo. BTC é popular. Muitas instituições estão despejando fundos nele e ele tem apresentado ganhos massivos de forma consistente no longo prazo. No entanto, se você é um defensor do ESG ou deseja investir em um ativo que forneça retornos de curto prazo, você pode querer apostar as suas fichas com o Bitcoin Cash.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. URL says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Informations here: backcountryjourneys.com/gear-review-move-shoot-move-tracker-a-great-addition-for-astrophotography/ […]

  2. online casino free signup bonus no deposit required https://casinosonlinex.com/

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply to writing essays for college Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.