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

Jan 12, 2024 | Buying Guides

Have you ever asked yourself what it would be like to have the best lens for star photography?

If you are up to sky gazing and have a knack for photography, chances are that you probably have.

Sky photography is fantastic since it allows one to produce images that show the secrets of the Universe, usually hidden from the naked eye.

Although this type of photography requires heavy gear regarding cameras and optics, the internet still doesn’t offer many valuable guides on creating the content people need to navigate the market quickly.

image for star photography lenses guide

With those thoughts roaming in my head, I have decided to create the guide with the sole aim of helping photographers get the best gear possible so that their star photos look phenomenal in each frame.

 
 
Best Prime

Fujifilm 8-16mm f/2.8R Lens

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Lens

Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens

5.0
4.5
3.5

Fujifilm 8-16mm f/2.8R Lens

5.0

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Lens

4.5
Best Prime

Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens

3.5
Fujifilm 8-16mm f/2.8R Lens

The overall image quality is stunning, with strong contrast and color transmission that retains the natural color palette.

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Fujifilm 8-16mm f/2.8 has an optical design of 20 elements in 13 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 121° to 83.2°, and the minimum focus distance is 9,84 inches, with a maximum magnification of 0,1x. It doesn’t have optical image stabilization, but the fast aperture compensates for the lack of it. One of the reasons why Fujinon made the best lens for star photography is the presence of weather-sealed design at 11 points.

The lens can operate in low temperatures (14 to -10 degrees Celsius). The secret weapon of the lens is its ultra-wide capability, and its versatility is incredible. I was able to capture fantastic shots of quite wide corners, and it is possible to frame a lot into one picture.

The overall image quality is stunning, with strong contrast and color transmission that retains the natural color palette. During the testing phase, I took it far away from the urban environments to test it for star photography, which blew me away.

Even without a tripod, it could capture rock-solid images without using too high ISO values. When I combined with a tripod and used the long exposure, I was met with excellent Milky Way and Moon shots with incredible crispness and the number of details preserved. Although the lens is heavy, its design is impeccable, and the weather sealing adds to the value.

Pros

  • Ultra-wide
  • Weather-sealed
  • Design
  • Sharpness

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Lens

Discover the magic of low-light photography with Sigma's 24mm f/1.4 lens; exceptional sharpness, superior bokeh, and unrivaled performance.

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Sigma offers an optical design of 15 elements in 11 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 84.1°, with a minimum focus distance of 9,84 inches and a maximum magnification of 0,19x. Despite the lack of optical image stabilization, the fast aperture ensures excellent picture quality, even under low lighting. It was one of the reasons why Sigma made the best lens for the star photography list.

The first thing I noticed during the test was the crazy amount of sharpness the lens can pull off. The 24mm can produce great images while framing a lot in one shot while retaining the overall image quality.

I didn’t have problems shooting the stars, especially with the help of a tripod. The focal length is solid and doesn’t weigh much compared to the competition. The sharpness is always present, and the distortion level is next to nonexistent. The only downside is corner vignetting which is present if you use two or more filters.

However:

I captured shots of the Milky way without too much effort and with low ISO values, which is excellent. Furthermore, the depth of field the lens can achieve is mesmerizing, relatively smooth, and with a watercolor-like background. The focus system is accurate and responsive. The Sigma 24mm f/1.4  is rather heavy, but the overall design and the finishing touch of the used materials make it a worthwhile compromise.

Pros

  • Versatile focal length
  • Design
  • Fast aperture
  • Solid autofocus

Cons

  • No weather-sealing
  • Lack of OIS

Sony 50mm f/1.4 Lens

Sony 50mm f/1.4 is a fast and silent lens with an accurate autofocus and it delivers superb, tack-sharp images with a crisp focus.

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Sony package has an optical design of 12 elements in nine groups, with 11 rounded diaphragm blades. The minimum focus distance is 17,72 inches, with a maximum magnification of 0,15x. Although it lacks optical image stabilization, the fast aperture ensures that pictures come out razor-sharp, even under challenging lighting conditions.

I was delighted by the ergonomics of the given Sony, which is one of the critical factors that made me put it on the star photography lens list. It sports an aperture ring with customizable ON & Off switches and the auto and manual focus switches for direct control.

Moreover, the Sony 50mm f/1.4 lens is weather-resistant, which means it can withstand harsh conditions. The overall image quality of the lens is excellent, and quite a few counterparts can come close to it in terms of sharpness and contrast.

The number of details it preserves, even under low light, deserves respect, and the focal length of 50mm ensures a shallow depth of field, so it is possible to use it for portraits. I was able to capture rock-solid star photos with the lens, and once the stars are visible (if you are out of urban surroundings), the image pops! I highly recommend using a tripod since the lens is quite heavy with a significant front element.

Pros

  • Fast aperture
  • Weather-sealed
  • Image sharpness
  • Fast focus

Cons

  • No OIS
  • Weight

Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 Lens

A powerful telephoto zoom lens designed for Nikon Z mirrorless cameras, providing exceptional image quality and versatility for your photography needs.

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The best Nikon lens for star photography has an optical design of 21 elements in 18 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 34° 20′ to 12° 20′, with a minimum focus distance of 1,64 feet. The maximum magnification is 0,2x, and the lens offers optical image stabilization and programmable function buttons with a control ring that adds to the versatility.

best Nikon lens for star photography

One of the reasons:

The super overall sharpness, combined with the fast autofocus that does a phenomenal job of being as accurate and responsive as feasible, made the best lens for star photography. It can provide consistent, high-end results, no matter the light conditions. I have tested Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 in the darkest hours to capture star photos, and it did a phenomenal job. Every star in the frame was tack-sharp and recognizable.

The image quality is extraordinary, with an excellent color palette and extreme contrast. Thanks to a wide focal length, it is possible to shoot under various conditions, and the weather-sealing option adds to that experience.

The aperture of an f/2.8 is sufficient to capture fantastic images under challenging lighting. The image stabilization completely removes the need for a tripod, and it offers a great deal of help in difficult shooting conditions, although it would be wise to get one to counter the weight of the given optics.

Pros

  • Versatile focal length
  • Fast aperture
  • Design
  • Weather-sealing

Cons

  • Price

Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Lens

Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 is a wide-angle lens with quiet autofocus and it delivers great-looking photos with beautiful and vibrant colors.

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Tamron packs an optical design of 18 elements in 13 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 110° 32′ to 71° 35′, with a minimum focus distance of 11,02 inches and a maximum magnification of 0,2x. Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 also offers vibration compensation that provides up to 4,6 stops of image stabilization, which is one of the reasons why it is included on the lenses for star photography list.

Moreover:

It offers a moisture-resistance design with a fluorine coating that adds to the overall durability of the lens. From an engineer’s point of view, it is great to see a dual micro-processing unit for autofocus and lens system, respectively, and an ultra-sonic drive motor that offers fast and accurate autofocusing. When I took the lens to test it in distant areas, I was amazed by how well it could perform under challenging lighting.

It retained sharpness and resolution across the frame, with no distortion, and even at the maximum opening. The color palette is exquisite, showcasing a beautiful Milky way with excellent star trails across the frame.

The VC improves the shooting experience since it allows one to capture images even from hands, although I always recommend using a tripod when the shooting starts. Additional plus goes to the ergonomic design with AF/MF switches and the combination of size and weight since they are well balanced, making the lens comfortable to hold.

 

Pros

  • Great design
  • Fast focus
  • General sharpness
  • Fast aperture

Cons

  • Price

Verdict

Purchasing the best lens for star photography is no easy feat since many variables must be considered before buying it. As the guide above shows, it is possible to get high-quality optics suitable for different photography styles.

Moreover, no matter which manufacturer or brand is your cup of tea, you can get rock-solid optics with their signature. If you pick any of the lenses from the list, your star photos may be featured in astronomy magazines.

Now that you’ve read this guide and learned something new, it’s time to choose a lens that will improve your photography. We recommend this lens if you are still unsure which one is ideal.

If you want to improve your photography skills, read some of our other articles, including the astrophotography lens guide and lenses guide for night sky 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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