I usually lurk around the CCD/CMOS and BII forums, but it was recommended that I bring my lens questions here to the experts. Hopefully my post here won't cause a rift in the space/time continuum because I am not using a DSLR for astronomy!
I would like to start imaging with camera lenses with my existing CCD's. I've been imaging with a QSI 683 and FLI ML16200 (both monochrome) for several years now, but so far only with various telescopes having typically much longer FL's. When it comes to using lenses for astrophotography, I am a blissfully ignorant newbie! I would prefer F-mount lenses as I use Nikon for terrestrial photography and would like compatibility if at all possible. Recently I purchased F-mount adapters for each CCD.
It is my wish to start with something on the order of 300mm FL and then work my way down as I grow a collection of lenses. My telescope targets tend to be a mix of both galaxies (LRGB) and nebulae (NB), although I imagine these lenses will be used more for NB as I want to capture wider fields of nebula expanses but also, eventually, full constellation and ultra-wide Milky Way shots in both NB and natural colors. I'd say I'll be stepping from 300mm to, say, 200mm, all the way down to 35mm or so.
In fact, I would appreciate recommendations on what kind of collection to build up: which FL's, what to look for in aperture (F-number), what to avoid, etc.
Thank you for your attention to this and help in teaching me about using proper lenses for astrophotography. I have been perusing many of the images posted here and elsewhere using the kind of lenses I think I'd like to get, and they are simply amazing. Zooming in on targets with a big scope and large focal length is fun, I'll still be doing that, but I'd very much like to expand into wider shots as well!
P.S. For those interested, I posted about my imaging platform I put together for mounting lenses on my CCD's, autofocusing and auto guiding as well in case you are interested. I also posted my one and only image so far using a very unsuitable cheap zoom lens. As expected, that didn't come out well.