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.
You can also read my the following guides & learn how to take night sky shots of your own: 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.
Sony and Nikon cameras have the best sensors for low light and night sky photography. The technology and image quality is just as good on Sony Cameras.
Mount: Canon EF-S, Canon EF-M, Nikon DX, Sony E, Sony A, Fuji film X, MFT, Pentax K, Samsung NO | Full-frame compatible: No | Autofocus: No | Stabilizer: No | Diaphragm blades: 6 | Max angle of view (diagonal): 106 degrees (APS-C) | Dimensions (AXL): 76×98mm | Weight: 590g 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. Performance is good in terms of coma, spherical aberration and vignetting, helping stars to retain their natural shape across the image frame, even when shooting wide -open at f/2.8.
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.
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. Vignetting is remarkably minimal and though barrel distortion is prominent at close range, it's negligible for macrophotography.
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. The rubberized manual focus ring gives a very assured grip and has long rotational travel with a fluid feel.
The lens delivers impressively little barrel distortion and vignetting at its shortest focal length. There's also a little more coma and astigmatism towards the corners of frame, while barrel distortion is average at close range and minimal for Castro shooting.
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. The Toking’s corner sharpness drops off substantially at the short end of the zoom range when using the widest aperture.
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. 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. Coma and astigmatism are controlled very well, again similar to the Tampon lens but not quite equaling the performance of the Sigma.
Mount: Canon EF | Full-frame compatible: Yes | Autofocus: Ring-type ultrasonic AF | Stabilizer: No | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Max angle of view (diagonal): 108 degrees (Full-frame) | Dimensions (AXL): 89×128mm | Weight: 790g Unlike with some rival lenses, the separate bayonet-fit hood enables the easy attachment of filters, via a 82 mm thread.
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. There's no getting away from the hefty price, but this is a lens that delivers supreme image quality, while the AF system is quick, smooth and quiet.
Mount: Sony FE | Full-frame compatible: Yes | Autofocus: Ring-type ultrasonic AF | Stabilizer: yes | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Max angle of view (diagonal): 92 degrees (Full-frame) | Dimensions (AXL): 89×92mm | Weight: 464g 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.
Any lens that’s wider than a 50 mm focal length on a full frame camera, or 35 mm on a crop sensor, is considered wide angle. The primary difference with fish angle lenses is the significant barrel distortion, or what appears to be a circular image.
Because a wideanglelens allows you to fit more into your frame, you can also use this as a powerful storytelling technique by introducing more elements in a single photo. If your goal is to exaggerate or emphasize the difference in size between foreground and background objects, then a wideanglelens is an excellent choice.
Autofocus speed and accuracy is also improved, along with a reduction in chromatic aberrations, flare and ghosting. It is a versatile lens that can be paired with both full frame and crop sensor cameras, such as the Canon 7D Mark II.
Canon’s own wide angle lenses are hard to beat, but they go similarly large on the selling price, putting it beyond reach for many photographers. This Sigma art lens is well under half the price, and it also boasts a better maximum viewing angle than the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 III, at 114 degrees.
It offers remarkably sharp images well into the corners of the frame and little to no distortion even without using in-camera corrections, making it perfect for architecture photographers. This lens sports a new mount type to support the optical technologies of the new EOS R line and doesn’t obstruct the sleek mirrorless design.
As you’d expect from a wideanglelens with a fast (f/2.8) aperture, it’s quite big and weighty but is nevertheless smaller and lighter than the Sigma 14-24 mm f/2.8 Art Lens for Canon SLR we discussed above. It’s just shy of the Sigma’s maximum viewing angle, at 110 degrees, but it’s also more ideal for shooting in low light settings with the addition of its five-stop image stabilizer.
Additionally, low aberrations make it a good choice for night sky and star photography. It also sports Super Integrated and Exclusive NATO Crystal Coatings to reduce ghosting and flare.
Best for: Sony full-frame cameras Mount: FE Dimensions: 4.79 Weight: 1.50 lbs Angle of view: 107°-63° This new G Master edition delivers the same ultra- wide viewing angles but goes an f/stop wider in aperture, which makes it optimal for low light settings.
Best for: Full-frame Sony A7 & A9 mirrorless cameras Mount: E Dimensions: 5.16 Weight: 2.4 lbs Angle of view: 114.2-84.1° With technology designed to suppress distortion, it’s an ideal piece of glass to have in your kit for architectural and landscape photography.