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11-13-2013, 10:33 AM   #1
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Wide angle extremely sharp lens for night, nightsky and mostly star photography

Hello. Yes, there were many questions already about the same or similar topic I made, but I really wanted to ask exactly what I'm looking, so I could easily choose.
I'm going to buy a new wide angle lens and mostly looking for the best one extremely sharp which fits for night, nightsky and mostly star photography. And yes, avoiding the star trails. Those can be done easily.
I've read several topics about it. Most people recommend pentax DA 15mm F4 Ltd, or pentax DA 14mm F2.8, or pentax DA 21mm F3.2 Ltd, and some other non-pentax. For sharpness, I guess the prime lenses are better. Maybe there're quite good zoom lenses? I look for prime lenses myself more, though.
Oh and, what are the true differences between those new and older lenses?
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited and SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
HD Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited and SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
HD ir not?

To sum up, I'm looking for:
  • which fits best for night, nightsky and mostly star photography
  • extremely sharp
  • prime or zoom (?)
  • wide angle
I have a Pentax K-30.
Thanks in advance.


11-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
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new sigma 18-35 f1.8 is sharp
11-13-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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I'm also interested in this question. Since I have the DA 21 does anyone have any star night shots they would like to share?
11-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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Sigma 8-16



11-13-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
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You might want to consider the Samyang (or equivalent) 14mm manual focus lens. It's very affordable and I find it to be a sharp lens. For your stated photography purposes, I think the Samyang would be a great choice.
11-13-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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Don't use a zoom - they tend to have coma aberrations.
11-13-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
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I tried the da 15/4 ltd for night sky : while the f/4 factor is not really a stopper for star trails, I'd strongly recommend a f/2.8 lens for milky way and other non-trail night sky pictures.
11-13-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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A Zeiss 18mm 3.5 ZK? But discontinued.

11-13-2013, 03:43 PM   #9
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I see. So using a prime lens is better anyway. Sharper, less coma aberrations.
And what about these new pentax HD lenses?
What are the true differences, for example, between HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited and SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited or HD Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited and SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited ?
11-13-2013, 03:45 PM   #10
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Sorry for double post, what more to add, I don't really want to pay more than 800$.
02-03-2014, 07:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
Sigma 8-16
What type of settings do you shoot at to capture stars like that?
02-03-2014, 02:05 PM   #12
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I've read some articles recommending the Rokinon/Bower/Samyang 24mm f/1.4 or 14mm f/2.8 as being great for this sort of thing.
02-03-2014, 02:10 PM   #13
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When people talk about zoom lenses and being "Sharper, less coma aberrations", they aren't talking about the Sigma 8-16. It will beat the pants off most primes, on every count. Sharper and less aberrations.
02-03-2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Khaj1t Quote
Hello. Yes, there were many questions already about the same or similar topic I made, but I really wanted to ask exactly what I'm looking, so I could easily choose.
I'm going to buy a new wide angle lens and mostly looking for the best one extremely sharp which fits for night, nightsky and mostly star photography. And yes, avoiding the star trails. Those can be done easily.
I've read several topics about it. Most people recommend pentax DA 15mm F4 Ltd, or pentax DA 14mm F2.8, or pentax DA 21mm F3.2 Ltd, and some other non-pentax. For sharpness, I guess the prime lenses are better. Maybe there're quite good zoom lenses? I look for prime lenses myself more, though.
Oh and, what are the true differences between those new and older lenses?
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited and SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
HD Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited and SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
HD ir not?

To sum up, I'm looking for:
  • which fits best for night, nightsky and mostly star photography
  • extremely sharp
  • prime or zoom (?)
  • wide angle
I have a Pentax K-30.
Thanks in advance.
I think you might like the 16mm F2 from Samyang/Rokinon/Pro-Optic/Bower brands. It's relatively inexpensive, has very good reviews, it is two stops brighter than the 15mm ltd and has equally excellent focal length for landscapes. It should make for very nice star-covered skies at night. For example like here: http://500px.com/photo/8836319

The 14mm F2.8 from either Pentax or Samyang/rokinon etc. would be great too.
02-03-2014, 06:30 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
I think you might like the 16mm F2 from Samyang/Rokinon/Pro-Optic/Bower brands. It's relatively inexpensive, has very good reviews, it is two stops brighter than the 15mm ltd and has equally excellent focal length for landscapes. It should make for very nice star-covered skies at night. For example like here: 500px / Crooked Teeth by Braden Bentson

The 14mm F2.8 from either Pentax or Samyang/rokinon etc. would be great too.

Yes, thats a great example. Chromatic accuracy is very imoprtant and I believe that some cheaper lenses are not suitable for astrophotography for this very reason
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