What lenses?

Discussion in 'Astrophotography' started by dornblaser, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I am a total novice at astrophotography but I love to go off-grid or to dark sky locations. My lens has always been wide'ish, O12. There is a thread on this board where a poster used an O75. I am wondering what lenses you use and most importantly, why. This year I will be using my E-M10 instead of my E-M5 for the remote iPad trigger; I will be using the a couple of the star/space apps on the iPad as well.

    - David
     
  2. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    110
    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    Lens: 14-42mm kit lens with it's matching wide angle adapter.
    Why: The least expensive way for me to go wide - while I practice & work out if astro is a serious enough hobby to merit buying a good fast lens.

    Perfect for Star trails - not so good for static star shots!

    Tried using my longer lenses - but the Oly 45 only gives me 5 seconds to expose before the stars move, I could try stacking I suppose but I like to have plenty of scenery under the stars - so wider the better for me.
     
  3. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I have barely done any astrophotography but there are some excellent articles on the website lonelyspeck.com including this one where he goes over the various options for focal length on different sensors - http://www.lonelyspeck.com/lenses-for-milky-way-photography/

    He has a link to a Google Drive document with ratings for many focal lengths - the Oly 12/2 and 17/1.8 both score quite high, and I imagine the 25/1.4 and 25/1.8 would as well.
     
  4. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    Panasonic 14 and 20, can't go wrong I don't think, fast and sharp across the frame, plus allows a decent long shutter speed. I've also used Sigma 30, its nice big focus ring is handy outside in darkness.
     
  5. mickymikey

    mickymikey New to Mu-43

    1
    Feb 26, 2014
    Has anyone used or have any thoughts on using the slr magic 12mm t1.6 instead of the oly 12mm f2 lens for astrophotography? seems like it could be a good choice, good manual focusing and a bright t1.6 which is apparently around f1.4 and quite well priced, it's got some good reviews as well
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
  7. aloysius

    aloysius Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Dec 18, 2012
    Nevada City, California
    My real name is unreal
    Last summer I started astrophotography using the longest lens I own, the 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5, because I want to see night sky objects with as much magnification as I can. Long focal length images require a telescope mount to track the stars. I use the relatively inexpensive ($850) iOptron ZEQ25. It tracks the stars very well with small telescopes and with cameras + lenses.

    There are some less expensive tracking mounts designed just for conventional cameras and lenses, for less money. They work fine, but if you catch the AP bug and move to long focal lengths, you'll need a bigger mount.

    My first image, of M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) was posted here last July. The 50-200 did great. However lenses for conventional photography, especially zoom lenses, are optimized for different purposes. When pixel peeping I can see egg shapes of stars in the corners, which I crop out. Having 16 megapixels allows that, while increasing the magnification of the image. Dedicated astrocams generally have fewer pixels, so cropping works.

    I also tried my fantastic "concert" lens, the 35-100mm f/2.0 zoom. It does have better corners in astrophotos than the 50-200, but at 100mm max focal length it doesn't give me the magnification I want. Love the f/2 aperture ratio though!

    After I learned enough to get some good results, I was ready to make the big purchase, a 4 inch refractor that is optimized for astrophotography. Take your heart medicine before you look at prices for astrographs.
     
  8. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Jun 20, 2013
    Thanks for the info and links, really interesting!
     
  9. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    Guys, if you are into astro, look at the astrotrack. It's pretty awesome piece of kit, and you can use you tripod and ball head...
     
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    As an additional suggestion, Meade sold (or used to sell) a tracking system called Autostar tracking computer and Milapse panning head: http://www.amazon.com/Meade-Coronado-Telescope-Mount-Milapse/dp/B0056ZYD3O, designed for a wide variety of tracking photography, not just astrophotography. There are a few YouTube videos where people use the system for time-lapse photography - one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMl1J-y6yBU. I bought the kit some time ago, it was fairly inexpensive, but since our move, haven't used it.
     
  11. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    Wow this little kenko looks cool. But you can't use an thing longer than 50mm FL... Its basically a cool toy... Really the cheapest and most fun you can do is the astro track.. You can do deep sky exploration... For fun photos its the best before you with a full fledge GPS star tracking motorized unit. Remember that those aren't exactly cheap when u want vibration less motors...
     
  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Possibly they were thinking that anything longer than 50mm would be too big. That might not always be the case, but with astrophotography, you really don't want anything longer, preferably much wider (unless you're trying to photograph planets etc).
     
  13. compute42

    compute42 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 1, 2014
    hey new here.. Got a lumix GX7 with 20mm 1.7 and wanted to get something even sharper and wider for astrophotograpy and time-lapse stuff. how would the SLR Magic Hyperprime 12mm work? say stop it down to f 2.8 or so?

    be a step up from my lumix 20mm?
     
  14. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    110
    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    For slightly more money you could consider the Oly 12m prime - if you have a look around the astro forum here you'll see it's a very popular choice and produces excellent night sky shots. I would suggest using the Oly 12mm wide open is a safe bet for astro and would definitely be a big step up from your 20mm.

    Not many seem to own the SLR magic, and images / experiences of using it specifically for astro are hard to find.

    You might also find the image threads here useful.

    Hope that helps!
     
  15. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    If the Olympus 12mm f/2 is a bit on the expensive side, you can consider the new Rokinon 12mm f/2 which is half the price. It's manual focus, but for astrophotography you don't need autofocus anyhow. If it's as sharp as their 7.5mm fisheye, then this is it.
     
  16. compute42

    compute42 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 1, 2014
    Thanks for the suggestions! I might wait a little bit to check the Rokinon 12mm lens. I was looking at the Olympus 12mm f/2 but i saw a comparison between it and the lumix 7-14mm and it seemed quite sharper than the oly. Especialy on the edges... being an f/4 might make it tougher for astrophotography. The price point of the Rokinon is a big plus. Fingers crossed that the image quality is up there.
     
  17. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I am using the 17mm f/1.8 from my E-P5 kit and it is actually not too bad wide open. Initially I pre-ordered the Leica Summilux 15mm but cancelled it after I got the 17mm as a kit lens. Should be better than the Oly 12 on the edges as it being not so wide. I'm also looking for a wide 12mm and am aware of the limitation of the Oly 12, so this Rokinon could be the ticket I'm looking for! f/4 is a little tough for astrophotography especially with m43; not so much with full frame with higher ISO performance advantage if you have something like a Nikon Df. But still, you want something in the ranges of f/1.4 to f/2 so the Rokinon fits the bill if 12mm is what you're going after.