View Full Version here: : Vixen Polarie.

10-05-2012, 09:01 PM
Apologies as I know there are a few threads that mention this product but I'm happy to say that I now own one of these little beauties. :D

Hopefully in the next week or so I will be able to get out and test it and can give a proper review but in the meantime I'm going stir crazy waiting for the weather to clear up enough.
The first thing I noticed is that it is surprisingly small, more so than I had imagined. It is however a fairly chunky unit with plenty of weight to it.
I have posted a picture of it next to a regular dvd to give a better idea of the size of the thing.

The other thing is it is very quick and easy to set up, it should take less than 5 minutes. I'm reasonably confident that the setup I have will work fine and it seems more than stable enough.
I didn't get the polar scope for now though as I wanted to run it first without it as I have read some fairly good reports about using it without and plus there was some talk about Vixen possibly making an adaptor for a SW polar scope.

So hopefully soon I can get out and do a few test shots.


brian nordstrom
11-05-2012, 07:29 AM
:thumbsup: Hi JB , I seen these a while ago and thought , what a cool idea :).
I , and many others look forward to your review .
Thanks for the prompt about these .

11-05-2012, 04:07 PM
Cheers Brian, I look forward to getting out and giving it a go. Fingers crossed for this weekend.
Unfortunately the LP here is fairly bad but it should be alright enough to test how well it tracks at a few different lengths. I can't wait to take it on holiday.
Not only is it a cool idea it seems relatively simple to use too, if I can manage anybody will be able to.

14-05-2012, 09:16 AM
I finally got a chance to have a go and I'm fairly impressed with it's tracking considering I have no polar scope.
I've posted two photos to give an idea, the photos themselves are rubbish but that's down to the high iso and bad LP. All I have done to the pics is change the curves as they were badly washed out.

Still both were shot at 50mm the first 98 seconds and the second 203 seconds.

I can't wait to take it to some dark sky sites.
When I get another chance I'll pop the astronomik LP filter in and try some different focal lengths and I want to see what the starscape mode can do.

So like I said the pics are awful but this was purely a test of the tracking.

brian nordstrom
14-05-2012, 10:51 AM
:thumbsup: Looking good there Jarred !!! The stars are perfectaly round with no streaking visable , I can se some top astrophotos comming out of this little wonder .
Well done ;) .
Oh yea keep them comming :thanx: .

15-05-2012, 04:19 PM
Thanks Brian :)

I think it shows quite a lot of promise but I unfortunately haven't been out since to try some different things, with any luck I'll get a chance to soon.
We are off to Crete in a few weeks so the dark sky there should get far better results. Hopefully with a few decent images I can put everything together and write up a full review.

11-06-2012, 05:31 AM
Hi guys. I have seen these same photos and Flickr. I also ordered my Polarie and i am waiting for better skies here in USA. I got a tripod and two ball heads to be able to sustain camera over the Polarie. For the one asking how to put camera on it, it's in the manual. It s a clever device. I suppose I move camera to intended object after aligning and locking Polarie to ball head and just go! That's the part I have to experiment with.

I have yet to make an introduction, which I will make soon.

I will love seeing photos with THE Polarie!

11-06-2012, 07:33 AM
Hi Yoly and welcome,

You'll love it when it arrives and it sounds like you are ready to go when it does.

Yep, that's pretty much it. Once polaris is in line and locked just aim away, easy. :)
Although it's important to check that the tripod is level if you can and if you think you may have knocked it when moving the camera then just do a re-sight.
Did you order the polar scope too?

The biggest difference so far is dark skies, maybe if I was better at processing I could get a decent pic out of ones using the LP filter. Still there is no comparison to truly dark skies.

A pic I took last week on holiday in Crete shows the difference good skies make.

This was a 3 minute and 5 second exposure at 28mm with an ISO of 1600. I haven't done any processing of the pic apart from a resize to fit the forum, these were the first milky way pics I have shot too.
Hopefully I can process some of the others and post them when done as well.

11-06-2012, 09:16 PM
No polar scope yet. Gotta wait for the chicken to lay some eggs.

The photo looks great, no trails at all. I hope my Polarie helps me do the same. Too many clouds on my skies, this isn theb rainy season and I think I will have to wait to autumn or winter for better skies. I need to do all the right things first time out so I don't get discouraged. I then stay away from this for a while and come back months later. I will check if you have a gallery, love watching good photos and results. My first attempts at the moon and Orion are on stargazers.com and my username is Walky. Not a great thing. Just regular beginner 's pics.

As for editing. I like using Adobe Lightroom for editing and even importing my photos. I have little experience with It but it is super at handling a photo processing session. The editing you do is not permanent, so you always have the original without any effort. All your edits are virtual, until you export the photo, which you can customize with watermark, size, and export location; which can be a web site or photo site, a folder , etc. That can be saved as a "preset". Very creative. You can export all your edits to a certain folder and stash away the originals. I am trying to get rid of bulky photos on HD this way You can add keywords, search by size, name, camera make, and much more. I love it!

Btw, my very first Polarie photo must be of the Milky Way. As a novice, I have to start with the big chunks of stars. I am a fan of Ben Canales, who shoots beautiful photo scapes of the Milky way. I think his photos got me started.Hope to shoot something like yours one day.This is going to be an exciting journey.

12-06-2012, 06:56 PM
I understand, sometimes I wish I had more chickens. :D

To be fair the Polar scope will probably help somewhat but none of my shots have been with it, Polaris isn't to hard to find a centre. As long as you take the time(which isn't too long really) and care to set up it should work straight from the box. I'd say it'd encourage you more rather than discourage you.
It certainly has given me a boost.
You have came across my threads on SGL too. :)

13-06-2012, 04:07 PM
The polar scope arrived complete with instructions in Japanese. :D

Thankfully the booklet that came with the Polarie has the instructions in English.
It's a fairly large thing with respect to the unit itself, not sure why but I was expecting something a bit smaller.

Without having a chance to test it yet the only thing that springs to mind is it will add an extra variable into the initial setup and I imagine great care will be needed once aligned not to knock everything out of alignment when removing the PS and connecting the camera to it.
I guess just take it easy and carefully and it will become easier with practice, I'll do a trial set up of it today to see if this part is fiddly or not.

13-06-2012, 04:17 PM
i was thinking about getting a Polarie- they look handy.
and, size wise, it seems to compare favourably to Godzilla! :lol:

16-06-2012, 04:57 PM
Jarrod does the polar scope go thru the middle if the polarie? looks like the camera holder plate has to come off for the polar scope to go thru?

16-06-2012, 11:22 PM
Yep, that's where it goes straight through the middle.
It's not so much of an issue as you have to take the camera mounting block off first to mount the ball head on anyway but you then have to take it a bit easy and slow when reattaching the mounting block and removing the polar scope.

The polar scope also has markings for Southern hemisphere alignment using Octans.

27-06-2012, 04:14 PM
Yesterday I had a small opportunity to try the PST with DMK attached and there was no issue at all with the weight of it. It was tracking extremely well.
Found a load of dust bunnies on the sensor though that needs to be sorted before next outing which I don't like the idea of.

One thing though that I ran into was the back of the black box is big enough to knock into the handle of the tripods tilt level which would impede it if at the right time of day. There is probably a way around this though but I was already set up and it's more of a quirk in my setup than much else, I think if you had the two ball heads it wouldn't be an issue.

27-06-2012, 04:23 PM
I cleaned my DMK using both Nikon Sensor Cleaning fluid that someone lent me and plain isopropyl alcohol. Both worked a treat with a cotton bud. Just be gentle.
Got rid of some nasty dust bunnies


27-06-2012, 04:43 PM
I did have some eclipse fluid which would of been good but the bottle is empty, I still have some lens cleaning fluid which is basically distilled water and non-toxic glass detergent so I'll give that a go, the IS guys even state you can use a hama lens pen, I have a celestron one but I think I'll stick with the fluid for now.

04-07-2012, 09:18 AM
Great stuff Jarrod. :thumbsup: I ordered my Polarie last week so hopefully should be here in the next few days.:)
I didn't order the polar scope, disappointing how expensive it is and it's not even illuminated! :(
However, can't wait for it to arrive and think it will be a very handy travel kit.:thumbsup:

Cheers Daniel.

05-07-2012, 03:43 AM
Cheers Daniel, I think you will really enjoy it when you get to have a play.
I still haven't had the chance to try the polar scope yet but it's not entirely needed unless you really need it.
It's great for travel I had no issues taking it away.
I also have some pics taken using it in the 'beginners astrophotography' section with a pst now, it doesn't seem like it's too much for it at all.

12-07-2012, 05:43 AM
What type of ball heads are you using this with? I thought about buying the lit one but I already have 2 tripods and the manfrotto one is a huge beast and as steady as a rock. I just need to buy a really good ballhead. Recommendations?

This little wonder is what I have been looking for as I only want it for astro-photography. Pity my 150-500 lens weighs 1.9 kgs on its own! But I'll be doing mostly wide field anyway.

Do I absolutely need the Polar Axis Scope thingy as well?

12-07-2012, 04:22 PM
Hi Odile, I only use the one ball head and it's the Triton PH22
Sorry for the overseas link but it's where I got mine from.

It has a max load of 3kg which is plenty when used between the unit and your camera.

As my tripod has a 3d pan head there isn't much call for the second ball head between the tripod and the Polarie but if you do need one then I'd just up the rating to any ball head that could take around 5kg.
I do have a manfrotto mini ball head that will work too but I feel it's just too small, even though it'll probably handle the load.

If you already have a good tripod then there is no need for the kit tripod which I think is overpriced anyway. I'm sure it's very nice but also very expensive for what it is.

So you can use any that you find and really just as long as the weight rating is enough.