Fujifilm X-T1 Astrophotography Review


We went on a quest to capture the dark skies of the American Southwest with the Fujifilm X-T1. Here’s a quick review of the results.


Traveling on the road in a small two-door hatchback, we made the important decision to keep gear to a minimum and so I opted to bring only the Fujifilm X-T1 and a handful of small prime lenses. The X-T1 was also my primary camera on a recent trip to several countries in Europe. You can read my first impressions review of the camera on my previously written Fujifilm X-T1 Review. Some of you have been wondering about my use of the camera for night photography, what I think of the X-T1 as an astrophotography camera, and how Fujifilm’s system handles low-light shooting. I’d like to collect my thoughts about this camera after having shot the night sky with it for so many months and give you an idea of what it’s like to shoot night photography on the Fujifilm’s X-Series of cameras and available lenses.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 II

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, Fujifilm X-T1, Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 II

The Camera


I won’t go into too much detail about the ergonomics of the X-T1 or the general user experience. You can read about that stuff in my original review. What I would like to comment on is its use for shooting astrophotography.


I personally love the control layout of the X-T1. It is one of the best designed user experiences when it comes to shooting photos, and that makes it rather pleasant to use for astrophotography. I like all the physical dials: it’s not hard to find any particular control in the dark — everything is right where you expect it to be, and there’s never any question as to which dial adjusts which parameter. The tilt screen in particular is very appealing for using it low to the ground, which I find myself doing often when shooting at night.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Trona Pinnacles National Monument, California, Fujifilm X-T1, Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 II

The LCD screen and live-view feed at night is alright. The camera is not sensitive enough to be able to use live-view to see much detail in the pitch black, but it’s adequate for finding some bright stars for the purpose of focusing. I did find that the amount of low-light detail that’s visible on the screen is also dependent on the brightness setting of the LCD. The brighter the setting, the easier it is to see faint details.

One of the better experiences with the Fujifilm system is that all of their lenses seem to be excellently calibrated to infinity. Just set the lens to the infinity mark (either on the lens barrel or via the electronic distance scale on the LCD) and the stars will be in perfect focus every time. Overall the X-T1 is an easy enough camera to use at night, but if you want the easiest camera for framing up a shot in the pitch black, the Sony a7S is definitely a better choice.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Arches National Park, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 23mm f/1.4, Panorama

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 14mm f/2.8 R

The Lens System

It doesn’t really matter how good a camera is at low-light shooting if it doesn’t have any good lenses available for it. The Fujifilm X-Series has only been around for a couple years now but it has a well-rounded selection of lenses and there are already a variety of third party lenses available for the Fujifilm X mount. For my summer road trip, I elected to use the 14mm/2.8, 23mm/1.4, 35mm/1.4 and a Rokinon/Samyang 8mm/2.8 Fisheye.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 14mm f/2.8 R

Fujifilm has a generally excellent, pro-oriented lens lineup for the X-T1. Most of their lenses are very good for most shooting in my experience, but not all of them are perfect for astrophotography. I’ve used a number of lenses that are available for the Fujifilm X Series and I’ve gathered my thoughts about using them for astrophotography on the X-T1. Here are some of the lenses available for the system, from 8mm to 56mm, that have aperture f/numbers of f/2.8 or lower:

  • Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 II
  • Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS CS
    • Spectacular lens for astrophotography. Manual focus. Almost no coma problems. Probably my favorite lens for landscape astrophotography on this list. Full review here.
  • Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8
    • Good optical performance but very difficult to manual focus. The focus-by-wire design changes focus point after entering/exiting playback mode on the camera.
  • Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R
    • Very good performance with an accurate distance and DOF scale.
  • Rokinon 14mm f/2.8
    • Larger DSLR design so it’s a bit too heavy on such a small camera. The Fujifilm version above is better and more compact albeit more expensive.
  • Rokinon 16mm f/2.0
    • Larger DSLR design so it’s also too heavy on the X-T1 but provides excellent performance at night.
  • Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR
    • Very practical focal range and good moderately fast optics. Extra points for weather sealing but certainly not necessary for night photography.
  • Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
    • Just launched in April of 2015. Likely an excellent choice but I haven’t used one personally.
  • Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS 
    • Very practical focal range and just fast enough at 18mm for astrophotography.
  • Fujifilm XF 18mm f/2 R
    • Nice and fast with a moderately wide FOV. A little bit of coma at f/2 in the extreme corners but better by f/2.8. Generally very good.
  • Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R
    • A generally excellent lens but it suffers from astigmatism and coma at f/1.4. I recommend stopping down to f/2.0 for the best results.
  • Rokinon 24mm f/1.4
    • Not as sharp as the Fujifilm 23mm/1.4 but with less coma. I recommend stopping down to f/2.0 for the best results.
  • Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8
    • A little bit too narrow and slow for easy results but otherwise great for daytime shooting.
  • Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8
    • Bad coma at f/1.8 and also has the same manual focus shift issue as the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8. I would probably avoid this lens for star shooting.
  • Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 R
    • Bad coma at f/1.4. I would also generally avoid this lens for star shooting. I made some examples in this article with this lens but coma/astigmatism is apparent.
  • Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R
    • On the narrow end of the spectrum in terms of FOV so it’s best for stitching panoramas. Excellent coma performance by f/1.8
Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Galactic Center, Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 35mm f/1.4 R

Until I get to review the new XF 16mm f/1.4 that was released in April of 2015, I still firmly think that the affordable Rokinon 12mm f/2 (Full Review) is the best lens for general landscape photography on an APS-C mirrorless camera like the Fujifilm X-T1. I’m a little bit disappointed in the current offerings in the “normal range” of 27mm to 35mm in terms of their night performance. Perhaps the recently announced Mitakon 35mm f/0.95 would be a viable option when stopped down a couple stops to f/2.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 14mm f/2.8 R

Low Light Performance

Let me start by saying that the X-T1 isn’t a Sony a7S. It’s not the best low-light camera out there. You’ll definitely be able to achieve cleaner images from a larger sensor camera like the Sony a7S, the Nikon D750Canon EOS 6D or Sony a7. That said, the X-T1 is still rather good, particularly for a smaller APS-C sensor.

Fujifilm X-Series cameras use a unique sensor color filter array that does a great job at reducing color noise from images, so the RAW files from the X-T1 tend to look rather clean straight out of the camera, even at high ISO. Furthermore, the sensor is ISO-less so it’s reasonable to push the RAW files a great deal in post processing to bring out faint detail in underexposed parts of the image. That said, pushing the files of the X-T1 brings out a certain level of salt-and-pepper grain in heavily shadowed areas. It’s a rather organic looking grain, but it’s still present when shooting in dark conditions.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 14mm f/2.8 R

Shooting with a fast lens will help reduce noise a lot. (This suggestion applies to any camera.) The low-light performance is usually affected a lot more by whether or not you are using a fast lens than by the sensor of the camera. Luckily there are many fast lenses available for the X-T1 as we reviewed above.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 23mm f/1.4 R

The X-T1 does a particularly good job at picking up faint color detail, and that seemed to produce some pleasing images with plenty of star color, pink nebulosity, green airglow and orange light pollution. Many of these photos were made on the only moderately fast Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 or Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 rather than the much faster f/2 or f/1.4 lenses. But at f/2.8 the X-T1 was still able to capture a lot of detail in the shadows of the images. I’ll say that overall I’m very pleased by the performance of the camera. Noise levels are among the best for an APS-C camera and the quality of the grain in the images stays pleasing even when pushed in post processing.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

The Fins at Devil’s Garden, Arches National Park, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 II

Final Thoughts

The Fujifilm X-T1 is not the best camera for astrophotography, but its performance is very good for an APS-C sensor camera. The real charm of the X-T1 is in its excellent user experience in terms of its control design and styling. I think that it can compete very closely with larger full-frame DSLRs out there, especially when paired with a fast lens.  Luckily there are many compact and fast lens options available for the Fujifilm X Series.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Galleta Meadows Estate Desert Sculptures, California, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 14mm f/2.8 R

I think that beyond just considering its low-light performance, the Fujifilm X-T1 still remains my favorite interchangeable lens camera. There are better options out there for night photography (like the a7S of course) but the experience of shooting on the X-T1 in general is significantly more pleasant and the results at night can still be very good. If you’re considering the X-T1 as your next camera and want to use it for astrophotography, it will certainly promise to deliver great photos.

If you’re looking for the best of the best performance at night, the X-T1 honestly isn’t quite there. A full frame camera is certainly going to provide an advantage and as of this writing, the Sony a7S is still the best low-light performer I know of. I hope my photos have given you an idea of what’s possible on the X-T1. It’s a joy of a camera to use and I’m certainly happy to have had it as my tool on my cross country road trip.

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

North American Nebula, Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 35mm f/1.4 R

Fujifilm X-T1 Milky Way photography

Antares and Rho Ophiuchi, Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah, Fujifilm X-T1, XF 35mm f/1.4 R




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64 Responses

  1. victor del palacio August 28, 2017 / 11:15 am

    Just bought an xt10 and are going to a dark skies site,which settings and color simulattion you used with the xt1,mainly H TONE S TONE and sharpness ,or all to 0? thanks in advance.

  2. Ben August 14, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    This is THE best review for Fujifilm Astro (Milky way) photography online. I wish you had it updated with ALL the lenses. Specifically the 23mm/f2, 35mm/f2, and the 50mm/f2, as I’m trying to get a weather resistant setup and don’t mind stitching together panoramas (otherwise I’d get the 16mm). Please keep this updated and ask the community if you need anything, I for one would be happy to lend you lenses you don’t have for reviews.

  3. Mason Williams May 15, 2017 / 10:04 am

    I really enjoyed your review and it helped me decide to purchase the Fujifilm XT-2. I was curious if you had any plans to review the XT-2 in particular for astrophotography? I’ve had great success shooting the milky way with it, but would love your take. Also I am anxious for your review of the Fuji GFX 50s!

    • Joseph August 5, 2017 / 2:21 pm

      I second Mason’s encouragement for a Fuji GFX review for astrophotography.
      23mm f4? Or a non-native faster lens? Have you tried it? Would be interested in your take.

  4. Michael Rosello December 21, 2016 / 11:36 pm

    Hi. I currently have a A6000 but thinking of replacing it with an XT10 because of lens selection.

    Is the XT10 better or on par with the A600 in terms of astrophotography?

  5. Elena December 12, 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Hi Ian,
    thank you a lot for a very interesting article and wonderful pictures.
    I tried to photograph sky with stars with my Fuji X-T1 and Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 and noticed that my pictures have a lot of artifacts in the areas where light areas of the sky pass in dark colors. It happens also when I photograph city at night. In some reviews of other photographers I saw the same problems, also when other lenses were used (for example 35mm 1.4). Your astro-photos look perfect. So I am wondering what am i doing wrong and would be very pleased to receive a piece of your advice.

    Kind regards

  6. Thiago Pereira December 6, 2016 / 5:53 am

    Great review and great photos!!
    I sold all my Nikon equip and bought a X-T2 a 23mm and a 56mm. Now I am looking for a lens for astrophotography. Wich one do you recomend? Fujinon 16 f1.4 or Rokinon 12 f2?

  7. Rai October 17, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    Great review and excellent photos!
    anyway, would you mind to share how to setup kit lens xc16-50mm with fuji xt10 for astrophotography? I just have it and still learning to use it. Thanks!

  8. Monica Pileggi August 6, 2016 / 7:49 am

    Hi, I just finished reading through your great article. I’ve never done astrophotography and may want to dabble in it. I’m torn between the Samyang 12mm f/2.0 and the Fuji 14mm f/2.8. Both seem to be great lenses (with you stating the Samyang being outstanding and Very good performance with an accurate distance and DOF scale.).

    Astrophotography wouldn’t be my main subject when buying a wide angle lens. I’d like to use it for landscape, and streets (such as the old streets in Europe where I need something wide).

    Would the 14mm be a better choice?

    Thank you in advance for your comments.

  9. Bala June 27, 2016 / 9:38 pm

    Fantastic articles, Ian. I have a XE-1 with the previous generation sensor and thinking about getting an XE-2 that has the same sensor as the XT-1. You mention ISO recommendations for Milky Way shooting for the A7S (another similar ISO-less camera) as 3200-52000. Any similar ISO recommendations for the XT-1?
    (I’m assuming similar guidelines will apply for the XE-2)

  10. Arda Ates May 30, 2016 / 2:26 am

    Hey Ian,
    First of all thank you for all your beutiful articles! I am very new at astrophotography. I can’t decide which of my lenses takes light better. That’s why I’m confusing and distracting while shooting, like “should i go with 16-50, or should i use 23mm and image stitch etc”. My question is about which lens should i use. I own a Xf 23mm and a basic kit lens Xc 16-50 f3,5. I’d be glad if I heard your opinion, because it’s so valuable for me. Kind regards.

    • Ian Norman May 30, 2016 / 3:25 am

      Use the 23, stop it to f/2-f/2.8 and stitch a few panos.

  11. Terry Smith April 29, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Hi Ian,

    Hope you’re still monitoring this because I have a question about this lens that only a night photog will have experience with.

    I’m currently using an Oly E-M5, MZ 12mm f2 & Kowa 8.5mm f2,8. These are all really good but sometimes present PP challenges caused by the interaction of lens vignetting, flare & camera noise. I’m considering a switch to Fuji because of the Samyang 12mm f2 & the larger sensor. So want to know your experience w/ this rig on this set of issues.

    Vignetting corrections are supposed to be easy but in my experience, they are pretty complex & vary. Increased noise is a given. 1st the vignetting is complex & single sliders do not produce even recovery. 2nd, there is often a color shift that becomes exaggerated following tone adjustments for the whole image. Worse, the color shift on the edges is affected by flare & exposure so it is variable. These issues at the frame edges become especially problematic when stitching a pano.

    The Samyang has 1.65 EV of vignetting @ f2 – more than the MZ 12mm but less than the Kowa 8.5mm. Does the Samyang show a color shift at the edges with the vignetting? Does lens flare in the presence of light pollution contaminate colors in the vignette areas?

    Thanks for your great reporting on a photographic area I love, its a huge help to me!!

  12. Eric April 5, 2016 / 9:07 am

    Ian, thanks for this lengthy review. I’d been researching your techniques to try and squeeze the most out of my Canon G16 but finally reached the limits of that camera’s small sensor. This article really helped me settle on getting the X-T1 as a high quality lightweight camera to take backpacking and get some good star photos, especially with a trip to the French Alps this summer (during a new moon!) I’m really looking forward to what this camera can do! I may also get the Rokinon 12mm, but first am going to see how much I can get out of the Fuji 18-55 kit lens. Cheers!

  13. Sean March 30, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    Hey Ian! Thanks a lot for the review, very helpful to decide. Have you tried the X-E2S by chance? It could be a good option i guess? It’s also in the same range of price the A6300 but i haven’t tried them yet. Thanks!

  14. Steve Solomon February 28, 2016 / 10:17 am

    Hello Ian. Thank you for this VERY nice review of the Fuji XT-1! I recently switched from the DSLR world (Nikon, Pentax) to mirrorless, and the Fujifilm X-System in particular, primarily because of their superb lenses! As a former large format (4×5, 8×10) studio photographer, I know of the quality of Fujinon large format lenses, so am quite pleased that they have maintained that high-quality standard in the X-System. Thank you for your detailed review!

  15. Ron January 20, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    I would be interested in you doing a review on the new Fuji XT-1 infrared camera. I am
    considering buying one for landscape astrophotography. Along using it on my Skywatcher 120mmED, prime focus photography. The camera has a expanded broad spectrum range. So it would be interesting to compare that to your XT-1 photo’s. Thanks
    so much for the excellence review on the XT-1.

  16. Tom Barrows January 17, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Great review! I too use the XT-1 with 12mm Rokinon, 10-24, and 56mm lenses and now prefer it over my Canon 6D in many situations. I particularly love the built in intervalometer for time lapse. While battery life isn’t as good as the 6D, I have never had a problem and if I need to I can use the battery grip for extra life. On the extreme end of the lens selection, I recently used the 55-200 3.5-4.8 to shoot the comet US12 Catalina! Using a Vixen Polarie star tracker, I set the camera and lens to ISO 1600, 190mm, f4.8. With the Polarie aligned, I was able to get exposures of up to two minutes with the stars remaining as sharp pin points. I was even able to use the LCD view and auto focus on the star Arcturus! The resulting images clearly showed the fuzzy green ball and tail. A bit of noise but that is in a very quick edit. It won’t be a factor when I can apply the proper settings in post. I could not have used my 6D with 70-200 2.8 on the mount as it’s too heavy. Loving the Fuji!!!

  17. Ray November 6, 2015 / 8:27 am

    Ian, great article, but I have a question. Some of your photos in this article (Scorpius, Cygnus, Galactic Centre) say in the EXIF that these were the settings used: 35mm f1.6, 8 seconds, ISO 6400

    Now even allowing for the f1.6 really being f1.4 [or was it?], these images just look too deep and detailed to be only 8 seconds! Did you do some stacking?

    • Ian Norman November 6, 2015 / 3:22 pm

      Hey Ray, the two last shots made on the 35mm of the North American Nebula and the Rho Ophiuchi region were stacks. I think they were shot at f/1.6, just stopped down a bit. I was experimenting at the time with the XF 35mm/1.4 to see what f/number setting were best for stars. It’s actually much better stopped to at least f/2.

  18. Jade October 6, 2015 / 9:32 pm

    I know your website says you’re currently reviewing the Sony a7ii, but for someone who’s on a time crunch,meats your top pick, Fuji x-t1, or Sony a7ii?

    Your opinion for general photography as well. You said you loved travelling with Fuji x-t1, do you say the same for Sony a7ii for general use?

    Thanks! Jade

    • Ian Norman October 8, 2015 / 3:31 pm

      For pure stills work, and from a system, ergonomics and image quality standpoint, I prefer the X-T1. If video is any priority at all, the a7II is better.

  19. Quentin September 28, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    Thank you very much for all your reviews! High quality content! I have got the X-T1 since a few months but with the new firmware it is now almost impossible to use the focus peaking for manual focus… the noise in viewfinder is horrible! Have you seen the same problem with your?

    • Ian Norman October 8, 2015 / 3:29 pm

      Quentin, I don’t use focus peaking for astrophotography usually so I never noticed any problems.

    • Quentin October 22, 2015 / 4:55 am

      Hi Ian,
      I think I made a mistake, the problem is not the focus peaking (with different colors) but the “zoom” when you manual focus. When you put the 10x zoom in viewfinder, it is almost impossible to do a correct focus due to a lot of noise (now with the new firmware).

  20. Deva September 15, 2015 / 1:59 pm

    I was wondering if you had the chance to shoot with the fujifilm 10-24?
    what are your thoughts on that lens if you have. if I get the Xt1 I was defiantly thinking the 12mm F2.0 but was very curious about the above lens.


    • Ian Norman October 8, 2015 / 3:27 pm

      The 10-24 will work fine but will probably need some noise reduction techniques to get the best results just because it is only f/4. My first recommendation is always the 12mm/2

  21. Uwe July 25, 2015 / 1:36 am

    You wrote about the Zeiss Touit 12mm that “The focus-by-wire design changes focus point after entering/exiting playback mode on the camera.”

    • Uwe July 25, 2015 / 1:37 am

      Sorry, message was not yet finished.
      The question is, is that also the case, when i switch to manual focus after focussing to infinity?

    • Ian Norman July 25, 2015 / 10:30 am

      No, the focus doesn’t change when switching between AF and manual but it does change upon reviewing the picture which can make manual focusing in the dark a game of trust. The electronic scale on the camera is pretty accurate but there is still a ‘range’ that indicates infinity while critical focus is only at a fine point of this range.

  22. Kevin July 5, 2015 / 1:46 am

    OK, I love this site.. thank you for the work you do. I just put one of the Nikon compatible lenses you mentioned on my wish list with B&H (through your link.. I hope it helps) So, here is my question. I have a fujifilm x100 with the fixed 24 mm lens. Can you give me any quick tips on focusing manually? I turn and turn the focus ring, but I have yet to get the stars in focus (or close)

    • Ian Norman July 6, 2015 / 1:46 pm

      Kevin, have you tried using the on-screen focus distance scale? It should be possible to just set it to infinity and get the stars in focus.

  23. Michael Alan June 25, 2015 / 9:39 am

    Thanks for the review. I’m upgrading from my Canon T4i and am thinking of going mirrorless. Although NightScapes will be only a small percenatage of my shots, I still want something that can do it well. I also think that milky ways shots will be a good indicator of the dynamic range of the camera. Sunset shots are more my thing and I just need to be able to see more details in the shadow areas.

    Thanks again. Now on to your other reviews (hint, the Sony A7).


  24. Mark June 24, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    Hi Ian first of all the images are stunning kudos on astro photography and your help for me to learn it 😀 also i want to buy the 8mm fisheye lens and was wondering if you can post a photo that you shot with the bad copy where the problem can be seen so i can know what to look out for when i buy it , i would greatly appreciate it .

    • Ian Norman June 26, 2015 / 10:33 am

      Hi Mark, the photo above of “The Fins” was made with a bad copy of the 8mm lens. If you look carefully at the left side of the photo, the stars are out of focus while they are in focus on the right. Decentering is especially prevalent on super wide angle lenses so be sure to do a check.

  25. nicely done May 17, 2015 / 12:27 am

    Hey Ian!
    nice review! Like you, I am waiting for the 16mm. What I have read sounds pretty impressive: edge sharp at f/1.4 little to no coma.

    One question regarding the A7s: there have been sone reports, that those lossy 11bit+7 files make some problems, especially when you manipulate the files heavily (posterization would be one). Did you have any problems with this?

    Another question comparing the isoless X-T1 (or other isoless Cameras like the D800) to the A7s: it should be much more important to get the ISO setting right on the A7s (especially around ISO 3200). What’s your experience working with “wrong” (underexposed files) on the A7s – are they any better?

    (The technical background is, that the A7s is said to use DR-Pix/dual gain. Up to ISO 3200 it is no better [even worse] than most cameras, but then the magic happens and it becomes the undisputed king of low light [both in SNR as well as dynamic range]. But since most astro photos are take no higher than ISO 6400 [at least in my personal experience], I wonder, how big the advantage of the A7s really is)

    Again: very nice articles and tests on your side.
    keep up the good work!

    • Tim L May 23, 2015 / 8:44 am

      Interesting question.

    • Ian Norman May 23, 2015 / 11:19 am

      The a7S RAW compression really does not present any problems for me with these types of photos. Where it seems to be the biggest issue is around high contrast blown out highlights which is pretty rare to do if you’re exposing right.

      In my experience, the a7S really shines above ISO 1600. At ISO 2000, the camera clearly bumps the post sensor gain and that seems to produce excellently clean shadow details. Shooting below 2000 uses reduced gain and can noisy up the shadows.

      It’s true that there is little or no benefit to using ISOs higher than 3200 for DR but in practice any loss in DR is usually indiscernable until about ISO 51200.

      Any modern camera with a nice fast lens will make some very clean photos but the a7S still bests pretty much anything above ISO 800. At lower ISOs it’s nothing special but is still an excellent camera. Where the a7S rocks is in its realtime live view feed which makes it possible to see everything in dark sky conditions. That’s honesltly why ISO 409600 is an advantage: not in the actual exposure but in the exposure simulation gain for framing and focusing. Makes it super easy for astro.

    • Delores January 10, 2017 / 5:19 am

      Pleasing you should think of sotnehimg like that

    • coburg kfz-versicherung prozente übertragen February 13, 2017 / 9:44 am

      God finds you, instead of you finding God.” When the student is ready, the master appears.”Chase the butterfly and it always alludes you. Stop chasing it and wait patiently and it lands on your shoulder — sometimes — God isn’t a butterfly, but the principle is the same.

  26. Pierre May 11, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Thanks a lot Ian,
    I have bought the XT1 with several lenses including Rokinon 12mm on the back of your reviews and I am loving it!
    Cannot wait to take pictures of the milky way.
    Your blog is great!

    • Ian Norman May 15, 2015 / 3:10 pm

      Thanks Pierre!

  27. Mark May 11, 2015 / 9:40 am

    Great review, thanks! How does it compare to the a6000? I love my a6000/Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 combo. That lens is really quite spectacular.

    • Ian Norman May 15, 2015 / 3:10 pm

      The a6000 is certainly better at resolving more detail due to the higher megapixel sensor but the X-T1 has slightly less noise straight out of the camera. All told, they’re actually quite comparable. I’ve got an a6000 review upcoming.

    • Mark May 19, 2015 / 6:47 pm

      Thanks! Looking forward to it!

  28. Tommy May 8, 2015 / 12:39 pm

    Nice review of the camera and lenses. The picturesof the Milkyway aee indeed impressive!

    I too have Fujifilm XT1 with a plethora of lenses and was wondering how the camera performs attached to a telescope. I have several refractors and have used the XT1 attached to an 81mm scope for nature pics… works fafulously.

    Has anyone used the XT1 too take planetary/deep sky photos?

    • Ian Norman May 9, 2015 / 12:23 am

      I personally have not used it attached to a scope, but I’m sure it’s a decent tool for the job!

  29. Steve May 8, 2015 / 2:37 am

    Great to see you’ve taken the X-T1 out for another night trip. I got myself a Samyung 12 mm f.2 off the back of your review a few months back – and loving it, so thank you. I do find that when the aperture is fully open images are slightly blurred – knocking it back a couple of stops does help heaps. I’m in NZ so we’re really lucky with clear skies. I’m off to Tekapo in the South Island next week so hopefully will get some clear skies. If you do a review of the new XF16 mm f 1.4, I’m sure it will be appreciated by many. Thanks for the presets btw – very good. Thanks

    • Ian Norman May 9, 2015 / 12:22 am

      Some wonderful shots there Steve! Hey, do me a favor and find me on facebook.


  30. Suman May 8, 2015 / 2:08 am

    Hi Ian! Great review of the X-T1. I love reading your posts. Do you plan to review the Canon 7D II? Roger N. Clark has written a glowing review about its performance in astrophotography. Would love to hear your experience about it!!

    • Ian Norman May 9, 2015 / 12:19 am

      I would definitely like to get a hold of a 7D II. I’ll see what I can dig up.

  31. Outis May 7, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    Nice review! I’m curious– are you going to try to review the Pentax K-3 II for astrophotography, since it has a built-in GPS for star tracking?

    • Ian Norman May 8, 2015 / 1:07 am

      If I can get a hold of one I’ll certainly review it. I’ve got a big list of bodies I want to try out: K-3 II, OM-D E-M5 II, D750, NX1, NX500, X-T10, 5DSR… I probably won’t be able to review all of them but the K-3 II is high on that list since it has features specific for star tracking.

  32. Roland May 7, 2015 / 4:58 am

    Great photos and excellent review. I have an X-T1 and have also enjoyed the controls and their placement. I have used it when traveling including a recent trip to Cuba when having my Nikon D800 and lenses would have been a chore to carry. The APS-C sensor does a great job under many conditions and produced images I’ve been proud to share. I love your site and hope to do some dark sky photography using your suggestions and tips. Thanks for the site.

    • Ian Norman May 8, 2015 / 12:59 am

      Thank you Roland!

  33. Matias May 7, 2015 / 12:14 am

    Great review, great photos, although a bit disappointed you didn’t bring the proclaimed best lens, the 12 mm rokinon 😉 I’ve got an X-T1 and I’m curious to see how the astro photos with this lens looks.. any photos taken earlier?

    • Matias May 7, 2015 / 2:23 am

      Thanks.. btw I really like the colors you get with this camera here.

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