Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography

Started Dec 7, 2015 | Questions
dwl brux New Member • Posts: 4
Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography

I am considering buying either the Samyang/Rokinon 12mm 2.8, or the latest Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography (especially for shooting the aurora borealis), and for use with my Fuji XT-1. Any advice on the better lens - I can find no comparisons between the two, only versus the XF14mm

 dwl brux's gear list:dwl brux's gear list
Fujifilm X20 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
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oscarvdvelde Senior Member • Posts: 1,410
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography
1

I suppose you mean the Samyang 12mm F2, not the fisheye for full frame cameras.

Both are excellent choices if they have no production mistakes, which seem to be more common for Samyang lenses. In my case either my 12mm F2 or my lens mount is slightly off (top and bottom need different focus). The Samyang has noticeable chromatic aberration and purple fringing. Also for landscape photography the edges do not get so sharp as I would like when stopped down. But the angle of view is very useful.

The XF 16mm F1.4 is a stop brighter. It is so sharp I see stars trailing in 13 second exposures. It also seems to render star color better. There is slight purple fringing. It does have astigmatism near the edges. This can be minimized to a fine line if you nail the focus, which is not so easy as it seems. And keep exposures short to avoid trailing of the aberrated stars. Otherwise you could crop or use f/2 to reduce it and still gain light over the Samyang in absolute terms.

 oscarvdvelde's gear list:oscarvdvelde's gear list
Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR Samyang 50mm F1.2 +4 more
JamesF168
JamesF168 Forum Member • Posts: 93
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography
1

lenstip review both, have a look. in general the faster and wider the lens the lower noise you can get away with. low astigmatism low distortion would be on my list

georgehudetz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,979
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography
1

The 16 has noticeable coma, which is a no-no for astrophotography.  The Samyang 12 is considered by some to be the best choice for Fuji-X astro.  There is a website out there somewhere that rates most of the lenses that mount directly on Fuji X for astro has his conclusion was the Samyang 12.

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persco
persco Regular Member • Posts: 189
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography
1

georgehudetz wrote:

The 16 has noticeable coma, which is a no-no for astrophotography. The Samyang 12 is considered by some to be the best choice for Fuji-X astro. There is a website out there somewhere that rates most of the lenses that mount directly on Fuji X for astro has his conclusion was the Samyang 12.

I've read the same thing for the Samyang. Which I think is f/2.0, not 2.8. I think the website is Lonely Speck. He reviews a few lenses for astrophotography and concludes the Samyang 12mm NCS f/2.0 to be the one to use if you're shooting with a Fuji X-T1. Many other reviewers have said the same thing about the Samyang 12mm, but hard to say if they are just echoing the same reviewer or not. In any case, I am interested in trying astrophotgraphy so I ordered one of these myself.
Guess I'll find out if it's any good, lol.

 persco's gear list:persco's gear list
Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR Fujifilm X30 Fujifilm X-T2 +4 more
Dan_168 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,836
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography
1

dwl brux wrote:

I am considering buying either the Samyang/Rokinon 12mm 2.8, or the latest Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography (especially for shooting the aurora borealis), and for use with my Fuji XT-1. Any advice on the better lens - I can find no comparisons between the two, only versus the XF14mm

I have tried the Samyang 12 F2.0 on X-Pro 1 before for milkyway shooting, I think is as good as it gets for astrophotogrphy in the Fuji system, that 4mm is day and night difference for astro, that 4mm to me is more important than that one stop lost in aperture, actually even 12mm on crop is often not wide enough for me so I hate crop sensors, I am use to 14mm on FF, one thing that makes the Samyang 12mm a way better choice is the low COMA aberration, just like its bigger brother FF 14, it's one of the most important consideration when it comes to astro, also this lens is even sharper than the Zeiss Touit 12 and one stop faster, i have shot with both on the X-Pro 1 so it should behave the same on X-T1 or my X-T10, so if I would highly recommend this Samyang 12 for anyone looking for a lens for their Fuji and Sony system for astrophotography.

oscarvdvelde Senior Member • Posts: 1,410
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography

If the sky stays a bit clear tonight, I will take shots with both lenses under the same conditions.

My shots from different nights processed identically show a 16mm F1.4 at 4 sec ISO 800 to be as bright as the 12mm F2 at 15 sec ISO 1600, but maybe I had issues with air clarity differences.

In any case, if I nail the focus precisely, the aberrations minimize to fine lines. Not my best direction for dark sky here:

XF 16mm focus nailed, no image corrections

 oscarvdvelde's gear list:oscarvdvelde's gear list
Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR Samyang 50mm F1.2 +4 more
Neven Jurkovic Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography

I'm very satisfied with my Samyang 12mm. Found it in mint condition for 185$, and i'm using it on X-T1 for landscape, portraits, details...

sample pictures - Samyang 12mm f/2.0 on X-T1

 Neven Jurkovic's gear list:Neven Jurkovic's gear list
Nikon D3S Fujifilm X-T1 Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R +1 more
ijustloveshooting
ijustloveshooting Veteran Member • Posts: 3,001
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography

according to lenstip, this lens is not good for astro due to bad coma....

other than this, i really love my XF16...

http://www.lenstip.com/449.7-Lens_review-Fujifilm_Fujinon_XF_16_mm_f_1.4_R_WR_Coma__astigmatism_and_bokeh.html

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tradesmith45 Senior Member • Posts: 2,215
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography

dwl brux wrote:

I am considering buying either the Samyang/Rokinon 12mm 2.8, or the latest Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography (especially for shooting the aurora borealis), and for use with my Fuji XT-1. Any advice on the better lens - I can find no comparisons between the two, only versus the XF14mm

I really like shooting night landscapes & spent 2 wks in Sept in the Yukon in Tombstone Mts. shooting aurora - OMG! This location is in the "aurora belt" @ 65º N. I'm answering many questions from my photog club members about lens choice. I currently shot m43 but am considering a switch to Fuji because of these 2 lenses AND the very low long exposure noise of X cameras.

There are many decisions that impact this lens choice.

There are many kinds of starry landscapes to enjoy that you will be using which ever lens you get after you've shot aurora. For aurora, pin sharp stars are not much of an issue because you'll not see many. So a little coma is no big deal.

Being able to use short shutter speeds, <5 sec., is important for capturing the structure of aurora. Either lens is fast enough for that if the aurora is bright enough & you use high enough ISO. At f2.8, I did ok @ ISO 3200 but for dim aurora, often shot 10-30 sec. So either f1.4 or f2 will work great.

But the biggest consideration is your photographic goals & whether you will have interesting foreground material. If you are going to a location where even a modest solar storm will yield aurora covering much of the sky &/OR where you really want to include important foreground then the wider the FL the better. If you are further south where aurora is unlikely to be high above the horizon or where foreground material is less interesting - a little helps but too much gets busy - then longer FL is better. I'd consider even the XF-23 f1.4 depending. There is much to think about on this question.

For my trip w/ m43 gear, I backpacked to stunning mountains w/ small lakes. I took the shortest f2.8 available at the time, the Kowa 8.5mm (almost the AOV of the Samyang 12 on a Fuji) + the Oly 12-40mm f2.8. Could have used wider than the Kowa when aurora was very active. Camped a night at Lake Labarge @ 60º N. on way back to airport & had aurora mostly low to the horizon. Used the 12mm (AOV of 16mm on Fuji) for that. Mountains were too far away or I would have used even longer FL there.

Lastly, Robert Clark over at clarkvision.com & George Lepp are big fans of using fast 35mm (on FF cameras) for starry landscapes & panos because they yield larger middle ground mountains & such. This FL is more limited for aurora but is still useful for things like aurora behind a particularly scenic mountain or snow covered tree.

The XF16mm f1.4 does have a bit of coma but it can still be very useful for starry landscapes. Shoot the sky @ f2 & ISO 1600-3200 then shoot the foreground at f1.4 @ lower ISO.

But all that said, I'm thinking of getting the Sam 12mm f2 & XF23mm & trying to figure out a small 16-20mm option for my whole landscape kit.  Too bad the XC18mm f2 is such a stinker!

 tradesmith45's gear list:tradesmith45's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Olympus E-M1 II Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm X-T100 Fujifilm X-T3 +13 more
oscarvdvelde Senior Member • Posts: 1,410
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography

tradesmith45 wrote:

The XF16mm f1.4 does have a bit of coma but it can still be very useful for starry landscapes. Shoot the sky @ f2 & ISO 1600-3200 then shoot the foreground at f1.4 @ lower ISO.

With two shots I would try:

1) Sky at f/1.4 or f/2, 10-20 seconds, ISO 400-1600 to maintain star colors.

2) Landscape f/4 for more depth of field with longer exposure and ISO 400.

Last summer I shot the Samyang at ISO 2000-3200, 25 seconds, f/2. It looked okay but the Pleiades were just as bright as Capella, meaning I lost dynamic range. Also I wondered why I got poor star colors. Now I also have the XF 16mm which produces star colors and their relative magnitudes (size) much better.

 oscarvdvelde's gear list:oscarvdvelde's gear list
Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR Samyang 50mm F1.2 +4 more
tradesmith45 Senior Member • Posts: 2,215
Re: Samyang 12mm 2.8 versus Fuji XF16mm 1.4 for astrophotography

oscarvdvelde wrote:

tradesmith45 wrote:

The XF16mm f1.4 does have a bit of coma but it can still be very useful for starry landscapes. Shoot the sky @ f2 & ISO 1600-3200 then shoot the foreground at f1.4 @ lower ISO.

With two shots I would try:

1) Sky at f/1.4 or f/2, 10-20 seconds, ISO 400-1600 to maintain star colors.

2) Landscape f/4 for more depth of field with longer exposure and ISO 400.

Last summer I shot the Samyang at ISO 2000-3200, 25 seconds, f/2. It looked okay but the Pleiades were just as bright as Capella, meaning I lost dynamic range. Also I wondered why I got poor star colors. Now I also have the XF 16mm which produces star colors and their relative magnitudes (size) much better.

Thanks much. Really helpful to hear your experiences. I've seen similar differences in stars but all w/ the same lens- the Oly 12mm f2. And yes, I too have found I sometimes loose star color if I get to high w/ ISO.

But this type of comparison is confounded by the significant variability in seeing - clarity, stability of air+light pollution. Some nights have yielded much better stars than others with the same settings/lens-camera. And having a sharp f1.4 would certainly make a difference for me.

W/ the gear I have, stacking star exposures has yielded only slightly better results. If the star stacks aren't perfect or there's a little vibration of the camera on the tripod from wind, its hard to get all the star detail thats possible. In all cases, how I do PP has the biggest impact on how the star field looks.  Using most NR software can wipe out the subtle colors.  Using a shorter FL also makes the stars much smaller so easier to loose star colors since the star covers so few pixels.

As for foreground exposures you've got the right idea but that too depends on light levels & subject. I've found w/ dark rocks, star light only @ a really dark location (last month at the S. Rim of the Grand Canyon), my basic exposure is f2, ISO 3200 & 2 min. w/ my E-M5 & M.Z12mm f2. Unfortunately the E-M5 has very high long exposure noise after about 30 sec. The X cameras do very much better but f4 & ISO 400 would still give about an hour long exposure. I've certainly been able to get shorter foreground exposures when the landscape isn't so dark such as if snow covered, moon light, light pollution or moderate to strong aurora.

 tradesmith45's gear list:tradesmith45's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Olympus E-M1 II Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm X-T100 Fujifilm X-T3 +13 more
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