Beginner Which lens should I choose for astrophotography

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2
Name
Ian
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Yes
#1
Hi All,
I have been a long time lurker, but feel that i need to get more involved and contribute more to the forum.
I have had an interest in photography for a while but have not made a concerted effort, mainly shots of the kids, and not very good ones.
My current equipment consists of a Canon 450d, 18-55mm stock lens and a 55-300mm lens.

I am keen to do some astrophotography with my Canon and a lens. I have knowledge and experience with a DSLR and cooled mono astro camera mounted on different telescopes on a GoTo mounts.
I specifically want to use a lens on a fixed mount - Manfrotto 290 Carbon.

I have recently taken to doing night sky timelapses. I used my 18-55mm lens at 18mm and f/3.5, 1600 ISO and 20 sec exposures. I managed to get the stars relatively sharp, admittedly there was slight egging due to 20s exposures as the 500 rule suggests I would be better at 15 sec exposures.

I really need to gain more light. As I see it I certainly require 1 but really 2 stops extra. I not able to increase the ISO, aperture nor the exposure, therefore believe I require a faster. I have been reading through the threads here, lonely speck and others as well as browsing ebay.

I would prefer to get a prime, but will certainly take on board peoples comments about others.

I do not necessarily have all the cash yet but will save and sell some other bit to achieve the cash I need to purchase the right item. Due to the financial constraints I am limited to purchasing 2nd hand equipment.

My current thoughts are to go for something like a Canon 24mm f1.4 Mk1 or 2, which are running at £575 - £775.

I appreciate that this an EF lens suited to a FF camera but my thinking is that using it on my 450d will mean I will loose the vignetted corners and being f/1.4 would mean I would be able to potentially stop down a bit for greater improvements. However that means I might only be gaining 1 stop

Sorry for the long ramble. I look forward to your advice and suggestions.

Ian
 
Messages
647
Name
John
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Yes
#2
Best affordable lens would be the Samyang 12mm f2.8. I have the 14mm in a full frame and it's quite a good lens for Astro. The only thing is,if you eventually purchase a full frame camera in the near future it's a pointless exercise. The Canon 24mm on the 450d will end up around 30mm which is not very wide for Astro.
 
Messages
6,258
Name
Graham
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No
#3
You seem to have the gist of what makes a difference here. As you say, 24mm 1.4 doesn’t necessarily gain you that much when you consider the old 500 rule. Also, although it’s a personal thing I prefer a much wider lens for Astro. Though it would be a good length for panos. Annoyingly, mirrorless Apsc users are spoilt for choice for fast, wide primes but not so much for crop dslrs. The tokina 11-16 2.8 might be worth a look or maybe something like the sigma 18-35 1.8.

After that, this is one of the few areas of photography where full frame really might make a significant difference. Quite a lot more choice and some of them are pretty good value too.
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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31,532
Name
Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#4
For wide field, as wide and as fast as possible. For timelapses, don't worry too much about trailing - if anything, it'll make the videos look smoother!
 
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6,055
Name
Graham
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#5
Hi Ian,
Welcome to TP, the place where you will get loads of advice and you will gain some very helpful friends here.
I have a IRIX 15mm 2.4 lens, they also do a 11mm but that is a f4 so forget that.
If you have a look on ebay I am sure you may find one that is in your price range although these lens are not that expensive to start with, something like 469 UKP
On Amazon,
Irix Ultra Wide-Angle Lens Firefly 15 mm f2,4 (95 mm Filter Thread Full Size, Extremely Light Weight, optimised Lens Focus Ring)
 
Messages
9
Edit My Images
No
#6
The Tokina 11-20 f/2.8 is great for Astro I've used it and gotten some nice results, I've also used the 18-55 kits lens and gotten some great results doing star trails with it. The Samyang 12mm f/2 is sharp and cheap, but manual focus and if you can live with the coma is a pretty cool investment.
 
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