Best Lenses for Milky Way Photography: Canon Astrophotographers

Best Lenses for Night Photography: Canon Astrophotography

The most common question asked on Lonely Speck answered for Canon shooters!

What is the best lens for astrophotography? The one that collects the most light.

Below is a list of the highest scoring lenses for untracked nightscape photography and astrophotography. The score is a direct representation of light gathering capabilities based on the formula:

Score = (aperture area) × (angular area) × (suggested shutter speed)

Where the shutter speed is the longest suggested shutter speed in seconds based on the “500 Rule” (500/focal length). Aperture area is the surface area calculation of the clear aperture of the lens and the angular area is the angular field of view in square radians. This score is a mathematical calculation based purely on some simple physics. It doesn’t account for other considerations like the lens’s build quality or optical aberrations but it’s a good gauge of overall light gathering capability.  You can also see the complete list of scores here, complete with calculations and further explanation.

All of the lenses listed here are my personal suggestions for photographers looking to get the absolute best astrophotography results with their camera. If using the given camera mount, these are the lenses that I would use. Most of these lenses are manual focus lenses by Rokinon which also tend to be much more affordable than their autofocus Canon counterparts. Additionally, most of the Rokinon lenses are sharper and tend to exhibit less coma aberration than their Canon counterparts. If you’re willing to learn how to use manual focus, Rokinon lenses are spectacular performers.

If you would like to know more about the thoughts that went into creating this list, please read my article on how to pick a lens for Milky Way photography.

EF Mount (Full Frame and APS-C)

Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC is the best full-frame lens for astrophotography.

24mm/1.4: Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC ( Amazon / B&H )


  • The best night photography and astrophotography lens you can buy. Excellently sharp, especially when stopped to f/2. Manual focus.
  • My full review of the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4
  • Score: 2869
  • This is my go-to lens for astrophotography on a full-frame DSLR. It’s fast, wide and shows very little aberration problems. Still my personal favorite for Canon full frame DSLRs like the 6D, 5D Mark III and 5DS/R cameras.
  • Sample from the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4:

Made with the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4

35mm/1.4: Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 US UMC ( Amazon / B&H )
or Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Amazon / B&H )

  • Standard wide angle for tighter landscapes or stitching multiple exposures into larger panoramas. Rokinon is manual focus, Sigma is autofocus.
  • Score: 2084

14mm/2.8: Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC ( Amazon / B&H )

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Review

The Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. Lots of glass for the money.

  • Essential ultra-wide angle for large sweeping landscapes. Manual focus. One of the most affordable full frame nightscape lenses.
  • My full review of the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8
  • Score: 1032
  • Sample image from the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8:

Made with the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8


EF-S Mount (APS-C Only)

Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 AS UMC CS

The Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 offers the best combination of wide field of view and large aperture for astrophotography with APS-C DSLRs.

16mm/2.0: Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS ( Amazon / B&H )

  • The best combination of wide angle and large aperture. Manual focus.
  • Score: 1875

10mm/2.8: Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS B&H )

  • APS-C alternative to the Rokinon 14mm/2.8. Excellent for ultra-wide angle landscapes. Manual focus.
  • Score: 1184

11mm/2.8: Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 AT-X PRO DX II ( Amazon / B&H )

  • Covers the same range as the two previous lenses combined. Excellent super wide angle zoom with autofocus.
  • Score: 1149 (at 11mm)

EF-M Mount (APS-C Mirrorless)

12mm/2.0: Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS ( Amazon / B&H )

Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS on Canon EOS M

The Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 my favorite lens for astrophotography on a mirrorless system. It’s both fast and wide and it’s very lightweight and compact in size.


  • Best lens for astrophotography on a mirrorless system. Nice and compact, best combination of super-wide field of view and large aperture.
  • Score: 2176
  • Sample image from the Rokinon 12mm f/2:

Made with the Rokinon 12mm f/2

22mm/2.0: Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM ( Amazon / B&H )

Canon EOS M

Canon EOS M and Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0 lens

  • Surprisingly sharp and extremely compact lens. Also very cheap. Standard wide angle view makes it good for panorama stitches.
  • Score: 1505
  • Sample image from the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM:

Made with the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM

8mm/2.8: Rokinon 8mm/2.8 Fisheye II ( Amazon / B&H )

    • Ultra wide angle fisheye that both fast and extremely wide. Fisheye distortion requires you to keep the horizon in the center of the frame unless you want a curved horizon.
    • Excellent when defished.
    • Score: 1237
    • Sample image from the Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye:
Alabama Hills Workshop

Made with the Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye

220 Responses

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  2. raluca July 24, 2017 / 6:23 am


    I am considering taking up astrophotography however I am a complete beginner.
    As I’ll be looking for online tutorials/classes, I wanted to have a head-start and understand if, with my Canon EOS 7D camera, I can use any decent wide aperture lenses – or whether I should budget a new camera…

    Can you let me know if my 7D would do the trick, coupled with a good lens?

    I see your go-to Rokinon 24mm is not suited for my Canon..

  3. GABOR AGOCS June 11, 2017 / 4:35 am

    I like to use samy 24mmf1,4 on fuji apsc what you think good way if use lens with lens tubo?

    Thanks Gabor

  4. Mark73 June 7, 2017 / 6:10 am

    Hi, do you allow guest posting on ? 🙂 Let me know on my email

  5. Inert May 19, 2017 / 10:07 am

    hello i m new to astro-photography, i have canon eos 7d with lens 18-55mm (.25/0.8ft) EFS and 75-300 EF (1.5/4.9ft) EF lenses can i do such photography using these lens. I need to know the answers because i have been trying to take pictures of stars, i could never snap a milkyway arm like you guys do.

  6. Michael March 22, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Hi Ian,

    Love your website! I am getting ready to purchase the Sigma 24mm 1.4 Art lens and noticed that your were planning to do a review of this lens for astrophotography purposes. I would be very interested in this review if you can direct me to where it could be located.

  7. Jörn K February 26, 2017 / 3:06 am

    Not sure if this comment is feedback or a question.

    I got the Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ( sold as a Samyang here). I am mostly happy, as it it is FAST.

    However the quite some distortions in the corners of my pictures. Stars become a lengthy streak pointing towards the center of the picture. Higher apertures alleviate the issue but are not a helpful for night photography.

    Does anyone have the same experience or maybe a recommendation? Or did I just happen to get an faulty one?

  8. Caryn Becker February 2, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    Hi there,
    This is very informative.
    I’m looking for the best wide angle lens on a budget.
    I have a Canon 5d Mark IV full frame. I’d like to use the lens for landscapes, but also for night stars and Milky Way (and plan to try Northern Lights in the next year or two). I have a trip to Monument Valley coming up.
    I was looking at the original Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, but it doesn’t seem to be a best bet, and the Tokinas you recommend aren’t for full frame.

    Suggestions for the best lens to serve multiple functions at less than $800?

    • peter March 13, 2017 / 3:08 pm

      Sigma is coming out with a new 14mm f/1.8
      You should look into that this year. All of their ART lenses have been nothing short of spectacular.

  9. Nana January 22, 2017 / 2:40 am

    I’m kind of new with photography so I’m actually quite confused on what kind of wide lens i should use to photograph the milky way. I have a canon 70d (crop sensor cam). I don’t really know what’s best and compatible wide lens for my cam. Any advice?

  10. Kyra December 17, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    I just purchased the “Rokinon 16M-C 16mm f/2.0 Aspherical Wide Angle Lens for Canon EF Cameras” and it doesn’t fit on my Canon EOS Rebel t1i. Is there an adapter I can use? I’m very distraught about this as there’s finally a clear sky tonight and I can’t even go out and try it 🙁

  11. Daniel Pineda September 27, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    I just purchased a canon rebel 6Ti or 750D, I am super new to all this and im wondering if I can take good star pictures with this camera and if so what lense should I use?? Thank you!!

    • JJtoob October 22, 2016 / 8:23 pm

      I would say “decent” pictures. Look me up on Instagram for some examples. They were all with either the T5i or the T6i. There are many factors you can change to improve your shots. In my opinion the shorter the focal length and the wider the max aperture, the better, at least for single exposure shots. You can also stack several photos for better results, though the technique is very involved and a bit technical. Search for DeepSkyStacker, at least the program is free, though it does require a Windows OS.

    • JJtoob December 16, 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Oh BTW I just purchased a Tokina 11-16mm 2.8, though I have gotten pictures good enough for Instagram with the 18-55mm 3.5 kit lens.

  12. Bill September 2, 2016 / 9:45 am

    I’m curious why I see no mention of the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 ii anywhere? It’s a great lens and reasonably fast. Is it the price that excludes it from consideration, or is there some other reason?

  13. Steve H. August 29, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    Hi. I currently shoot on a Canon 80D with a Tokina 11-16. I was starting to think about purchasing the Sigma 18-35 Art just because of all the good things I’ve heard. My only issue is I have a Canon 24-105 F4L, would you say the upgrade of the Sigma 18-35 for night sky specific shots over the Tokina is significant enough to justify the purchase.

    If the Sigma doesn’t have a drastic leg up over the Tokina, I may stay put.


  14. Hernan August 5, 2016 / 9:00 am

    Just bought a Rokinon 16mm f/2 using your Amazon link, thanks for the lessons man. I am just starting astrophotography and I appreciate what you do.

    • Joey H August 5, 2016 / 1:38 pm

      Thank you for giving all these options, now I just need to decide if I want to go big and buy your #1 or if it would be worth it to buy one of the less expensive options and use the left over money on accessories. I’ll have to dive deep into your reviews for my answer.

      Amazing site and thank you for all the info you provide

  15. cameron macfarlane July 17, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    Are there any lens for Canon astrophotography that do not have such bad vignetting?

  16. Marcio June 7, 2016 / 10:23 pm

    Hi Ian,

    I have read this post 10 times or more trying to figure out what lenses should I buy.

    Am Just starting with photography and am considering the following lenses to go with a T6i:

    1 – Canon 17-55mm 2.8
    2 – Sigma 18-35mm 1.8
    3- Tokina 11-16mm 2.8

    I wont buy the Kit camera, just the body, so this will be my first lense.

    My primary use will be indoor videos and astrophotography.

    Could you rank these three lenses in order?

    I was leaning towards the Sigma, but I read a lot about AF issues and considering they do not have support in my country, I started looking further.

    I got to the 17-55 2.8 Canon but was wondering if the 2.8 would be a huge loss compared to the 1.8.

    The Tokina would be my third prefered option just because is to “specific” to have as my first lense, but I like it very much.

    I do not know if you still reply to this thread in 2016, but lets hope you do.

    Thank you for this wonderful article.

    • robert mcneil June 12, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      the Tokina 11-16 is the way to go with a non FF camera i use a 6D a and use Samyang 14 f2.8 with good results and have used the Tokina at 16mm and its fine at that focal distance

    • Waqas Raja July 14, 2016 / 4:58 am

      Get Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 & Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 for now.

      Sigma 18-35mm will cover all your in door photography needs and at 18mm you
      can also do some wide angle shoots. This Lens is amazing and a must have. Very sharp and
      a quality build.

      Tokina has a newer model 11-20mm for a maybe $100 more, you should consider
      that one as well. If price is an issue then go for 11-16mm.

  17. Gill Kopy June 4, 2016 / 9:45 pm

    Inspired by your article, I have so enjoyed getting out there for star shots. I have a Canon 6D and a 17-40 mm lens and did get some quite nice results. But, I don’t seem to be able to get the lens to stay in Manual when it’s dark. My other zoom lenses do, but not the wide angle. With it set on Manual, I had to focus on a distant light, using the 10 second delay, and rushing to compose the shot.

  18. Miguel Marques May 24, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Hi Ian.
    I have a Canon 600D and I’m torn between the Tokina 11-16mm and Rokinon 10mm . What would be the best? With Tokina would be able to panoramic views of the Milky Way all at once or would have to rotate the machine vertically and make a second time?

  19. Aldo May 22, 2016 / 1:37 pm

    Hi Ian,
    what do you think about the Sigma 20/1.4 Art for my Canon 6D?

  20. Wayne May 20, 2016 / 7:52 am

    HI Ian,

    Interesting read. I’ve mostly been using my 50mm f1.8 and stacking the images. Doesn’t give me a wide view but I’ve found that it works well enough considering i have a ton of trees around me in the city.
    I’m thinking of getting a prime sigma 70mm f2.8 dg macro ex lens. This may seem like a dumb question but I’ve read that you can use this lens for limited astrophotography as it can be used as a landscape lens. The only reason I’m thinking of getting this lens is because I can get it second hand for the equivalent of $200. I can’t find a specific review of someone using this lens for astro pics. Can you give me some recommendations?
    My camera is a canon 700d


    • Wayne June 13, 2016 / 9:14 am

      You can take this question down. I instead got a 70-200mm f4 and a samyang 16mm f2 for night skies.

      The samyang lens is probably the sharpest lens in my kit, it works bets at around f4 and up with the sweetspot at f5.6

  21. Terry Laraman May 15, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    Hi Ian! I took it upon myself to purchase the Rokinon 16mm f2.0 last week. I am very impressed with the sharpness of this lens. Manual focus is going to take quite some time to get used to. For now I am just using the infinity focus. I went out last week to take some night shots for the very first time and got some pretty good shots. Just wish I could post them here for you to look at and let me know what you think. Great website btw!

    • Ian Norman May 16, 2016 / 9:41 am

      If you upload to a service like 500px, Flickr, or imgur, you can share a link here.

  22. Terry Laraman April 24, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    Hi Ian!
    I am a little overwhelmed and not very experience with all the info and technical jargon regarding lens choices. I hope you can help me choose the right lens for my camera.
    I have a Canon 70D with standard kit lenses. Could you recommend the best Rokinon lens for this camera? Preferably something for not only astrophotography, but also landscape photography.
    Thanks in advance!

  23. robin April 9, 2016 / 7:40 pm

    Hi, Ian. Thank so much for your review. I am going to Morocco and want to photograph the night sky while in the desert. I have a 6D and am vacillating between the Rokinon 14mm w/ the AE chip or the Tamron 15-30mm. Have you had a chance to try the Tamron yet? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on which lens might be a better choice. Thanks!

    • Ian Norman April 9, 2016 / 9:22 pm

      I haven’t tried the 15-30 yet but I think if AF is something you usually desire, then go for the Tamron! It should be a great lens for Astrophotography.

  24. Knopfler April 4, 2016 / 9:37 am

    I see there is also a Rokinon 16mm lens on Amazon. Have you used this lens? If so, can you update this article to include it?


  25. Heathernewby March 12, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    Wow, you know so much on this subject. I’m so new it hurts, but I want to capture the stars and I’m considering buying my friends Canon Rebel t3. She says it won’t get the stars on its own, but paired with a lens it could. Can any of these lenses you mention pair with a rebel t3, and be budget friendly? Thanks in advance for sharing and your love of this subject.

    • JoLoR March 17, 2016 / 2:41 am

      You can get it to work. I usually bring a friend out when I go for some astrophotography. He gets better shot with borrowed lenses from me (Samyang 14mm and others), but even with his kit lens, he gets away with usable pictures. You would not want to go slower than F4, and you will not have a lot to do about using rather high ISO compared to other cameras, but still, you can get away with using a camera like that.

      A 20-30 sec exposure at f4, taking test shots to balance the ISO.

  26. Scott February 14, 2016 / 8:00 am

    Have you tried the Rokinon 12mm F2.8 Super Wide Angle? I’d think this would score a bit higher than the 14 as long as CA is controlled.

  27. gc February 13, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    hi Ian,
    I recently switched from a Canon 5DM3 to an A7RII. I am loving the sharpness on my 55 1.8 lens. I’m also a night/astro/landscape/timelapse photographer and was thinking of getting the 16-35 lens. Since I owned a Rokinon 14 f/2.8 with my Canon, the results were just too amazing (for both daylight landscape and astrophotography). What’s yours thoughts on using the Sony FE 16-35 f4 instead to fill in for the Rokinon 14 f2.8? The other setup I was thinking of getting was the Sony 24-70 f4 + Rokinon 14 f2.8 as well.

    • Ian Norman February 13, 2016 / 7:27 pm

      I think the FE 16-35mm would be fine. It’s only f/4 but the a7RII is one of the best low-light stills cameras out there so it should handle the slower lens just fine.

    • LOP July 11, 2016 / 11:27 am

      Why didn’t you just keep the 14mm? You could have used it on your a7rii, no problem.

  28. Shunsuke January 13, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Hi. I try to shoot the milky way with a Canon eos 7D + EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6, how I can calculate the Untracked Astrophoto Ratings of this camera-lens combination? And how I can improve my pics with this combination? I’ve used very combinations of shutter speed, aperture and ISO and I can’t reach success in my attempts. Thank you.

    • Alp March 17, 2016 / 12:39 am

      Hi there
      I also own a EF-S 10-18 with my Canon 600d. The biggest problem with this lens is that focusing ring has no sign and turns endlessly. Since the autofocus doesn’t work at night it is really difficult to make a good focusing point. Also maximum aperture that the lens can reach is not enough for astrophotography with the highest clear ISO that a crop camera can reach. So I would like to hear some recommendations as well.

    • robert mcneil June 12, 2016 / 10:00 pm

      i used this lens with 7D mark 2 what i did was set the HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE by in auto shot somethink at 3 feet then change to manual and tape it so it stays there and every think will be in focus from 3 feet to infinity ISO 2000+20 sec exposure at the widest f number and go from their not the greatest milky way lens you need the Tokina 11-16 f2.8

    • Bryce March 16, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      I have the 10-18 too – its is poor for star / mway photos however.
      I’ve bought the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 and it is a must for the money. Literally 10x better than the Canon 10-18

  29. MM PARVEZ January 8, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Hi there
    I’m planing to buy Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC Lens for Nikon F with AE Chip.
    So do you have any review about this product. Basically, I’m purchasing this to do the
    nightscape, milky way,landscape, portrait photography.

    What do you reckon then? Does it work for me or not? Please reply your kind words. Besides being is it wide-angle lens?

    Many thanks..

    • Waqas Raja July 14, 2016 / 12:19 pm

      85mm is not a landscape/Nightscape ideal/recommended lens nor it’s a wide-angle lens. However it is a very good portrait lens.

  30. Charles January 4, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks very much for your article series, which are very helpful.

    I think I’ve identified an error in your scoring spreadsheet. See if you agree…

    The calculation for “angular area” is hardcoded for a 26×14 mm sensor, which is the Nikon APS-C sensor size. This causes two problems with the calculated score:

    1. The score mixes the “angular area” for an APS-C sensor and the “suggested exposure time” for a Full Frame sensor, so it is neither the score for an APS-C or a FF sensor.

    2. The dimensions of a Canon APS-C sensor, relevant to this article, is 22.3 x 14.9 mm.

    I’m don’t think that would change the ranking of the lenses, but haven’t recalculated the spreadsheet to confirm.


  31. feelx January 4, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    hello. I have canon 6d and no idea what setup i need. Sigma art 35 mm 1.4 + samyang 14 mm 2.8 or sigma art 20mm 1.4 + any lens 50 mm

    • Waqas Raja July 14, 2016 / 12:33 pm

      That depends on your need, please specify what kind of photography you are mostly interested in?
      Out of the ones you mentioned,
      Samyang/Rokinon 14 mm 2.8 (For Landscape/NightScape/Astrophotography)
      Sigma 50mm F1.4 (For portraits)
      is a good mix of lens.

  32. Nicolas B December 6, 2015 / 10:06 am

    Dear Ian,

    I have a canon 500D and just starting to go into astrophotography. I am torn between the following lenses:
    – tokina 11-16mm: i heard that it has very bad CA and loses sharpness at 16mm
    – samyang 10mm: im worried about distortion since it’s ultra wide, otherwise i think its sharper than the tokina
    – samyang 16mm: heard amazing reviews about this but worried that 16mm might not be too wide for landacapes/astro.

    I am mainly interested in astro and landscapes. I currently have the 18-55mm lens kit. I am looking for a major improvement.

    Any tips would be highly appreciated.


    • Philip December 29, 2015 / 6:03 pm

      I’d love to know this, too. I have the 550D/T2i. It’s quite poor in low light, so I’m hoping a higher max aperture (2.0 or greater) would help with getting a bit more light to the sensor. I have the 14mm f/2.8, and while I haven’t used it extensively, I’ve been a bit underwhelmed with the results. I was considering getting rid of the 14mm and getting the 16mm, instead. Or is there something else I should be considering? I can’t make the jump from the T2i to a more capable camera at the moment, unfortunately.

  33. Jason November 29, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    I’m a little confused with your ranking system, is a lens in the Full Frame category better for any camera or only for the full frame cameras? I guess my real question is, for a Canon 70d for astrophotography would you recommend the 24mm f/1.4 or the 16mm f/2.0?
    Thanks for the article

  34. Amy November 29, 2015 / 3:04 pm

    I bought a Canon 750D for hobby and was thinking about getting the EF-S 18-55mm but as someone mentioned above the max aperture is 3.5 I was wondering if you thought the EF-S 24mm F2.8 STM or the EF-M 22mm f2 STM would be any good (I have a pretty low budget and will start practicing with the standard 18-55 set at 18 as you suggested above but was wondering if either of these would do a substantially better job)
    I was also thinking about getting an adapter and T-Ring for my telescope (it’s not a super duper telescope, just a skywatcher 900/114mm) but was wondering if there is much of an issue of getting dust in the camera body mounting it this way?
    Also (because I am very new to this) are you able to tell me any of the shutter speeds for the above pictures?
    Sorry to bombard you with questions. I appreciate any advice; thanks for your time.

  35. Mithin October 23, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    Hi …

    The photo of the Milky Way over the sea with Canon is spectacular!

    Is it for sale?

    I am a Scifi Author and am exploring possibilities for cover page of my new book.

    All credits and photo credits will be mentioned in the book if we use this.

    best regards


  36. Preben Nilsen October 19, 2015 / 1:50 pm

    Hi. Do you have any recommended lenses for my Canon 70D or crop cams in general? Would appreciate both budget lenses and or the best for astrophotography. Thanks.

  37. Ray October 17, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    I see theres a Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye CS II Lens for Sony E- Mount along with the Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 UMC Fisheye II Lens for Sony E Mount. Which do you think is better? Also compared to the 12mm f/2.0


    • Ian Norman October 18, 2015 / 1:13 am

      For Sony E Mount, the 8mm/2.8 is the better choice.

  38. Kushal Sarkar October 17, 2015 / 7:50 am

    Hello Ian

    Firstly thanks for all the knowledge you share on this site as well as on YouTube
    I really like your philosophy of sharing knowledge. I myself is a serious newbee from India, use a relatively amature body Canon 600D. I am considering getting a budget fast lens with relatively wide angle for my night sky photography learning.
    How good is canon’s latest eos 24mm f2.8 pancake.
    I know panorama stitching will be required for milky way but I can live with that..

    • Ian Norman October 17, 2015 / 3:45 pm

      The 24mm/2.8 isn’t ideal but it should work. Honestly, the kit lens set to 18mm/3.5 should be nearly as good so if you have the 18-55mm, start with that.

  39. Kushal Sarkar October 17, 2015 / 7:30 am

    Hello Ian

    Firstly thanks for all the knowledge you share on this site as well as on YouTube
    I really like your philosophy of sharing knowledge. I myself is a serious newbee from India, use a relatively amature body Canon 600D. I am considering getting a budget fast lens with relatively wide angle for my night sky photography learning.
    How good is canon’s latest eos 24mm f2.8.
    I know panorama stitching will be required for milky way but I can live with that..

  40. martin October 9, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    Hey Ian

    I have recently purchased a Canon SL1 and would love to start getting into Astrophotography. What lens would you recommend?


    • Ian Norman October 9, 2015 / 6:32 pm

      Definitely start out with your kit lens but my first recommendation is the Tokina 11-16mm/2.8

    • martin October 19, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      Even over the Rokinon 16mm f2.0? I’m torn between the two…


  41. Steven September 30, 2015 / 11:21 pm

    Hi there, with regards to the lenses. Is there a reason for preferring the 14mm over the 24mm? Is it just that the field of view is greater or is there something more fundamental?


    • Ian Norman October 9, 2015 / 6:31 pm

      I usually like the wider field of view.

  42. harikishan September 12, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    Hi, a very nice article. I am having a canon 6d with 24-105mm lens.
    do you recommend use of this lens for astral photography or will i need 300mm or longer lens.
    please suggest i am in a very bad state of confusion.

  43. Van Forsman August 29, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    Hey Ian,

    Great work on this site – it has been very educational. How would the EF 15mm F/2.8 fisheye rank against the 14 mm Rokinon? I’m looking at going ultra wide for daytime photos too, so I’d get a DxO plugin anyway. I’m wondering if the 24mm Rokinon wouldn’t just be easier, with better quality photos right out of camera. Thanks for your help!

    • Ian Norman October 1, 2015 / 6:08 am

      The fisheye would work just fine! If you’re comfortable defishing in post, go for it.

  44. Jeff August 25, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    Hi, thanks for the great article. I have a Canon 70D. I’ve been using my 18-135 kit lens to take some photos of the stars. I want to invest in a lens that will be better for doing that and also great as a walk around lens for street photography etc. I was wondering what you thought about the Tamron 24-70 2.8. I like that it has image stabilization, auto focus and is fairly wide at 24mm. My 70D is a crop though so I’m just concerned that I should go shorter. What d’ya think?

    • Van Forsman August 29, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      You’ll want an EF-S lens, the 24-70mm will crop to 35mm on the wide end, which is going to be noisier when you compensate with ISO.

      The Rokinon 16mm will be much more usable for astrophotography, and will extend your kit for daytime photos too. The Tamron Standard zoom you’re looking at is not going to markedly improve street photos either, you’d be better off finding a faster EF-S prime (say 24mm?) to help with quick AF and bright…and at that point, you might just as well get a single lens to do both (the 16mm). The only reason that would be difficult to use for Street is if you wanted a Humans of NY look, which is a telephoto prime.

  45. Lydia August 16, 2015 / 9:01 am

    Thank you for this detailed article. I have been pouring over your site after a recent first attempt at astrophotography.

    Is the Canon EF-M 22mm f2 the rough equivalent of the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8?
    When I visit the Amazon page for the one you recommend it says [old model] and I’m not sure if it would fit my Rebel SL1 (total newbie here and still trying to understand what lenses fit which cameras!)

    I’d like a lens that can do double-duty on an Arizona/Utah trip I’m doing this fall – maybe for landscape shots as well as dabbling with night sky. Thanks for any advice you can give!

    • Van Forsman August 29, 2015 / 2:21 pm

      If you don’t mind the slightly wider field-of-view, the 16mm f/2 is the best for your camera, which is an APS-C, crop-sensor camera. This means the sensor is smaller. If you care more about daytime photos than Astrophotography, and don’t mind some of the stars in your photos near the edges and corners getting coma, then the EF-S 24mm F/2.8 might be a bit more usable.

      When in doubt, search Flickr for the lens your interested in! (Google Flickr lens search)

  46. Glenn Fitzpatrick August 16, 2015 / 6:18 am

    Hi Ian
    Thanks for all of the great advice – Im learning loads
    I have a canon 60d and Im wondering how it ranks when it comes to Astrophotography
    Also I am looking to upgrade my lens – I have the standard one that comes with the kit first day but as per your above info the “The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC ” is the best option ?

    Thanks for your advice

    • Ian Norman October 1, 2015 / 6:14 am

      On the 60D, a shorter lens is recommended for a wider field of view. The Tokina 11-16mm is particularly recommended.

  47. Fox August 9, 2015 / 9:21 am

    I recently returned from a three-week vacation in Namibia where I also tried my luck on milky way photography a couple of times. The most suitable lens I own is the 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, and while I managed some reasonable results (who wouldn’t with such dark skies and stunning landscapes?), the optical quality is rather disappointing. Not fast, tons of coma and weird distortion …

    So I was ready to fork out the money for a Samyang 14 f/2.8 until I discovered this article. I wasn’t aware that a Samyang 16 f/2 lens exists for (Pentax) APS-C! It’s not as wide, but doesn’t seem to show the weird moustache distortion of its FF brother and can even take filters (big thing for landscape photography). Jackpot!

    Thanks for the info!

    • Ian Norman August 10, 2015 / 4:43 pm

      My pleasure! The 16mm/2.0 should be a great lens.

  48. Jess August 8, 2015 / 3:04 am

    Hi Ian

    Thanks for you article, it is very informative! 🙂
    I have a Canon 70D and 1D Mk II (which I don’t use a great deal since getting the 70D)
    I am dying to enter the world of Astro-photography so am looking into a wide angle lens, I would also like to use it for general use though.
    My problem with the awesome above mentioned lenses (particaulary the Rokinon) is that a lot of people have said they have had to send theirs back as they had issues with them which is fine BUT I live in Zimbabwe and if I buy one of them a friend will bring it for me from the UK so ideally I need an awesome lens that is reliable and won’t need sending back (unless there is an agent or something here!)
    Any suggestion would be HUGELY appreciated! 🙂
    Thanks in advance

    • Ian Norman August 10, 2015 / 4:42 pm

      Jess, I would probably opt for the Tokina 11-16mm/2.8 or 11-20mm/2.8.

    • Jess August 12, 2015 / 3:02 am

      Thank you very much for your advice! 🙂 Much appreciated!

  49. Mark August 7, 2015 / 9:11 am

    Hi Ian,
    I use a 7D ii and was looking at a canon 16-35mm 2.8mm for landscape and now Milky Way. I see the Rokinon 14mm 1.4 for full frame is great and highly recommended.
    Should I still go with the canon 16-35mm 2.8mm or something like the Rokinon 14mm

    • Ian Norman August 10, 2015 / 4:41 pm

      Mark, have you considered the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 or even the newly released 11-20mm/2.8? Those are the lenses I would prefer the most for the 7DII.

    • Handpuppe October 30, 2015 / 9:10 am

      I would love a vendor in europe that would sell the Canon Rokinon 14mm ultra wide lens.

    • Steve B November 24, 2015 / 9:56 am

      Great website Ian, a very informative read.

      In response to Handpuppe below, the Samyang lenses are sold in Europe, the Rokinon brand name is only used for the US market.

  50. Alex August 5, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    Excellent article. Have you tried the new Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art? Interested to know if that would be better than the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4? Thank you!

    • Ian Norman August 10, 2015 / 4:40 pm

      We’re working on that review this month. Expect the Sigma to be slightly sharper but with a little more aberration in the corners at f/1.4. Results to be posted soon.

  51. Chris July 24, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    Hi there! Thanks for this great article. I’ve been debating between the Rokinon 14mm/f2.0 and Tokina 11-16mm/f2.8…any thoughts on which one you’d recommend/why?

    • Ian Norman August 10, 2015 / 4:39 pm

      In terms of overall versatility, I prefer the 11-16mm/2.8.

  52. Gaylord July 21, 2015 / 12:00 am

    any thoughts on the latest and greatest offering from Rokinon of the 12mm F2.8 for full frame (Fisheye). Really like to do timelapse with widest offerings, for meteor showers, do you think this will fit the bill?

    • Ian Norman July 21, 2015 / 3:43 am

      I haven’t tried it yet, but if it’s anything like their 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye for APS-C mirrorless cameras, it should be very good. I have heard only good things from some Lonely Speck readers who own the lens. Would be one of the best choices for meteor showers due to its huge coverage.

  53. Paul Waite July 17, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Hi, thanks for the great website. Incredibly useful.
    I picked up the Fuji XT1 today with the 16mm f/1.4. Your calculator returns an astro lens score of 3826, so I look forward to getting someplace dark very soon and shooting some stars.

    • Ian Norman July 21, 2015 / 3:41 am

      Should be a very good setup!

  54. Ron killeen July 15, 2015 / 11:53 am

    I am looking into a sony A5000 is this a good camera for night sky shots?

    • Ian Norman July 21, 2015 / 3:41 am

      Yes! it should be just fine for night shots! Also consider the a5100 which has newer sensor.

  55. Vitor July 8, 2015 / 1:56 pm

    Hello. I bought a camera just for hobby, so it’s not a professional. I have a Canon 750D but I want to use it for Astrophotography. Can it be used with lens like those and perform good photos too?


    • Ian Norman July 8, 2015 / 5:15 pm

      Yes! the 750D is an excellent camera. It can use any of the lenses listed on this page!

  56. Adam May 3, 2015 / 12:09 pm

    From some of the lenses you’re recommending, why not the Canon 28mm f/1.8? Just curious because I happen to have that lens already. If it is suitable for astrophotography that would save me a few hundred dollars.

    • Adam May 3, 2015 / 12:20 pm

      Nevermind, I found your article about “sagittal astigmatism”. Thanks again for the information.

  57. Jake t April 27, 2015 / 7:25 pm

    For my 5D, I’ve narrowed it down to either the Rokinon 14mm or the Tokina 11-16 (which is designed for crop, but works fine on full at 15-16mm.) I’m wondering which of the two lenses you think has a better image.

  58. Mike Hawkridge April 1, 2015 / 12:17 pm

    Hi Ian, thanks for a great website with lots of useful info. I have a Sony NEX-7 and Samyang (Rokinon) 12mm 2.0 which I have had for some time. I have now just got myself an A7r. Will the 12mm 2.0 in crop mode on the A7r be better than a 14mm 2.8 Samyang in FF mode or vice versa. In crop mode you get about 15mp vs 36mp full frame. Using your score system it looks to me as if the 12mm still wins, but it’s not so obvious to me. So should I swap over to a 14mm or stick with the 12mm?

  59. Himanshu March 24, 2015 / 5:15 am

    Hi Ian,

    Can you share your opinion on the recently launched Sigma 24mm f1.4 Art lens?

    Thank you,


  60. mohamed March 18, 2015 / 12:33 am

    Dear ian
    I have nikon d5100 can you tell me what is best lens for milky way and if tokina 11-16 is agood choice

  61. Ludovico March 8, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Hey, thanks for the very informative blog! I am just starting out with astrophotography and am on a tight budget. I have a Canon 100D with a standard 18-55mm 3.5 lens which so far has turned out noisy results. I am wondering whether to buy the Canon 50 mm f1.8 lens or save up for one of the lenses recommended above, which are at least 3-4x more expensive. Can I produce significantly better results with it than the standard lens I have, and are the results of the 50mm lens significantly worse than the recommended lenses?

  62. Greg March 8, 2015 / 7:36 am

    Great site. Very inspiring. I have a Canon T5. Eventually I plan on purchasing a 6D for night photography. I am considering the Rokinon 24mm as it works on both full frame and crop sensors. should I go for that now or is it best to get the Rokinon 14mm in the meantime and move to the 24mm when I get the full frame camera? What differences will I see with these camera/lens combinations? Thank you for any suggestions you can make.

  63. Mark March 5, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    Hi how do you rate the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 or Tokina AT-X 16-28mm on a Canon 6D? I am only learning photography and would prefer an all round lens vs the Samyang 14mm.

    • Ian Norman March 6, 2015 / 11:50 am

      I love the Sigma 12-24/4.5-5.6 but it’s rather slow which usually makes it a poor choice for astrophotography unless you’re OK with some noisier results. I have no personal experience with the Tokina 16-28mm/2.8 but I have heard realtively positive feedback about the lens and it’s got a fast f/2.8 aperture so it should be well suited for night photography.

  64. Jonathan March 2, 2015 / 1:41 pm


    I am currently using a Nikon D810 and I picked up a Tokina 16-28mm f2.8. What are your thoughts on this lens for astrophotography and nightscapes? Would love to hear what you think!!

    Thanks so much,

    • Ian Norman March 2, 2015 / 5:14 pm

      Should be a great setup!

  65. Danielle February 23, 2015 / 8:15 pm


    I currently have a cannon 60D body and tossing up buying a Samyang 12mm f2.0 Lens or a Rokinon 24mm F/1.4 Lens.

    Comparing these two, which one would be better use?

    • Ian Norman March 6, 2015 / 11:54 am

      The Samyang/Rokinon 12mm/2.0 won’t work on a DSLR like the 60D. It’s made for APS-C mirrorless cameras only like the Sony a6000, Canon EOS M, Fujifilm X-T1, etc.

  66. Marcel February 23, 2015 / 2:25 am

    Which would be the better option of two:
    -10mm 2.8 Samyang on APS-C
    -14mm 2.8 Samyang on FF

    I’ve got some advice, the 14mm(FF) will make more trails on the edges than 10mm(APS-C) because of front lens distortion. What do you think?

    Thanks for advice, and helpful article above!

    • Ian Norman March 6, 2015 / 11:53 am

      The 14mm/2.8 on FF will be better because it has a larger aperture (14/2.8=5 10/2.8=3.57) so for any given exposure length it will collect approximately 2x more total light.

  67. Jo February 14, 2015 / 12:47 pm

    Hi there,

    I was wondering if you could help me?…
    I have a Canon 550D and I’m trying to decide which best wide angled lens to go for. I’m getting myself all confused. Any help would be gratefully received 🙂

  68. Sachin January 28, 2015 / 10:31 am

    Thank you for sharing the technical details and your conclusions in a manner easy to understand for an average person. I was wondering if you’ve had a chance to consider the suitability of the new Sigma 18-35 f 1.8 for astrophotography? I’m guessing it would be around the Rokinon 16mm F 2.0 but couldn’t really work out just how close. Any thoughts you might have could really help me, and perhaps others, decide whether it’s worth considering the Sigma if night photography is an interest.

    • Ian Norman February 5, 2015 / 5:00 pm

      Spectacular lens for astrophotography and arguably one of the best standard zooms ever made for APS-C DSLRs. I would prefer the Sigma to the Rokinon any day.

  69. Purna N Joshi January 26, 2015 / 2:19 am

    Hello Ian,
    I’m completely new to the field of astrophotography and I’ve been following your blogs and tutorials a lot lately. So much inspired that i also bought a canon 5d MarkIII. Currently i only have a kit 24-70mm which obviously doesn’t give me the optimum results as does the prime but i look forward to buy 24mm Rokinon very soon. Besides f stop, shutter speed and ISO what necessary changes should i apply within my camera to get the best results? As milky way season approaches near i’d like to learn and practice the required skills starting as soon as you shed some light on me. Of course the weather permitting. It would really help me boost up my budding hobby. Thank you!

    • Ian Norman February 5, 2015 / 4:54 pm

      Purna, definitely stick with your 24-70 to start, it’s a good lens for learning the trade. As far as setup, just make sure you’re shooting in RAW and if it’s a hot night, enabling long exposure NR can help remove extra heat noise.

  70. hammer January 21, 2015 / 12:48 pm

    I have a canon 5dmarkiii and a canonon 35mm 1.4 how does this stack up to the 6d and the Rokinon 35mm???

    • Ian Norman February 5, 2015 / 4:50 pm

      It’s very comparable actually. The Rokinon performs a little better in the corners (no coma/astigmatism) but both are nice bright lenses for shooting the stars.

  71. hammer January 21, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    I have a canon 5d markiii and a canon 35mm 1.4 that I have been using for landscape photography how does this set up stand up in Astrophotography??

  72. Tom January 6, 2015 / 8:13 pm


    I’m about to take your advice and pull the trigger on the Rokinon 12mm f/2 lens for my mirrorless EOSM but have one question – I’m using the current 22mm f/2 pancake lens with my EOSM, how much wider is this 12mm Rokinon lens? I love landscapes and long nighttime exposures and want a noticeable difference if I’m going to spend a few hundred, and I don’t understand figuring out how much ‘bigger/wider’ my pictures will be with this, as it’s ‘only’ 10mm less than what I’m currently using. I know that’s probably a big difference, but I’m trying to visualize and understand or at least verify.

    Thanks in advance for any guidance!

    • RobS January 6, 2015 / 9:22 pm

      My suggestion is to download the free planetarium program Stellarium, it has a plug in that shows the field of view through various telescopes eyepieces and camera combinations. If you put in the 22mm and the 12mm lenses as though they were telescopes and then your camera’s sensor specs then it will show you the fields of view of each for comparison.

    • Ian Norman January 6, 2015 / 11:26 pm

      The 12mm Rokinon is significantly wider than the 22mm. The 12mm has a diagonal field of view of about 99 degrees (That’s considered “super-wide”) while the 22mm has a diagonal field of view of 62 Degrees (that’s considered just “wide”). Here’s a quick guide for angle of view (B&H). You will want to look under the APS-C 1.6x (Canon) column.

  73. Jake December 12, 2014 / 12:08 pm

    Hi Ian,
    Firstly – great article, thanks for posting. I have a Nikon D5000 as well as a Sony a5000. Which camera would be better for astrophotography? Which lens should I be getting for it?
    Thanks much!

    • Ian Norman December 21, 2014 / 11:15 pm

      The a5000 is likely better but just because of it more modern sensor. As far as lenses for APS-C cameras, I like the Rokinon 10mm/2.8 for DSLRs or 12mm/2.0 for mirrorless cameras.

  74. Jered November 19, 2014 / 8:36 pm

    Thank you all the info! It was much needed. I have a canon rebel Ti5. I have lenses to use during the day time. I was looking at getting an inexpensive lens for astrophotography. Any suggestions to pair with my camera?

    • Ian Norman November 20, 2014 / 1:31 am

      The first thing that comes to mind is the Rokinon 14mm/2.8 it’s cheap, wide and relatively fast.

  75. Ivan November 19, 2014 / 7:46 am

    which wide-angle lenses are better for my Canon eos 500d:
    Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC or Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II ?

    Thanks for your reply

    • Ian Norman November 20, 2014 / 1:27 am

      Both are good lenses. the 14mm/2.8 is a little faster (f/2.8) so I would recommend that first. The Tamron, however, has a larger field of view so it might be nice for large sweeping landscapes.

    • Ivan November 20, 2014 / 2:16 am

      Ok, thank you!

      But on the Samyang I can`t put any filters, so I don`t know about this.

  76. Dave November 17, 2014 / 12:22 pm

    Hiya love the site, which lens would be best for the Sony a6000? And how did you find this camera


  77. Deep Panjwani November 4, 2014 / 4:16 pm

    Hi, I have a Canon 60D with 18-200 mm f/3.5 standard zoom lens. Now I am confused between going for wide field of view or fast lens.

    I am looking at 16 mm f/2.0, now my question is how much wider it will be compare to my 18 – 200 mm lens? Of course f 2.0 is way better than f 3.5 for sure but 18 mm and 16 mm is not much that different.

    Somehow I feel I should buy 24 mm f1.4, specially because f 1.4 give you classy pics as far as depth of field is concerned. But will this lens capture wider field of view than what I already have? Its angular coverage is 84 degrees but with my Canon 60D it will be only 57 degrees 🙁

    help me out please!

    • Ian Norman November 4, 2014 / 5:01 pm

      16mm will be noticeably wider than the 18mm. the diagonal field of view difference is approximately 74 degrees on the 18mm vs 84 degrees on the 16mm.

      The 24mm will be narrower than your 18-200mm at 18mm but identical in field of view if you set your 18-200mm to 24mm of course. Just as you say, it will only be 57 degrees.

      I you’re just starting out I recommend the widest field of view possible so the 16mm/2.0 or even something shorter like the 10mm/2.8 or 14mm/2.8 will make the whole experience much better.

  78. Simon Pannell November 3, 2014 / 5:57 pm

    Hi Ian, I’m new to astrophotography but would like to give it a go. I own a Canon 700D and I have a Sigma 10-20 f3.5 zoom for daytime landscape shots. Is this lens any good for astrophotography?

    • Ian Norman November 3, 2014 / 6:09 pm

      The Sigma should be a good lens to start with for sure! The ultra wide field of view will allow you to use nice long shutter speeds (30 seconds should be a good start). Be sure to shoot at f/3.5 to gather the most light possible. Definitely get used to using that lens for night photography before considering an upgrade, it should serve the purpose well as you are just getting started.

  79. Rik Ryall October 31, 2014 / 2:50 am

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for this and your related articles, both of which I found to be well written, informative and enjoyable. I have a 7D, my first DSLR, and want to get into astrophotography. Your articles may have saved me a lot of money

    • Ian Norman November 3, 2014 / 6:06 pm

      Thanks Rik!

  80. N October 24, 2014 / 10:04 am

    Hi Ian, I would be happy to purchase the Rokinon 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens For Canon here in Canada, but BH is American and the shipping is a lot. When I search for this lens here, I only get the SAMYANG 14MM F2.8 MF AE LENS (CANON EOS) this the same lens now? Much appreciated and great article!

    • Ian Norman October 25, 2014 / 3:29 am

      yes, Samyang and Rokinon are the same.

  81. JohnnyG October 20, 2014 / 3:00 pm

    Hi Ian… Firstly, thank you for such a spectacular plethora or great information!

    I have a Canon 70D (APS-C). Currently using the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM.
    I was able to get a decent shot of the Milky Way, but would like to get a great shot!

    My goal was to get an UWA lens that I could use for both daytime landscape and astrophotography. As I live in Ohio, it would probably be used for 80% daytime landscape, and 20% astro.

    I was going to get the Tokina 11-16, until I saw how bad the CA score was on DxOMark. I then ran across the new Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. Everything about it had me ecstatic, until I realized how horribly it scored for astrophotography (due to it’s narrow aperture).

    My question then is: Can I find one lens that serves both purposes well, for under $900, or would I be much better off getting the Canon 10-18mm for daytime landscape, and then the Rokinon for astro?

    If I get the Rokinon strictly for astro, on an APS-C, would you recommend the 16mm/2.0 or the 10mm/2.8?

    Thank you so much, in advance!

    • JohnnyG November 6, 2014 / 9:42 am

      Hello all,

      I was bummed not to get a reply from Ian, but I still had to make a decision, as I was headed on a trip, so I ended-up purchasing both the Canon 10-18mm/f4.5-5.6 and the Rokinon 16mm/f2.0. I was planning to report back for those of you that were curious. However, after taking hundreds of shots, my memory card from this trip was stolen. Sadly, they were primarily nature, fall foliage landscape, and shots of natural anomalies which I can’t just go reproduce. Even a bigger shame is that I have my name / number on the card, with an offer for a $100 reward if returned, but they’re still gone. I was hoping to find if my lens choice was the right one, not to mention the time spent behind the camera to capture memories of the trip.

    • Ian Norman November 6, 2014 / 2:44 pm

      Hey Johnny G, sorry I didn’t respond sooner. Sometimes I get buried a bit in comments. I think your lens set up decision is a good one. I’m curious about the Canon 10-18. I think it’s a killer deal for such a wide angle lens. Sad to hear about your memory card. I had two cards from my Burning Man trip go missing before I had downloaded everything so I know how you feel. Just a bummer.

      Your set up is not too far off from my current set up desires. I’m sporting the 24mm/1.4 on the a7S as the dedicated astro set and I’m looking at getting the Sony 10-18 for the a6000 as the landscape set. All told, those are equivalent to your kit so I would say you’re at the very least on the same track as I am. 🙂

  82. tetra84 October 2, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    Hey Ian, do you know of any good fast 50mm lenses with low to no coma?

  83. Himanshu Rastogi September 26, 2014 / 3:34 am

    Dear Ian,

    Would you have any information to share on the Canon 16-35 f2.8 LII lens and how does it compare with your personal favourite, Samyang 24mm f1.4.

    Thank you.

    • Ian Norman September 26, 2014 / 12:35 pm

      It is an OK lens for astrophotography. It has a little bit of sagittal astigmatism/coma at f/2.8 though so that’s why I recommend the Rokinon lenses instead. Both the Rokinon 24mm/1.4 and the 14mm/2.8 would be a better choice. Just keep in mind that they are both manual focus only while the Canon has autofocus.

  84. Anne Rodkin September 21, 2014 / 10:38 am

    Hi Ian, will be heading to Arizona next month and was wondering what you think of the Canon 6D paired with the Canon 14mm f/2.8L II lens. I am considering renting that combo to use for both landscape work and night sky/milky way images with the culmination being shooting the night sky from the View hotel in Monument Valley near the end of October.

    • RobS September 21, 2014 / 6:22 pm

      Beautiful lens for daytime landscapes, rubbish lens for night work. Here is a 100% crop fro. the corner of the Canon. here is the same from the corner of the Samyang 14mm f2.8 the samyang at about 25% of the price of the Canon beats it by a wide margin on performance for astrophotography. Hell you could probably by the Samyang for less than it will cost you to rent the Canon for a few weeks. The images are from a more detailed review and comparison of the two lenses well worth reading which can be found here
      i guess it comes,down to how much daytime vs night time work are you going to do, and if you can cope with full manual operation of aperture and focus. if you dont mind manual and are going to be doing any significant amount of night work I’d strongly reccommend just buying the Samyang.

    • Ian Norman September 22, 2014 / 5:20 pm

      I have to agree with RobS here. The Canon variants of almost all the lenses listed here are surprisingly disappointing for night photography. It seems like Canon just doesn’t prioritise correcting coma and astigmatism aberration because its a problem that only seems to make itself apparent in rare situations (like astrophotography). If you’re renting for landscapses and astrophotography specifically, the Canon 6D and Rokinon/Samyang would be a better rental.

    • Anne Rodkin September 22, 2014 / 5:46 pm

      Thanks to both of you. I will definitely give some thought to the Samyang/Rokinon if the budget permits.

  85. Mary September 7, 2014 / 7:12 pm

    Aloha Ian…I shoot with a Canon 6D and am interested in a lens to support night photography with the glow of active volcanoes! I live just outside the Hawaii Volcano National Park and the active crater of Halemaumau. Also the summit of Mauna Kea is just an hour or 2 away, great sky shots are possible with the right glass. Any suggestions?

    Aloha, Mary

    • Ian Norman September 7, 2014 / 8:14 pm


      On the 6D my go to lenses are the 14mm/2.8 and the 24mm/1.4. The 14mm is the best for super wide angle shots where you have very prominent foreground features close to the camera that you want to capture as well.

      The 24mm is the low-light champion because of it’s f/1.4 aperture so if you want the best results in super dark conditions, the 24mm may be the better choice but keep in mind that it’s not quite as wide as the 14mm/2.8.


    • Mary September 7, 2014 / 8:20 pm

      Mahalo, will make a selection and purchase through amazon

    • Dennis McCormac September 16, 2014 / 10:54 pm

      Great information and very detailed, especially the spreadsheet on lens ratings. I am just beginning to image the night sky with a Canon 7D and a 28-135 mm kit lens. The 7D is modified by Spencer’s Camera visible and H alpha filter. Of course I am looking at a Rokinon 12 mm 2.0. Just wondering if you have advice for exposure settings or lenses. Thanks Dennis from Tahoe

    • Ian Norman September 16, 2014 / 10:58 pm

      Dennis, unfortunately the Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 won’t be able to mount to the Canon 7D, it’s only able to fit to the EOS M and M2 mirrorless cameras. You’ll be limited to the DSLR lenses from Rokinon like the 10mm/2.8, 14mm/2.8 and 16mm/2.0.

      As far as exposure, check out the exposure calculator for a decent starting exposure. It should get you 90% there and then you can make small adjustments to your liking. I’m in the Tahoe area currently. If you want to meet up sometime soon, shoot me an email: [email protected]

  86. Duncan September 3, 2014 / 11:38 am

    Hi Ian – great round up, but I am still torn between a few possible choices for a lens for shooting the night sky!
    I have a 650d that I am very happy with, and currently two lenses:
    – Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
    – Sigma18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
    They are both good in there way, but I am looking for something a little more ‘specific’ in it’s uses to get the best results at night, and I have read a lot of good things about the Rokinon prime lenses. As I have an APS-C sensor, I am naturally drawn to the two lens scored specifically there (Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 & 10mm f/2.8), but are these so much better suited to the cropped camera as to rule out the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8? Ideally the lens I end up buying would be used for daytime landscape shots too, so any further advice you could give would be greatly appreciated!

    • Ian Norman September 7, 2014 / 8:10 pm

      Duncan, having an APS-C sensor does not rule out the 14mm/2.8. Even on the smaller sensor, it still offers a superwide field of view and makes for a great astrophoto lens. I think it’s a particularly good lens if you think you’ll eventually want to switch to a full-frame body too. For the price it’s hard to beat.

      The 16mm and 10mm stand on their own and would each provide something “specific” too: the 10mm/2.8 has a tremendous angle of view which really makes for an amazing landscape lens. If you want something that feels really “special” the ultra wide angle 10mm/2.8 might offer something unique because it’s so wide.

      The 16mm/2.0 is almost two stops faster than your Sigma 18-250 and is just a little bit wider so it will be a really great low-light lens in any situation. If you want the “best” night lens, the 16mm/2.0 would probably be my first choice for APS-C cameras.

      Lastly, the 14mm/2.8 is probably best if you’re on a really tight budget as it tends to be the cheapest in between the 10mm and 16mm in field of view.

    • Duncan October 24, 2014 / 1:45 am


      I followed your advice and went with the Rokinon 16mm/2.0 lens. I am so pleased with it and just wanted to thank you for the advice and guides you put up here – really fantastic. I’ve got some nice shots from the get-go with the setup, and things can only get better!

      Thanks again,


  87. RobS August 30, 2014 / 2:07 am

    Help needed, finally settled on the 24mm Samyang 1.4 to take the next step with Astro work, it arrived yesterday and I could barely contain myself until night fall, had a couple of hours before being called in to work, shots looked ok on review screen and fairly certain my focusing was ok using live view at 10x, reviewing the shots today I am concerned at the level of what I think is coma. I don’t know if Its something I have done or whether I have a dud version of the lens as I was certainly under the impression this lens had nearly no visible coma and certainly not on an APS-C sensor.
    Your opinion is greatly appreciated.

    • RobS September 1, 2014 / 8:00 pm

      OP or any other able to comment on whether this is an unreasonable amount of coma for this lens at 1.4? It seems to be quite asymmetrical which makes me more suspicious. I need to begin the process within 14 days if delivery to secure a refund/exchange/store credit so there a clock ticking.

    • Ian Norman September 1, 2014 / 9:31 pm

      Robs, looks like a bad copy of the lens. I encountered a very similar problem on a recent Rokinon 24mm that I bought for my Sony a7S. My exchanged copy was much better. I recommend immediately exchanging it for a replacement if you can.

    • RobS September 1, 2014 / 10:14 pm

      Thank you for the reply, I am excited about the light gathering power, I got some Milky Way shots with more detail and light than I was getting with 10 shot stacked images previously. The slight loss of FOV from my current 18mm 3.5 zoom lens is making me consider getting a 16 or 14 vs biting the bullet and getting the 6D. Either way I have the wide aperture bug and getting one with pinpoint stars will just make a good thing great.

    • RobS September 8, 2014 / 11:04 pm

      Right my 24mm 1.4 is on the way back for replacement. I ended up deciding to upgrade to the 6D, fortunately my 6D arrived quickly and I had one weekend between the 6D arriving and the 24mm return being approved. Even with the coma I’m very excited about the potential of the combination. Almost full moon smack bang in the middle of the milky ways central bulge so no chance for Milky Way photography. Did get one star trail shot I was pretty happy with for a first effort with completely new gear. Hoping my replacement lens is here by the time I finish my run of night shifts in the middle of next week just in time for days off.

  88. Bellringer August 27, 2014 / 4:04 am

    I enjoyed reading your descriptive write up about Astrophotography and i thank you for it. I found your site because i am so desperately trying to decide which wide angle lens to buy, I cannot decide between the canon 24mm 1.4 and the canon 2.8 IS. I am interested in Astrophotography so this site was going to be my deciding factor, but now you claim the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC to be the better choice. Is this honestly the best choice over the canon 1.4? I understand having less coma aberration would be important for the perfect image of stars, are you getting paid more to sell Rokinon or do you genuinely think its better then the canon? thanks again for your excellent rendition.

    • RobD August 27, 2014 / 4:20 am

      It’s not a subtle difference, the canon simply does jot correct for a coma and as a result even with perfect tracking or very short exposures the stars over much of the frame will be ugly little smears. Unlike with other lens adivce comparing Canon L glass to alternatives this is not the typical cost doesn’t justify the expense, this is the Canon lenses are not fit for purpose, the Rokinon/samyang/bowyer lenses are markedly better for astrophotography.

    • Ian Norman September 1, 2014 / 10:05 pm

      Bellringer, the Rokinon Lenses are definitely better than Canon’s offerings for astrophotography, RobD’s response is spot on.

      Any affiliate sales from a Canon lens would actually give a larger commission to the site than a Rokinon lenses as the Canon lenses are typically more expensive. (Lonely Speck receives a 4% commission on camera lenses from Amazon affiliated sales for example.) If I were looking to just make more money, pushing more expensive gear would be a way to do it but the more expensive canon lenses are actually just not as good for astro.

    • Bellringer September 4, 2014 / 1:53 am

      Thank you for your replies, I will indeed buy a lens so you receive commission, I believe your advice deserves it.Sorry to ask again but i will anyway, so the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC is in your opinion the best lens for Astrophotography? Can you also please offer advice on Wide angle lenses, which is better between the canon 24mm 1.4 and the canon 2.8 IS?. I will buy one lens especially for Astrophotography if i have to, but i also want the best Auto focus wide angle and have narrowed it down two those two. When shooting Astrophotography do you really shoot at the widest aperture, e.g. 1.4? I never would have thought to shoot that low/open until visiting this website.


    • Ian Norman September 8, 2014 / 4:53 pm

      Bellringer, The Rokinon 24mm/1.4 is still my favorite lens for astrophotography. I almost always shoot with it wide open at f/1.4 but may stop down to f/2.0 if I need a little extra depth of field. I would not consider either of the Canon 24mm lenses for astrophotography as they do not properly correct for coma and astigmatism. As far which Canon is better for walkaround wide angle shots during the day, I would probably opt for the smaller lighter one.

  89. danny August 24, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    Hi Ian,
    Great site, thanks for the info ! however i now have a dilemma ! i want to buy a lens exclusively for shooting the milky way and night skies, it will always be for still images and never star trails. I shoot with a Canon EOS 5D mk3 full frame camera and a 17-40 F4 L lens which just doesn’t collect enough light but i do love the wide angle of 17mm. I have borrowed my search down to two lens now, the Rokinon 14mm F2.8 and the Rokinon 24mm F1.4, both have appealing factors, i love the 14mm wide angle but I’m worried that the F2.8 app will leave me wishing id gone for the 1.4 but at the same time the 24mm FOV just feels like it could be too small for this type of shot. The price difference is no issue as both are easily affordable but if it was your money then which would you go for to shoot the milky way ? is the wide angle worth the trade if aperture ? or is it better to collect more light and have a smaller FOV ? Thanks in advance,

    • Ian Norman August 24, 2014 / 4:26 pm

      The extra stop of light from the 14mm/2.8 will still be noticeably better than the 17-40mm/4L. I have never felt that the 14mm was too slow. If it’s a good copy, it will perform spectacularly at f/2.8.

      The field of view of the 24mm, while wide is definitely not as spectacular looking as the 14mm. That said, the extra two stops of light at f/1.4 will make some very clean photos with the 24mm and as a result, it’s my personal favorite for getting the cleanest Milky Way shots.

      If I was in your shoes, I would start with the 24mm/1.4. It will deliver the most substantial difference in your shots, just because it can hit f/1.4.

    • danny August 25, 2014 / 6:10 am

      Thanks Ian, I will take your advice and go for the 24mm.

  90. Mike August 22, 2014 / 7:01 pm

    I have a Canon 60D and was planning on using a Canon EF-S 10-22 mm F/3.5-4.5 USM Lens. Do you think that will be sufficient with the F/3.5 or is the shutter speed going to be too high (result in start trails).

    • Ian Norman August 22, 2014 / 10:38 pm

      Mike, the 10-22mm should be a good starting lens for sure. Yes, it’s not the fastest lens out there but I think that it should be just fine. Also, at 30 seconds or so, star trails will be pretty short on a 10mm lens. My recommendation is to definitely try it out before shopping for something new.

  91. Zacharias Kontarakis August 17, 2014 / 1:58 pm


    I have a 60D. Looking at your – frankly very good – analysis, it seems the best lens for me is the 16/2.0
    So, considering the fact that I already have an EF-S 17-55 f/2.8, how much would the 16/2.0 improve my ability to do star photography? I am mostly concerned of the wide-ness of my lens with my current set up. Of course the f/2 will be welcomed, but I was wondering if there is something else out there, or is this really the limit of having a crop factor body? 🙁


    • Ian Norman August 22, 2014 / 10:33 pm

      The 16mm/2.0 will give you a one stop advantage over the 17-55mm/2.8 of course which should allow you to use a lower ISO (maybe from ISO 6400 down to ISO 3200) so noise levels should be better at f/2.0 than f/2.8.

      The one less mm in length will probably not make a tangible difference in how wide the field of view is. If you want something wider, a 10mm f/2.8 would probably by my first choice.

    • Ian Norman August 22, 2014 / 10:34 pm

      Also, don’t just discount your 17-55mm/2.8 it should be a pretty good lens to start with first!

  92. Falkor August 17, 2014 / 1:01 am

    Have you considered the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM AutoFocus Wide Angle Zoom Lens when this was published?
    I’m interested in this lens and due to being limited on how many lenses I can afford to buy (one). I would like to be able to use a lens for (at least) three things;
    – cars, car shows and on-track use (slower shutter for blurred background as they roll by).
    – close up, parts, and food close-ups
    – and the astro-photography that i really enjoy, but only once or twice a, this is why its last on my list.

    however, i have been using a 18-200 sigma F3.5-5.6 (both version, and recently sold the updated version to keep the original) and my attempts (imo) came out fairly great.. @ 18 F3.5 iso-6400 / 30 seconds work, but just not wide enough
    so, my question stands: “is the sigma 8-16mm completely out of your list because its not right for ‘astro’? Or was it not tested, and should be considered a possible good choice”>?

    btw, thank you for this write-up. I’ve read it multiple times, and have spent days reviewing what i want vs. what i can afford and this has helped me narrow down the list.

    • Ian Norman August 17, 2014 / 1:29 am

      The Sigma 8-16 can work. However, it’s a little bit slow at f/4.5 which is why it’s not on this list. This means that you’ll either be underexposing (results in more noise) or you’ll need to increase your shutter speed to more than 30 seconds (with an intervalometer or remote+bulb) which can cause the stars to start to trail. I think that if you’re looking for something that’s great at astrophotography and is also ultra-wide, the 10mm/2.8 would be a better choice.

      That said, the Sigma is an excellent lens with a great focal range and it also has autofocus. I absolutely love the look of 8mm for landscapes. It’s super dramatic and probably one of my favorite fields of view. If you’re really set on it and you think it will be the better lens for the rest of your photography, grab an intervalometer to go along with it so you can make some 45-60 second exposures in Bulb mode with it for astrophotography, just keep in mind that you’ll deal with a bit more noise and may see some star trails if you’re using those longer shutter speeds.

      I hope that helps.

    • Falkor August 17, 2014 / 1:10 pm

      yes, helps greatly.
      I run Magic Lantern on my 50d, so i always have the intervalometer.
      -star trails are a concern, but with the chart, the wider=more time allowed prior to trails. I just wonder on your experience.

      —even though i only run the night sky a few times a year, its my favorite by far, and I think i already maxed out my 18-200’s ability, and with the other Rokinon costs, they do appear much more my price range (b/c i can afford the lens, and more gear (or just gas and beer).
      —brings up another question is after my binge review reading found one (neg) post (and many follow ups agreeing) that the Rokinons are not sealed properly, and that after a few months, dust hinders them useless.
      1. is this possibly a case with only one model, or do you see this trend on the brand(s) too?
      2. if so, there a way to weather seal them ?
      — is disassembly a viable option ? to put some sticky tape on the inner barrel to keep dust on the side.. as when I’m track-side, we get over-run by tiresmoke, kicked up dust, exhaust, etc.. and completely off topic, 3. do you disassemble your lens to clean them (that would be ideal, if its just a matter of tools, and not calibration). Or are lenses calibrated and not to be taken apart? (b/c i’ve never seen this option mentioned)

      thank you.
      Falkor lohikäärme

      p.s. do snakes, scorpions, bats, and other creatures ever bother you ?

    • Ian Norman August 22, 2014 / 11:01 pm

      Falkor, I personally have had no issues with dust getting into any of my Roki lenses. That said, I have had a couple bad copies in the past that needed to be exchanged. (but I’ve also experienced bad copies with Canon and Sigma lenses in the past too).

      As far as adding weather sealing, I’ve been pondering the same questions lately as I prepare my camera gear for the Burning Man festival. It is always very dusty there so I’ve done the following to prepare: a cheap UV filter for protection, taped at the thread with gaffer’s tape and more tape between the lens and the camera body. I’ve had a few dust spots show up in nearly every lens I own but it never affects the image quality. It would need to be a very large amount of dust to actually affect anything.

      I never disassemble any of my serious photo gear for Lonely Speck and I would not recommend it as an option. If I have a problem, I usually just contact the manufacturer and send stuff in for repair. Mostly it’s out of a lack of experience with lens internals: there’s a lot that’s going on in a lens and proper adjustment would probably require some sort of optical bench to make sure everything’s properly shimmed, etc. I also don’t have any sort of cleanroom like environment to perform any such work.

      As far as critters, I’ve certainly run into some big spiders, scorpions but I’m not really bothered by it, I just tread lightly and keep the light on while I’m moving around in the dark. Bats are pretty harmless and I have only seen snakes in the day time personally. The most often seen critter out in California is usually a mouse or kangaroo rat, both of which are a welcome companion to share the night with.
      A good pair of hiking boots and some long pants do the trick at keeping the tarantulas from creeping me out.

    • Falkor August 27, 2014 / 8:44 pm

      I bought the tokina 11-16 from (your link to the) B&H site and used it last weekend.
      am concerned that i cannot focus past infinity.

      My (new) question is “how do i know if my copy is a good one”?
      ”what are the trade signs of a bad copy?”

      I can focus beyond infinity (ever so slightly) on my other lens, but NOT this one. It gets to a good image, but i cannot go any farther to assure myself that it’s as crisp as it can be b/c it won’t spin any more.
      and I would like to ask your opinion on this model, afaik, all lens should go a tad past infinity..right ?
      and if so, should i return it or keep it ?

      hoping I’m not imposing, and if so, i apologize.
      here is a sample i got last weekend.

      the limitations may be my 50d, or the lens, but I’m still too much of an amatuer to know if my new lens is a keeper, or really, what else to look for to know if it’s good or bad.

      this is my first brand new lens (or anything ) ever.

      I do shoot RAW, but then take screenshots of them to make a fast jpg for this quesiton.

      btw, thank you for all this page has offered.

    • Ian Norman September 1, 2014 / 9:46 pm

      Falkor, most modern autofocus lenses should be able to focus just slightly past infinity. My recommendation would be to do a check by shooting some daytime test shots, particularly of something with sharp definition like text. If you’re satisfied that it’s achieving proper infinity focus, just keep it.

  93. Vicha August 11, 2014 / 7:17 pm

    Hi Ian ,
    I have 6d, I want to do timelaps of Milky Way . What is the best lens Samyung/rokinon 24mm f1.4 or
    sigma 35mm f1.4 Art
    What is your choice plz

    • Ian Norman August 11, 2014 / 10:35 pm

      I think that 24mm is a more useful focal length for timelapse because it is wider than 35mm.

  94. Yasir August 9, 2014 / 3:47 pm

    Hey. Ian, your piece here is quite well written. I was always convinced to buy a rokinon 14mm, but now I’m thinking of getting the Tokinon (11-16) as a friend has it too. My primary use would be for night photography, though I would love to use it for architecture/landscapes too. And the fact that it is wider then the 14mm is a BONUS! But then I’m again thinking, would my milky way photos be effected in anyway from this lens? I mean it ain’t mentioned HERE as your favourite lens? why? It seems to have almost everything!! Like its wide, it has autofocus, its well built – i have heard about the Chromatic Aberration and stuff but what else is wrong in this lens. Why isn’t it the best (or near best)?

    What do you say then, shall I go for it?

    • Ian Norman August 9, 2014 / 7:26 pm

      The 11-16mm/2.8 is an excellent lens and you will definitely enjoy it. For a cropped sensor camera, it’s one of the best choices. If it suits your fancy, go for it.

  95. braga August 5, 2014 / 1:38 am

    Hi Ian, what recommended samyang lense for D3300? i want to use it for general use(astro, low light, landscape, grup of people day/night). Currently i have 3 option, samyang (35mm 1.4, 16mm 2, 14mm 2.8). My current lense are Afs18-55 f3.5-5.6vr2 and Afs85 f1.8G lense.

    • Ian Norman August 5, 2014 / 12:16 pm

      I would probably recommend the 16mm/2.0 first. It has recently come down in price and is not much more expensive than the 14mm/2.8.

  96. Shane Allen July 22, 2014 / 2:55 am

    Hi Ian, like a previous poster I have Canon 70D. I have a Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS on order but am now worried given your recommendation of Rokinon 10mm/2.8 for this camera. Will the Samyang do the job?

    • Ian Norman August 9, 2014 / 7:29 pm

      The 16m//2.0 and 10mm/2.8 are both great but they’ll give you different results in terms of field of view. The 10mm/2.8 is much wider than the 16mm/2.0. Both are good for astrophotography.

  97. Robert Smithers July 7, 2014 / 10:06 am

    The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM seems to me to be a great lens for astro photography for APS-C users. The reviews suggest it is tack sharp even at its extremes of focal length and aperture. Seems a little more versatile for day work too with AF etc any thoughts on the sigma for Milky Way and or Aurora work?

    • Ian Norman August 9, 2014 / 7:31 pm

      I have also heard great things about the Sigma 18-35mm/1.8 and I would definitely recommend it for anyone on an APS-C camera.

  98. Charlie D. July 6, 2014 / 2:35 pm

    Hey, I have been attempting to photograph the night sky whenever I go camping out in Sequoia or Joshua Tree and I’ve had a lot of trouble capturing the Milky Way. I have a Canon t3i and the kit 55-250mm lens but recently got the 50mm 1.8 and have been mostly using the 50mm for my photos. I am planning on getting the Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 that you suggested, mostly because it’s the cheapest and I’m thirteen and don’t have a ton of money and I have to buy my own photography stuff and I really need to get something wider than what I currently have. That being said, I have read a bunch of your stuff and last night I was in Joshua Tree and tested out the tips you gave and I still am having a ton of trouble getting any quality photos. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you have. Thanks

    • Ian Norman July 6, 2014 / 7:45 pm

      Charlie, you’ll find the biggest benefit from using a wider angle lens. The 50mm is rather narrow to start out with unless you know exactly where the Milky Way will be. Even then, it’s only really good for panorama stitches. I highly suggest the 16mm/2.0 it will be much wider angle than the 55-200mm and 50mm that you have which should make it way easier to shoot the Milky Way.

      Do you have the 18-55mm kit lens as well? Set to 18mm and f/3.5 it will be a good lens to start with while you save for a better lens.

  99. pcguru2000 June 30, 2014 / 4:18 pm

    I think I messed up…the 10mm/f2.8 sigma is 36 seconds because it’s aps-c and I messed up on estimating the time on the other lenses. To use your spreadsheet instead, here’s the breakdown…
    sigma 10mm f2.8 =1184 score X1 for a300 =1184

    rokinon 14mm f2.8=1032 score x4 for a7 = 4128 <<<this lens combined with an a7 that is 4 times more sensitive?

    sigma 10mm f2.8=1184 score x4 for a7 with adapter=4736

    rokinon 24mm f1.4=2869 score x4 for a7= 11476.

    sigma 10mm f2.8 with a300 = 1184 score
    Rokinon 14mm f2.8 with a7 – cost $400 lens + $1300 a7 = $1700 — 4128 score
    sigma 10mm f2.8 with a type to e type adapter – cost $250 + 1300 a7 =$1550 — 4736 score
    rokinon 24mm f1.4 with a7 – cost $550 lens + $1300 a7 = $1850 — 11476 score

    The other big question will be how much vignetting will there be for both rokinon's on the sony a7. I know there's going to be huge vignetting on the sigma 10mm with the a7.

    • Ian Norman June 30, 2014 / 6:42 pm

      The 14mm/2.8 and 24mm/1.4 Rokinon lenses are both full-frame lenses so they will work on the a7 without cropped vignetting.

  100. pcguru2000 June 30, 2014 / 3:11 pm

    I currently own a sony aps-c a300 combined with a sigma 10mm f2.8. I’m interested in getting either a sony a77 or a sony a7. If I get the sony a7, I would need to sell off my, a300, sigma 10mm lens, and a bunch of accessories since . According to snapsort, the a 7 has 2,248 ISO vs 548 ISO for the a300. That’s a 4:1 ration on light sensitivity and for miky way, I need all the light I can get.

    Based on your article, I was looking at the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC, or the 24mm/1.4: Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC. Based on calculations the 10mm sony could be open for 50 seconds, the 14mm rokinon 36 seconds, and the 24mm 21 seconds.

    Can you correct me if I’m wrong but I’m going to attempt to calculate the equivalent light gathering of the 2 lenses you recommend. So to make things simple, I’ll compare both my sigma f2.8 and the rokinon f2.8. Since the ration is the same, the difference is the amount of light gathered for the max amount of time that the aperture can be opened. My lens is 50 seconds and were going to use 1X as the amount of light gathered equivalent in seconds, so that would make it 50 seconds. For the rokinon the time is 36 seconds times 4x on the a7 (since it’s 4 times more sensitive than the a300), so the answer is 143 seconds. So comparing apples to apples, the rokinon 24mm, mounted on the a7, would absorb the same amount of light in a 36 second span, as my 10mm in 143 seconds? As far as the 24mm lens, if it was a f2.8, it would be 80 seconds, but because it’s a f1.4, it would be 3 stops faster, which is 8 times the light gathering, which would be 640 seconds equivalent to my 10mm lens?

  101. Cam June 26, 2014 / 8:20 pm

    Your site. and spreadsheet have been addicting to read into. I have been looking for a wide prime for a while, and don’t usually consider off-brands, but you have convinced me. My problem is… I can’t decide between the 24mm1.4 or the 14mm2.8. I already have a 24-70 2.8. But that 1.4 is so nice and tempting, I’m just not sure if its wide enough ya know? I will be in Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier park next month and need something new for this trip. Do you have any insight?

    • Ian Norman June 26, 2014 / 9:19 pm


      Try the 14mm/2.8 first. It’s the cheapest of the Rokinon lenses and has a nice wide field of view, even on the cropped sensors. If you have a FF camera, the field of view is definitely something special. It will feel a little more unique compared to your 24-70/2.8. Plus, the 24-70/2.8 at 24mm/2.8 should be OK for astrophotography, especially to start. Use your 24-70 too to get used to the field of view. If you find you like it and want to be able to shoot with that focal length at lower ISOs, grab the 24mm/1.4.

      My only insight for your trip would be to know where to look for the Milky Way. Take a look at the night sky with Stellarium ( and make sure you know what direction you will need to face to see it. Then you’ll be able to more easily visualize your shooting locations before it gets dark. Also, it’s best to be at the location before sunset and wait it out until it gets dark, rather than trying to stumble around in the dark to find a shooting location. Wyoming/Montana/Idaho should be spectacular and the Milky Way should be visible throughout the whole night in July/August so you’ll really have something special.

      All the best!


  102. Elia Francoia June 18, 2014 / 4:21 pm

    What lens can you advise me between
    samyang 10 or 14 or 16 or 8fisheye ?

    • Ian Norman June 26, 2014 / 9:11 pm

      Elia, that depends on what you’re looking for! If you want the widest field of view, the 8mm fisheye will be the best, but it has tons of distortion. If you want the widest rectilinear lens, the 10mm/2.8 would be best. If you want the best price, the 14mm/2.8 would be best. And if you want the best performer in terms of light gathering (for the cleanest photos) get the 16mm/2.0.

  103. Elia Francoia June 18, 2014 / 4:15 pm

    I have a sony a58 what advice cost-performance ratio between samyang 8 or 14 or 10or 16 ?

  104. Jamyz May 20, 2014 / 2:45 am

    I own a Canon EOS 70D (Yep an APS-C). By what I read on your site, I should necessarily possess a 16mm/2.0: Rokinon, 10mm/2.8: Rokinon gold
    11mm/2.8: Tokina. Is there an equivalent in 14mm full frame trade? What lens can you advise me?

    • Ian Norman May 20, 2014 / 3:41 am

      The Sigma 8-16mm/4.5-5.6 is the widest rectilinear lens for APS-C cameras. However, f/4.5 is a bit slow for astrophotography. The Rokinon 10mm/2.8 is the widest f/2.8 rectilinear lens and would be my recommendation.

  105. Jamyz May 20, 2014 / 2:36 am

    Thank you….

  106. Jamyz May 19, 2014 / 2:50 pm

    Sorry for the previous question.. Is for the 16mm not for 12mm(mirrorless). It’ a real 16mm for APS-C or a 16mm x 1.6 = 25.6 mm with converting?

    • Ian Norman May 19, 2014 / 3:55 pm

      Lenses are always marked with their true focal lengths. Therefore, if you are using an APS-C sensor, you will need to apply the conversion yourself. A 16mm has a field of view similar to a 25.6mm on APS-C cameras. A 12mm has a field of view similar to a 19.2mm on APS-C cameras. Hope that helps.

  107. akismetuser210203841amyz May 19, 2014 / 2:39 pm

    Hi.. The Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS is a real 12mm for APS-C or 12mm x 1.6 = 19.2mm APS-C ? Thank you for reply

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