Best lenses for AP

Started Dec 1, 2013 | Questions
slookabill
slookabill Regular Member • Posts: 185
Best lenses for AP

Well, now that I've just ordered a mount(planning to just use lenses+camera for awhile from it), I'm wanting to add another lens to my collection, perhaps one of the Rokninon primes or something else to compliment my Tokina 11-16 and Canon 100-400L, these will for now be utilizing my Canon 60D, on a Celestron CGEM Mount.

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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Canon EOS 60D Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX
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Trollmann Senior Member • Posts: 1,311
Re: Best lenses for AP

Now that you have a fine mount, just a few comments from a long time astronomy geek.

- You may be told that zoom lenses are not good for astrophotography, but do not let that stop you from experimenting like crazy. Learning astrophotography is a bit like learning to play the piano, so blaming the instrument is no good idea, at least not for a looooong time...

- Fixed lenses are usually better for astrophotography, but use what you have and enjoy it. And astrophotography is harsh to lenses, so even the worlds best lenses must be stopped down a stop or two to deliver excellent results. So - if you have zoom lenses, stay with them an get as much fun out of them as you possibly can.

- Polar alignment is the single most critical factor to get those round stars.

- Your mount most likely have PEC, use it!

- Autoguiding might be something worth considering some day...

- Small APO refractors (like the 80 mm triplet refractors around) is far cheaper and better for astrophotography than the super expensive long focus telephoto lenses (which are far better for all round photography, using a telescope as a long focus telephoto lens for ordinary photography is a dubious experience).

- Do not get blinded by high focal ratios (I am currently using a 110/770 mm apo refractor with a 0.8x reducer, that is 620 mm focal lenght at f/5.6 - and I am NOT even dreaming about using anything else now that getting a bigger rig would not be an issue).

- If long exposure deep sky photography becomes a habit, then a small refactor, a tiny guide scope and an autoguider may be heaven...

Simply some thoughts.

Wish you lots of happy nights chasing low light photons! And do not forget to share the results here.

California nebula (Canon 60D, 100mm lens at f/4.5, ISO 800 and 8x4min exposure, stacked with AstroArt)

starman1969
starman1969 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,390
Re: Best lenses for AP

You have some good lenses already but you are missing the standard to mid-tele range.

Why not just get a nifty fifty?

50mm f1.8. Very fast, high quality & cheap as they come.

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They are watching us......

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Via Lactea Regular Member • Posts: 474
Re: Best lenses for AP

I don't know about telescopes but this I found out:

Nikor AIS ED IF 300 f4,5 wide open very good lightweight ..200€

Nikkor AIS ED 180mm f2,8 -> very usable wide open, compact and cheap 150€

Nikkor AIS ED 105mm f2.5 -> even wide open suberb, compact , 80€

Tokina ATX macro 90mm f2,5 at 2,5 already very good  79€ only

Samyang 85mm f1,4  from f2 very good even usable @ f4, 250€ new

Nikkor AF D 85mm f1,8 usable from wide open ca 170€

Nikkor AIS 50mm f1,8 good @ f2 great at f2,8

Samyang 35mm f1,4 at f2

Sigma 35mm f1,4 wide open suberb € 799 , one of the best lenses a round

Samyang 14mm f2,8 wide open good, great at f4

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Kind Regards,
Bjorn
like to see some timelapses of the Night skies have a go at
http://vimeo.com/bjornrvink
or
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcc5IhJozAPB1PeiJRyGSTQ

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slookabill
OP slookabill Regular Member • Posts: 185
Re: Best lenses for AP

Yeah, I'm tempted for the 50 1.8... esp since it's so cheap, though I'm also really considering waiting and seeing if Sigma releases a new 50 1.4 Art that is equiv to their 35 Art lens. I'm also probably going to get the Sigma 18-35 1.8, just not sure how all these lenses are with coma and other issues.

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tradesmith45 Senior Member • Posts: 2,091
Re: Best lenses for AP

slookabill wrote:

Yeah, I'm tempted for the 50 1.8... esp since it's so cheap, though I'm also really considering waiting and seeing if Sigma releases a new 50 1.4 Art that is equiv to their 35 Art lens. I'm also probably going to get the Sigma 18-35 1.8, just not sure how all these lenses are with coma and other issues.

Just in case you don't already know about this, LensTips.com shows all the import an aberrations for the lenses they test wide open.  Its the goto place for your AP lens evaluation needs.

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mstecker
mstecker Contributing Member • Posts: 666
Canon 200 f/2.8L lens

One of the best lenses for astrophotography is the Canon 200 mm f/2.8 L lens:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-200mm-2-8L-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B000053HBB
Here are some astrophotos taken with the lens:
http://www.verschatse.cl/solarsystem/cmachholz/medium.htm
http://www.astrobin.com/21299/
http://www.astrobin.com/19860/0/

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mstecker
mstecker Contributing Member • Posts: 666
Re: Canon 200 f/2.8L lens

mstecker wrote:

One of the best lenses for astrophotography is the Canon 200 mm f/2.8 L lens:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-200mm-2-8L-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B000053HBB
Here are some astrophotos taken with the lens:
http://www.verschatse.cl/solarsystem/cmachholz/medium.htm
http://www.astrobin.com/21299/
http://www.astrobin.com/19860/0/

Here is another photo of the Pipe and Snake dark nebulae taken with the Canon 200 mm f/2.8 L lens:
http://www.astrobin.com/63105/

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mstecker
mstecker Contributing Member • Posts: 666
Re: Canon 200 f/2.8L lens

Here is a more recent photo taken with the Canon 200 mm f/2.8L lens:
http://mstecker.com/pages/astrho200mm-HRGB5smJRF.htm
The stars are small without chromatic aberration or coma.

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RustierOne
RustierOne Veteran Member • Posts: 4,398
Re: Canon 200 f/2.8L lens

mstecker wrote:

Here is a more recent photo taken with the Canon 200 mm f/2.8L lens:
http://mstecker.com/pages/astrho200mm-HRGB5smJRF.htm
The stars are small without chromatic aberration or coma.

Wow! What a spectacular image in that link, Mike. It shows what we can all aspire to accomplish as well. That lens is certain top-notch, one of the best. Thanks for sharing.

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Best Regards,
Russ

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NoRules
NoRules Senior Member • Posts: 1,456
Novoflex

Hi,

I have to recommend all Leica R lenses. The ones that stand out are the 60mm Macro, 21mm Super Angulon 4.0, and the 180mm Elmarit, second version or later. I have also used the 400mm Telyt f.6.8 A very simple design with just two lens elements, just like a refractor telescope, only build for photography. Now it looks like I have a new favorite Just came in from testing my new (old) Novoflex 400mm (T-Noflexar). It's a 400mm 5.6 lens with three lens elements. Focus is done with a push pistol grip. They are dirt cheap on the net. I gave $200 for mine. I bought a tripod mount on eBay to give it better balance (they are meant to be used hand held) and the mount on the pistol grip gives lousy balance.

Wide open the lens is practically CA-free. Only a hint of purple in the halo of the brightest stars in the Pleiades. In the extreme corners nothing, no greens, blues, reds or purples around stars. Amazing! Stopped down to 8.0 the lens is like nothing I have seen. I have to do some serious testing with this one. Here is a sample, only 4 images at 3200 ISO, but the quality of the lens is obvious. It is much better than the Telyt or Canon 400mm L 5.6.

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mstecker
mstecker Contributing Member • Posts: 666
Pentax 165 mm lens

I like some Canon lenses, but the old Pentax 165 mm f/2.8 which I still own is also a great lens for less money.
http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Pentax-SMC-67-165-mm-F-2-8-II-Lens-/99652564

Here is a long exposure of Orion taken with the lens:
http://www.astrophoto.com/ICHA.htm
Of course using a cooled monochrome astrocamera with filter wheel, long exposures and excellent post-processing helps.

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RustierOne
RustierOne Veteran Member • Posts: 4,398
Re: Pentax 165 mm lens

mstecker wrote:

I like some Canon lenses, but the old Pentax 165 mm f/2.8 which I still own is also a great lens for less money.
http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Pentax-SMC-67-165-mm-F-2-8-II-Lens-/99652564

Here is a long exposure of Orion taken with the lens:
http://www.astrophoto.com/ICHA.htm
Of course using a cooled monochrome astrocamera with filter wheel, long exposures and excellent post-processing helps.

Wow, Mike. I had no idea that all that nebulosity covered Orion between its sword and belt. The familiar nebulae (M42, Horsehead, Barnard's Loop, etc.) are just brighter portions of a very extensive nebula covering the whole area. Very well done. Thanks for sharing with us. And you're right - that's a top-notch lens.

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Best Regards,
Russ

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mstecker
mstecker Contributing Member • Posts: 666
Re: Pentax 165 mm lens

RustierOne wrote:

mstecker wrote:

I like some Canon lenses, but the old Pentax 165 mm f/2.8 which I still own is also a great lens for less money.
http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Pentax-SMC-67-165-mm-F-2-8-II-Lens-/99652564

Here is a long exposure of Orion taken with the lens:
http://www.astrophoto.com/ICHA.htm
Of course using a cooled monochrome astrocamera with filter wheel, long exposures and excellent post-processing helps.

Wow, Mike. I had no idea that all that nebulosity covered Orion between its sword and belt. The familiar nebulae (M42, Horsehead, Barnard's Loop, etc.) are just brighter portions of a very extensive nebula covering the whole area. Very well done. Thanks for sharing with us. And you're right - that's a top-notch lens.

Yes Russ, there is much nebulosity in Orion. Here is another done by Rob Gendler:
http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/OriondeepfieldS.html

There is also, much glowing gas between the Rosette and Cone Nebulae:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1002/rosette_andreo_bigs.jpg

We could see some of it with hypered Tech Pan film back in the 1990s, but the CCDs of today do a better job with much better quantum efficiency and higher signal to noise ratio.

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astrodad1 Contributing Member • Posts: 712
Re: Novoflex

What type of mount do these lens have?  Do you need a specific adapter?

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Thanks,
David
Evington, Va
www.davidbrown.zenfolio.com

NoRules
NoRules Senior Member • Posts: 1,456
Re: Novoflex

astrodad1 wrote:

What type of mount do these lens have? Do you need a specific adapter?

They come with Nikon or Leica R or Canon FD or Pentax K, as far as I have seen. Bet they made for all big brands in the 60's and 70's. Nikon mounts can be used on Nikon, Leica R can be used on Canon, and both can be used on any mirrorless camera with adapter (They cost $10-20 on eBay from China). I pay $10 for Leica R to Canon EF adapter. They work fine, and can be dismantled and fine-tuned (sandpapered:-) for perfect infinity focus if needed. No problem on the Novoflex though. Only Leica R lenses I had to do this with, were the 135mm and 35mm. Guess they should be serviced by Leica ...

Yesternight I did this short one before clouds ruined the session. Only 1 hour of light. I was planning on 4, but there you have it

Novoflex 400mm adapted for Canon 60Da. Fitted with extra tripod mount. 25 images x 2 min. 3200 ISO, f.5.6. Vixen Polarie tracker. (This rig weigh in at 3 Kg, and the Vixen says 2 Kg is the limit. No problem at all).

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