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400mm f2.8 lens for Nikon

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#1 andysea

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 10:08 AM

I couldn’t find any threads about this topic other than a couple discussing canon lenses.
What are the current recommendations for a 400mm f2.8 lens that can be used on FX Nikon cameras and has good correction for Astro?

#2 whwang

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 11:24 AM

I think you are pretty much limited to Nikon 400/2.8, since you can't adapt Canon or other lenses to a Nikon DSLR.



#3 andysea

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 11:57 AM

I think you are pretty much limited to Nikon 400/2.8, since you can't adapt Canon or other lenses to a Nikon DSLR.

 

I'm new to the Nikon ecosystem and it looks like there have been a few variants of the 400 f2.8, including the older manual focus one. Do you know if the older models are usable for astrophotography? I'm thinking that I may be better off with an Epsilon 130.


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#4 The Luckster

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 12:08 PM

I'm new to the Nikon ecosystem and it looks like there have been a few variants of the 400 f2.8, including the older manual focus one. Do you know if the older models are usable for astrophotography? I'm thinking that I may be better off with an Epsilon 130.

I feel MF lenses are best for control, but newer optics can be better...YMMV.

 

Stick with Nikon AI MF lenses, non-AI lenses require a physical mod to work properly.

 

I cannot answer your query about astrophotography use...sorry.

 

CS

 

jason



#5 whwang

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 08:50 PM

Newer lenses always have better correction overall, but more expansive.  I think this applies to all brands.  So it's your call.

 

I just switch from E180ED to telephoto lens. The Epsilon is amazing when it works.  It's a big headache to collimate it.


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#6 andysea

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 10:12 PM

What lens did you replace the epsilon with?

#7 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 10:20 PM

I'm new to the Nikon ecosystem and it looks like there have been a few variants of the 400 f2.8, including the older manual focus one. Do you know if the older models are usable for astrophotography? I'm thinking that I may be better off with an Epsilon 130.

Hi Andy,

 

I haven't seen any Nikon 400/2.8 shots with the latest and greatest version of this lens, maybe Wei-Hao has.

 

I know the Dragonfly Array folks are using 48 Canon 400/2.8 lenses with the super-duper (scientific term) coatings in their lens complex.

 

I've used older Nikons (and Canons) and I can tell you there is a vast (some might say huge)  difference between the 400mm lenses designed for old film technology and the new ones designed for digital. Problem is the price of the new ones... frown.gif

 

Jerry


Edited by Jerry Lodriguss, 23 December 2018 - 10:21 PM.

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#8 andysea

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 10:41 PM

Thank you Jerry. I wish I could use canon lenses on my Nikon body:(
I might be able to find a good deal on a used latest version of the Nikon 400.

#9 whwang

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 10:45 PM

What lens did you replace the epsilon with?

Sigma 500/4. However, I am still learning about this lens, and haven't decided that it is up to my standard.


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#10 andysea

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 12:12 AM

That is one stop slower which is significant. The best (pricey) option may be the FSQ130 with the f3 reducer.



#11 skywatcher3000

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 02:26 AM

As a professional optical engineer that worked for the major aerospace companies in SoCal,
I took a close look at the Nikon and Canon Lenses for some specialized applications in
my work back in the early 2000's. I was able to acquire some actual test results for the
300mm and 400mm telephoto lenses back then. Although they were in the process of improving
the image quality of their lenses to work with newer and better CCD sensors, they still
left a lot to be desired for astronomical imaging applications. Although I am retired now,
I still keep up on the improvements that are being made to the "big" telephoto lenses that
are being made by Canyon and Nikon (plus the other major brands). From what I can tell, the very latest 400mm F/2.8 lenses from Canon And Nikon look like they finally have "arrived"
and look like worthy lenses for high quality imaging for astronomical applications. But,
boy-oh-boy, they are, indeed, extremely expensive. Even used versions of the latest models
are very costly, too. You may want to wait on trying to acquire one of these versions, if
you are looking for high quality imaging!! One of the newer astrographs might be a better
idea!
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#12 garret

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 11:10 AM

As a professional optical engineer that worked for the major aerospace companies in SoCal,
I took a close look at the Nikon and Canon Lenses for some specialized applications in
my work back in the early 2000's. I was able to acquire some actual test results for the
300mm and 400mm telephoto lenses back then. Although they were in the process of improving
the image quality of their lenses to work with newer and better CCD sensors, they still
left a lot to be desired for astronomical imaging applications. Although I am retired now,
I still keep up on the improvements that are being made to the "big" telephoto lenses that
are being made by Canyon and Nikon (plus the other major brands). From what I can tell, the very latest 400mm F/2.8 lenses from Canon And Nikon look like they finally have "arrived"
and look like worthy lenses for high quality imaging for astronomical applications. But,
boy-oh-boy, they are, indeed, extremely expensive. Even used versions of the latest models
are very costly, too. You may want to wait on trying to acquire one of these versions, if
you are looking for high quality imaging!! One of the newer astrographs might be a better
idea!

+1

On Jerry Lodriguss website you can find a enlarged image of a star made with a old 'big white' tele-lens made by Canon, it show clearly misalignment.

But the latest Canon 400mm F2.8 (only 2850 grams!) is alignment by computer/ robot they should't have misalignment, and have very low sample to sample variation.  

See here for a tear-down of this lens: https://www.lensrent...-f2-8-l-is-iii/

If somebody can afford this lens he/ she can afford a new camerabody...


Edited by garret, 24 December 2018 - 12:03 PM.


#13 andysea

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 11:25 AM

Thank you! I actually have a Canon 5D mark IV but I like the Nikon d810a better for astro :)

I think that I will stick with the FSQ and if I want more speed, get the f/3 reducer. I really appreciate all the feedback.



#14 Cotts

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 11:40 AM

Why spend $thousands$ for a 400mm NIKON  lens that you want to use for astrophotography?

 

$500 dollars +/- gets you one of these which is at least as sharp across the field as its ridiculously overpriced, too-many-elements big brother....(Running the Nikon wide open at f/2.8 will guaranteed have bad stars in the corners)   Sadly only f/6.5 but is two stops faster worth nearly $10 000?.  See below.

 

https://astromart.co...edq-65mm-f65-ed

 

images are single sub, Canon 60Da, no post processing...straight from the camera

 

M31 http://rascbellevill...f1475709478.jpg

 

Omega Cen  http://rascbellevill...f1471020983.jpg

 

Ten grand?  Really?

 

Dave



#15 garret

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 02:16 PM

 

Ten grand?  Really?

11 Grand for the Nikon and 12 for the Canon 400mm 2.8  lol.gif

 

For sports photographers these are must have, for astro imagers these are simply overkill unless you have money to burn, a fast Newton astrograph does the same job way cheaper. 

But... a Canon 300mm F2.8 is 'only' 6 Grand (in the same league as a FSQ or the Vixen 100 3.8) such fast lens is sensational on nebula, comets, sunset and moonrise, and any terrestrial object obviously.

I rather have the 300m 2.8 Canon then the FSQ or the Vixen. 

 

 

 



#16 Cotts

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 03:44 PM

11 Grand for the Nikon and 12 for the Canon 400mm 2.8  lol.gif

 

For sports photographers these are must have, for astro imagers these are simply overkill unless you have money to burn, a fast Newton astrograph does the same job way cheaper. 

But... a Canon 300mm F2.8 is 'only' 6 Grand (in the same league as a FSQ or the Vixen 100 3.8) such fast lens is sensational on nebula, comets, sunset and moonrise, and any terrestrial object obviously.

I rather have the 300m 2.8 Canon then the FSQ or the Vixen. 

I would love to see astro-images from both the Nikon f/2.8 400mm and the Canon f/2.8 300mm shot wide open. I'd bet the farm on elongated stars and/or coma and/or CA in the corners of both.  These are designed for non-stellar, terrestrial uses such as sports and wildlife imaging.  Stopped down to f/6.5 they would still be no sharper than my Astro-Tech 65mm Quad APO.  And stopping these things down is where one really wastes the $$$.... 

 

 

Dave



#17 andysea

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 05:04 PM

It looks like if I want to shoot at f2.8 or faster my best options are the Tak Epsilon 180 or the Celestron RASA.

For slower speeds I already have plenty of options with The FSQ and my other scopes. I was hoping that the older versions of the super telephoto lenses would be good for Astro but that is not the case. Given the cost of the new ones a scope makes way more sense, like many of you have pointed out.



#18 garret

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 04:34 AM

Most important factor for astrophotography with modern DSLR telephoto lenses is alignment of all the elements in the lens.

The latest Canon 300/ 2.8 has 16 elements.

The Canon 100-400mm type ii zoom lens has no less then 21!

This has been interferometrical tested here: http://interferometr...sm-ii-tele.html

That's really impressive for a zoomlens, @300mm using the 6D body there is no sign of color aberration or misalignment.

At Lensrentals they have also tested this lens: https://www.lensrent...ariation-tests/

His conclusion: "I won’t go into a long, drawn-out monologue telling you what you can already see for yourself. The new  Canon 100-400 IS II is optically superb"

 

Using old design telephoto lenses is asking for trouble, they may have poor alignment and high aberrations.

Using a second hand modern telephoto lens is also asking for trouble as these could have been used in the rough (*) hands of the first owner; at the sideline of a football field, war-zone, really hot and low temperatures... If you handling a Televue Petzval or any imaging refractor this way...

Modern telephoto lenses are designed to have very high sharpness wide open with large sensors and small pixels in mind.

 

Many if not all fast telephoto lenses and refractors produce the best resolution in the center of the frame and slightly less in the corner.

If you want the best resolution over the full area of a large sensor use F8 refractors instead.

 

(*): rough handling of brandnew lenses is already starting when the lens leaves the factory: transit, Vendor, parcel deliverer...

 

Garrett


Edited by garret, 25 December 2018 - 07:40 AM.

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#19 Samir Kharusi

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 04:24 AM

It looks like if I want to shoot at f2.8 or faster my best options are the Tak Epsilon 180 or the Celestron RASA.

For slower speeds I already have plenty of options with The FSQ and my other scopes. I was hoping that the older versions of the super telephoto lenses would be good for Astro but that is not the case. Given the cost of the new ones a scope makes way more sense, like many of you have pointed out.

Once you get to 6+ inch apertures there is no comparison between the superior cost efficiency of mirror optics compared to refractor optics. The mirror optics will be faster, have flatter image fields and have FWHM around half of those from refractor optics. Why are the pro telescopes refractors...? If you have no need for daytime use of a camera lens just go for reflectors. I am very happy with a C14 Hyperstar, 675mm f1.9. It's a also a killer visual scope and planetary imager. At half the price of a Canon 600mm f4. C11 Hyperstar (560mm f2) might well come in at under a quarter of the 600mm f4.


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#20 calypsob

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 12:14 AM

Small pixels, sub 4.5um on a full frame sensor are going to be a tough challenge for most optics.


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#21 Ron359

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 06:32 PM

I would love to see astro-images from both the Nikon f/2.8 400mm and the Canon f/2.8 300mm shot wide open. I'd bet the farm on elongated stars and/or coma and/or CA in the corners of both.  These are designed for non-stellar, terrestrial uses such as sports and wildlife imaging.  Stopped down to f/6.5 they would still be no sharper than my Astro-Tech 65mm Quad APO.  And stopping these things down is where one really wastes the $$$.... 

 

 

Dave

Please send me your deed for your farm after looking at these many images by Roger Clark with 300mm f/2.8 and 400mm wide open canon lenses.   ;  )

 

http://www.clarkvisi...y.astrophoto-1/


Edited by Ron359, 27 December 2018 - 06:32 PM.


#22 garret

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 11:11 AM

Please send me your deed for your farm after looking at these many images by Roger Clark with 300mm f/2.8 and 400mm wide open canon lenses.   ;  )

 

http://www.clarkvisi...y.astrophoto-1/

He is using a Canon 300mm f/2.8ii on a Canon 7mk2 body with smaller APC size sensor (but also small pixels); near perfect edge performance.




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