Best Wide Angle Lens For Night Sky Photography

Earl Hamilton
• Monday, 23 November, 2020
• 8 min read

The following page provides personally tested and approved cameras and lenses for Milky Way, star, northern lights & nightskyphotography. Below, I’ve listed my favorites to get you started, along with in-depth photography guides that teach you the camera technique & settings for night photography.

iceland angle wide ultra 24mm dg hsm f4 landscape sigma canon using lenses photographing 12mm
(Source: photographylife.com)


Full frame cameras and wide angle lenses offer the best quality for night photography. The linked guides teach the underlying technology & science of how camera sensors & ISO settings correlate to image quality and dynamic range.

A Tough metal body makes it perfect for mountaineering and backpacking. I highly recommend this camera to all landscape photographers who expect their gear to perform at the top level and take a beating at the same time.

The dynamic range isn’t quite as good, but still all around a great camera. This is a backup camera for long distance photo trips.

This used to be my main camera and has worked perfectly for the past 5 years. I would highly recommend investing in a full frame camera for nightskyphotography as well as landscape photography.

Sony and Nikon cameras have the best sensors for low light and nightskyphotography. The technology and image quality is just as good on Sony Cameras.

nikon wide lens angle 20mm lenses taken ranked cameras inexpensive
(Source: photographylife.com)

Shooting pinpoint light sources across a wide field if stars is the most difficult test possible for a camera lens. For macrophotography, investment in a faster lens will tend to show the most tangible benefits in image quality versus a camera body upgrade.

The extra wide angle view helps tremendously with composition, especially when the plane of the Milky Way is high in the sky. With apertures of f/1.4 to f/2, a fast wide angle will gather two to eight times more light than the typical kit lens, making for the most tangible increase in image quality straight out of the camera.

As a result, they gather more light, allowing them to capture even more fine detail in the night sky, even when stopped down to f/2.8. The narrower field of view you get with a prime Nikon lens for nightskyphotography allows it to be used for making high resolution panorama stitches of the night sky.

This manual-focus Sam yang has an astro-friendly ‘effective’ focal length on crop-sensor cameras, ranging from 15-16 mm on APS-C format bodies to 20 mm on Micro Four Thirds. Compared with most prime lenses for crop-sensor cameras, this one is unusual in combining a wide viewing angle with a fairly fast f/2.8 aperture.

This recently launched full-frame compatible prime lens for Canon and Nikon DSLR, as well as Sony E-mount cameras is a full f/stop faster than most other lenses on this list, and it includes super-speedy ring-type ultrasonic autofocus. The wide aperture comes at a price, however: the large-diameter elements required are not only more expensive to make, they also result in a comparatively big and heavy build.

astrophotography lens setup angle wide budget canon t3i camera rebel portable astrobackyard
(Source: astrobackyard.com)

Image quality is fabulous, as sharpness is exceptional for such a fast-aperture lens with an ultra- wide viewing angle. Equally, impressive are contrast, color rendition, and the absence of spherical and lateral chromatic aberrations.

They’re optically identical, but the Blackstone has a magnesium alloy rather than plastic casing, four weather-seals instead of three, and fluorescent engraved markings for easy reading. Another nice touch is that you can fine-tune the focus ring so that the distance scale is calibrated to your camera body.

Build quality and handling are excellent, with a full set of weather-seals and a fluorine coating on the front element. The lens is also compatible with Sigma’s optional USB Dock for customization and firmware updates.

Vignetting is remarkably minimal and though barrel distortion is prominent at close range, it's negligible for macrophotography. For full-frame Canon and Nikon DSLR, this is simply the best ultra- wide, fast-aperture zoom lens on the market, and not just for macrophotography.

Mount: Canon EF, Nikon F | Full-frame compatible: Yes | Autofocus: No | Stabilizer: No | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Max angle of view (diagonal): 114 degrees (Full-frame) | Dimensions (AXL): 87×106mm | Weight: 791g From Korean manufacturer Sam yang’s XP stable of premium manual-focus prime lenses for Canon and Nikon full-frame cameras, this 14 mm f/2.4 is the most ideal for macrophotography.

(Source: ehabphotography.com)

The rubberized manual focus ring gives a very assured grip and has long rotational travel with a fluid feel. Image quality for macrophotography at the widest aperture is markedly better than from the Iris's rival 15 mm f/2.4 Blackstone lens or a Sigma 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art.

Mount: Canon EF-S, Nikon DX | Full-frame compatible: No | Autofocus: Electric motor AF | Stabilizer: No | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Max angle of view (diagonal): 104 degrees (APS-C) | Dimensions (AXL): 98×145mm | Weight: 560g Ultra- wide zoom lenses with fast aperture ratings for APS-C format Canon and Nikon cameras are few and far between.

The main competitor to this lens is Toking’s own AT-X 14-20 mm f/2 AF Pro DX, which is a little pricier and has an even faster aperture rating. Build quality feels very solid and robust though, and the zoom and focus rings operate smoothly.

Mount: Nikon F | Full-frame compatible: Yes | Autofocus: Ring-type ultrasonic AF | Stabilizer: No | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Max angle of view (diagonal): 114 degrees (Full-frame) | Dimensions (AXL): 98×132mm | Weight: 1,000g With its ultra- wide zoom range and fast, constant-aperture design, this Nikon FX-format lens was a world-first when it was launched back in 2008.

It’s become something of a legend in its own lifetime, but struggles to retain its crown against new Sigma 14-24 mm and Tampon 15-30 mm pretenders to the throne. The Nikon matches the Sigma zoom lens for maximum viewing angle and is slightly wider than the Tampon.

night sky settings stars photograph starry landscape moon way milky digital camera lights scenery tricks tips northern aperture techniques narrow
(Source: capturelandscapes.com)

Optical highlights include two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements and NATO Crystal Coat. Centre-sharpness is excellent but corner-sharpness at the shortest focal length and widest aperture lags behind that of the Sigma zoom, more on a par with the Tampon.

Unlike with some rival lenses, the separate bayonet-fit hood enables the easy attachment of filters, via a 82 mm thread. The Mk III has much-improved corner sharpness compared with the previous edition, but still lags behind the competing Sigma 14-24 mm zoom.

Mount: Sony FE | Full-frame compatible: Yes | Autofocus: Linear motor AF | Stabilizer: No | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Max angle of view (diagonal): 122-84 degrees (Full-frame) | Dimensions (AXL): 98×137mm | Weight: 847g Boasting a diagonal coverage up to an incredible 122 degrees, while also delivering a fast and constant f/2.8 aperture, this combination makes it the world’s fastest lens in its class.

Compared with the other lenses on this list, the Firing has a reduced viewing angle of 92 degrees, but its f/2 aperture rating is faster than average. Shooting wide -open, coma and astigmatism are apparent towards the corners of frame, but narrowing the aperture by an f/stop cures the problem.

There’s remarkably little color fringing, even at the extreme corners of the frame, and distortion is practically non-existent.

night take astrophotography better tips simple these 9k articles
(Source: www.photographytalk.com)

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