Astrophotography allows us to peer into the celestial wonders of the universe, capturing stunning images of distant stars, planets, and galaxies. When it comes to photographing these elusive celestial objects, telephoto lenses play a crucial role in bringing them closer and revealing their intricate details.
In this article, we will explore some of the best telephoto lenses available for astrophotography, explaining their features in simple terms.
1. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is a versatile telephoto zoom lens highly regarded by astrophotographers. With its focal length range of 70-200mm, it allows you to adjust your composition and magnification. The large maximum aperture of f/2.8 enables exceptional light gathering, allowing for shorter exposure times and reducing the risk of star trails.
This lens offers excellent image quality, advanced image stabilization, and robust construction, making it a top choice for capturing detailed views of the moon, planets, and distant galaxies.
2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR is a powerful telephoto zoom lens that provides an extensive focal length range of 200-500mm. With its reach, it allows you to capture distant celestial objects with great detail.
The lens features Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which helps reduce camera shake and enables sharper handheld shots, even during longer exposures. The f/5.6 maximum aperture, though not as wide as some other lenses, still provides sufficient light-gathering capability to capture stunning images of the night sky.
3. Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary
The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens offers an impressive telephoto range of 150-600mm, making it an excellent choice for astrophotographers who wish to capture distant celestial objects in exceptional detail.
This lens provides optical stabilization, which helps compensate for camera shake and aids in producing sharper images. While the narrower maximum aperture of f/5-6.3 limits its low-light performance compared to wider aperture lenses, it still allows for remarkable astrophotography results, particularly when capturing the moon, planets, and star clusters.
4. Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
The Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens offers an extensive telephoto range of 150-600mm and is highly regarded for its image quality and versatility. This lens features Vibration Compensation (VC) technology, providing superior image stabilization and reducing camera shake, enabling sharper images in challenging shooting conditions.
The lens has a robust build and offers weather sealing, making it suitable for outdoor astrophotography. With its long focal length and respectable maximum aperture, it is well-suited for capturing detailed images of celestial objects.
5. Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
The Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens is designed for Sony E-mount cameras and offers an impressive telephoto zoom range of 100-400mm. This lens provides excellent image quality, advanced autofocus capabilities, and optical stabilization for steady handheld shooting.
Despite its variable maximum aperture, it still offers good light-gathering capabilities, allowing for remarkable astrophotography results. With its versatility and high-performance features, it is a popular choice for astrophotographers using Sony mirrorless cameras.
Telephoto lenses are indispensable tools for capturing detailed views of celestial objects in astrophotography. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, and Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS are among the best options available.
Each lens offers a unique combination of focal length range, image stabilization, and optical quality, enabling astrophotographers to capture stunning details of distant stars, planets, and galaxies.
Choose a lens that suits your specific needs and embark on a celestial journey to unveil the wonders of the universe.