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Archive 2013 · Best lens for night shooting
  
 
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #1 · Best lens for night shooting


So I love night shooting and it's become one of my favorite areas of photography. While it doesn't pay the bills, I enjoy the whole experience.

So I'm curious as to what everyone's input for best night shooting lens is.

I shot with the Tamron 10-24mm for a while, but now I shoot with my 16-35 f/2.8. The body I shoot with is the Canon 6D

I was looking to pick up a second lens almost solely for night shooting..I'm a big fan of a dual camera setup when I am shooting close to home- one facing north and one facing the milky way for timelapses.

I'm currently debating the Rokinon 24mm 1.4 vs the Canon 24mm 1.4, is it worth the extra grand to be able to focus (so for if I wanted to use for something other than night shooting).


Here's a few examples of what I like to shoot (I'm no expert in astrophotography, just taught myself for fun)






Feb 12, 2013 at 02:53 AM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #2 · Best lens for night shooting


Its tricky.

Seems to be a mix of 24tsemkII, 24L and cz 21 I think.



Feb 12, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Jonathan Huynh
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p.1 #3 · Best lens for night shooting


55 mins after sunset.
Canon TS-E 24mm F3.5 version II







Feb 12, 2013 at 02:58 AM
saneproduction
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p.1 #4 · Best lens for night shooting


Sigma 30 1.4


Feb 12, 2013 at 06:43 AM
svetljo
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p.1 #5 · Best lens for night shooting


sigma 30 is a crop lens, wont work (well, if at all) on a 6d

i am sure the canon 24 1.4 mk2 worth its extra gran, in case you want or need AF :-)
like for low light shooting of people, but if you only shoot static objects and nigtscapes AF wont be of much use




Feb 12, 2013 at 07:31 AM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #6 · Best lens for night shooting


24/1.4 has a comma issue wide open and needs stopping down to f2.8 really.


Feb 12, 2013 at 07:51 AM
Yakim Peled
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p.1 #7 · Best lens for night shooting


The 24/3.5 II is an excellent lens but the equivalent Rokinon is on the way so if you are not in a hurry...

Happy shooting,
Yakim.



Feb 12, 2013 at 11:43 AM
saneproduction
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p.1 #8 · Best lens for night shooting


svetljo wrote:
sigma 30 is a crop lens, wont work (well, if at all) on a 6d

i am sure the canon 24 1.4 mk2 worth its extra gran, in case you want or need AF :-)
like for low light shooting of people, but if you only shoot static objects and nigtscapes AF wont be of much use



Sorry, I misread 6D as 60D.



Feb 12, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Snopchenko
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p.1 #9 · Best lens for night shooting


I would use a 24/1.4L II and a Sigma 85/1.4


Feb 12, 2013 at 03:35 PM
 

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Gunzorro
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p.1 #10 · Best lens for night shooting


Peakphoto -- What deficiencies are you noticing with the 16-35? Is it weak in the corners/edges? Pronounced coma? It seems like a fairly decent lens for what you are doing, if yours is sharp enough.

Which focal length do you use the most on the 16-35? That will tell you which additional lens to buy.

If it is very, very wide, the EF 15mm FE and Samyang 14/2.8 might be good candidates. The new Samyang 24 TS might work, but I don't know what the edges will be like -- no one's got it yet or checked the coma and other aberrations.

The Zeiss ZE 18mm might also be good -- perhaps Jim Colwell can tell us what he thinks of his copy. Not too expensive -- around $1000 used.

The 24 TSE II is a great choice, but pricey. Other pricey possibilities are the Zeiss ZE 21/2.8 and new 25/2.

Lots of choices, especially at the expensive end!



Feb 12, 2013 at 04:14 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #11 · Best lens for night shooting


I use a Samyang 14, 17TSE, 16-35 f2.8MK2 and 24-70 f2.8 Mk2. I have used a Zeiss 15 f2.8 and 50 f1.4 in the past, I no longer have the Zeiss lenses.

I use whatever lens is the best focal length up to 50mm, and with enough light 70mm. But to avoid star trail's wider is better.

The Zeiss 15 was probably the ultimate but too expensive for just this use. The 17TSE is fantastic with enough light because I can include lots of sky by shifting and keep the camera level thus avoiding perspective distortion. It is sharp at f4. Sharper than any of my other lenses.

The Samyang almost always needs to be pointed up (as did the Zeiss 15) and distortion becomes an issue.

The 16-35 is usually my starting lens. For night shots where corner sharpness is not an issue, I can shoot it wide open and zoom for composition. It works great if I don't need to point it upwards too much. If I do, the TSE is the only solution.

I prefer to shoot during a full moon, and use the moon at my back to illuminate the foreground. This often allows me to shoot at ISO800 and still keep a short enough shutter to freeze stars. If I were doing milky way shots in clear total dark skys I would need other strategies.

Edit, the distortion in your first shot is very noticeable and what I am referring too by perspective distortion. That shot might have been difficult even with a 17TSE.




Feb 12, 2013 at 04:32 PM
nburwell
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p.1 #12 · Best lens for night shooting


My 24L mk I works wonders for me shooting at night. I know a lot will recommend the 24L mkII though. Also, the 14L and/or 15mm FE might be something you could look at as well.

-Nick



Feb 12, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #13 · Best lens for night shooting


The Canon 24mm f/1.4L II is an awesome lens but for night shooting (stars), you will need to stop down to f/2.8 and at the aperture, the new Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II zoom offers similar performance, especially since it's very well corrected for coma and astigmatism.

Yesterday I posted a thread about a Samyang 24mm f/1.4 on sale and was considering it for myself. From the reviews I have read, it seems to perform better than the Canon 24mm f/1.4L II wide open and at f/2 for night shooting. (Higher resolution in the extreme corners, better coma correction, less CA). Read the discussion here: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1189379
If you need to go wider, there are many options from Zeiss, Samyang and Canon.
Samyang again being the budget choice with great IQ but high distortion.

Are you using a star tracking device like the Astrotrac or Polarie? If so, having a large aperture lens is no longer crucial since you would be exposing the sky for 5-8 minutes with a wide angle lens and blending the foreground in post.



Feb 12, 2013 at 06:14 PM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #14 · Best lens for night shooting


Fred Miranda wrote:
Are you using a star tracking device like the Astrotrac or Polarie? If so, having a large aperture lens is no longer crucial since you would be exposing the sky for 5-8 minutes with a wide angle lens and blending the foreground in post.


If your doing that why not just grab a hubble shot and blend in a foreground?




Feb 12, 2013 at 08:25 PM
David Baldwin
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p.1 #15 · Best lens for night shooting


For night photography the main difference between the Samyang 24mm f1.4 and the Canon 24mm f1.4 Mk2 lies in resolution/coma optimization. By this I mean that at very wide apertures the Samyang has better resolution/coma control in the corners and the Canon has better resolution in the center which I suspect reflects different optical formula decisions by the respective designers. As has been mentioned the 24L Mk2 is very well corrected over the whole frame by f2.8:

http://www.nightfolio.co.uk/subpages/sm001.html

You can save a bit of money by getting the Canon 24mm f1.4 Mk1 secondhand, but my own copy had radically depressing CA on a 5D2. This issue was largely dealt with in the 24L f1.4 Mk2, and in my view is the major reason Canon did the upgrade. I would therefore pass on the 24L Mk1. Definitely.

For me the choice would be between the Samyang 24mm f1.4 and the Canon 24mm f1.4 Mk2. Do you need to shoot faster than f2.8, are you most interested in the middle or edge of your frame? Do you have alot of money? These are the questions for you!



Feb 12, 2013 at 10:22 PM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #16 · Best lens for night shooting


I really appreciate all the advice guys, a lot of great help here!

Gunzorro wrote:
Peakphoto -- What deficiencies are you noticing with the 16-35? Is it weak in the corners/edges? Pronounced coma? It seems like a fairly decent lens for what you are doing, if yours is sharp enough.

Which focal length do you use the most on the 16-35? That will tell you which additional lens to buy.


It is weak in the corners, but I still love it for night shooting. And I'll still use it for night shooting. But as I sort of mentioned before I like to shoot with a few cameras at one time when out night shooting. I often do timelapses, mainly because it increases the chances of getting something like a meteor to complete a shot. It also allows me to stack them together for star trails later in post. So I often set one camera up facing polaris and then another facing the milky way or whatever cool feature is in the area.

I usually go all the way wide on it at 16mm, but I wouldn't mind having my other lens shoot a little more cropped in. Cheers!


Fred Miranda wrote:
Yesterday I posted a thread about a Samyang 24mm f/1.4 on sale and was considering it for myself. From the reviews I have read, it seems to perform better than the Canon 24mm f/1.4L II wide open and at f/2 for night shooting. (Higher resolution in the extreme corners, better coma correction, less CA). Read the discussion here: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1189379
If you need to go wider, there are many options from Zeiss, Samyang and Canon.
Samyang again being the budget choice with great IQ but high distortion.

Are you using a star tracking device like the Astrotrac or Polarie? If so, having
...Show more

Thanks Fred. And I was reading that thread earlier and I'm really heavily leaning towards the Samyang. Because most of what I do is travel and tour shooting a 24mm F/1.4 probably wouldn't be on my camera much during the day as my 16-35 will cover that range and do just fine and I don't open it much to 2.8 anyways. So the Samyang might be my best bet to save some cash and get a great performer for night shots. I also read this article and it makes a big case for the Samyang for night shooting: http://www.borrowlenses.com/blog/2013/02/the-best-lenses-for-night-photography-a-case-for-rokinon-primes/

And as much as I'd love an star tracking device, I would only be able to use it when shooting close to home as it's not something I have room for when I travel across the world. So I may get one some day, but it's not in the plan for the time being.

David Baldwin wrote:
For me the choice would be between the Samyang 24mm f1.4 and the Canon 24mm f1.4 Mk2. Do you need to shoot faster than f2.8, are you most interested in the middle or edge of your frame? Do you have alot of money? These are the questions for you!

Some good questions to pose. I would love to shoot faster than 2.8 for stars, just to get the best possible result. And along the lines of money... well I am a broke college kid ha. But all my print sales go towards new equipment, I'm at the point now where I have a great telephoto and wideangle with the body I want so it's time for a lens I can have some fun with. I have enough in my print account atm to pay cash for the Canon 24L, but at the same time saving the extra grand could go towards something else. Like a teleconvertor.



Once again, thanks for all the great discussion everyone.



Feb 13, 2013 at 04:33 AM
David Baldwin
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p.1 #17 · Best lens for night shooting


"Some good questions to pose. I would love to shoot faster than 2.8 for stars, just to get the best possible result. And along the lines of money... well I am a broke college kid ha."

Then in your position I would probably get the Samyang 24mm! Nice corners and nice price.



Feb 13, 2013 at 09:11 AM
Sjjindra
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p.1 #18 · Best lens for night shooting


Another thread shows the Bower version of the 24 1.4 going for $499, seems like a deal.
Steve



Feb 13, 2013 at 02:01 PM





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