📸 5 Best Lenses for Moon Photography In 2024 [Guide]

Jan 12, 2024 | Buying Guides

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 photography’s most challenging yet fulfilling objectives.

It allows us to see our natural satellite in a full glow.

image for moon photography lenses guide

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 helpful guides, which makes photographers stumble around the dark.

Since I’m a nightcrawler myself, and I love taking Moon photos, I have created a comprehensive guide that would help fellow photographers capture awesome images with the help of high-end lenses.

Editor's Choice
Best Runner Up
Best Budget

Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E

Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G Lens

Olympus 75-300mm II f/4.8-6.7 Lens

Description:

Unleash your creativity with this phenomenal lens, delivering exceptional zoom and clarity for stunning close-ups and wildlife shots.

Description:

Elevate your photography game with this versatile lens that combines superior reach and optical performance for breathtaking captures.

Description:

Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 lens is a super-telephoto shooting lens with an MSC mechanism for fast, silent autofocusing.

5.0
4.8
4.6
Editor's Choice

Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E

Description:

Unleash your creativity with this phenomenal lens, delivering exceptional zoom and clarity for stunning close-ups and wildlife shots.

5.0
Best Runner Up

Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G Lens

Description:

Elevate your photography game with this versatile lens that combines superior reach and optical performance for breathtaking captures.

4.8
Best Budget

Olympus 75-300mm II f/4.8-6.7 Lens

Description:

Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 lens is a super-telephoto shooting lens with an MSC mechanism for fast, silent autofocusing.

4.6
Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E Lens

Experience the extraordinary with Nikon's 200-500mm f/5.6E lens; expansive zoom, sharp detail, and steady performance in every frame.

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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’s optical image stabilization compensates with 4.5 stops of vibration reduction for the relatively modest f/5.6 aperture. The main reason I put it on the best moon photography lens list is its fast and precise focus.

Although:

I used it for the night sky and objects; it does a pretty good job of 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 excellent 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 object to the relatively narrow aperture. The Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 lens didn’t cause chromatic aberration or flaring problems. The color transmission is extraordinary.

The color palette looks natural and vibrant, with solid and deep contrast tones. Design-wise, the lens is heavy but managed to hold. It is made out of suitable materials and has a nice finishing touch.

Pros

  • Versatile focal length
  • Fast focus
  • Sharpness
  • Solid design

Cons

  • Narrow aperture

Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G Lens

Reach new distances in photography with Sony's 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G lens; superior sharpness, incredible zoom, and steady performance for every adventure.

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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 excellent low-light performance. It is the crucial reason I put it on the best moon photography lenses list. The OIS produces excellent results even when targets are far from the camera.

Although:

I mainly used a tripod for shooting the Moon; OIS offers tremendous help when capturing a moving subject. The OIS locks on during focus, resulting in very few misses. The image quality is excellent. Black tones are deep with solid 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 highly responsive and accurate and 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 pretty heavy, so I recommend getting a tripod.

Pros

  • Versatile focal length
  • Robust design
  • Fast focus
  • OIS

Cons

  • Heavy

Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L Lens

The lens is exceptionally resistant to dust and water. Images are razor-sharp and the maximum aperture is enough for shooting under low-light conditions.

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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 exceptional dust and water resistance, making it a great candidate for challenging weather conditions. I was delighted by a rotation-type zoom ring, one reason 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 quickly sets the zoom tension. The general image quality is exquisite.

The lens offers exceptional performance with superior picture sharpness, solid contrast, and beautifully colored tones. The extended version is another excellent point, with a perfect bite at the maximum opening, even at 400mm.

The next awesome thing:

It is optical image stabilization. It is essential at the maximum focal length and does a splendid job of delivering outstanding 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 also be used for portraits due to the great bokeh it creates.

Pros

  • Focal length
  • Sharpness
  • OIS
  • Professional design

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Fujifilm 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens

The lens is equipped with a five-stop image stabilization system and a versatile angle of view. It has lots of details, beautifully rendered colors, and high contrast.

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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, which is the first thing I noticed when pictures came out, visual image stabilization is one of the reasons why Fujifilm made the best lens for the Moon photography list.

Design-wise:

It is the heaviest XF lens, but with an excellent build and materials used in the manufacturing process. The overall image quality is superior to many competitors. The already mentioned color palette is lovely 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, the range is excellent. It is a glass designed to capture distant objects quickly.

The next great thing is the focus system, which does a phenomenal job of capturing moving objects and locking on a target. It is swift 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.

Pros

  • Versatile focal length
  • OIS
  • Overall sharpness
  • Good quality

Cons

  •  Heavy

Olympus 75-300mm II f/4.8-6.7 Lens

Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 lens is a super-telephoto shooting lens with an MSC mechanism for fast, silent autofocusing.

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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:

I included it as the best lens for Moon photography because of its flexibility to be used as a wide zoom lens that allows capturing faraway objects even if they are moving relatively fast.

The maximum focal length is excellent and quite versatile, and it does a beautiful job at a 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 weight and doesn’t feel cheap in the hands.

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Affordable
  • Sharpness
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Verdict

Purchasing the best lenses for moon photography is vital for 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 improve.

Now choose the lens best for your style and improve your photography skills. If you’re still unsure which is the best lens to photograph the moon, check out this option.

On our website, you can also find various good tips on the best lenses for baby photography and the best lenses for star photography.

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

Stacy WItten

Stacy WItten

Owner, Writer & Photographer

Stacy Witten, owner and creative force behind LensesPro, delivers expertly crafted content with precision and professional insight. Her extensive background in writing and photography guarantees quality and trust in every review and tutorial.

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