Astrophotography season in the northern hemisphere is almost upon us. Pretty soon, the galactic core will be visible in the night sky. If you want to be able to capture it and create stunning astro landscapes, you need the right lens. Today, we’re looking at some stunning wide-angle zooms that will get the job done.
There are some fantastic wide-angle zooms available for most platforms today. Not only are these lenses great for astrophotography, but they’re also great for landscapes, environmental portraits, and even documentary work. If you decide to purchase one it doesn’t have to be a one-trick pony. Still, if capturing the stars is what you want to do, the lenses listed below are the ones you need to take a closer look at.
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
I had the pleasure of using the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 S for an extended period and I have to say that it is the best out of all the wide-angle zooms I have used. Nikon hit it out of the park with this lens. Darren Miles agrees. In his review he said:
“I’ve had the pleasure of utilizing two of the best ultra wides in the business; the Fujifilm 8-16mm and now the Nikon 14-24mm S. Both are truly amazing, but I’ll say it right now, the new Nikon 14-24mm S sets a new standard in wide-angle lens performance for full frame cameras. It’s that good.”
The optics in this lens are second to none. They’re simply incredible. The build quality is beyond amazing. Autofocus performance is rapid, the fact that it comes with two lens hoods so that you can use filters is great, and its weight of just 1.4lbs means it isn’t a burden to carry around. It’s simply stunning. This lens will make your astrophotography images sing.
Wide-angle zooms — Fujifilm XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR
While the Fujifilm XF8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR isn’t cheap, it is a must-have if you’re an astrophotographer. This lens is seriously stunning in every way. Its pro-grade build quality and its exceptional image quality made Darren Miles say this in his full review:
“In my experience, distortion is very well controlled even at 8mm.”
There are simply no options better than this for astrophotographers who use Fujifilm cameras. You’re going to get great weather sealing, the Fujifilm colors we know and love, and images that will be razor-sharp across the entire focal range.
Wide-angle zooms — Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art
Sigma’s 14-24mm DG HSM was a hit for DSLRs. Now, their 14-24mm DG DN for mirrorless is taking all the plaudits for good reasons. This fast wide-angle zoom is pretty affordable compared to others in this space but it doesn’t make any compromises. Bryan Esler took it for a spin and said:
“To say the lens produced beautiful results would be an understatement. The wide-angle photographs I took were crisp and showcased all of the details well.”
Bryan Esler, Managing Editor
This lens is available for both L mount and Sony E mount cameras. It’s ridiculously sharp, it produces nice colors, it’s fast to focus, and it can use drop-in gel filters. Distortion is kept to a minimum, it’s weather-sealed, and a NanoPorous Coating has been applied to the elements to prevent flares and ghosting. It’s a stunner that won’t destroy your bank account.
Wide-angle zooms — Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
Another cracking lens I’ve had the pleasure of owning and using. The Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is professional-grade across the board. The build quality is outstanding. The optics are nothing short of stunning, the focus clutch makes it easy to switch between manual and autofocus (which is a godsend for those who do Astro work), and the nice natural colors are superb. Darren Miles took this one for a spin and said:
“Stylish, lightweight, great weather sealing, silky smooth focus and zoom rings and snappy AF — but how are the optics? I think they’re sublime!”
If you use micro four-thirds cameras and you’re in the market for wide-angle zooms, well, you need to check out this option. We simply cannot recommend it enough. This is a must-have lens for micro four-thirds photographers.
Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM
I have used many wide-angle zooms in my days. None have impressed me quite as much as the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8. This lens is stunning in just about every way. The optics used in this lens are out of this world. You’ll create sharp images, that have gorgeous colors, and, more importantly, this lens controls coma very well.
On top of the great optics, you’ll find that the motors that power this lens are powerful, which leads to rapid autofocus. The lens is well made and features tons of weather sealing and the customizable control ring lets you set up the lens for how you need to use it. It’s not a cheap lens, but wow, if you want to capture astro landscapes with your RF mount Canon camera, this is the lens to get.