Recommended Night Photography Gear


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Recommended Lenses for Night Photography

Fast lenses are a key factor to create stunning night images, you'll notice all the recommended lenses have an aperture of f/2.8 or larger

Find out why I recommend Rokinon lenses for night photography and why coma is an important consideration when selecting a lens in this blog post Lenses for Night Photography

Note: Rokinon lenses for Nikon mounts have the option of a focus confirm chip, I do recommend getting this option. Not because of the focus comfirm, but for the ability to change the aperture in camera rather than turning the aperture ring manually. This option is not available for Canon.

Jump to APS-C Lenses

rokinon 14mm

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8

Remarkably sharp and free of coma at f/2.8. Solid construction, very precise focus ring. One of my favorite lenses and insanely affordable. This is a great lens to get your feet wet in night photography.

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Nikon

rokinon 24mm

Rokinon 24mm f/1.4

Another solid performer at a very reasonable price. Sharp and nearly free of coma at f/2. Compare this to Nikon or Canon's version which have to be stopped down to f/4 to eliminate coma. This is my go to lens in nearly any situation. You will not regret buying this lens.

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Canon
Nikon

rokinon 35mm

Rokinon 35mm f/1.4

Not as good as the 24mm, but still a good lens if you stop it down to f/2

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Canon
Nikon

sigma 35mm

Sigma 35mm f/1.4

This is the best performing 35mm out there and what I currently use to get stunning views of the core of the milky way and creating panoramas in the spring.

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nikon 14-24

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8

The best lens for night photography in the 14-20 range. It has very little coma, incredibly sharp, very little vignetting. If you want the best of the best, this is the lens for you. I would recommend the Rokinon 24mm to along with this if you want the best at 24mm.

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sigma 15mm fisheye

Tokina 16-28 f/2.8

A great alternative to the expensive 14-24. Very little coma and very sharp.

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Canon
Nikon

sigma 15mm fisheye

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II

A decent performer at night, it does have coma and vignetting but it is the best all around super wide angle for use during the day and night. It accepts filters unlike most of the other lenses

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sigma 15mm fisheye

Zeiss 15mm f/2.8

This is a stunning lens that is amazingly sharp, with a price tag to go along with it.

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Canon
Nikon

sigma 15mm fisheye

Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

Based upon my test Fisheyes for Night Photography I found the Sigma to perform exceptionally well wide open. There's a reason this is in my bag now.

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sigma 15mm fisheye

Sigma 8mm f/3.5 Circular Fisheye

Here's a funky lens that isn't very fast, but would be incredible for doing full sky star trails, or even shots of the entire sky, just be sure you have a camera capable of at least ISO 6400 or higher.

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APS-C Lenses (Cropped Sensors)

I have only tested the Tokina 11-16 in the below list, the rest are educated guesses from reading reviews and other users experiences.

tokina 11-16

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

If you have an APS-C sensor this is your go-to lens. Fast, wide, sharp and low on coma. There are two versions of this lens, both perform well, the newest version will likely outperform the old version, but I have not tested them side-by-side yet.

Available for Canon, Nikon and Sony

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tokina 11-16

Sigma 18-35 f/1.8

A new lens from Sigma that has a constant aperture of f/1.8 in a zoom lens! The reviews I have seen for this are incredible, I would highly recommend trying out this lens. This would be a great lens for doing panoramas of the milky way.

Available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma

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tokina 11-16

Sigma 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye

To go even wider (180 degree view) this is the best option, but you will have the unique fisheye distortion, which can be a very good effect.

Available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma

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tokina 11-16

Rokinon 16mm f/2.0

Another great lens from Rokinon that is very fast at this focal length and is reasonably priced.

Available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma

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tokina 11-16

Sigma 4.5mm f/2.8 Circular Fisheye

This is a spherical fisheye lens that easily captures a full 180° view in all directions, in a circular image. 

Available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma

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rokinon 14mm

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8

A good low cost option on APS-C as well. I only recommend it for the budget minded or those shooting Pentax. This is because the Tokina 11-16 is much more versatile, but is twice the price and not available for Pentax. If you're considering upgrading to full frame soon this would be a good option as well.

Available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma

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Canon
Nikon

rokinon 24mm

Rokinon 24mm f/1.4

Another lens to consider if you will be upgrading to full frame soon. This is a fairly long focal length on a cropped sensor, but is still useful for tight shots of the milky way and panoramas of the milky way in spring.

Available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma

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Canon
Nikon

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