Beginner Which lens should I choose for astrophotography

Messages
2
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
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
669
Name
John
Edit My Images
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
6,420
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
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
Messages
31,950
Name
Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
Edit My Images
Yes
#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!
 
Messages
6,214
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
Yes
#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
102
Name
Mark
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.
 
Messages
40
Name
Phil Maddocks
Edit My Images
No
#7
I am looking at getting the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 this year to improve my astrophotography. I replaced my kit lens with a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 which gave me better light performance so I was able to run at ISO 3200 and 20 seconds. stars were relatively sharp.

What is stopping you moving to ISO 3200 for grabbing more light? If you are worried about noise, read my article on my blog about stacking techniques and using free software like Deepsky stacker for milky way shots. You can see what I was able to achieve with my Nikon D3400 and Sigma 17-50. With the Tokina at 11mm I'll be able to run my exposure longer without star trails, so am looking forward to that!
 
Messages
20
Name
Neil Sweeting
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
A few of my friends use a Tokina 11-16 f2.8 with great results sadly I didn't have the funds for this lens so I replaced my Canon kit lens (18-55mm STM lens) with a Tamron SP 17-50mm F2.8 vc lens & have been happy with the results when it comes to astro shots & the normal day to day stuff
 
Messages
1,121
Name
Lee
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
Wider & faster is the obvious answer. I've just bought my boy an A6000 & Samyang 12mm f/2 - Not actually used it for purpose yet! I'm not sure if they do an equivalent lens for crop DSLR's though.

I can get decent 'star' photography at 21mm & f/3.5 full frame but I've not actually had the chance to try milky way shots yet.
 
Top