What good are sharp stars if they are stretched out. A lot of manufacturers make 17-55mm f/2.8 lenses for Nikon (or 16-50mm, 17-50mm, 18-50mm, and so on). In terms of price, though, things are more interesting. Haven’t tried it yet on a star field, but I don’t have high hopes for it based on the fringing I am seeing. For many people, the Nikon 20mm f/1.8 will be a more practical choice. Although it doesn’t quite match the noise performance of a full-frame camera, you’ll be able to capture fairly clean images of the night sky, which is all that really matters. These two lenses do not feel close to the same. These days I'm active on Instagram and YouTube. The Samyang is $500, the Sigma is $850, and the Nikon is $2000 (though significantly less on the used market). Here’s the good news: with a 24-70mm f/2.8, you can take some very good nighttime photos as-is. Not a bad lens by any means. I light painted the tree and snow for about 5 seconds. The D5600’s vari-angle monitor ensures comfortable live view photography, whatever position you hold the camera in — up high, down low, or turning the monitor toward yourself for a self-portrait. Photographing the moon along with the foreground landscape can be tricky because of the wide dynamic range. Unfortunately, there are some issues. Another similar lens is the Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8. On the other hand, from some lens reviews I have read, FX lenses seem to perform better on DX frames than DX lenses do because the edge distortions are cropped out (i.e. Samyang (also known as Rokinon) 10mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E VR (as well as the older version and all third-party variants), Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art (and other brands’ variants), Nikon 35mm f/1.8 ED (and other brands’ variants), Samyang (also known as Rokinon) 10mm f/2.8, Best Nikon Lenses for Landscape Photography, Best Nikon Lenses for Wildlife Photography, Best Nikon Lenses for Wedding Photography, Nikon 50mm f/1.8G for Wedding Photography, Tips for Photographing the Great Conjunction. Like the Nikon, this Samyang has noticeable levels of flare, although it also has noticeably more coma. For the price the Canon 6D and the Nikon D600 are the best cameras for night photography hands down, you can’t go wrong with either. We also asked our in-house movie making guru and senior technical manager, Steve Heiner to give us tips for making great time lapse movies of the stars. David Kingham is a landscape photographer who focuses on the night sky. Is the Sigma sharper in addition to being faster or have you tested it? The camera’s optics cover up to 2000 mm* equivalent focal length, which easily matches that of an astronomical telescope and allows you to take your first steps in planetary photography. I’m shooting a Nikon D750. Their sensors perform very well at high ISO values, and, more importantly, they offer a huge lineup of lenses that work well at night. PL provides various digital photography news, reviews, articles, tips, tutorials and guides to photographers of all levels, By Spencer Cox 74 CommentsLast Updated On December 11, 2019. It’s also light enough to carry along without a problem, which is not something you can say of the f/2.8 zooms. It will work somewhat (take a look at the photo under that section for a guide to how its images will look). However, compared to the Samyang 14mm f/2.4, it falls behind optically, both in terms of coma and vignetting (as well as wide angle field of view). Hey Spencer, Thanks for the article!! The clouds can add an interesting aspect to night photography when they’re sparsely dotting the sky, allowing the stars to peek through. It’s the same aperture and almost the same focal length, yet costs and weighs significantly less (not to mention that it can be used on FX cameras as well). Its light weight and high optical quality should not be overlooked. The Best Nikon Cameras and Lenses For Night Photography | … Check the histogram after you take the picture to make sure the image is being properly exposed. As with the constant light, move the Speedlight across the scene to allow the flash to illuminate the entire foreground. Stars Over Crazy Jug Point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Here are our reviews for the original Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and the newer Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. During the time the shutter was open, they would "pop" the flashes, to illuminate the foreground trees and boulders. That’s why some of the values below are so high. However, if stars are the only thing you want to photograph, you might consider simply getting the Nikon 20mm f/1.8 instead. Simon. If you have any nearby objects in your foreground, they’ll be blurry. Deborah found this to be the case with the first image. That’s fine for nighttime photography, where you’ll be focusing manually most of the time, but it’s not ideal for work during the day. Last but not least, it is a 2.4 rather than a 2.8 lens. If you’re using a wide-angle lens and the moon is a small element, it likely won’t cause the overall image to suffer if the moon is blown out with no visible details. If you’re out shooting star trails, don’t forget that some of the individual exposures you take to stack together may also stand on their own as individual photographs. Next up, your ISO. Both Pete and his assistant held Nikon Speedlights with colored gels over the flash heads. Once you’re done shooting a series of images with the interval timer, you combine the images using software to create a movie file that shows the individual images in motion. Unless all of your subjects are far away, this lens won’t let you take particularly sharp nighttime photos. “I would always recommend using the manual exposure mode to avoid the exposure changing from one frame to the next which can cause an annoying flicker in the final time-lapse movie,” suggests Steve. Instead, it’s a way to compare the amount of noise to that of a full-frame camera. This test is intended to compare the high ISO capabilities of these cameras specifically for dark sky night photography. Although the Nikon is a wonderful lens, you don’t need to pay $2000 to get a good 24mm f/1.4, so it is hard to recommend unless you already own it. We’ll guide you through them so that you can pick a model most appropriate for the subject’s characteristics, to produce images of the cosmos like you’ve never seen. ThePhotoForum: Film & Digital Photography Forum. Adjust ISO, aperture and shutter duration for a good overall exposure without letting the shutter speed go any slower than 20 seconds or so, otherwise you’ll end up with the stars beginning to streak into star trails due to the Earth’s movement. On top of that, the 16mm f/2.0 is a solid value at $420. D4, 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, 20 sec., f/2.8, ISO 4000, Matrix metering, manual exposure. Don’t let that discourage you from taking pictures at night. Move the light around during the entire exposure so you don’t end up with hot spots. By clicking Sign Up, you are opting to receive educational and promotional emails from Nikon Inc. You can update your preferences or unsubscribe any time. Yes, you can shoot the night sky. As you can see, there’s no shortage of options for nighttime photography. If you have a medium-range budget, the 20mm f/1.8 should be near the top of your list. If nighttime photography is your primary goal, this lens shouldn’t be your top choice. Remember to use a shutter speed of about 1/15 second or faster since the moon actually moves pretty fast across the sky. While not as sharp as the 14-24mm f/2.8 or 15-30mm f/2.8 at their widest apertures, this lens is a good choice if you want a nighttime photography zoom lens on a budget. Learn how-to operate Nikon D5600, all its capabilities, technical specification, why and what to control for aesthetic photography and professional cinematography, and their basic to advanced genres. What makes this lens so appealing is its relatively low price and light weight. Use the same focal length lens that you shoot the landscape with, when you photograph the moon, for the most realistic look in the final composite. D2X, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, ISO 100, manual exposure, Matrix metering. The Milky Way can be seen faintly in the sky near the top left of the image, and clouds at top right. For time-lapse photography of the stars in the night sky, use an aperture of about f/5.6 if the moon is full, f/2.8 if the moon is not full. This is a relatively new lens, as well as the one with the best ISO score on this list (which, as mentioned in our earlier article, is a measure of the noise you’ll get in a nighttime photo without blurry stars). This lens doesn’t have quite as wide an aperture as a 24mm f/1.4, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook it. This lens weighs almost a kilogram (more than two pounds), which is about three times as heavy as the Nikon 20mm f/1.8. Pete set the white balance on his D4 to daylight, and used an ISO range of 4,000 to 12,800 over the course of shooting at Joshua Tree National Park in California. Shoot at f/2.8 and 14mm, and you’ll be able to get some very interesting shots. However, if you own an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, you can still get star photos – they’ll just be grainier than you may want. Even if you don’t have one of these lenses yourself, you should still go out and experiment. It doesn’t hurt that Nikon’s 14-24mm f/2.8 is also good for normal landscapes. You’ll either need to use a high ISO or brighten things significantly in post-production. “This image, because it was shot in clear atmospheric conditions, allows the Milky Way to be seen.”. And, if you want to use filters, you’ll have to purchase a large and expensive holder, as well as bigger filters than normal, since the front element of this lens is pretty large. Or, if you’re on a tighter budget, the Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 should be high on your radar. If you’re trying to capture a distant mountain, this won’t be a problem – both the mountain and the stars can be sharp in a single image. The shot below was tak… Not great. Look for cool clear moonless nights (unless you specifically want to photograph the moon! Something like f/2.0 allows in twice as much light, letting you use an ISO that is significantly lower. Or, if you want to save weight and use filters, Nikon’s 20mm f/1.8 is another good option. You’ll actually get relatively clean images; the main problem, as with the 35mm f/1.4 lenses, is depth of field. If you’ve set the camera’s Noise Reduction feature, an additional 5-10 seconds may be need to be added to the interval before the camera will be ready to take another shot.”. For most photographers (unless you already own the Nikon), it’s the better choice. A telescope mount moves the camera/telescope as the earth rotates. Modern cameras can capture more detail at night than we can see with our naked eyes, revealing entire worlds that couldn’t exist otherwise. Follow these steps to photograph the night sky with a Nikon D3500. However, it can still be done, as the image below demonstrates: For astrophotography, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses are noticeably worse than the 17-55mm f/2.8 lenses, which weren’t great in the first place. By most accounts (including our own review) the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens is on par with the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 in optical quality, if not slightly better. Just like on your camera, a lower ISO value in this ranking system is better, since you’ll end up with less noise/grain in your images. The Irix 15mm f/2.4 Firefly is a well-built lens and very enjoyable to use. The Sigma, though, doesn’t just hold its own – it’s actually a bit sharper than the Nikon version. Other photographers – those who want a lens solely for nighttime photography – will find a lot of value in the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 lens. At night, that’s incredibly useful. With other lenses, if you want a large depth of field, you’ll need to focus stack – not something that is easy, or sometimes even possible, when it’s dark. Depending upon the subject, the foreground as a silhouette may enhance the overall image, or detail in the foreground may complement the night sky. If you are interested in the 24mm focal length rather than something like 14mm (perhaps for general photography as well as nighttime photography), it is hard not to recommend this lens. Allow you to access and adjust the cameras full complement of settings. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to create dynamic photographs of the night sky, including capturing the stars as pinpoints of light, as star trails and by creating time-lapse movies of the stars as they move across the sky during the course of an evening. However, if you’re looking to buy a lens specifically for star photography, there are better options on the market. As the widest-aperture zoom lens available for DX cameras, it’s no surprise that the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 made this list. Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park. There are worse lenses for astrophotography, but there are far better ones as well. Hello, I have a Nikon D750 Camera and I have been using Nikon FX 18-35mm 3.5 – 4.5G ED lens for landscape photography. However, a lot of people already own a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, opening it up as a potential option. 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