Help a Newb Pick an equatorial Mount

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JMattH New Member • Posts: 7
Help a Newb Pick an equatorial Mount

Total newbie to astrophotography.  As in - I've taken a couple pics of the Milky Way with my DSLR.  I did own a Meade ETX90 something like 20 years ago when the first goto devices came out.  But I lived in the middle of a light pollution bubble with no dark skies anywhere within range.

Fast forward to today, here's what I've got:

I live in far south Arizona and VERY dark skies are easily within 30-60 minutes, and my own back yard isn't bad either.  In fact I can see the Mt. Hopkins observatory from my yard.  There's a reason they put an observatory here, right?

For now I want to "just" use my camera and lens:  Canon R5 with a 400mm IS F/2.8 lens.  I can add a 2x teleconverter for 800mm F/5.6.  It's the older version of the lens, so total weight is about 15 pounds.  I believe for best results I need a mount rated for 30 pounds or more.

I'd like something with a polar alignment scope as part of the mount.  And I'd like it to be as precise as possible to help get the sharpest images I can get.  I've read so many reviews, watched so many Youtube videos, and searched so many threads here that all I've done is confuse myself.

Budget?  Probably $1,000 - $2,000.  Can someone steer me in the right direction?  Other threads?  Some independent review sites?  Personal experience?  I've found iOptron and Sky-Watcher.  And of course the big 2 (or 3) telescope manufacturers.  And that's when the information overload hits.  I've read the clarkvision website, but his recommendations on that site are a bit dated and most mounts he recommends aren't even produced today.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Canon EOS R5
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