Best Lenses For Astrophotography – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

Astrophotography is one of the most interesting forms of photography.

The sky looks magical at night, and if you have the right tools, you can make it look even dreamier.

Hence, you need to find the best camera lens there is to make sure that you capture the perfect shots. 

Comparison of the Best Lenses For Astrophotography

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8

  • Best overall astrophotography lens by Rokinon
  • Comes with a minimum focus distance of 2.6 feet
  • Has very fast shutter speed with an aperture of f/2.0 – f/22
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Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM

  • Has a focal length of 50 mm
  • Maximum aperture of the lens is F1.4
  • Sigma lens is the runner-up for astrophotography
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Irix 15mm f/2.4 Firefly Lens

  • Best for the money with f/ 2.4
  • Focus ring is ergonomic in design
  • Neutrino coating makes it resistant to damage
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

  • G type lens with an aperture of f/1.8
  • Prime lens goes well with FX-format cameras
  • Best lens for astrophotography Nikon with autofocus
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Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM

  • Very practical focal length at 22 mm
  • Best lens for astrophotography Canon
  • Lens system is compact and light in weight
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Rokinon 135mm F2.0 ED UMC

  • Aperture type is f/2.0 for this lens
  • Minimum focusing distance is 2.6 feet
  • Best telephoto lens for astrophotography by Rokinon.
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Can Any Lens Work for Astrophotography?

No, all lenses do not work for astrophotography as it needs specific features. Admittedly, the photography tool kit that brands put out does not have any particular astrophotography lenses. But that does not mean that you can use any lens that you want for astrophotography. 

The shutter of aperture has to be quick to make the images brighter and sharper. The aperture width requirements for astrophotography are different, as well. Only the lenses that have an aperture width between f/2.8 and f/5.6 can prove useful for astrophotography. 

So, you have to buy a lens with certain specifications if you want to practice astrophotography.

Why Did These Astrophotography Lenses Make Our List?

There are so many lenses on the market that claim to be good for astrophotography. But we do not like all of them as they are just not good enough. So, we have brought you some features that make us like our favorite models so much.

High Optical Performance

Optical performance covers a lot of aspects of a lens, ranging from the clarity of the image to focus on the subject. The lenses on this list come with a high optical performance, which improves the overall picture quality. They adapt well to low light conditions and even the dark, making them even better for astrophotography.

Greater Brightness

Brightness is something that becomes a major problem in dark conditions. And the night sky is not easy to capture without enough light in the lens. As these lenses have better brightness and light adjustment, we like these a lot. 

Lesser Shutter Duration

Shutter duration also has a huge effect on the image that you take from your lens. The less the shutter duration is, the sharper the focus of the camera. Stars are just tiny pinpricks in the dark sky, so it is hard to focus on them. This is why you need lenses with very fast shutter speed to have fun with astrophotography.

Quick Take - Best Lenses For Astrophotography

Before we dive into our review, here are the best lenses for astrophotography:

  1. ​​Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8
  2. ​​​Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM
  3. Irix 15mm f/2.4 Firefly Lens

Review of the Best Lenses for Astrophotography

So far, we have told you what makes us like astrophotography and the lenses required for it. So, let’s have a look at the best astrophotography lenses that you can go for. 

Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Canon (Black)

PROS

  • Has a petal-type lens hood built-in
  • Ultra-wide angle of view with 90 degrees
  • Very practical size with 3.4 inch diameter
  • 14 mm focal length for focusing better on the sky
  • Very low distortion of the image, even in low light

CONS

  • No assistance of range rings for the depth of field
  • Not weather-proof, making it unsuitable to use in various conditions

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report having a great time with this astrophotography lens. They loved it for the compact design and bright images that it offers. They like the focus that they get with it, too, as it helped them distinguish between the subject and the background.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its low CA makes it stand out to us the most among the astrophotography lenses on the market. It also has a low coma, which improves the quality and clarity of images. Its angle of 90 degrees is amazing as well, so it is perfect for photographing the sky.

Who Will Use This Most

The lens is most useful for the people who want to have a dreamy background and clear focus on stars. It is best for night photography as it has a wide aperture and lets in more light even in the dark. Since the depth of field can be tricky to figure out, it might not be the best for beginners.

Bottom Line

All in all, it is the best astrophotography lens on the market for both beginners and professionals. It has the perfect size for night photography, which makes it easy to use. There is no fatigue in hands, even with constant use. So, you should go for it without any hesitation about the quality of the images.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Canon

PROS

  • Filters are 77 mm in size
  • Full-time manual focus for photographers
  • Aperture has a range between F16 and F1.4
  • Ultrasonic ring type is present in the lens motor
  • Focal length is equivalent to 75 mm on APS-C cameras

CONS

  • A little low on the sharpness of the image
  • Not lightweight, making it difficult to carry around

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this lens mainly because of the way its shutter closes so quickly. They also like its aperture range, which helps them in a variety of conditions. Not to mention, they also love its filter size, which is perfect at 77 mm.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The lens grabs our attention with its amazing construction and aesthetics. The aperture is wide, and the shutter is both quick and smooth. This makes for a great combination, especially for astrophotography, as it does not disrupt the calm around you.

Who Will Use This Most

This is going to be most helpful for people who are into perfection. The lens helps you practice with a lot of angles and positions before you settle for one. The focus is easy to control as well, so you can play around with it more.

Bottom Line

This is one of the most useful lenses for astrophotography on the market at present. It has a much clearer vision, which helps you get the exact shots of the subjects. It also makes it easy for you to control the dimensions of your photography.

Best for the Money:
Irix 15mm f/2.4 Firefly Lens

Irix 15mm f/2.4 Firefly Lens for Canon

PROS

  • Lesser ghosting of image due to neutrino coating
  • ABS construction uses a very lightweight material
  • Auto metering with cameras due to a built-in chip
  • Focus lock lets you practice different angles at the same focus
  • Ergonomic design makes it great for adventure photographers

CONS

  • Infinity is inaccurate for copies
  • Peripheral blurring of the images reported

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are very happy with their purchase as they got to do some great photography at such a low price. They loved it due to the fast shutter closure, which makes the images sharper and more focused. Buyers also had great reviews regarding the image quality with this one.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The lens catches our eye with its neutrino coating, which increases protection and clarity. It minimizes the level of ghosting and chromatic aberration in the pictures. It also has an ergonomic design, which makes it a safer option for photographers.

Who Will Use This Most

This is going to be most useful for people who love adventure and high thrills. They can take it along for trekking, too, as it has an ergonomic construction. The lens can survive minor falls and resists scratches due to the competitive coating, making it suitable to use in tough conditions too.

Bottom Line

To sum up, it is an incredible option for you if you are running on a tight budget. It goes so light in your pocket that you will not believe it. It is also great due to the way it suits multiple cameras from different brands.

Best Lens for Astrophotography Nikon:
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Minimum focus distance of 1.48 feet only
  • Has the maximum reproduction ratio of 0.15X
  • Edge to edge sharpness for both FX and DX formats
  • 47-degree angle with a focal length of 35 millimeters
  • Silent wave motor to retain calm while photographing at night

CONS

  • Does not zoom manually
  • Problems in fitting cameras other than Nikon

What Recent Buyers Report

People who invested in this lately have been impressed by the lens. They reported that it goes perfectly with Nikon cameras as it has auto-focus too. Moreover, they like it a lot due to the minimum focus range, which helps them get more detailed images.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It brings itself to our notice with the amazing features that it offers in terms of astrophotography. It has a silent wave motor that does not disturb you when you are photographing the night sky. The lens also has some aberration minimizing mechanisms in place as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is perfect for people who want to have greater details in their photography. The minimum focus range is incredible, and you get to focus on the minute details. So, this is best for those who prefer high-quality images with a dreamy background.

Bottom Line

All in all, it is an amazing lens for astrophotography, which has a great focus. The maximum reproduction ratio is 1.5x, which keeps things quite natural yet dreamy. Thus, investing in it can be a great decision on your part.

Best Lens for Astrophotography Canon:
Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM

Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM Compact System Lens

PROS

  • 7 blades for constructing a circular aperture
  • Quiet auto-focus for video shooting modes too
  • Bright f/2.0 lens for high performance in low light
  • Comes with one highly competitive aspheric element
  • Moderate wide-angle to help in covering a bigger horizon

CONS

  • Camera systems are switched
  • Construction material is not of high-quality

What Recent Buyers Report

The lens has a long chain of happy customers as it has all the right features for astrophotography. They found its focal length to be quite practical as it fits most outdoor subjects. Buyers also like its lightweight nature, which helps them play around with different positions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us due to its moderately wide-angle. It helps photographers focus on both the subject and the background. And since the background in astrophotography is the sky, it is even better. It also provides a soft background for the night sky, so it makes night shots more dramatic.

Who Will Use This Most

This is most useful for photographers who are into taking shots of particular galaxies. Of course, they will need a magnifier with it, too, but the lens goes great in this regard. It has quite a compact frame as well which helps you in practicing photography easily.

Bottom Line

Our opinion on this is that it is a great option for those who have found a passion for astrophotography. The price is great for all the features that it offers to photographers. The best part about it is that it provides a soft background and makes the subject more focused.

Best Telephoto Lens for Astrophotography:
 Rokinon 135mm F2.0 ED UMC

Rokinon 135mm F2.0 ED UMC Telephoto Lens for Fuji X Interchangeable Lens Cameras

PROS

  • Lens hood is easy to remove and fasten
  • 9 diaphragm blades to increase the sharpness
  • Ultra multi-coating on optics for clearer images
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty for greater reliability
  • Lesser chromatic aberration due to low light dispersion elements

CONS

  • E-mount is difficult to handle
  • Focus ring is a little hard and stiff

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers gave very positive reviews about this lens. They liked how it goes with cameras from all brands. The picture quality is amazing, and so is the clarity of images. They also liked its focusing distance, which can be as low as 2.6 feet.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It makes it to our list because of its low light dispersion element. It keeps the light focused and intact, so there are hardly any chromatic aberrations in the images. We like it also due to the ultra-multi-coating, which keeps it safe from pollutants.

Who Will Use This Most

This is for professional astrophotography practitioners as it has a slightly tricky configuration. It is easy to take shots with it once you get the hang of its settings. It is great for indoor photography, too, so you can use it in multiple situations.

Bottom Line

In our option, this is one of the best models that the market has to offer. It has the right features for astrophotography as well as indoor photography. So, it has a greater utility than other cameras of its league. Hence, you can benefit a lot from this one, so there should be no hesitation while buying it.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Astrophotography lenses have a great variety on the market, making it difficult to choose one. The competition is quite high, and the advertisements can be misleading sometimes too. So, you have to be very cautious while buying a new lens for astrophotography. Here are some of the aspects that you have to consider before making a purchase.

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens is its most important feature as it limits the range of focus. For astrophotography, you need greater focal length as the objects are very far away. Lenses that offer a range of focal lengths rather than a single focal length are better.

Aperture Width

The aperture width of a lens needs consideration as well since it affects the clarity and quality of an image. The aperture should be wide enough to let in the maximum light in the dark too. This also affects the low light performance, so keep it in mind while buying a lens.

Manual Focus

Another important aspect of an astrophotography lens is its focus. You should be able to control the focus manually as not all stars need to be focused. This causes a problem with auto-focus, so make sure that the lens has a manual focus option. 

How to Use Astrophotography Lenses

Using an astrophotography lens is not a big deal if you know how to do it. You also need to have the right equipment to photograph the night sky. With that said, here are some steps that you have to follow in order to use an astrophotography lens.

  1. Begin by choosing a position for photography and set the camera on a tripod. The steadier the camera, the better the shot will be.

  2. Set your camera in manual focus mode and open the aperture of the lens to its maximum width.

  3. Then open the brightness of your lens to let the most light into the camera. You might even need to use a flashlight to make the sky look brighter. 

  4. Shut off the auto-focus and then manually focus on the brightest star. 

  5. The focal length needs to be at the perfect spot. So, adjust the focal length at a point from where you can focus on the object easily.

  6. Then take shots while keeping the focus object near the center of field. This will make the image more realistic and attractive.

The following video provides a much better overview of how to use such a lens. 

Conclusion

Summing it all up, you need particular lenses for astrophotography as it is slightly trickier than others. The specifications of the lens depend on the kind of subject that you like as well. The aperture has to be in line with the object that you focus on. So, be careful when it comes to choosing a lens as it affects your photography and image quality.

People Also Ask

Astrophotography is not something very common, even among professional photographers. So, there is much confusion regarding it, which leads to people asking many questions about it. They need to be answered to let people get the right tools for astrophotography. This is why we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions for you.

What is the Best Aperture for Astrophotography?

The best aperture for astrophotography depends on the subject that you choose it for. There is a range of aperture widths, which is great for astrophotography. Professionals suggest an aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6 for this particular kind of photography. 

How Do You Focus a Lens for Astrophotography?

In order to focus a lens for astrophotography, you have to follow these basic steps.

  • Turn on the Live Mode and set your camera to manual focus. 
  • Turn off the auto-focus on the lens and focus on the brightest star.
  • Set your camera at the fastest aperture and fix the focal ratio.
  • Keep the focused star close to the center of the field.
  • Now dial down the exposure and determine the focus level you want using a magnifier.

When Should You Photograph the Milky Way?

The Milky Way makes for an incredible subject for those who are into astrophotography. The best time for photographing it is in the months of May and July. The sky is just dark enough for photographing the Milky Way, and the moon is less bright. Furthermore, the best time is from 00:00 to 5:00 during these months for working with Milky Way as your subject.