Best lens for astrophotography: Taking snaps

Lateral and spherical aberrations are also very well controlled. This is useful at twilight or indoors, but is of no benefit for long exposures in astrophotography, where it is best turned off. The front element has a smudge-resistant fluorine coating, and the lens is fully weather-sealed. Most of the latest lens options from Tamron and Sigma have brought extremely high levels of performance to the system for night photography.

Equally impressive are contrast, color reproduction and the absence of spherical and lateral chromatic aberrations. At least this lens is also great in terms of performance. If you have an EOS R5 or R6 and want to do astrophotography, this is the dedicated lens for you.

Best lens for astrophotography

Even at the shortest focal length with the widest aperture, sharpness is excellent throughout the frame, and the lens does very well at maintaining excellent corner sharpness at wide apertures. For the astrophotography world, the lens offers a way to get clear images of the night sky without having to worry about distortion. If you’ve tried shooting the night sky with a kit lens that has a slow, variable maximum aperture, you’ll understand how challenging it can be, even when working on a beautifully clear night. The wide aperture uses nine blades.

Get the right scope for your needs: Astrophotography scopes

Unlike other competitive lenses, the separate bayonet hood allows filters to be easily attached via an 82mm thread. These blades are very effective and help increase the signal-to-noise ratio. Image quality is fabulous, as sharpness is exceptional for such a fast aperture lens with an ultra-wide angle of view. A fast aperture speed of F2.0 ensures that the final composition has less noise and more clarity than you would get with a conventional lens.

Vignetting and spherical aberration are well controlled, and there is little coma and astigmatism. In Milky Way photography you can also use tracking for longer exposures, but if you are under dark skies and have the right camera and lens setup, it is more than possible to capture a great image with a single image without tracking. Notable optical features include two ED (extra-low dispersion) elements and a nano-crystal coating. Coma and astigmatism are very noticeable in the corners of the image frame, but if you go down a step, they virtually disappear, making the overall image quality for astrophotography excellent.

Overall, the Firin is a good lens, although its angle of view can be a bit restrictive for astrophotography. Digital Camera World is part of Future US Inc, a leading international media group and digital publisher. While there are few changes to the optical lineup, this updated revision of the G2 lens gains an additional anti-reflective coating and a more durable fluorine coating on the front element. It’s a lens that balances well on one of Canon’s mirrorless cameras, but should be less of an issue for astrophotographers.

The ultra-wide lens and impressive aperture range make this a versatile piece of equipment that can be used in a wide range of environments. Overall, this Tamron G2 lens is a solid performer and an improvement over the original. Please refresh the page and try again. For Canon and Nikon full-frame digital cameras, this is simply the best fast aperture ultra wide-angle zoom lens on the market, and not just for astrophotography.

A nice touch is the separate lens hood that allows filters to be attached if desired via an 82mm thread, plus it has built-in IS. Using the navigation bar on the left you can easily access the sections for Canon, Nikon and Sony users, while we have also put together the best lenses for astrophotography that are available in a range of lens mounts. Using the navigation bar on the left, you can easily jump to the sections for Canon, Nikon and Sony users, while we’ve also rounded up the best lenses for astrophotography that are available in a range of lens mounts. On nights with low ambient light, you’ll want to use the lens on your gear that lets in the most light.

Using the navigation bar on the left, you can easily jump to sections for Canon, Nikon and Sony users, while we’ve also rounded up the best astrophotography lenses available in a range of lens mounts. It’s great value for money. Using the navigation bar on the left you can easily jump to the sections for Canon, Nikon and Sony users, while we’ve also rounded up the best lenses for astrophotography that are available in a range of lens mounts. Digital Camera World has the support of its audience.

This lens features a large and complex double-surface GMO (Glass Moulded) aspherical element at the front, which is coupled with two UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) elements and a ground aspherical element at the rear. Sharpness in the corners of the Tokina decreases considerably at the short end of the zoom range when using the widest aperture. Sharpness in the center is excellent, but corner sharpness at the shortest focal length and widest aperture is behind the Sigma zoom, more on par with the Tamron. Build quality is up to Canon’s usual robust L-series standards.

Unlike other similar zoom lenses, this Tamron has a large zoom ring at the front and a relatively small focus ring at the rear. Unsurprisingly, looking at the focal range and maximum aperture available, this is a large and heavy lens. Add the included HB-98 hood and huge 112mm filters can be used – Nikon offers Neutral Color and Circular Polarizer options. My friend said he preferred a wide lens so he could get more sky (and therefore stars) into the frame.

While people don’t often think of “normal viewing lenses, like a 50mms, as astrophotography lenses, there are certainly opportunities to create unique compositions with this focal length. That said, you can see examples of successful astronomical images with “nifty fifty” lenses and one way to make it work for landscape astrophotography is to use it to take several photos and stitch them together as a panorama (although this is a fairly advanced technique).

Unusually for a wide-angle zoom lens designed for Canon or Nikon DSLRs, this Tamron includes an optical stabilizer, with an efficiency of 4.5 stops. Maintaining excellent image quality at the widest aperture of the lens for astrophotography is a real challenge in an ultra wide-angle optic, but this Samyang manages it exactly, an admirable achievement.

Focusing performance is brilliant, as the lens features a Nano Ultrasonic AF system for near-silent focusing. Its image stabilization system works well for general use, though it’s not beneficial for astrophotography. The mounting plate features a rubber weather seal, but the lens lacks a full set of weather seals or a fluorine coating to maintain cleanliness on the front element, as with Sigma and Tamron lenses. Rokinon’s 35mm lens has an impressive aperture.

Coma and astigmatism are very well controlled, again similar to the Tamron lens but not quite matching the Sigma’s performance. Barrel distortion is unusually well controlled at the short end of the zoom range, and negligible at the long end. Vignetting and barrel distortion are considerably worse than the other two lenses. This is a great wide-angle lens for general photography, and it’s very attractively priced.

Not only will you find great options for Canon and Nikon from a range of top third-party brands, but also for Sony, Fujifilm, Micro Four Thirds and more. Weather resistant attributes are expanded to include moisture and grease repelling fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements. Enhanced high-tech coatings include SWC (SubWavelength Coating) and ASC (Air Sphere Coating) for increased resistance to ghosting and flare. The lens is quite long at 128mm, considering it has no built-in fixed hood.

Coma and astigmatism at the widest aperture are the only drawbacks for astrophotography. This lens works well for Micro Four Thirds and APS-C format astrophotography, where the lack of autofocus is not really a drawback. Vignetting is remarkably minimal and although barrel distortion is prominent at close range, it’s negligible for astrophotography.

best nikon lens for astrophotography

Despite the advanced construction of the lens, it is still relatively light and compact for those nighttime adventures where you want to travel light. This is due to its various lens elements, and the fact that it is an HRI lens which provides increased optical performance. Unfortunately, this lens doesn’t have any built-in image stabilization, however, when using a tripod this shouldn’t matter as much. The actual distortion of this lens is quite low, although there is a small amount of pincushion distortion at 200 millimeters.

The ED lens for improved sharpness and the nano crystal coating applied to the first element to improve contrast and reduce flare with the 14-24 f 2.8 G delivers optically is second to none. As mentioned above, zoom lenses are not ideal for astrophotography, but sometimes you need the flexibility of a zoom, as objects in the landscape can be far away and you may not be able to carry multiple prime lenses with you. That’s the way it will be for a few years as Nikon photographers start to see how amazing the Z system is and take the plunge. It should be noted that the lens lacks any kind of optical image stabilization, and its wide front makes it incompatible with screw-on filters.

This lens is ideal in any astrophotographer’s kit and is available for Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony E mounts. Nikon lenses are versatile and can be used for many other purposes, such as portrait and landscape photography, too. So what is the best lens for astrophotography? The answer will vary from photographer to photographer. All NIKKOR lenses are designed to meet Nikon’s stringent standards, and are acclaimed by astrophotography enthusiasts around the world.

However, you can guarantee that they will enable you to take stunning shots of the stars, Milky Way and planets. You just have to remember that this is a Nikon DX lens and is therefore only suitable for Nikon cropped sensor cameras. It’s also compatible with the built-in image stabilization on Nikon Z cameras, which means your astrophotography will be sharp and easy to control. As a brand, Samyang does a good job of creating lenses for night photography, both for full frame and cropped sensor cameras.

This lens has a very wide aperture, and the 24 to 70 is a standard zoom for many event photographers and pretty much any everyday photography. This lens really shines for astrophotography and you can rely on sharp photos with minimal softening and distortion. If you’ve ever tried to capture the beauty of the moon or the Big Dipper with your phone, you’ve learned that astrophotography requires a good camera with the right lens. Although the Nikon has a little more depth of field, the two are so close that you’ll barely notice the difference.

However, the image starts to get softer, because of the physical effects of diffraction on the lens at this price point, the performance is quite impressive. It also features Nikon’s SWM autofocus motor, which will be perfect for night shots where contrast is minimal. However, it should be noted that the Irix is about half the price, making it a great option for those looking for a budget wide-angle lens. That’s why I consider it an absolutely awesome buy and, in many ways, the secret weapon of astrophotography.

If you just want to test your astrophotography skills, and also want a decent lens for general photography, this is a great option. It’s relatively lightweight at only 355g, and should be easy to carry to your astrophotography location of choice. It has a compact design and a collection of carefully designed lens elements to ensure aberration reduction and sharpness enhancement. This means you can change shutter speed without going into the camera menus and therefore reduce time.

For example, it is dust and drip resistant, making it ideal for outdoor use in a variety of conditions.

The best Canon lenses for astrophotography

It allows you to include both landscape and sky in a single frame, no need to shoot multiple overlapping images and then assemble them into a panorama. I know there are some great lenses out there for Sony cameras, for example, but I can’t comment on equipment I’ve never worked with. A lot of people will say it’s a cheap lens, but it’s a piece of equipment that will allow you to do a lot of nice things in astrophotography. Most of the time in astrophotography, fisheye lenses are used to shoot straight up, and include the whole sky in one frame.

Learn more about astrophotography in Alex Nature’s e-book TTL – The Ultimate Guide to Astrophotography. It’s a lens that is fast and quick to focus, captures sharp images time and time again, and can be used in many situations. Unfortunately, these lenses cannot be used on the new autofocus EF camera bodies for astrophotography. You could photograph lunar or solar eclipses, especially with lenses over 300mm, but I’d rather choose a telescope for that.

Otherwise, you don’t have much to shoot from a fixed tripod, as the maximum exposure times to get point stars will be very short. These 2 lenses are tremendous for astrophotography because they are capable of letting in a lot of starlight in a single exposure.

And you may realize after a few sessions that astrophotography isn’t really for you, so I don’t think investing in a prime lens at first is the best thing to do. Equipment is important in this genre, and using the best astrophotography lens you have available can make a big difference to your images.

While they are quite useful for documenting your family travels, they are almost useless in astrophotography. Just remember that this lens is only compatible with Canon APS-C sensor cameras and cannot be used with any adapters. I recommend double checking if the lens is compatible with a particular clip-on filter before buying it. The problem with this lens is that its quality is very inconsistent, and you may have to try several copies until you find one that delivers satisfactory results.

In addition to having a degree in photography, Alex also has a degree in astrophysics, so he has a deeper understanding of the astronomical phenomena he photographs. The closer positioning of the sensor in mirrorless cameras, the wider lens mount, new types of glass and coatings, and completely new optical configurations allow more design parameters to be adjusted, resulting in the excellent performance required by the new high-resolution digital sensors.

They are a great choice for photographing the Milky Way from horizon to horizon, or for very active Aurora storms, when the Lights cover the entire sky. Remember that there is also a range of adapters available so you can use non-native lens mounts on your camera, such as the Canon EF-EOS M mount adapter.

Lenses in this range can be used to photograph conjunctions, individual constellations or large areas of the sky that are interesting in tracking exposures (such as the areas around the constellations Orion, Cygnus, Sagittarius or Crux). There is no getting away from the high price, but it is a lens that offers supreme image quality, while the AF system is fast, smooth and quiet. A spotting scope will be lighter, cheaper and, more often than not, will have better optics than a lens at these focal lengths. Other lenses to consider are the Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM and the Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM.

You can use any focal length from 8 to 800mm when shooting the sky, but I would recommend getting a spotting scope if you want to shoot at focal lengths longer than 400mm. They are not really suitable for traditional landscape astrophotography, as they are not rectilinear and distort the landscape. Let’s break down the lenses by focal length and see what part of astrophotography they are useful for, and which lenses I think are best suited for each task. Circular fisheyes are also great for showing what the whole sky looks like during total solar eclipses.

Any lens has optical aberrations, and astrophotographers will always want the lenses with the least optical flaws. Whatever lens you choose for your astrophotography, spend more time using it to photograph the night sky than painstakingly trying to find all its flaws on your computer screen. Camera lenses must cover comparatively large fields at various distances from the subject with much faster focal ratios. It weighs only 125g and is perfect for that quick, spontaneous night adventure where you want to pack little and get out quickly.

Aperture area is the calculation of the lens’ clear aperture area and angular area is the angular field of view in square radians.

Astrophotography lens chart

Ultra-wide zoom lenses with fast aperture ratios for Canon and Nikon APS-C format cameras are rare. The most important lens company for astrophotographers is Samyang, which sells lenses under different names Samyang, Rokinon and Bowens.

Many other fast lenses I’ve used in the past tend to blur the edges of the frame, creating “commas or UFO-like shapes in the stars”. We chose the best lenses for astrophotography enthusiasts photographing a starry night sky, to suit a range of cameras and budgets I consider the best focal length for astrophotography for Full Frame cameras to be between 14mm and 18mm, with an acceptable upper limit of up to 24mm.

For simple astrophotography of untracked landscapes and nightscape images, a wide-angle lens is usually needed. For many, the best lenses for astrophotography have wide angles and wide apertures, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to a specific focus.

I still think the M line of cameras offer a lot of value for the money and are a good choice for photographers who want the familiarity of Canon’s excellent interface. I recommend reading this excellent article on lens aberrations at Lonely Speck, which describes the main aberrations that can be seen when photographing the stars.

The Nikon matches the Sigma zoom lens in terms of maximum angle of view and is slightly wider than the Tamron. Jerry Lodriguss has put together a useful list of Canon, Nikon, Sigma and Rokinon lenses for astrophotography on his website. This method is usually applied to additional lenses to avoid chromatic aberration. We chose the best lenses for astrophotography enthusiasts photographing a starry night sky to suit a range of cameras and budgets.

Determine how far your lens will be able to zoom in on a view and zoom quickly to capture the image clearly while maintaining image integrity and clarity. There are a number of lens characteristics that will determine the quality and usefulness of a lens for astrophotography. This lens has an amazing close focus that differentiates the object in focus and out of focus with great sharpness. This means that the selection of lenses for astrophotography is universal, regardless of the brand of camera you use.

For Canon and Nikon full frame DSLRs, this is simply the best fast aperture ultra wide angle zoom lens on the market, and not just for astrophotography.

Lenses for astrophotography

All of these lenses are manual focus (MF), so they will require more patience than autofocus lenses for everyday photography, but their optics usually match or exceed the quality of high-end Canon or Nikon lenses, and at a quarter of the price. As we have seen above, although wide-angle lenses are the standard focus for most astrophotography, sometimes a longer lens is needed. Lenses between 14mm and 35mm are also great for photographing meteors, auroras, wider conjunctions, or atmospheric optics such as halos. Let me explain what kind of thinking goes into choosing and using a lens for astrophotography and nightscapes of the Milky Way.

What is a good lens for photographing the Milky Way? Ideally a wide-angle zoom or prime lens is ideal; it is best to work in a focal range between 14 and 20mm in 35mm equivalent terms (i.e. between 10 and 14mm on an APS-C camera or between 7 and 10mm on a Micro Four Thirds camera).

These lenses are more difficult to use if you don’t have a star tracker, as you won’t be able to make very long exposures from a static tripod. Right now, Nikon, Canon, Sony and Sigma, the major lens manufacturers, are devoting all their development and research to lenses for mirrorless cameras. Vignetting is remarkably minimal and, although barrel distortion is prominent at close range, it is negligible for astrophotography.


I shoot with Canon DSLR cameras with full size sensor and APS-C, so the lenses are both Canon. The image above is a great example of what can be done with a relatively inexpensive camera and lens combination. As a member of the L-series, this lens offers the upper echelon of glass elements and quality coatings in a durable, weather-sealed case. Thanks to its fast maximum aperture, this lens allows you to photograph star clusters or nebulae with short exposure times.

These lenses have recently become very good optics for astrophotography, and in some cases perform better in star fields than native Canon and Nikon lenses. This lens is a popular choice for a second lens even if you already have the same focal length represented by an 18-55mm zoom lens. All of these lenses are relatively affordable and score above 1,000 with the calculations in the table above. With fields of view exceeding 90 degrees from corner to corner, a super wide angle lens is the first recommendation I suggest for most photographers looking to upgrade their kit lens.