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Best APS-C wide angle lens for Milky Way?

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Gschnettler

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 07:17 AM

Hello. I’ve read that you can get amazing shots of the Milky Way if you use a tracking mount and then stack many exposures taken using a wide angle lens.

What would the best lens be to get a good view? Something like a 14mm f2.8 lens? I have a Nikon 7100 so I’d be shooting DX (APS-C).

Or would the 18-55mm F3.5 - 5.6 kit lens that came with the camera be a good choice?

#2 ToxMan

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 08:26 AM

Based on some reading and You Tube videos, I found 14mm f2.8 lens is often recommended, and just started using a Rokinon 14mm f2.8 lens for a Canon APS-C camera body. It's manual, so no auto-focus, or other electronic features. But, infinity at the ring stop is at focus with pinpoint stars. And, not too expensive.

 

Just got it...Moon's out, but hopefully have MW test shots soon. I guess "best" often depends on the parameters of the user, and you will get many opinions. I didn't care about electronic features, and wanted the sharpest field out to the edges without spending a lot of money. Personally, I would only use the kit lens if it was all I had and wanted to get started and practice.

 

You might have seen this: https://www.youtube....h?v=ExQDiLaTzBA


Edited by ToxMan, 01 August 2020 - 08:46 AM.


#3 sg6

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:18 AM

The best is very expensive, need to get out of the idea of asking "Best". You could easily spend $5000 on a best lens.

You want a prime lens as theya re built to do one thing - produce a good image at that focal length.

Next is rather odd, get a lens that will cover a full frame sensor.

 

When they make them the image created has ti be good over say 95% of the sensor, as eve it is the edges that tend to suffer. So if the lens produes a good image across a full frame then the APS sensor only ever sees the central portion and that is generally very flat and good. It is one good trick of getting good uniform flat images on an APS camera.

 

Look at Nikons but there are others, without a location not sure who's may be available.



#4 shark-bait

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:34 AM

I have the Rokinon 14mm, 2.8 and it works really well on my Canon crop sensor (60D and 90D).  I typically stop it down at least one stop.



#5 chanrobi

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:09 PM

Hello. I’ve read that you can get amazing shots of the Milky Way if you use a tracking mount and then stack many exposures taken using a wide angle lens.

What would the best lens be to get a good view? Something like a 14mm f2.8 lens? I have a Nikon 7100 so I’d be shooting DX (APS-C).

Or would the 18-55mm F3.5 - 5.6 kit lens that came with the camera be a good choice?

First thing you should do is shoot the crap out of your kit lens.

 

You may find that is completely fine for what you are doing. Don't spend money on something just because there is something "better". At the very least if you shoot a lot with what you have,  you will find out what you NEED for your "next" lens. If you decide you want/need to upgrade later.

 

Lots of people get incredible pictures with "cheap" lenses.

 

Expensive doesn't always necessarily mean better, and that is borne out in lens tests.



#6 KLWalsh

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:37 PM

I’ve used the 18-55mm kit lens that came with my Nikon D5100 quite a bit with very pleasing results. Ditto, using the same lens on my full-frame D810a.
At 18mm it will give you a really wide field - as you probably know - and if you’re using a tracker/guider, you can shoot at F/4 to minimize the bit of flare it gives in the corners, while taking longer exposures.
Needless to say, shoot NEF not jpg, use a low iso, and use a dew shield.
I also recommend using a laptop running Backyard Nikon to control the exposure run.
And it might be worthwhile getting an inverter to power the camera, to avoid the battery dying during the run. I have Gonine inverters for both of my cameras.

#7 chummee

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:52 PM

I just bought a Samyang 12mm f2 for my Sony apsc cameras. Haven't tested it out but have read good review of the lens for astro applications. 



#8 17.5Dob

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:38 PM

Hello. I’ve read that you can get amazing shots of the Milky Way if you use a tracking mount and then stack many exposures taken using a wide angle lens.

 

I have a Nikon 7100 so I’d be shooting DX (APS-C).

 

Save your money and get a better body...the D7100 is by far the WORST camera Nikon ever built in regards to astrophotography..They decided in their infinite wisdom to use a different sensor manufacture other than their long term parner, Sony, and the results were disastrous ...That's why the rushed the production of the D7200 and released it early...

 

I still own a D7100  and tried to use it for AP , but the results are too terrible to tolerate...find a used D5300 body...it's the best APS-c camera ever built or AP use..and what I use now for AP.

After that, using a tracker, you could just use your kit lens..no need for ultra expensive glass if you're tracking...


Edited by 17.5Dob, 01 August 2020 - 09:43 PM.

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#9 BQ Octantis

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:03 PM

It depends on the light domes at the periphery and the details you're after. With my APS-C Canon, I've shot it at 8mm (Sigma 8-16 f/4-5.6), 15mm (Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6) and 50mm (Canon 50mm f/1.8). The 8mm has significant lateral chromatic aberration at the edges, and the vignetting isn't easy to calibrate. It also picks up practically any gradient in the sky, so you need to be >100km from the nearest light source. The 15mm has less of both, but obviously has half the field of view of the 8mm. The 50mm produces great details, but you have to make a mosaic to get a reasonable field of view. This makes for a great Gigapan to share with friends…

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 01 August 2020 - 11:04 PM.


#10 ToxMan

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 01:36 PM

I should have mentioned earlier, I got a full-frame Rokinon lens with the idea that any vignetting would be minimal on a crop sensor. Whether or not this happens, I won't know until I do some more test shots. But, initial ones look good. Distortion on the edges is the other parameter I'm checking.



#11 Kevin_A

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 01:48 PM

Depends on your budget.... I have the Rokinon 14mm f 2.8 and for the price you just can't beat it as its simply wonderful.

I also have a Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 which is more versitile and just as sharp... but 4 times the price.



#12 Royce1920

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 05:33 PM

I just got a Nikon D5300 second hand with kit lens 18-55.

 

I was thinking about gettin the Nikkor 50mm 1.8D AF for 100$. Is it worth it compare to the kit lens ?



#13 erictheastrojunkie

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 07:04 PM

Sigma Art 18-35mm f1.8, far better than the Rokinon 14mm (which I also own), this Art lens is probably the best overall lens for astro with an APS-C and is the only f1.8 constant aperture zoom available. It has wonderful coma correction, virtually no LoCA and is very sharp in the 24-30mm range (a little less so at both ends of the zoom range). Here's a few shots I've done with the lens and my D5300 on a tracking mount:

 

49799679367_56f3ddc11d_c.jpg

 

Full res and exif: https://flic.kr/p/2iSCnFv

 

49802666713_4bedd4fed2_c.jpg

 

Full res and exif: 

https://flic.kr/p/2iSTFHt


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#14 BQ Octantis

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:28 AM

Here's the Milky Way at zenith at 8mm:

 

gallery_273658_7541_461964.jpg

 

This was 60sec subs at ISO1600; the FOV at 8mm is so wide, the track error from my motorized EQ2 was three pixels over an hour.

 

Here's the full resolution in the 'Bin:

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 04 August 2020 - 03:48 AM.

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#15 Newtoastronomy85

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Posted Yesterday, 07:54 PM

Omg that is amazing! Fantastic photos. 




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