Have you ever considered purchasing the very best lens for moon photography?
If you are a nightcrawler or astrophotography enthusiast, chances are high that you have.
Photographing the moon is one of the most challenging, yet most fulfilling objectives in photography.
It allows us to see our natural satellite in a full glow.
Since that requires high-quality optics, it is paramount for photographers to arm themselves with top-notch gear. Despite the popularity of moon photography, the internet doesn’t offer many useful guides, which makes photographers stumble around the dark.
Since I’m a nightcrawler myself, and I love taking Moon photos, I have decided to create a comprehensive guide that would help fellow photographers capture awesome images with the help of high-end lenses.
The best Nikon lens for moon photography offers an optical construction of 19 elements in 12 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. It has an angle of view of 12° 20′ to 5°, with a minimum focus distance of 7,22 feet, and a maximum magnification of 0,22x.
The lens optical image stabilization compensates with 4.5 stops of vibration reduction for the relatively modest f/5.6 aperture. The main reason why I put it on the best moon photography lens list is its fast and precise focus.
I used it for the night sky and objects, it does a fairly good job in capturing moving objects, especially at the maximum opening.
The focus is also silent, which is a nice touch. The overall sharpness across the field is great at all aperture ranges and focal lengths. I did notice softness above an f/16, but it was expected. It also has traces of vignetting above 400mm, but they do disappear at f/8 openings and beyond.
The low light performance is solid thanks to the optical stabilization, although I do object to the relatively narrow aperture. The Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 lens also didn’t cause chromatic aberration issues or flaring problems. The color transmission is extraordinary.
The color palette looks natural and vibrant, with strong and deep contrast tones. Design-wise, the lens is heavy but managed to hold. It is made out of good materials and has a nice finishing touch.
- Versatile focal length
- Fast focus
- Solid design
- Narrow aperture
Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 has an optical construction of 24 elements in 17 groups, with 11 rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 12° 30′ to 4° 10′, with a minimum focus distance of 7,87 feet, and a maximum magnification of 0,2x. The lens also has optical image stabilization that ensures great low-light performance. It is the key reason why I put it on the best moon photography lenses list. The OIS produces excellent results even when targets are far away from the camera.
I mainly used a tripod for shooting the Moon, OIS offers tremendous help when you want to capture a moving subject. The OIS locks on during focus and it results in very few misses. The image quality is excellent. Black tones are deep with strong contrast and the color transmission is excellent. The palette looks vibrant and gorgeous and I didn’t spot chromatic aberrations.
Vignetting can be spotted above 600mm, but it is not over the top. The aperture is decent enough to provide a solid performance with the OIS to capture great shots under low light. The Focus system is top-notch. It is extremely responsive and accurate and it is one of the finest features of the lens. From a design point of view, it feels good in hands, with great material built, but it is quite heavy, so I recommend getting a tripod.
- Versatile focal length
- Robust design
- Fast focus
Canon lens for moon photography has an optical design of 21 elements in 16 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 24° to 6° 10′, with a minimum focus distance of 3,22 feet, and a maximum magnification of 0,31x.
It also has optical image stabilization and a phenomenal resistance to dust and water, which makes it a great candidate for difficult weather conditions. I was delighted by a rotation-type zoom ring and it is one of the reasons why Canon made the best lens for the Moon photography list.
It allows one to have a precise composition for handheld shooting, and the zoom torque adjustment ring easily sets the zoom tension. The general image quality is exquisite.
Throughout all focal ranges, at all apertures, the lens offers extraordinary performance, with a superior picture sharpness, with strong contrast and beautifully colored tones. The wide performance is another great point, with a great sharpness at the maximum opening, even at 400mm.
The next awesome thing:
is the optical image stabilization. It is completely necessary at the maximum focal length, and it does a splendid job in delivering great results for distant objects. The Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens also comes with a macro ability, and thanks to the minimum focus distance it can capture great close-ups. Although it is not a prime lens, it can be used for portraits as well, due to the great bokeh it creates.
- Focal length
- Professional design
- Lack of OIS
Fujifilm 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 has an optical construction of 21 elements in 14 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 16.2°- 4.1°, with a minimum focus distance of 5,74 feet and a maximum magnification of 0,19x. The lens has optical image stabilization and a water and dust-resistant design. Paired with a great color palette that is the first thing I noticed when pictures came out, optical image stabilization is one of the reasons why Fujifilm made the best lens for the Moon photography list.
it is the heaviest XF lens, but with a great built and awesome materials used in the manufacturing process. The overall image quality is superior to many competitors. The already mentioned color palette is wonderful in each frame, and the sharpness is present from corner to corner even at 400mm and an f/4.5.
Images are crystal clear at the center even when used handheld under difficult shooting conditions and at maximum focal length range is excellent and it is a glass designed to capture distant objects with ease.
The next great thing is the focus system that does a phenomenal job in capturing moving objects and locking on a target. It is extremely fast and responsive and reasonably silent on top of that. The aperture offers solid performance, and I was surprised by how good low-light pictures are at an f/4.5.
- Versatile focal length
- Overall sharpness
- Good quality
The last name in the article has an optical construction of 18 elements in 13 groups, with seven rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 16° to 4.1°, with a maximum magnification of 0,18x, and a minimum focus distance of 2,95 feet. Although the Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization, the aperture opening ensures a rock-solid low light performance.
The main reason:
why I included it on the best lens for Moon photography is its flexibility to be used as a wide zoom lens that offers a possibility of capturing faraway objects even if they are moving relatively fast.
The maximum focal length is excellent and quite versatile, and it does a wonderful job at fraction of the price, compared to the competition. The performance in bright conditions is impeccable, with vibrant coloring and strong contrasts. The focus system is also great when the light is right.
During darker hours, image quality is also excellent, but the focus tends to be slower. Long-distance images appear tack-sharp across the frame, especially in the center and the overall quality deserves praise. I didn’t have issues with vignetting or chromatic aberrations, and the flare is well controlled. Design-wise, it is made out of high-quality industrial plastic. It helps manage the weight and it doesn’t feel cheap in hands.
- Lack of OIS
Purchasing the best lenses for moon photography is vital for both commercial photographers and night crawling enthusiasts. As the article outlines, there are many variables and offers to consider, so it takes practice and patience to buy the product you need.
Luckily, there are many options for lovers of different manufacturers and brands. If you opt-out of any lens of the list, your portfolio will become much better.
Now choose the lens that is best for your style and improve your photography skills. If you’re still not sure which is the best lens to photograph the moon, check out this option.
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