Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

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TOMMMMMM Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
2

01Ryan10 wrote:

So...I wouldn't say I'm an expert on this matter in terms of technical reasons. In a previous post "Tommmmm" answered the light gathering question really well concerning different focal lengths.

What I will say is this....If all you're going to do is display astro landscapes or DSOs on Facebook or Instagram, then you have many options. Viewers don't really care about winged coma in the stars on the corner of images. We, the photographers, care the most about corners and aberrations.

With that said, I care to a level that gets kind of silly. I really should be shooting an A73 or GFX for the astro landscapes I want to create, but I am stubborn and don't want to switch to a different system. I seek the utmost perfection of stars to the extreme corners of my images, because...I PRINT LARGE, (up to 36" on the long end), and that's where "ugly" stars on the corners start to rear their ugly heads.

I push my X-T2 to the extreme with my astroscapes by using a tracking mount and stacking exposures as well. All of the images below are examples of different lenses with tracked and stacked skies. The noise is nearly non existent, and the corners of the images have nearly zero aberrations.

X-T2 and 16mm F/1.4 @ F2.8

X-T2 and Rokinon 12mm F/2 @ F/2.8

X-T2 and Rokinon 21mm F/1.4 @ F/2

I am currently in the market of trying to buy a 2nd hand Fuji 8-16mm. I read nothing but great things of this lens, even at F/2.8.

Beautiful shots, thanks for sharing! Mind if I ask how long you tracked, type of tracker, and how many exposures you stacked? Also, how do you get the starburst on jupiter at such a wide aperture? Do you take one long exposure at a narrow aperture?

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grey pilgrim Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

I have used the 10-24 for star trails, quite successfully. I suppose you could use it with stacking.  I haven’t looked at it’s coma characteristics, though.

i have used the Laowa 9, Rokinon 12, Fuji 14, Fuji 23 f2, Fuji 35 f2, Fuji 35 f1.4, Samyang 35 f1.2, Fuji 56, samyang 85 f1.8.

Laowa, decent, better stopped down to f4 and stacked a lot

Rokinon 12, good, but better stopped down to 2.8. Coma at f2.

fuji 14, decent, coma in corners at f2.8, stop down to f4 and stack.

fuji 23 f2, has to be stopped down to 2.8 or even f4 with stacking.

fuji 35f2, 35 f1.4, blech

samyang 35 f1.2 pretty good stopped down some

fuji 56, stop it down to at least f2.8

samyang 85f1.8 pretty decent wide open.

for me, the big killer is coma and then astigmatisms. Anything that makes the stars not round and pinpoint. CA can be fixed...

Another way to deal with coma is shoot wider and crop and do pianos f you want wider with the overlap taking out the coma at the edges...

Stacking is your friend.

I’ve played with tracking but not enough to really comment.

Doug

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amatecha
amatecha New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
1

TOMMMMMM wrote:

getochkn wrote:

35mm f2, single shot. 10s exposure, f2, iso 1600 or maybe 3200

Montanawildlives wrote:

I know that third-party lenses like the Samyang 12mm f/2 are very popular for astrophotography on Fuji cameras, but I'm wondering what Fuji branded lenses (I'll allow Zeiss as well) people are using for astrophotography. Seems like they all have some limitations (e.g., 10-24 is only f/4, 16mm f/1.4 has substantial CA until stopped down, etc.), but I'm wondering anyway.

Someone in the astro forum was saying that the 27mm f2.8 was actually better in some way than a wider lens with a wider aperture (e.g., the Samyang 12mm f2) for some reason I really didn't understand...that the REAL thing to look at is diameter in relation to the aperture, so the 27mm, even though it is only 2.8, would allow more light (or more light per something or other). Didn't understand a bit of it.

Thanks.

Nice photo! But that doesn't really answer the question...

I think the reasoning is that a longer focal length at a similar f stop as a wide angle will have a larger area open to receiving light.

F-stop = focal length/aperture diameter. As the focal length increases, the aperture diameter must also increase to keep the f-stop the same. Since the area for aperture diameter is calculated as (pi*diameter_aperture^2)/4, you can see that a focal length twice as long lets in 4 times the amount of light (aperture area is 4 times larger).

The problem with using long focal lengths in astro photography though is that the star movements will blur quicker at longer focal lengths than wide focal lengths. So while you may be letting in more light, you will have blurry, messy looking stars. Generally, the rule for "sharp" non blurry stars is exposure time = 500/focal length. Luckily here, there is no exponential function, so doubling focal length only halves the amount of exposure time for sharp stars (see Star trackers to avoid this).

So back to your original question: the 27mm f2.8 will allow approximately 2.6x the amount if light in over the 12mm f2.

On the other hand, the 12mm f2 can expose for 2.25xas long as the 27mm f2.8 (for similar star sharpness), so it's a trade-off you need to consider. If you aren't too worried about blurry stars, then the 27mm f2.8 will give you a brighter image in a shorter exposure, but generally blur controls. Either way, both lenses should offer comparable results, however the optics of the 12mm may be better for astro due to it's low coma. Also, the 12mm is manual focus which is much better suited for astrophotography, over the fly-by-wire focusing 27mm f2.8.

To add on to this discussion of exposure time, you can use this calculator to determine the ideal exposure times for your given lens: https://www.tl-photography.at/stars/night-sky-photography-shutter-speed-calculator/

Choose crop factor of 1.5 for Fujifilm APS-C, and 16 or 24 megapixels as applicable. I set Pixel Tolerance to 3-5 just to get an idea of what I need for the least possible streaking of stars, but most people probably enter 5-10.

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JayNGu
JayNGu Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
2

18 f/2 is great as an astro lens. Two examples below:

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JayNGu
JayNGu Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
1

I've used the 18/f2 and the 60/2.4, both good. The 18 has coma in the corners at f/2 but is great outside of that. The 60/2.4 appears flawless IMO.

Stacking, and especially Sequator (reads Fuji RAF's) is your friend.

Best Regards,

Jason

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getochkn
getochkn Contributing Member • Posts: 918
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

When it comes to tracking, I have no idea, I've never used one but the better you get Polaris aligned, the longer you can go generally.

As for exposure time, again, you can use this calculator or that one, or use them as a guide and go for what you like.  I probably went a bit longer on my Andromedia photo, but it's far and I wanted all the light I could, so some blurry stars didn't bother me, they're not the focus, the galaxy is, so all the light I can get from it, the better.

And a lot, of astrophotography is post processing.

This is after stacking 30x1s images and then stretching through RNC stretcher.  I deleted all the single frames so I don't have a single frame to compare anymore, but it was pretty much just a fuzzy dot.

Then after loading into photoshop, curve stretching, editing, using astro tools photoshop plugin.

So don't ever look at the back of your camera and be disappointed.  90% of what brings out any great astro photo is editing.  lol.

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getochkn
getochkn Contributing Member • Posts: 918
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
1

JayNGu wrote:

I've used the 18/f2 and the 60/2.4, both good. The 18 has coma in the corners at f/2 but is great outside of that. The 60/2.4 appears flawless IMO.

Stacking, and especially Sequator (reads Fuji RAF's) is your friend.

Best Regards,

Jason

FYI, newest DSS works well with latest fuji RAF as well.

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01Ryan10
01Ryan10 Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
2

TOMMMMMM wrote:

01Ryan10 wrote:

So...I wouldn't say I'm an expert on this matter in terms of technical reasons. In a previous post "Tommmmm" answered the light gathering question really well concerning different focal lengths.

What I will say is this....If all you're going to do is display astro landscapes or DSOs on Facebook or Instagram, then you have many options. Viewers don't really care about winged coma in the stars on the corner of images. We, the photographers, care the most about corners and aberrations.

With that said, I care to a level that gets kind of silly. I really should be shooting an A73 or GFX for the astro landscapes I want to create, but I am stubborn and don't want to switch to a different system. I seek the utmost perfection of stars to the extreme corners of my images, because...I PRINT LARGE, (up to 36" on the long end), and that's where "ugly" stars on the corners start to rear their ugly heads.

I push my X-T2 to the extreme with my astroscapes by using a tracking mount and stacking exposures as well. All of the images below are examples of different lenses with tracked and stacked skies. The noise is nearly non existent, and the corners of the images have nearly zero aberrations.

X-T2 and 16mm F/1.4 @ F2.8

X-T2 and Rokinon 12mm F/2 @ F/2.8

X-T2 and Rokinon 21mm F/1.4 @ F/2

I am currently in the market of trying to buy a 2nd hand Fuji 8-16mm. I read nothing but great things of this lens, even at F/2.8.

Beautiful shots, thanks for sharing! Mind if I ask how long you tracked, type of tracker, and how many exposures you stacked? Also, how do you get the starburst on jupiter at such a wide aperture? Do you take one long exposure at a narrow aperture?

I typically track from 2-4 minutes per exposure depending on the lens. The 21mm, which I no longer have, I would track for 2 minutes at F/2 and ISO 1600. My Fuji 16mm F/1.4 I will track for 3 minutes at F/2.8 and ISO 1600.

I used to track and stack 8 exposures, but honestly, I didn't find that much difference between 8 track and stacked exposures compared to what I track and stack now, 3 exposures. The reason I track and stack 3 exposures is to mitigate any airplane and satellite trails. The 3 stacked exposures provides some reduced "noise" as well.

In regards to Jupiter and its starburst...that's just the way it renders when the lens is stopped down two stops and there is very little moisture or humidity in the sky. If you have wispy clouds or high humidity, the stars will take on a more bloated look, even stopping the lens down.

I use the cheapest iOptron SkyTracker Pro, ($299 on Amazon when I bought it 3 years ago).

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Jerry-astro
MOD Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 15,263
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

01Ryan10 wrote:

TOMMMMMM wrote:

01Ryan10 wrote:

So...I wouldn't say I'm an expert on this matter in terms of technical reasons. In a previous post "Tommmmm" answered the light gathering question really well concerning different focal lengths.

What I will say is this....If all you're going to do is display astro landscapes or DSOs on Facebook or Instagram, then you have many options. Viewers don't really care about winged coma in the stars on the corner of images. We, the photographers, care the most about corners and aberrations.

With that said, I care to a level that gets kind of silly. I really should be shooting an A73 or GFX for the astro landscapes I want to create, but I am stubborn and don't want to switch to a different system. I seek the utmost perfection of stars to the extreme corners of my images, because...I PRINT LARGE, (up to 36" on the long end), and that's where "ugly" stars on the corners start to rear their ugly heads.

I push my X-T2 to the extreme with my astroscapes by using a tracking mount and stacking exposures as well. All of the images below are examples of different lenses with tracked and stacked skies. The noise is nearly non existent, and the corners of the images have nearly zero aberrations.

X-T2 and 16mm F/1.4 @ F2.8

X-T2 and Rokinon 12mm F/2 @ F/2.8

X-T2 and Rokinon 21mm F/1.4 @ F/2

I am currently in the market of trying to buy a 2nd hand Fuji 8-16mm. I read nothing but great things of this lens, even at F/2.8.

Beautiful shots, thanks for sharing! Mind if I ask how long you tracked, type of tracker, and how many exposures you stacked? Also, how do you get the starburst on jupiter at such a wide aperture? Do you take one long exposure at a narrow aperture?

I typically track from 2-4 minutes per exposure depending on the lens. The 21mm, which I no longer have, I would track for 2 minutes at F/2 and ISO 1600. My Fuji 16mm F/1.4 I will track for 3 minutes at F/2.8 and ISO 1600.

I used to track and stack 8 exposures, but honestly, I didn't find that much difference between 8 track and stacked exposures compared to what I track and stack now, 3 exposures. The reason I track and stack 3 exposures is to mitigate any airplane and satellite trails. The 3 stacked exposures provides some reduced "noise" as well.

In regards to Jupiter and its starburst...that's just the way it renders when the lens is stopped down two stops and there is very little moisture or humidity in the sky. If you have wispy clouds or high humidity, the stars will take on a more bloated look, even stopping the lens down.

I use the cheapest iOptron SkyTracker Pro, ($299 on Amazon when I bought it 3 years ago).

Those are just excellent, thanks for sharing.  Just acquired a SkyGuider Pro and have been [not so] patiently waiting for clear skies here in sunny Oregon.  I'll be working both with a 12mm (Zeiss) f2.8 for scapes and a Rokinon 85 for closer in work.  Biggest challenge now will be figuring out how to properly align the tracker to allow for exposures of this length.

Any tips and tricks would be most welcome (either in the thread or via PM if you wish).

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01Ryan10
01Ryan10 Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
3

Jerry-astro wrote:

01Ryan10 wrote:

I typically track from 2-4 minutes per exposure depending on the lens. The 21mm, which I no longer have, I would track for 2 minutes at F/2 and ISO 1600. My Fuji 16mm F/1.4 I will track for 3 minutes at F/2.8 and ISO 1600.

I used to track and stack 8 exposures, but honestly, I didn't find that much difference between 8 track and stacked exposures compared to what I track and stack now, 3 exposures. The reason I track and stack 3 exposures is to mitigate any airplane and satellite trails. The 3 stacked exposures provides some reduced "noise" as well.

In regards to Jupiter and its starburst...that's just the way it renders when the lens is stopped down two stops and there is very little moisture or humidity in the sky. If you have wispy clouds or high humidity, the stars will take on a more bloated look, even stopping the lens down.

I use the cheapest iOptron SkyTracker Pro, ($299 on Amazon when I bought it 3 years ago).

Those are just excellent, thanks for sharing. Just acquired a SkyGuider Pro and have been [not so] patiently waiting for clear skies here in sunny Oregon. I'll be working both with a 12mm (Zeiss) f2.8 for scapes and a Rokinon 85 for closer in work. Biggest challenge now will be figuring out how to properly align the tracker to allow for exposures of this length.

Any tips and tricks would be most welcome (either in the thread or via PM if you wish).

Thanks. Here are some tips...

1. Make sure your tripod is perfectly level, or what i do, get a tripod leveling base, (i use a cheap neewer $30 leveling base on my $1200 RRS sticks...LOL).

2. Use a strong tripod head, (ball or otherwise). Once you mount it to your tracker, you don't want it to "creep" with movement as the tracker rotates. I used to use a cheapo $150 chinese carbon fiber tirpod/head knockoff. I found that even with 30 second exposures, I was getting some star trailing. Once I went to my RRS ball head, the problem went away.

3. bring some 2x magnification reading glasses to the field with you. Helps with focussing the stars in live view.

4. If you're doing some imaging close to your car, put a beach umbrella in the trunk. Great for blocking any breeze during those long exposures.

5. Get in the habbit of aligning as best as you can. After several outings, you'll get good, and it will help with longer focal lengths. Some people say..."get it within the vicinity of Polaris and you're good". I don't know about that. I always align to near perfection.

6. Since you're tracking the sky and your ground will be blurry, may as well frame up 99% of the sky leaving a hint of ground/horizon in the sky exposures for reference. Since you have to blend, you'll have a lot of sky to work with. This will even allow you to create larger megapixel images since you may combine a 95% plus sky with a 95% plus ground image. If you're going to use an auto-blending program like Starry Landscape Stacker or such, then forget this advice. I use Photoshop to manually blend.

7. Speaking of blending, get very confident with luminosity masks if you're going to do the blending in Photoshop. I find it's really the only way to remove halos on blended edges, unless you use a thin layer of blurry stars from a static ground image and just match the exposure

8. For near perceived ISO noiseless images on the ground exposures, take them at blue hour when you can still shoot at ISOs 800 or lower. Merge with your sky imaging taken from the same spot later in the evening. Or...take your sky images, (Feb through May), then stick around for sunrise blue hour.

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Jerry-astro
MOD Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 15,263
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

01Ryan10 wrote:

Thanks. Here are some tips...

1. Make sure your tripod is perfectly level, or what i do, get a tripod leveling base, (i use a cheap neewer $30 leveling base on my $1200 RRS sticks...LOL).

2. Use a strong tripod head, (ball or otherwise). Once you mount it to your tracker, you don't want it to "creep" with movement as the tracker rotates. I used to use a cheapo $150 chinese carbon fiber tirpod/head knockoff. I found that even with 30 second exposures, I was getting some star trailing. Once I went to my RRS ball head, the problem went away.

3. bring some 2x magnification reading glasses to the field with you. Helps with focussing the stars in live view.

4. If you're doing some imaging close to your car, put a beach umbrella in the trunk. Great for blocking any breeze during those long exposures.

5. Get in the habbit of aligning as best as you can. After several outings, you'll get good, and it will help with longer focal lengths. Some people say..."get it within the vicinity of Polaris and you're good". I don't know about that. I always align to near perfection.

6. Since you're tracking the sky and your ground will be blurry, may as well frame up 99% of the sky leaving a hint of ground/horizon in the sky exposures for reference. Since you have to blend, you'll have a lot of sky to work with. This will even allow you to create larger megapixel images since you may combine a 95% plus sky with a 95% plus ground image. If you're going to use an auto-blending program like Starry Landscape Stacker or such, then forget this advice. I use Photoshop to manually blend.

7. Speaking of blending, get very confident with luminosity masks if you're going to do the blending in Photoshop. I find it's really the only way to remove halos on blended edges, unless you use a thin layer of blurry stars from a static ground image and just match the exposure

8. For near perceived ISO noiseless images on the ground exposures, take them at blue hour when you can still shoot at ISOs 800 or lower. Merge with your sky imaging taken from the same spot later in the evening. Or...take your sky images, (Feb through May), then stick around for sunrise blue hour.

This is outstanding!  Thanks very much.  Bookmarked and will reference it a lot when I’m setting up my shots in Kauai.  Hopefully (fingers crossed), clear skies.

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OP Montanawildlives Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
1

JayNGu wrote:

I've used the 18/f2 and the 60/2.4, both good. The 18 has coma in the corners at f/2 but is great outside of that. The 60/2.4 appears flawless IMO.

Stacking, and especially Sequator (reads Fuji RAF's) is your friend.

Best Regards,

Jason

Wow, interesting!  I hadn't thought of that.  I wonder if the fantastic 50mm f/2 would be as good...provided one was willing to stitch a pano or frame tightly.

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Zaax
Zaax Senior Member • Posts: 1,314
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

Wonderful!

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kiwi2
kiwi2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,024
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
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biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,740
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

kiwi2 wrote:

biza43 wrote:

See here for a good source:

https://clarkvision.com/articles/astrophotography.image.processing2/

Not. The guy is a charlatan...

https://forum.startools.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=912

I do not wish to discuss such a topic here. Especially from a discussion from 4 years ago with just a few participants. What I know is that I apply some of his recommendations and methods and obtain good results.

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kiwi2
kiwi2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,024
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

biza43 wrote:

kiwi2 wrote:

biza43 wrote:

See here for a good source:

https://clarkvision.com/articles/astrophotography.image.processing2/

Not. The guy is a charlatan...

https://forum.startools.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=912

I do not wish to discuss such a topic here. Especially from a discussion from 4 years ago with just a few participants. What I know is that I apply some of his recommendations and methods and obtain good results.

Here's some more recent discussions for you then...

www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63422593

www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63439132

Or how about his weird ideas that you need the aperture to be larger than the pupil of your eye to be useful for astrophotography?

www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63244471

Look at the excellent images 01Ryan10 has posted in this thread with apertures smaller than your dark adapted pupil.

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biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,740
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

kiwi2 wrote:

biza43 wrote:

kiwi2 wrote:

biza43 wrote:

See here for a good source:

https://clarkvision.com/articles/astrophotography.image.processing2/

Not. The guy is a charlatan...

https://forum.startools.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=912

I do not wish to discuss such a topic here. Especially from a discussion from 4 years ago with just a few participants. What I know is that I apply some of his recommendations and methods and obtain good results.

Here's some more recent discussions for you then...

www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63422593

www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63439132

Or how about his weird ideas that you need the aperture to be larger than the pupil of your eye to be useful for astrophotography?

www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63244471

Look at the excellent images 01Ryan10 has posted in this thread with apertures smaller than your dark adapted pupil.

This is more of the type of discussion "you said I said" etc, with no meaningful conclusion. Clearly some topics are polarized. I have no interest in the details. To me, I started applying some of his recommendations and I like the results. Simple.

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JayNGu
JayNGu Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

Thanks, didn't know that it can read Fuji RAF's. I've tried it before with JPEG, but I've found Sequator alot easier to use and I'm happy with the results. Could be worth giving DSS a try again now though.

Best Regards,

Jason

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JayNGu
JayNGu Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography
1

The 50 f/2 would probably do a great job. Just check the reviews on the amount of coma wide open and if its there, what aperture you need to stop down to for it to mostly go away. With a star tracker though, stopping down 1-2 stops is not that big a deal.

There are lots of great Astro shots out there with lots of humble Nikon and Canon 50/1.8 lenses. The good 'ol Nikon 50 1.8D does a good job!

What makes a good Astro lens is not necessarily what makes a good lens for normal photographic use. So no need to worry about bokeh quality or autofocus speed. Sharpness at large apertures, low coma...yep, watch for that!

Also have a think a bit about the style of Astro you want to do, as that will effect your lens selection and equipment. Very wide angle shots with lots of landscape features vs. pictures of astronomical objects such as galaxies, nebulae, constellations, clusters require different lenses, equipment and techniques. Planetary different still.

When most people here say Astrophotography they generally mean wide field astrophotography, but there is still the distinction whether you are moving into the star tracker zone (say shooting up to around 200mm focal length), or a wideangle, milky way nightscape shot with a 12mm lens (Star tracker not really required as much).

They are all good and lots of fun though!

Best Regards,

Jason

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Meetmer
Meetmer Contributing Member • Posts: 763
Re: Using Fuji lenses for astrophotography

TOMMMMMM wrote:

getochkn wrote:

35mm f2, single shot. 10s exposure, f2, iso 1600 or maybe 3200

Montanawildlives wrote:

I know that third-party lenses like the Samyang 12mm f/2 are very popular for astrophotography on Fuji cameras, but I'm wondering what Fuji branded lenses (I'll allow Zeiss as well) people are using for astrophotography. Seems like they all have some limitations (e.g., 10-24 is only f/4, 16mm f/1.4 has substantial CA until stopped down, etc.), but I'm wondering anyway.

Someone in the astro forum was saying that the 27mm f2.8 was actually better in some way than a wider lens with a wider aperture (e.g., the Samyang 12mm f2) for some reason I really didn't understand...that the REAL thing to look at is diameter in relation to the aperture, so the 27mm, even though it is only 2.8, would allow more light (or more light per something or other). Didn't understand a bit of it.

Thanks.

Nice photo! But that doesn't really answer the question...

I think the reasoning is that a longer focal length at a similar f stop as a wide angle will have a larger area open to receiving light.

F-stop = focal length/aperture diameter. As the focal length increases, the aperture diameter must also increase to keep the f-stop the same. Since the area for aperture diameter is calculated as (pi*diameter_aperture^2)/4, you can see that a focal length twice as long lets in 4 times the amount of light (aperture area is 4 times larger).

The problem with using long focal lengths in astro photography though is that the star movements will blur quicker at longer focal lengths than wide focal lengths. So while you may be letting in more light, you will have blurry, messy looking stars. Generally, the rule for "sharp" non blurry stars is exposure time = 500/focal length. Luckily here, there is no exponential function, so doubling focal length only halves the amount of exposure time for sharp stars (see Star trackers to avoid this).

So back to your original question: the 27mm f2.8 will allow approximately 2.6x the amount if light in over the 12mm f2.

On the other hand, the 12mm f2 can expose for 2.25xas long as the 27mm f2.8 (for similar star sharpness), so it's a trade-off you need to consider. If you aren't too worried about blurry stars, then the 27mm f2.8 will give you a brighter image in a shorter exposure, but generally blur controls. Either way, both lenses should offer comparable results, however the optics of the 12mm may be better for astro due to it's low coma. Also, the 12mm is manual focus which is much better suited for astrophotography, over the fly-by-wire focusing 27mm f2.8.

I believe the 12 mm f/2 will be brighter than the 27 mm f/2.8. It’s the f/2 that dictates the brightness not the diameter of the aperture. You didn’t take into account the magnification and field of view dictated by the longer focal length.  A longer focal length produces darker images due to the magnification which creates a larger image projection, so to improve the brightness the lens diameter has to also increase.The f number is a standardized number, a lower f number ie f/2 is brighter than f/2.8.  A 100 mm focal length with a 25 mm lens diameter will be an f/4 lens, and a 200 mm focal length with a 50 mm diameter will also be an f/4. By your logic the latter will gather more light because the diameter is wider but both lenses are the same brightness. It’s because the magnification of the longer focal length lens means that the increased light gathered by the bigger lens diameter will be spread out over a larger projected image area, but the f number is the same so same brightness as the 100 mm lens.

Doug

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