Miguel de Sá

[BUY GUIDE] Buy a Lens for Milky Way Photography

“You have a good camera, but what makes it great is the lens”.

Me replaing to Youtube comments…

To photograph the Milky Way isn’t different.

Very important to start let’s make sure you know all the basics of lenses, watching this POST! And you know how to photograph the Milky Way.

I’m going to exemplify 3 different types of photographers:
1st Example: Amateur, just for fun, with no intention of becoming an advanced photographer. Lens budget of 200$ dollars. Uses Canon M100 with no intention of replacing or change the camera system. Also will use the lens to make some landscape.
2nd Example: Amateur, that wants to go pro in the future, using a Nikon D5600. Lens budget of 500 dollars. Also will use the lens to make some landscape.
3rd Example: Pro Photographer, using a Canon R6. Lens budget of 1000 dollars, Also will use the lens for urban landscape and video.

In all astrophotography, we are battling to achieve as much as possible of photons or light reaching the sensor camera. So… Aperture is very important, so f/2.8 or more!

Next is the Field of view: not as important as Aperture but in general important as well. The field of view is closely related to the well-known 500 rule and NPF rule. But basically, these rules can determine that the wider is your lens more time you can use your exposure, without having star trails, or motion blur by the rotation of the Earth. And the milky way is very big, and long so a wide-angle lens it will be, the better. Let’s choose some lenses! Now, this video is just showing my thoughts, only as a reference/guide, and you have to adapt for your needs, like camera, budget, etc, okay?
With this, you have to watch some reviews, take special attention to lens fringing, vignetting, and lens distortion. Let me know what you will choose in the comments and why!

Think in long term and ask the following 4 questions:

  • What’s your budget?
  • Do I want to go Pro? Is my objective to become a professional or advanced photographer?
  • Will I change the camera system or sensor size in the future?
  • Will I use this lens for other types of photography?

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