Best Astrophotography Mount

The best astrophotography mount lets you track sky objects for viewing and imaging. Mounts hold your telescope securely and let you move it to precise viewing locations. Computerized mounts follow the planets and nebulae throughout your exposure time, allowing you to capture the incredible images you want.  

There are two basic types of telescope mounts. An altazimuth moves up and down or side to side and is best for visual observations. Equatorial mounts track the night sky’s apparent motion making them better for astrophotography.

An equatorial mount is your foundation, and choosing this critical part of astrophotography may feel overwhelming. But this guide aims to help simplify your purchase.

Determining Factors Versus Nice-to-Have Features

The price of your astrophotography mount and how much weight it holds are two of the most important factors to many buyers. Verify the weight of your specific telescope and camera setup before purchasing a mount.

Determining FactorsNice Features and Accessories
Weight CapacitySmartphone Compatibility
Electronic Polar ScopeIntegrated Auto-guide System-Specific object or sky motion
Dedicated USB Ports 2.0/3.0Tripod Included
USB Port for Computer ControlDedicated Software
GPS UnitST-4 Port
12-volt OutputPiers and Pier Plates

Best Astrophotography Mount Quick Glance

The best astrophotography mounts are expensive.  Hobbyist Astrophotographers, unlike NASA, JSA, and ESA, have finite fiscal budgets.  We’ve broken the mounts out into three categories based on price.  


  1. Orion EQ-13 Equatorial Telescope Mount and Tripod
  2. iOptron SkyTracker Pro Mount-Only


  1. Celestron CG-4 Equatorial Mount and Tripod
  2. Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer 2i Pro Pack
  3. iOptron SkyGuider Pro Camera Mount
  4. Orion EQ-26 Motorized Mount and Tripod
  5. Sky-Watcher EQM-35 Equatorial Telescope Mount

Over $1,000

  1. Celestron Advanced VX Mount & Tripod
  2. Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Equatorial Telescope Mount
  3. Losmandy G-11Equatorial Telescope Mount

The Best Astrophotography Mount Under $400

A good rule of thumb for most telescope mounts is that they can hold only half the advertised weight of the telescope. The less expensive mounts are good for lighter telescopes. 

Orion EQ-13 Equatorial Telescope Mount and Tripod

This low-cost option has an adjustable-height tripod and one 5.8 lb counterweight.

  • Weight Capacity: Small to medium telescopes up to 13 lbs
  • Manual tracking of sky objects
  • Compatible with an electronic tracking motor
  • Vixen dovetail attachment
Best Astrophotography Mount
Image: Orion

iOptron SkyTracker Pro Mount-Only

This mount tracks the sky’s motion, compensating for the earth’s rotation. It lacks auto-guiding to track individual objects. 

  • Weight Capacity: Small cameras or telescopes up to 6.6 lbs
  • Best for wide-field nightscapes or astroimages
  • Tracking Speed Selector Switch: Earth rotation, Lunar orbit, Sun, or ½ Speed
iOptron SkyTracker Pro
Image: iOptron

The Best Astrophotography Mount $400-1,000

In this mid-range price point, you’ll find excellent selections.

Celestron CG-4 Equatorial Mount and Tripod

This is the same German Equatorial mount and tripod Celestron uses with its Omni XLT Series telescopes. It’s a reasonable expectation to be able to collect sixty second exposures without too much drift.  

  • Weight Capacity: 15 lbs
  • Two counterweights – 7 lb and 4 lb
  • Includes RA and DEC slow motion controls and setting circles
Celestron CG-4 Equatorial Mount and Tripod
Image: Celestron

Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer 2i Pro Pack (S20512)

This wide-field astrophotography mount is best for nightscapes and time-lapse video. Field reports indicate that users are happy with up to one hundred and twenty-second exposures before image stacking. 

  • Weight Capacity: 11 lbs
  • Motorized tracker: Sidereal, 1/2 sidereal, solar, lunar, time-lapse, 12x/6x/2x
  • Wi-Fi App Camera Control for Long Exposure
  • Built-In Polar Alignment Scope
  • Time-Lapse, Snap Port, Auto Guider Port, DC Power Input
Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer 2i Pro Pack (S20512)
Image: Sky-Watcher

iOptron SkyGuider Pro Camera Mount 

The SkyGuider is best for nightscapes and wide-field astroimaging. The SkyGuider automatically tracks objects for smoother image collection. The SkyGuider can be configured for single or double camera mounts.  The tracking heads rechargeable battery has a twenty hour charge. 

  • Weight Capacity: 11 lbs
  • iPolar electronic polar finder with red-light illumination
  • Best with ≤80mm telescope focal lengths
  • EQ wedge
  • Declination bracket
  • Counterweight
iOptron SkyGuider Pro Camera Mount 
Image: iOptron

Orion EQ-26 Motorized Mount and Tripod

The downside is you have to purchase a separate power supply, but the upside is a higher weight capacity on this mount.  The primary purpose of the mount is Moon and Planetary astrophotography.  

  • Weight Capacity: 26 lbs
  • RA and Dec stepper motors for tracking
  • Vixen dovetail saddle
  • 12V, 5A power supply sold separately
  • Includes DC cigarette-lighter style power cable
Orion EQ-26 Motorized Mount and Tripod
Image: Orion

Sky-Watcher EQM-35

This astrophotography mount is ready to go with a database of almost 43,000 celestial objects. Good night time tracking of stars with minimal image distortion noted when used in conjunction with lighter telescopes. 

  • Weight Capacity: 22 lbs
  • Fully Computerized GoTo German Equatorial Telescope Mount
  • Belt-driven 180-tooth RA gear for smooth, accurate tracking
  • Great for beginners and advanced astrophotographers
Sky-Watcher EQM-35
Image: Sky-Watcher

The Best Astrophotography Mount Over $1,000

A higher budget gives more weight capacity and features.

Celestron Advanced VX Mount & Tripod

The Advanced VX provides smooth, regulated motion for minor and precise adjustments. As the price of the mounts increase, so too does the ability of the mount to hold higher weights. 

  • Weight Capacity: 30 lbs
  • NexStar+ Hand Control 
  • Includes DC cigarette-lighter style power cable
  • Dual saddle plate for narrow dovetail or larger CGE dovetail
Celestron Advanced VX Mount & Tripod
Image: Celestron

Sky-Watcher HEQ5

With much of the EQM-35’s functionality and features, this mount holds more weight. The combination of price point, weight-bearing capability, and rock solid stability have elevated the HEQ5 to rock star status. 

  • Weight Capacity: 30 lbs
  • Excellent for most telescopes
  • Sturdy and beefy tripod
  • 42,000+ object database with hand controller
  • Beginners or advanced astrophotography mount
  • A lighter version of the EQ6 Pro mount
  • All-metal gears
Sky-Watcher HEQ5
Image: Sky-Watcher

Losmandy G-11

Losmandy makes Cadillacs.  This mount has it all with its equatorial head and Gemini 2 Goto electronics. The G-11 may be overkill for many budding astrophotographers, but it does provide the ability to upgrade to a larger, heavier telescope down the road. (Celestron 8SE to Celestron 11C.) 

  • Weight Capacity: 60 lbs
  • Intermediate to Advanced astrophotography mount
  • Machined aluminum and stainless steel, black anodized
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Sturdy 35-lb tripod
  • Full-color Graphic Touch Screen
Losmandy G-11
Image: Losmandy

Honorable Mention 

Software Bisque Paramount equatorial mounts range from $7,300 to $24,000. The mounts have just about every bell and whistle you want in an astrophotography mount. Furthermore, they are pack-leading products, so if money isn’t an issue, they are worth some exploration.

Best Astrophotography Mount Summary

The best mount combines your desired price range and the weight of your telescope and camera equipment. Determine which features and accessories are essential when doing your research. We also recommend checking out our other astrophotography equipment reviews to make sure you get the most of your stargazing experience.