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02-15-2018, 02:15 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Vintage wide angle glass for Astrophotography

Hey guys,

I just moved from Canon APS-C and spent a bunch of money on my K-1 and two FA lenses, but I love astrophotography! So my question is, are there any good, wide, fast vintage lenses that won't break my wallet that can be used for landscape astro out there? or should i just hold off for something like this(or maybe even a fisheye, but i like the ability to put a Hoya Red intensifier filter on).

This was actually my first successful attempt taken with a Canon T6i w/ a Rokinon 16mm f/2.. I happened to be shooting at an overnight concert along the Appalachian mountains, we got absolutely poured on during the day.. the whole field was flooded but the conditions that night just happened to be perfect until the clouds rolled back in.


02-15-2018, 02:24 PM   #2
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Fast, good, wide angle and vintage. Sure, pick any two but you cannot have all three There are some good wide angles that might work, the A 20mm f/2.8 or the FA 20mm f/2.8 come to mind. But neither are going to be inexpensive if that is why you are looking to buy 'vintage'. Both will be in the $500 plus range and will not be better for your purpose than the newer Rokinon.

Wide angle, well actually Ultra-Wide in this case were very specialty lenses back then so not common. I have the A 20mm f/2.8 in excellent condition and am glad I have it but if I didn't I suspect for astro I would be looking at a modern manual focus lens like the Rokinon.

---------- Post added 02-15-18 at 01:24 PM ----------

Nice shot by the way!!
02-15-2018, 02:45 PM - 1 Like   #3
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The Rokinons are unbeatable, IMO, in terms of value vs. performance. How wide do you want to go? I'd start out with either the 24mm F1.4, or the 20mm you linked.

Here's a list of other alternatives:
<= 35mm Full Frame Third Party Lenses |

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02-15-2018, 05:27 PM   #4

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Don't overlook the used market. ebay and this forum have some good buys once you settle on a lens. I've gotten a couple of Pentax items at considerably less than the original cost and they were in near mint condition so it's a good way to make your dollar go further.

Super wide angles are great for nebulae but individual stars are dimmer because of the absolute aperture size which determines their brightness. With more moderate WA lenses, the aperture will be greater for a given f number which brightens individual stars. It's a matter of choice and experience to know what you're after.

02-15-2018, 05:47 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The vintage lenses will lack the aspherical elements that help astrophotography, Zazism. Hard to go past a Rokinon for value, just make sure you keep sending 'em back until you get one up to spec. ;-)
02-15-2018, 08:10 PM   #6
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Toss your DFA24-70 on it and see what you get. Some zooms work just fine for astro.
02-15-2018, 08:45 PM   #7
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I like the Rokinon 14 mm f2.8. I had to adjust the lense to get it to go out to infinity, but shots are great once you get it all figured out. With the K-1, you will get some distortion in the corners that appear as radial streaks. (They loom like star trails, but star trails donít go radially outward.). However, the detail in the middle is great!
02-15-2018, 08:55 PM - 2 Likes   #8

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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Toss your DFA24-70 on it and see what you get.
Listen to the Voice of Reason Seriously, use what you already have. See where it fails to know what to buy next. Yes, that lens is "only" f2.8 but the K-1 holds up well at ISO 3200, even 6400 if you shoot DNG.

Then, if you like the 24mm view (it's the same as your 16mm APS-C Canon), consider the Samyang/Rokinon 24/1.4 lens to gain 2 stops of light gathering.

Or, if you want to try wider than 24mm, I can vouch for the Samyang/Rokinon 14/2.8 and the Pentax 15-30. The Samyang is small and inexpensive, the Pentax gives the versatility of zoom without sacrificing image quality.

You have an astrotracer in the K-1 and don't be afraid to try longer focal lengths. Here's an astrotracer sample at 100mm (with the DFA 100 macro lens, but the 70-200 should be able to get similar results):


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