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Archive 2010 · Lenses for night sky
  
 
Rob Riley
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Lenses for night sky


can someone explain what brings all those colours out in the sky like that. Im thinking more the first image with the tree immediately above



May 12, 2010 at 04:17 PM
ISO1600
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Lenses for night sky


go somewhere really dark, Rob.


May 12, 2010 at 11:04 PM
TWoK
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Lenses for night sky


tjavery wrote:
I can't think of any other lenses that would be better. We might just have to sit tight and wait for newer Canon bodies that will do ISO 6400 (and up) cleaner and better than current bodies

The Noct-Nikkor, 35/1.8 DX and 28/1.4D are all better.



May 12, 2010 at 11:29 PM
TWoK
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Lenses for night sky


This is a bit dark, but this is the Nikkor 18/2.8D @ f/2.8:


I see no coma even in the far corners.

Full size here.



May 12, 2010 at 11:32 PM
sirimiri
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Lenses for night sky


tjavery wrote:
One approach to dealing with the lens' shortcomings is to focus on a foreground subject and let the stars go soft. The subject will be in sharp focus, but the stars will go just soft enough so that the coma is not noticeable as much.


I think I uploaded this before, somewhere - Joshua Tree at f/1.2, a good example of what you allude to. The stars have become cat's eyes, in fact.









May 13, 2010 at 12:09 AM
dcmiller
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Lenses for night sky


TWoK wrote:
The 24L2 should be very good.



That's the best I know of.



May 13, 2010 at 12:31 AM
dcmiller
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Lenses for night sky


trajan wrote:
Kenko Skymemo seems to sell for about $800. Are there cheaper alternatives?

--trajan


To track I use a meade. Any tracking base can be made to work. I don't think I spent more than $2-300.



May 13, 2010 at 12:45 AM
JohnJ
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Lenses for night sky


sirimiri wrote:
http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/7363/80792901.jpg


Dude! Beautiful image.

JJ



May 13, 2010 at 12:46 AM
TWoK
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Lenses for night sky


dcmiller wrote:
That's the best I know of.

Not if it still has coma at f/2 it's not.



May 13, 2010 at 02:03 AM
StevenPA
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Lenses for night sky


TWoK wrote:
I see no coma even in the far corners.


I see no stars in the far corners. Great way to avoid coma.



May 13, 2010 at 02:50 AM
 

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jhapeman
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Lenses for night sky


TWoK wrote:
The Noct-Nikkor, 35/1.8 DX and 28/1.4D are all better.


The Noct-Nikkor was lousy for this type of work IMO. The image of that lens in most people's mind far exceeded what the lens could really do.



May 13, 2010 at 04:49 AM
TWoK
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Lenses for night sky


You used it? What was lousy about it? It certainly doesn't still have coma at f/2. I own one...


May 13, 2010 at 04:50 AM
jhapeman
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Lenses for night sky


I have tested a LOT of lenses, and the best lenses were always slow lenses. It's very difficult to design a lens that is really fast, sharp on center, and also sharp out to the corners--at least not without also starting to end up with some funky distortion issues.

Of the fast primes, one of the very best is the Canon 24L II. Here's a bunch of shots comparing the 24L and 24L II at 100% in different parts of the frame. Unless you are printing REALLY large, by f/2.8 the stars are almost round, and I found that at f/2 they were fine for most prints. These are extreme corners on a 5DII.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhapeman/3478314587/sizes/l/in/set-72157614483169400/

Have fun perusing that at full resolution.

Now, it will be interesting to see what the new Nikon 24/1.4 can do....

Jeff



May 13, 2010 at 04:53 AM
jhapeman
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Lenses for night sky


TWoK wrote:
You used it? What was lousy about it? It certainly doesn't still have coma at f/2. I own one...


Yes I had one, and yes, it still had coma in star shots. Star images are a punishing test--point sources at infinity. Luckily people will pay crazy prices so I sold mine for 3x what I paid. I still think that lens is really over rated. Very soft wide open, and good coma control for when it was made--30 years ago--but there are lots of other great modern designs that do just as well or better.

Jeff



May 13, 2010 at 04:56 AM
TWoK
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Lenses for night sky


The Nikkor 24/1.4 is very sharp, but still has coma at f/1.4. The 28/1.4 is probably better in that respect. What slow lenses were better? Even the slow wides and normals I've used had tons of coma.

What doesn't the Noct do that you title it is a over-hyped? It is close to coma free at f/1.2. As close as any lens I've seen.



May 13, 2010 at 04:56 AM
jhapeman
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Lenses for night sky


TWoK wrote:
You used it? What was lousy about it? It certainly doesn't still have coma at f/2. I own one...


Oh, and as for lousy, what I meant was lousy value. I could choose a variety of other lenses that yielded similar performance for astrophotography at a fraction of the price. If this were 1980, it would have been worth it, but not with other cheaper options out there today. To get nice tight stars to my tastes, I had to stop it down to f/4, and it also was plagued with longitudinal chromatic aberration, which required stopping down to reduce. Again, its a matter of stars being a far more punishing test than say street lights (which are often narrow-spectrum and thus don't show the CA).

Jeff



May 13, 2010 at 04:59 AM
jhapeman
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Lenses for night sky


TWoK wrote:
The Nikkor 24/1.4 is very sharp, but still has coma at f/1.4. The 28/1.4 is probably better in that respect. What slow lenses were better? Even the slow wides and normals I've used had tons of coma.

What doesn't the Noct do that you title it is a over-hyped? It is close to coma free at f/1.2. As close as any lens I've seen.


Almost any f/2.8 lens from Canon or Nikon does a pretty good job. Off hand, for astrophotography, the Canon 28/2.8, Nikon 28/2.8, Canon and Nikon 50/1.4s, Canon 50/1.2 are all good.

What it comes down to is that most fast lenses are designed to be fast first and free of longitudinal CA and coma-free second. Basically these are trade-offs in lens designs, particularly within constraints of cost that most of us can imagine. In my experience, while many of the ultrafast lenses can be sharp on center, for astrophotography they often display too much sagittal coma or pretty high levels of longitudinal CA, which gives stars nasty little halos of color. The slightly slower lenses have less LoCA and often less sagittal coma, and typically are a fraction of the price.

For normal street shooting, you are right, the Noct is really well-corrected, but for stars its lacking, and it has more LoCA than I can tolerate--think colored rings around the stars.

Does the new Nikon 24/1.4 tighten up in the corners by f/2.8 like the Canon 24L II? I'm intrigued by that lens, and at the moment am all Leica, so going back to DLSR Nikon is more appealing than it was for a while, with the introduction of this lens in particular. Now if only there was a D700x.....



May 13, 2010 at 05:08 AM
JimBuchanan
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Lenses for night sky


Chris VenHaus wrote:
The crux of this challenge is what is the best WA lens that can be used wide open or stopped down to f2.0 for point light sources? To date, the Distagon 21mm is best, but I really could use an extra stop, since ISO 3200 is the max I can get before serious degradation takes place in the 5D mkII, and 30 second expoures are max to avoid distracting star trails.


I ask why look for a faster wide, when the IQ will suffer, over a slower lens? The new method is to take less than 30 second exposures and stack them in software to get the required signal-to-noise.



May 13, 2010 at 05:16 AM
JimBuchanan
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Lenses for night sky


jhapeman wrote:
I have tested a LOT of lenses, and the best lenses were always slow lenses. It's very difficult to design a lens that is really fast, sharp on center, and also sharp out to the corners--at least not without also starting to end up with some funky distortion issues.
Jeff


ditto



May 13, 2010 at 05:19 AM
magiclight
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Lenses for night sky


I've been shooting Astrophotography since the early 80's. I've shot at telescope prime focus as well as piggybacking SLRs/DSLRs and I must say Ive never found a fast wide angle lens that performs well in the outer zone or extreme edges for this specific purpose. It comes down to 'normal' camera lens are just not designed to perform at their peak at f1.4 etc, that's why in astronomy, optical system are specially designed, e.g fast astrographs and specially designed lenses.

I generally stop the lens down slightly and go for a longer exposure.




May 13, 2010 at 07:32 AM
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