One of the most important things in tracking platforms for astrophotography is the polar axis setting.
With Kenko SKYMEMO S accurate polar axis alignments are always possible, and are further supported by a polar scope illuminator device.
Kenko SKYMEMO S is equipped with a total of 8 tracking modes, including not only the Fixed Star tracking mode, but also a Sun and Moon tracking modes. Therefore it shows its full potential in all the fields of astrophotography, as you can also shoot at celestial objects, like the Sun or the Moon, other than fixed stars.
By rotating the dial, you can easily select the tracking mode you would like to use.
This mode is particularly suitable for astrophotography. By rotating the dial on the ☆ symbol, the tracking system starts working according to the diurnal motion of the stars and, by doing so, it can keep tracking the same star. Also, when shooting in this modality, the stars become an image point. Fixed Star tracking mode is therefore particularly recommended if you want to shoot at celestial bodies such as dark stars and nebulae.
Compared to fixed stars, the Sun and the Moon have completely different moving speeds and diurnal motions that, as a concequence, necessitate different tracking modalities. Kenko SKYMEMO S has therefore been equipped with specific tracking modalities for the Sun and the Moon respectively, and you can choose the one you need by simply rotating the dial on the ☼ or ☾ corresponding icon.
Kenko SKYMEMO S is also equipped with a 0.5x speed tracking mode that will support your star-scape photography by allowing you to include in the same frame both the scenery on the horizon line and the starry sky above.
This 0.5x speed tracking mode also facilitates steady and slow motions, and with a short exposure, you can freeze and immortalize the starry sky right over your favorite scenery. All this features make the 0.5x speed tracking mode mostly suitable for star-scape photography.
By rotating the dial on 2x, 6x or 12x respectively you can speed up the way you can shoot the stars' diurnal motion. These modes are particularly convenient for interval time shootings.
Last but not least, the OFF mode turns off the power once you are done with your tracking. But that's not all. In OFF mode you can shoot still images in which the stars will appear in an arch line having the Polaris as its center.
Interval timer shooting is a shooting method that makes it possible to take pictures automatically at set shooting intervals. Kenko SKYMEMO S is equipped with an interval timer shooting function so that, by connecting its shutter control port to your camera's external shutter control port with an optional shutter control cable, you can set shooting intervals to take pictures automatically. Interval shootings can be also performed while tracking.
Moreover, when combining time-lapse shooting and astrophotography, it is fundamental to know beforehand where the celestial subject you want to shoot is and how it moves. For this reason, each tracking mode of Kenko SKYMEMO S corresponds to time lapse values preset according to the subject or the speed you want to shoot at, and you can easily check it by consulting the instruction manual (hyper link) or the following chart:
The result is a very convenient way to get all the shots you need in your time-lapse shootings so you catch all the beauty of a star-scape.
Kenko SKYMEMO S makes use of 4 AA alkaline batteries (not included) for power supply. It can be used continuously for about 72 hours.
* With temperature at 20 degrees, sidereal time drive system, alkaline dry battery and standard use.
Extendable with accessories
Kenko always pursue to meet all the needs a photographer may have during his or her shooting section. For this reason, SKYMEMO S has first of all been provided with a portable body so compact that can easily fit in a backpack or a camera bag. Despite its compactness, it has also been provided with plenty of options to be extendable with a full range of accessories.
Have a look at the following charts to find the combination that better suits your needs.
Despite its compactness, you can expand Kenko SKYMEMO S with a lot of accessories support your needs and shooting situations.
Among its products Kenko also offers the following accessories, which are fundamental to complete your equipment for astrophotography.
A fine-tuning mounting assembly is an extremely versatile and useful tool to have among your equipment, as it allows you to mount and use two cameras at the same time.
Being compatible with Skymemo S portable tracking platform and equatorial wedge, this fine-tuning mounting assembly in particular allows you to also mount any telescope with a 1/3” thread screw on Skymemo S portable tracking platform, and to point and fine-tuning point in two directions.
By mounting it on a fine-tuning mounting assembly, a 1 kg counterweight with shaft included is of particular help to counter the weight of a telescope when you want to use it with Skymemo S portable tracking platform.
By connecting your camera's external shutter control port and SKYMEMO S with this cable you can directly control the camera's shutter release and therefore easily make interval time shooting with SKYMEMO S' preset shutter intervals.
|Shutter Cable Nikon N1||SE-ATN1||Nikon remote code MC-30A||4961607492499|
|Shutter Cable Nikon N2||SE-ATN2||Nikon remote code MC-DC1||4961607492505|
|Shutter Cable Canon C1||SE-ATC1||Canon remote switch RS-60E3||4961607492475|
|Shutter Cable Canon C3||SE-ATC3||Canon remote switch RS-80N3||4961607492482|
Note: Regarding compatibility with your camera model, please check your camera's remote code/remote switch on your camera manufacturer product page.
SKYMEMO S has a USB mini-B port and can be power supplied from a mobile battery charger with USB output. However, with some battery chargers power supplying may be suddenly stopped immediately after starting the charging process.
The reason is that the electric current consumption of SKYMEMO S is around 70 mA. That is too small compared to the electric current supplied by some battery chargers. Therefore, in some battery chargers some sort of protection function is activated to stop the power supply.