suggest manual lens for milky way

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
RustierOne Veteran Member • Posts: 4,312
Re: suggest manual lens for milky way

kcire wrote:

I just captured a milky way photo with NEX-5N + 16mm + VCL-ECU1.

I did it but that's very difficult to find infinity focus even using focus peaking in very dark situation.

I think next time I want to use manual lens which has distance mark.

I'm thinking about Samyang 14/2.8, is it good to NEX?

Please suggest the other manual lens which:

- ultra wide (12-20mm)

- small body (not bulky)

- has fix and large aperture (f/2.8)

- has distance mark


Nice Milky Way image - thanks for sharing!

As for a good manual lens for Milky Way I have two suggestions depending on how much you want to capture in a single image. First the E-mount Samyang 8mm f/2.8 works great for nearly whole-sky shots. Here's an example:

Sony NEX-5N w/ Samyang 8mm f/2.8, ISO 1600, 2-1/2 minute exposure, tracked

Now if you want to shoot much more narrow views, I recommend the M42 mount Mamiya-Sekor 55mm, f/1.4. It is from a 1970's Mamiya-Sekor film camera and can be gotten quite inexpensively. Stopped down to f/2.8 or f/3.5, it's sharp in the corners, which is rare for many lenses. Here's a couple of single shots of part of the Milky Way:

Sony NEX-5N w/ Mamiya-Sekor 55mm f/1.4 @ f/2.8, 2 minute exposure, tracked, M24 & Sagittarius

Sony NEX-5N w/ Mamiya-Sekor 55mm f/1.4 @ f/2.8, ISO 1600, 2-1/2 minute exposure, tracked, North American Nebula

Single shots with this lens can be assembled into nice Milky Way panoramas using the (free) Microsoft ICE program (Image Composite Editor). Here's an example:

Mamiya Sekor 55mm f/1.4 @ f/2.8, composited from scanned film exposures, Milky Way from Cygnus to Scutum

Both lenses are full manual with distance scale. Infinity focus seems to be right on.

Best Regards,

 RustierOne's gear list:RustierOne's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS +4 more
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