Lenses for night sky
/forum/topic/897445/0

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Chris VenHaus
Registered: Sep 22, 2007
Total Posts: 63
Country: United States

Does anybody have any recommendations for alt lenses on a 5D mkII body for night sky photography? I already own (C/Y) Zeiss 21mm, 35mm f1.4, Nikon 14-24, and Canon's new 24mm mkII and 35mm f1.4L. I recently tried the Zeiss 21mm wide open, and although it performs well, there is a bit of sagittal coma, vignettes more than I'd like, and is 1 stop away from where I'd like to be (f2.0). The Zeiss 35mm f1.4 was absolutely awful, wide open (sagittal coma).

Anybody use the Zeiss ZE f2.0 for this type of photography yet?



Alf Beharie
Registered: Apr 18, 2007
Total Posts: 834
Country: United Kingdom

The Tamron SP 17mm f3.5 is very good wide open and it will give a wider field of view.



Chris VenHaus
Registered: Sep 22, 2007
Total Posts: 63
Country: United States

Thank you. However, I need f2.0 or faster.



Jason_Thames
Registered: Mar 18, 2008
Total Posts: 178
Country: United States

You could try the Nikkor 28 1.4. It has always been a lens that in my experience does very well regarding coma wide open.

-Jason



kidtexas
Registered: Apr 29, 2002
Total Posts: 1409
Country: N/A

Since you have the 24/1.4 II, would you mind telling me how it performs in this application?



Chris VenHaus
Registered: Sep 22, 2007
Total Posts: 63
Country: United States

I just received it a few days ago, and haven't had a chance to use yet.



Chris VenHaus
Registered: Sep 22, 2007
Total Posts: 63
Country: United States

I just looked up the price for the Nikkor, and nearly choked. Getting into Leica territory there...



kidtexas
Registered: Apr 29, 2002
Total Posts: 1409
Country: N/A

Ahh ok. I'll be interested to hear what you find.



alexandre
Registered: Jun 30, 2005
Total Posts: 2621
Country: Brazil

Try Zuiko 28/2 or 24/2, you can find one for about 4-5 hundred.



thrice
Registered: Jul 10, 2008
Total Posts: 3354
Country: Australia

My immediate recommendation is the Canon 24/1.4L. Very highly corrected for coma, for a lens of that speed.



dakel
Registered: Apr 02, 2006
Total Posts: 243
Country: United States

Well according to a review I read, the 24/1.4 II has pronounced sagittal coma flare at wide apertures. This bums me a little as night sky photography is one of the reasons I bought this lens. I guess it's difficult to design a fast 24 with insignificant coma flare. Nevertheless I will reserve judgement until I get to try night sky photography with it.



Jason_Thames
Registered: Mar 18, 2008
Total Posts: 178
Country: United States

Chris VenHaus wrote:
I just looked up the price for the Nikkor, and nearly choked. Getting into Leica territory there...


It certainly isn't cheap, but it would meet your requirements I believe. Maybe rent it to see how well it could do the job you require.

-Jason



Alf Beharie
Registered: Apr 18, 2007
Total Posts: 834
Country: United Kingdom

The Zeiss 28mm f2.8 Distagon T* is sharp open, and does'nt suffer from coma.



montespluga
Registered: Mar 28, 2003
Total Posts: 417
Country: Switzerland

N 14-24 is fine for that - with low distortion at 18 mm while beeing UW



ISO1600
Registered: Jul 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4388
Country: Korea, South

The Zuiko lenses will be absolutely horrible wide open for stars.

The Nikon 28/1.4 will probably be about the best lens you can get for stars.



dakel
Registered: Apr 02, 2006
Total Posts: 243
Country: United States

I looked up the Nikon 28/1.4 because I'd not heard of it before. They are going for around $4K on ebay. Wow.
Another potential option is the Zeiss 35/2 - supposedly a well corrected lens.



Chris VenHaus
Registered: Sep 22, 2007
Total Posts: 63
Country: United States

Thanks. I'll definitely check out the Zeiss 35mm f2.0. Looks like an outstanding lens, even for conventional landscapes.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4857
Country: Germany

montespluga wrote:
N 14-24 is fine for that - with low distortion at 18 mm while beeing UW


David Clapp was using this lens too (among others) for his moonlight shots: http://www.davidclapp.co.uk/image_gallery.php?image_subcat=Moonlight%20-%20All



Chris VenHaus
Registered: Sep 22, 2007
Total Posts: 63
Country: United States

Thank you. Most of the fast lenses I have will work fine for moonlight, but for stars, sagittal coma can get very nasty with fast lenses, when used wide open... Sagittal coma is the "birds wings" effect you get with point sources of light, and is especially bothersome towards the edges of the frame..



sirimiri
Registered: Dec 10, 2007
Total Posts: 3222
Country: United States

Those are pretty good looking shots, at that web resolution. Especially for having to keep your shutter speed under a certain point to avoid trails, and have your ISO high enough to pick up enough light but without crudding up the image with noise or color/detail loss.



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