Recently purchased the MSM Rotator Wedge along with the new version of the laser pointer, game changer for me. No more trying to perform a balancing act using a free floating ball head. The wedge gives me the ability for precious movement in both directions, super accurate laser alignments is a breeze. Great bit of kit and very well built.
As a skyscape beginner, I found the wedge super helpful for a more precise polar alignment especially as I try different focal lengths. It also made my vertical pano shots much more simplistic. I’m thoroughly enjoying my MSM and accessories. Now for clear skies!
Wedge for precise polar alignment
Quality has improved a lot
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I bought the MSM to replace a Vixen Polarie tracker. The MSM is superior to the Vixen in every category (weight, price, size, ease of setup) except payload. However, the MSM is excellent for any camera with a prime lens up to around 100mm. It's certainly perfect for wide angle star field shots using 12mm to 50mm (full frame) lenses.
The phone mount makes polar alignment a snap, especially using the MSM V plate. The best video for how to do this is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7NcaBQxfDk (if the URL doesn't work, search for the video named "Follow up to my Move Shoot Move phone mount video. How to get the best results with MSM phone mount!" on the "Chasing Luminance" channel.
I recommend getting a 1/4" inch to 3/8" brass spigot to attach the phone mount to the MSM. These are available in any camera store; they're in the lighting section because they are normally used with light stands.
For ease of assembly in the field with a V plate, I put an Arca-Swiss plate on the bottom of the V mount so I can attach it directly to my tripod head, an Arca Swiss clamp on the V plate's top section, and another Arca-Swiss plate on the bottom of the MSM. To assemble the system in the dark, the V plate just snaps onto your tripod head, and then the MSM (with the Arca-Swiss plate on its bottom) clamps directly to the V plate's top section. No fiddling around with screws in the dark.
Three photos are attached. One shows the Milky Way taken using full spectrum camera with an H-Alpha filter and the MSM; this was my first MSM outing. The other two show the MSM on a V plate with my recommended setup using 2 Arca-Swiss plates, one Arca-Swiss clamp, and the brass spigot for the phone mount.
The reflective tape (on the MSM) and reflective ribon (on the phone mount) are helpful in the dark for finding equipment in the dark (also for not losing stuff!). Enjoy!
MSM wedge provides me an accurate way of aligning my tracker with polaris. It is smooth and very responsive.
The MSM is the cornerstone of my lightweight wide field setup. As it transforms an ordinary camera/tripod setup into an astrophotography setup.
Really enjoy the MSM
As is typical of all MSM products, this wedge is crafted of high quality materials and precisely machined. The altitide adjustment is very precise and easy to use. The azimuth adjustment is some what more limited. It allows precise positioning withis a somewhat narrow range - but you may need a tripod that allows column rotation or a small rotation table if you cannot position your tripod close enough to north to be within this limited range of adjustment. The altitudde lockdown clamp works - but the spring holding the screw may interfere with tightening. And the clamp level may need to be rotated to avoid physical confilcts with your other equipment. Overall a very well made high quality wedge. RECOMMENDED
Very easy to setup and polar align using the laser. I use it for my astromodified camera to capture wide field star fields at 50mm. The portable weight of it makes it easy to just keep it mounted on my tripod and quickly carry it out for some snapshots.
Another thing I use it for is livestacking. I point it at an area of the sky that I want to see, and watch the stars start to pop out on my phone. I use a third party device to connect to my camera and show the livestacking.