Top 5 Must-Have Astrophotography Lenses in 2023 [Expert Picks] 📸

Dec 20, 2022 | Buying Guides

Have you ever considered purchasing the best lens for astrophotography?

You probably have if you are like me, and night photography sounds interesting.

With advancements in camera and lens technology, astrophotography became increasingly popular.

Unfortunately, the internet still doesn’t offer many helpful buying guides to help photographers choose the best optics.

image for astrophotography lenses guide

Since astrophotography is one of my favorite types of shooting, I have decided to make a comprehensive guide that aims at helping photographers get the best deal possible in terms of lenses.

Editor's Choice
Best Runner Up
Best Budget
Description:

Unleash breathtaking creativity with exceptional image quality and versatile wide-angle coverage. Experience the pinnacle of optical excellence.

Description:

Capture striking perspectives and remarkable details with outstanding clarity and speed. Elevate your photography to new heights.

Description:

Explore the world of wide-angle photography without breaking the bank. Affordable excellence that delivers impressive results.

Editor's Choice
Description:

Unleash breathtaking creativity with exceptional image quality and versatile wide-angle coverage. Experience the pinnacle of optical excellence.

Best Runner Up
Description:

Capture striking perspectives and remarkable details with outstanding clarity and speed. Elevate your photography to new heights.

Best Budget
Description:

Explore the world of wide-angle photography without breaking the bank. Affordable excellence that delivers impressive results.

Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Lens

The 14mm focal length does an awesome job of covering all the necessary angles and optical quality.

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The first lens on the list is designed with 16 elements in 11 groups, with nine diaphragm blades. It has an angle of view of 114.2° and a minimum focus distance of 10,63 inches. The maximum magnification ratio is 0,1x, and the lens sports a large hyper-sonic motor for precise and accurate focus.

The focus capabilities of the optics are one of the reasons it has a place on the best astrophotography lens list. The 14mm focal length does an excellent job of covering all the necessary angles, and optical quality, paired with a phenomenal aperture, ensuring maximum photographic enjoyment.

Despite the lack of optical image stabilization, I had no problems using the lens in lowlight situations. I mainly used manual focus for astrophotography, and the stars in the center of the frame always came out tack-sharp.

The only issue emerged in the very corners, but the point is the problem of all ultra-wide lenses. I also tried taking long-exposure photos with the lens, and I was amazed by the quality it produced. The images came out neat-looking, and the color distribution was phenomenal.

Although:

I have noticed slight distortions; it was an easy fix in the post-production. The only objection I have goes to the weight of the Sigma 14mm f/1.8, but if you count on the optical quality and the wide aperture, it is a compromise worth accepting.

Pros

  • Wide aperture
  • Ultra-wide focal length
  • Fast focus

Cons

  • Weight

Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 Lens

The overall image quality it produces is rock-solid, with strong contrast and the color transmission that is worthy of a magazine cover. 

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Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 offers 14 elements in 12 groups, along with nine diaphragm blades. It sets the minimum focus distance at 0,28m with an aperture range from f/2.8 to f/22. I love zoom lenses, and the range of 11-20mm is one of the reasons why I chose these optics to be included on the best lens for the astrophotography list. The aperture of an f/2.8 is quite powerful and captures scenes easily, even when the light is dim.

Moreover:

The lens is relatively light and compact, which is impressive considering the aperture. The overall picture quality is excellent, with sharpness across the frame, and I am yet to notice color aberration at any stop or zoom level. I took long exposure photos and was immersed in night photography with this lens, and it produced mesmerizing shots of the Milky Way and the Moon.

One of the best features of these optics is the ability to shoot objects from a close distance without sacrificing the quality of the picture. I am yet to notice any problems with distortion or vignetting. The focus is solid, although it tends to be tricky when facing the light source directly. However, the overall image quality and color rendering are gorgeous, so the lens is a genuine bargain when calculating all the factors. If you are looking for a cheap astrophotography lens, then the Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Zoomable
  • Wide aperture
  • Lightweight
  • No distortion

Cons

  • Focus issues

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L Lens

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L is a high-performance ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with an f/2.8 aperture throughout the whole zoom range

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The wide-angle lens for astrophotography from Canon comes with 16 elements in 11 groups, with an angle of view of 108° 10′ to 63° and a minimum focus distance of 11.02 inches. It has nine rounded diaphragm blades and a maximum magnification of 0,23x. Since the lens is dust and water-resistant, I could pull off astrophotography shots even under harsh weather conditions (nighttime, fog, and moisture). One of the best Canon lenses for astrophotography is the Canon 16–35mm f/2.8.

The first thing I noticed is the optical and design quality of the lens, which is comparable to the most expensive gear on the market. One of the reasons why it made the best lens for astrophotography list is the effective aperture.

Although the Canon 16–35mm f/2.8 doesn’t have optical image stabilization, the fast and reliable focus, combined with a full aperture, ensures excellent low-light performance. I didn’t notice jamming or issues with missed shots due to a focus malfunction.

The glass offers excellent corner sharpness and gives beautiful pictures without corners creeping. The colors on the night sky appear vivid and well-rendered, without noise issues, distortion, or vignetting.

The focal length is sufficient to capture everything a night-shy photographer needs. Design-wise, Canon’s “L” quality is also present on the given optics, making it an excellent piece of gear.
Canon provides the best budget lenses for astrophotography.

Pros

  • Powerful aperture
  • Excellent focus
  • Design
  • Weather-resistance

Cons

  • Price

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G Lens

This is a premium wide-angle lens from Nikon that captures beautiful photos and it is considered as one of the best lenses for landscapes.

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Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 offers an angle of view of 114° – 84° in combination with a minimum focus distance of 0,9 feet. It is constructed with 14 elements in 11 groups and is equipped with nine diaphragm blades. One of the most remarkable features of this optics is the crystal-clear corner sharpness, even at the maximum opening, which is one of the reasons why it made the best lens for the astrophotography list.

It doesn’t cause vignetting or distortion issues, and I captured clear and sharp photos of the night sky, star trails, light painting, etc. I mainly shot the night sky using a tripod, but since the aperture is solid, during the daytime, you can use it quite well from your hands.

The focal length of 14-24mm is the usual sweet spot for night sky photography and is more than enough to cover the needs of almost any photographer.

The overall picture quality is outstanding, with vivid colors and frame-to-frame sharpness, and I am yet to notice fringing or chromatic aberrations problems. Furthermore, it does a phenomenal job of mastering scenes with a higher dynamic range, which is essential for astrophotography and landscaping. Another excellent point is the impeccable design; the lens feels robust and sturdy when you hold it.

Pros

  • Excellent focal length
  • Wide aperture
  • Fast focus
  • Design

Cons

  • Weight

Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 Lens

Unleash your creativity with the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 Lens. Experience stunning image quality and versatility for capturing expansive landscapes and architectural marvels.

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Nikon lens for astrophotography sports an angle of view of 114° to 84° and a minimum focus distance of 11 inches. It is designed with 16 elements in 11 groups and has nine diaphragm blades. The maximum magnification is 0,13x. The lens sports a weatherproof build and a constant f/2.8 aperture.

Despite the weight of the lens, which is not negligible, the feeling of robust and sturdy optics in combination with an optical quality gives the impression of high-end quality.

One of the reasons why this Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 is on the best astrophotography lens list is its incredible capability to capture sharp images without losing the quality in the end corners. All the pictures I have taken came out razor-sharp, and the photos of night trails and the Milky Way were crystal and bright, with excellent color distribution and no distortion problems.

Although:

The lens lacks optical image stabilization, but an effective aperture and great autofocus deliver excellent results that can easily battle any lowlight situation. As I said, night shooting was delightful, and you can use all of your artistic expressions with this lens. The only drawback is the price, but since it is one of the finest lenses in Nikon’s current lineup, it is well worth the investment.

Pros

  • Overall optical quality
  • Wide aperture
  • Sharp images

Cons

  • Price

Verdict

The night sky is one of the most satisfying types of photography, which is why it is paramount to find the best astrophotography lens.

Since there are too many brands and combinations of cameras and optics, finding suitable optics can quickly become overwhelmingly complex.

However, if you pick any lens from the arsenal I shared, your photographic portfolio will improve in no time.

After learning something new from this guide, it’s time to pick a lens that will help to improve your photography skills. We advise you to test this lens if you’re still unsure which one is best for you.

Check our other content, especially the macro lens guide and guide for underwater photography, as it contains excellent advice about improving your photography skills. 

 

Disclaimer: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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Top 5 Must-Have Astrophotography Lenses in 2023 [Expert Picks] 📸
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Top 5 Must-Have Astrophotography Lenses in 2023 [Expert Picks] 📸
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Are you looking for the best lenses for astrophotography in 2023 that can get you the perfect shot every time? Discover them in this article.
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Lensespro.org
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Disclaimer: "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases."

Edward Avedon

Edward Avedon

Professional Photographer

I’m Edward Avedon, a seasoned professional photographer with over 7 years of experience and the co-founder of the renowned LensesPro blog. Currently, I am furthering my knowledge as a student at Columbia University in the heart of New York, USA.

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