Best lens for Northern Lights?

Started Oct 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Jack Simpson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,482
Re: Best lens for Northern Lights?

yodermk wrote:

Going to Churchill, Manitoba in February. I read that you need a fast ultrawide zoom - f/2.8 or better. Relevant lenses that I have (for my 60D):

8mm Bower(Samyang) fisheye f/3.5 (but only really good at f/5.6 or 8)

10-22 f/3.5-4.5

17-55 f/2.8

Sigma 30 f/1.4

Will I wish I had anything beyond this? I'm particularly wondering why the need for f/2.8. Can't long exposure make it OK at f/5.6 or more?

The 17-55 of course fits the bill but I figured I would use the 10-22 more, and maybe even the fisheye.

My local Craigslist has a decent deal on a 24L II, a lens I want to get someday when I have an FF camera. Not sure how much it would benefit me on this trip?

Hi Y_M,

If you want a very sharp, fast (f/2.8), ultra-wide lens for you travels/Aurora Borealis shots, I would recommend the Tokina 11-16/2.8.   Definitely not the widest zoom range but, I have yet to hear much, if anything, bad about it.  Also, if you decide to do the full-frame thing, you'll definitely get a good resale price for it

As for shooting them, this fellow (Yuichi Takasaka) at Blue-Moon does amazing pics and leads trips to the north, albeit the north of Siberia ...actually just to the east in Yellowknife :D.

Cheers and have fun in Churchill ... I worked up there for a while back in the mid-80's at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre .... great place and lots of interesting folks

Jack Simpson


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If it's a *Single* Lens Reflex, why do I need so many lenses?

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It's amazing what one can do when one doesn't know what one is doing

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