iOptron SkyTracker and Ball Head

iOptron Sky Tracker

iOptron SkyTracker in black. Older version.

iOptron’s SkyTracker has a become a very popular way to do astrophotography on a budget using your own camera and lenses. The SkyTracker tracks the motion of the earth so you don’t get star trails in your long photos of the night sky.

Posted March 8, 2016. Updated Dec. 5, 2017.

iOptron Ball Head

iOptron Ball Head

You mount the SkyTracker on your tripod. A ball head sits on the SkyTracker (you can order iOptron’s ball head or use a ball head you already have), and your camera and lens go on the ball head. The ball head comes with a camera mounting plate. The ball head is Arca-Swiss compatible so you can use your own mounting plates if you already have an Arca-Swiss type system.

The iOptron’s SkyTracker comes with a polar alignment scope. Aligning this scope properly with Polaris is essential to long exposures of the night sky. There are alignment apps you can use on your smart phone, or you can use the free downlaodable charts created by Michael Covington.

iOptron SkyTracker, latest version

As of the date of this update (Dec. 5, 2017), the latest version of the SkyTracker currently sells for $269 at There is also a heavy duty version for $428. The ball head is $58.

You can order the iOptron SkyTracker and ball head in the iOptron section of my Amazon powered photography store. When you order from my store you get the same great prices, delivery, and guarantee, and you help support my web sites. Thanks!

What kind of photos can you take? Here are some examples at Flickr from the iOptron Sky Tracker & Sky Guider Imaging Flickr Group.

Series Links

“How To” Series: Astrophotography with the iOptron SkyTracker – series overview

iOptron Sky Tracker and Ball Head

First Night: Testing an iOptron Sky Tracker, Part One

First Night: Testing an iOptron Sky Tracker, Part Two

iOptron Polar Scope Alignment with a Simple Chart

Related Links

The Best Night, Astronomy, and Astrophotography Books

How To Get Critical Focus in “Live View” Mode with a Magnified Image

Tripod Recommendations: The Best of the Best

Tripod Head Recommendations: Some of the Best of the Best

Purchase Links

The iOptron Astrophotography Gear section of my photography store has iOptron equipment and planispheres. The books section of my photography store has a selection of The Best Night, Astronomy, and Astrophotography Books. My photography store has direct links to so you get Amazon’s great prices, fast delivery, and excellent guarantee.

Buyer’s Guide Series Link

This is one in a series of articles that will guide you to the best of all things photographic. The rest of the series is here: Buyer’s Guide: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More.

Web Site Links

iOptron – all products

iOptron Sky Tracker