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11-03-2009, 11:52 PM   #1
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Affordable lens for astrophotography

I'm a fairly new photographer who's going to get a K-x soon. I was wondering what wide lens/lenses would be good for astrophotography around under $200. Also, I've only used an Olympus dslr with a 40-150mm lens which belongs to my uncle, but I was wondering if the 18-55 that comes with the K-x would be good for wide shots.

11-03-2009, 11:59 PM   #2
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The Pentax DA 50-135/2.8 lens can be your Pentax version of your uncle's Olympus one. and yes the 18-55 kit lens is great for wide-angle shots.
11-04-2009, 02:24 AM   #3
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I'd like to add three things:

1. There have been 4 different versions of the 18-55. You should look them up in the lens review database.
2. You can usually get a pretty good deal in the marketplace if you wait a few days and keep your eyes peeled.
If you are going to buy new, you really might want to spend the extra few dollars for the WR lens. The k-x is not a WR body, but if you upgrade down the road... and I'd be willing to bet the WR version will hold it's value much better.
11-04-2009, 01:26 PM   #4
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What type of astrophotography do you want to do? Makes a big difference as to lens chosen.

11-04-2009, 02:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesv93 Quote
I'm a fairly new photographer who's going to get a K-x soon. I was wondering what wide lens/lenses would be good for astrophotography around under $200. Also, I've only used an Olympus dslr with a 40-150mm lens which belongs to my uncle, but I was wondering if the 18-55 that comes with the K-x would be good for wide shots.
For astrophotography I would and will always recommend fixed focal lengthes, not zooms. Zooms have to many lenses and the mechanics is prone to creep during a longer exposure. Also, for astrophotography you can buy old, fully manual lenses, which are cheap and realiable. So, I would suggest something like a 24/2.8 or a 35/2.0 (which is a very fast lens, for such a focal length) or a 50/1.4. Stopped down to f 2.8 or so, all of these will perform nicely, if you didn't buy the cheapest Holga-clones...
Also, be careful to remove any filters from the lens, as they only add unwanted reflections and glare to the image.

Ben
11-04-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildlifephotog Quote
What type of astrophotography do you want to do? Makes a big difference as to lens chosen.
Thanks everyone for their advice! I'm mostly interested in wide angle shots of stars, so any suggestions for lenses under $200 that'll give me a nice wide angle would be appreciated, can be manual or AF.
11-04-2009, 03:33 PM   #7
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A 28mm/2.8 or 50mm/1.7 would work fine. Manual is fine, af doesn't work against a black sky.
I can get the whole Orion constellation in a 50's view.
11-04-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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Here is Orion shot with a 50mm/1.4, wide open.
4 seconds at iso 400, with a DS.
The 50/1.4 is lousy at 1.4. I should have stopped down a couple.


Last edited by wildlifephotog; 09-27-2013 at 07:21 AM.
11-04-2009, 05:31 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildlifephotog Quote
Here is Orion shot with a 50mm/1.4, wide open.
4 seconds at iso 400, with a DS.
The 50/1.4 is lousy at 1.4. I should have stopped down a couple.
Awesome shot, and thank you!
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