5 Best Canon lenses for Night Sky photography – Astrophotography – A Complete Guide

Best Canon lens for night sky photography
Beautiful night sky photo – astrophotography

Hello, again guys 🙂 This time I’ve decided to write an article about night sky photography – Astrophotography. If you’ve read some of my previous articles you already know that this type of photography is very dear to my heart. In this article, I’ve decided to share my experience with shooting the sky and list the best canon mountable lenses for night sky photography. I will list lenses that are directly compatible with a Canon camera. As always, I would like to start with a bit of theory. In the next paragraph, I will outline what are crucial factors to keep in mind when shooting photos of the night sky.

Like with all genres of photography, having the right lens is of utmost importance in order to get good results. In the case of night sky photography, we will need a shorter focal range lens. To be on the safe side, one should not consider lenses with focal lengths above 50mm. Shorter focal length lenses enable us to capture a wider field of view, and this is exactly what we want when shooing the night sky. Lenses with this characteristic will enable us to capture as much of the sky as possible. It is also preferable to have a full-frame camera – without any cropping factor – for that additional range of field view. In this article, I will only recommend lenses, whose focal length is ranging between 10mm to 35mm, as I consider these focal lengths to be ideal when it comes to astrophotography.

Taking pictures of the night sky is one of the most challenging tasks you can give to a lens. The challenge comes from the fact, that there is very little light at night, so in order to make star trails visible one needs to shoot the night sky with a maximum shutter speed. In order to collect as much light in the shortest amount of time, a lens with a wide maximum aperture is really really important. It is best to have a lens with a max aperture of F1.8, F1.4 or larger. Acceptable max apertures are also F2.8, F2.0. While there are many lenses on the market that can satisfy this wide aperture requirement, not many can render the starts that well. Any good astro-lens needs to be sharp at these wider apertures. Stars are very small, so the sharper your lens, the more details you are able to resolve. Astrophotography is one of the few genres where sharpness is really important. A penalty of many wide aperture lenses is their high degree of aberrations. Spherical, comatic, or astigmatic aberrations can ruin the shape of stars, while chromatic aberration causes stars to have purple and green fringes.

A good night sky lens will correct for these detrimental qualities. Finding lenses that satisfy these requirements is harder than you think, so I’ve decided to list the 5 Best Canon lenses for night sky photography.

What are the 5 Best Canon lenses for night sky photography – Astrophotography?

Here I will share the 5 Best Canon lenses for night sky photography. These lenses are very wide lenses intended for a full-frame camera. These lenses have a short focal length, allowing us to capture as much of the night sky as possible.

Recommended
Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
Budget option
Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Canon (Black)
Budget option
Irix Firefly 15mm f/2.4-22 Ultra Wide Angle Lens with Built-in Chip for Canon EF Digital SLR
Recommended
Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G Full-Frame Large-Aperture Ultra-Wide Angle G Lens, Model: SEL20F18G
Zoom
Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens for Canon EF
Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Canon (Black)
Irix Firefly 15mm f/2.4-22 Ultra Wide Angle Lens with Built-in Chip for Canon EF Digital SLR
Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G Full-Frame Large-Aperture Ultra-Wide Angle G Lens, Model: SEL20F18G
Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens for Canon EF
-
-
107 Reviews
1,328 Reviews
99 Reviews
406 Reviews
46 Reviews
$1,599.00
Price not available
$391.82
$898.00
$899.00
Recommended
Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
-
107 Reviews
$1,599.00
Budget option
Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Canon (Black)
Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Canon (Black)
1,328 Reviews
Price not available
Budget option
Irix Firefly 15mm f/2.4-22 Ultra Wide Angle Lens with Built-in Chip for Canon EF Digital SLR
Irix Firefly 15mm f/2.4-22 Ultra Wide Angle Lens with Built-in Chip for Canon EF Digital SLR
-
99 Reviews
$391.82
Recommended
Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G Full-Frame Large-Aperture Ultra-Wide Angle G Lens, Model: SEL20F18G
Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G Full-Frame Large-Aperture Ultra-Wide Angle G Lens, Model: SEL20F18G
406 Reviews
$898.00
Zoom
Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens for Canon EF
Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens for Canon EF
46 Reviews
$899.00

Last update on 2021-11-20

If price is no option then this is the best lens for night sky photography and it is the fastest 14mm lens currently on the market. It has the widest aperture of any lens below 20mm. Because of this, it is hard to compare this lens to anything else, since nothing can truly compare. Even so, there is some moderate aberration when the lens is wide open. Another thing to know is that the lens is pretty heavy. But from all the lenses I have tested for astrophotography, this is my go-to lens when it comes to astrophotography.

Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
107 Reviews
Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
  • Large diameter delivering f/1.8 brightness
  • Beautiful bokeh effect, and outstanding control of light streaking
  • Ultra-wide Angle of view
  • Super multi-layer coating helps reduce flare and ghosting
  • Large HSM (hyper-sonic motor) delivers ample torque to the focusing group for outstanding speed, ensuring exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds

Last update on 2021-11-20

Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens – Budget

Rokinon 14mm F2.8 is a great budget option for those of you who are just getting started in astrophotography. The lens will do a great job of capturing the night sky and the aberrations are really not that bad relative to the price you pay for the lens. This lens is very popular with beginner astrophotographers and it offers the best value for its price.

Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Canon (Black)
1,328 Reviews
Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Lens for Canon (Black)
  • Ultra wide-angle 14mm lens with an approximately 90° angle of view using an APS-C camera, for dramatic effects
  • Lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.9' (28 cm) for enhanced close-up shots. Lens includes a built-in petal-type lens hood.Do not soak the lens in water, and avoid water splashing onto the lens
  • Maximum Diameter: 3.4”(87mm). Aperture Range: F2.8 to F22
  • Focal Length: 14mm. Mounts : Canon: FE14M-C, Nikon AE: FE14AF-N. Pentax K: FE14M-P. Sony α: FE14M-S, Fuji X: FE14M-FX, Samsung NX: FE14M-NX, Sony E: FE14M-E, Four Thirds: FE14M-O, Micro 4/3: FE14M-MFT, Canon AE : AE14M-C

Last update on 2021-11-20

Irix 15mm f/2.4 Firefly Lens – Budget

Another great option, for those of you on a budget, is Irix 15mm f/2.4. It is a little bit more expensive than Rokinon 14mm F2.8, but in my opinion, the higher price is offset by better sharpness, and aberrations are kept well in check with this lens. I would say this is still a great budget buy for beginner night sky photography enthusiasts.

Sale
Irix Firefly 15mm f/2.4-22 Ultra Wide Angle Lens with Built-in Chip for Canon EF Digital SLR
99 Reviews
Irix Firefly 15mm f/2.4-22 Ultra Wide Angle Lens with Built-in Chip for Canon EF Digital SLR
  • Neutrino coating for minimum ghosting, CA and flare
  • Features built-in chip for auto metering with Canon DSLR cameras
  • Lightweight ABS construction
  • Ergonomic focus ring - Innovative focus lock
  • Manual focus

Last update on 2021-11-20

The Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G is one of the best astro lenses currently available. While it is not as fast as some other 20mm lenses, it does not suffer from any aberration wide open! It is nearly perfect at 1.8, which is usually not the case with other lenses. Vignetting is somewhat strong wide open though. Seeing the performance of this lens, I expected a price of around $1200, but at only $900 this lens is truly an excellent value. I highly recommend it!

Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G Full-Frame Large-Aperture Ultra-Wide Angle G Lens, Model: SEL20F18G
406 Reviews
Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G Full-Frame Large-Aperture Ultra-Wide Angle G Lens, Model: SEL20F18G
  • Compact ultra-wide prime G lens w/ stunning wide-open resolution
  • F1.8 max aperture provides extraordinary exposure and depth of field
  • Compact, lightweight design, ideal for both full-frame and APS-C2 cameras
  • Advanced Aspheric elements for natural, lifelike high resolution
  • Two XD Extreme Dynamic Linear motors for fast, precise autofocus

Last update on 2021-11-20

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens – Zoom Lens

As for the last lens, I wanted to recommend a zoom lens that is suitable for night sky photography. While prime lenses offer better image quality due to their wider maximum apertures, zoom lenses are extremely convenient. This lens is the best wide-angle zoom lens for astrophotography. While sharpness is not comparable to primes in the same focal range, it is the class-leading zoom lens in astrophotography. Astigmatism, chromatic aberration, and other defects are also very well controlled.

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens for Canon EF
46 Reviews
Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens for Canon EF
  • Consummate image quality across the entire frame from edge-to-edge
  • Exceptionally reliable, fast and accurate AF
  • Next-generation BBAR-G2 Coating
  • Vastly improved highly durable Fluorine Coating
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction

Last update on 2021-11-20


Final Thoughts

Any of these cameras will do a great job at shooting the night sky. The only question is how high of a quality you want your picture to have. If you are a beginner pick up the Rokinon 14mm F2.8 or Irix 15mm f/2.4 Firefly. For advanced astrophotographers, I would suggest going for Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art or Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G. I have used links for Canon Mount lenses, but these lenses usually also come with Nikon and Sony mounts.

I hope you found my guide useful and it will help you make the right decision also for yourself. Oh, and if you have a question you are welcome to comment below or contact me through the contact form. I am always happy to exchange experiences with my fellow photography enthusiasts. Wish you tons of great photos with your new lens 🙂.

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