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12 Best Lenses for Astrophotography in 2024

Last updated: January 18, 2024 - 26 min read
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With the best astrophotography lens, you’ll be able to capture the cosmos in all its glory. But what type of lens works best for astrophotography? You need a wide-angle focal length. And the lens should have a fast maximum aperture for maximum light transmission. And image stabilization is always helpful when shooting the stars.

We’ve got a wide range of incredible astrophotography lenses in this article. But the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM is our top choice. The optical quality is razor-sharp throughout the zoom range. It has a fast maximum aperture for optimized light capture. And it has built-in image stabilization. It’s the perfect lens for capturing the sky at night.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Astrophotography Lenses
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
 

What Is the Best Astrophotography Lens?

The best astrophotography lens helps you capture the stars above from your backyard. Astrophotography isn’t always easy. And you will need more than just a good camera and lens combo. But it can be one of the most rewarding types of photography.

In this article, we’ve selected lenses for astrophotography in the most broad sense of the word. This can also be called night sky or Milky Way photography. It’s the art of shooting a wide section of the night sky rather than specific objects like star clusters, galaxies, or nebulae. We’ve done this because this is the easiest place to start with astrophotography.

The list contains fantastic wide-angle lenses that can capture large swathes of the sky above. They all have wide maximum apertures because you need as much light as possible. And we’ve also included lenses with image stabilization where possible.

We have an FAQ section at the end with more information on astro lenses and astrophotography. You can skip ahead if you want to know more.

Below, we have an overview of all the best astrophotography lenses. Then we look at each lens in more detail in the following section. If you want telescopes, not lenses, then check out our article on the best budget telescopes

Our Top Choice
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
  • Bright f/2.8 aperture captures stunning night skies
  • Wide 15-35mm focal length for expansive astro shots
  • Nano USM technology ensures quiet, smooth focusing
  • Up to five stops of shake correction for clear images
Best for Canon DSLR Cameras
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
  • High-performance, ultra-wide-angle zoom for stunning shots
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture for excellent low-light performance
  • Advanced coatings reduce flare and ghosting
  • Dust- and water-resistant for reliable shooting in harsh conditions
Best for Nikon Mirrorless Cameras
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
  • Superior clarity with minimal ghosting and flare
  • Compact build with exceptional edge-to-edge sharpness
  • Smooth, silent autofocus
  • Compatible with screw-on and gel color filters
Best for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F/2.8G ED
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F/2.8G ED
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F/2.8G ED
  • Ultra-wide-angle zoom for optimum sharpness
  • Fast, accurate, and quiet autofocusing
  • Exceptional sharpness, contrast, and color
  • Professional-grade dust- and moisture-resistance
Best Sigma Art Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM (Canon EF-Mount)
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM (Canon EF-Mount)
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM (Canon EF-Mount)
  • World's first f/1.8 prime lens at 14mm
  • Large aspherical element controls distortion
  • Hypersonic motor for fast, accurate autofocus
  • Handcrafted for high-megapixel DSLR sensors
Best Sony Lens
Sony FE 14mm F/1.8 GM SEL14F18GM
Sony FE 14mm F/1.8 GM SEL14F18GM
Sony FE 14mm F/1.8 GM SEL14F18GM
  • Ultra-wide field of view for stunning astrophotography
  • Bright f/1.8 aperture for low-light performance
  • Compact, lightweight design for easy handling
  • High-contrast, high-resolution results with corner-to-corner sharpness
Best Fujifilm Lens
Fujifilm FUJINON XF 16mm F/1.4 R WR
Fujifilm FUJINON XF 16mm F/1.4 R WR
Fujifilm FUJINON XF 16mm F/1.4 R WR
  • Dramatic wide field view for stunning images
  • f/1.4 max aperture for amazing low-light performance
  • High-speed autofocus and weather-resistant structure
  • Compact size with a depth-of-field scale for spontaneous shooting
Best Olympus OM System Lens
Olympus ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
Olympus ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
Olympus ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
  • Ultra-wide-angle lens with consistent f/2.8 aperture for incredible low-light shooting
  • Splash- and dust-proof design for outdoor durability
  • Close focusing distance under 7.5cm for unique perspectives
  • Reduced weight compared to full frame equivalent
Best for Panasonic Full Frame Cameras
Panasonic LUMIX S 18mm F/1.8
Panasonic LUMIX S 18mm F/1.8
Panasonic LUMIX S 18mm F/1.8
  • Wide-angle prime for Panasonic full frame L-series cameras
  • Superfast f/1.8 maximum aperture
  • Stunning optical quality thanks to the aspherical, ED, and UED elements
  • Dust-, splash-, and freeze-proof down to -10ºC
Best for Panasonic MFT Cameras
Panasonic Lumix Leica DG 10-15mm f/1.7 ASPH
Panasonic Lumix Leica DG 10-15mm f/1.7 ASPH
Panasonic Lumix Leica DG 10-15mm f/1.7 ASPH
  • Exceptional low-light performance with f/1.7 aperture
  • Advanced lens design minimizes image shifts
  • Smooth brightness transitions for rapid scene changes
  • Instant AF/MF switching with focus clutch mechanism
Best Value Lens
Samyang XP 14mm F/2.4 for Canon EF
Samyang XP 14mm F/2.4 for Canon EF
Samyang XP 14mm F/2.4 for Canon EF
  • Unprecedented resolving power for high-definition photography
  • Advanced optical design with 18 precision elements
  • Reduces color fringing and aberrations for sharp images
  • Wide-angle prime with an aperture range of f/2.4 - f/22
Best for Pentax Cameras
HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F/2.8 ED SDM WR
HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F/2.8 ED SDM WR
HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F/2.8 ED SDM WR
  • Large f/2.8 aperture for sharp, high-resolution images
  • Supersonic Direct Drive Motor ensures quick, quiet autofocus
  • HD coated for crisp, high-contrast images under any lighting
  • Weather-resistant design with eight seals to prevent water intrusion

12 Best Astrophotography Lenses

We’ve included astrophotography lenses from all the main camera and lens manufacturers. We have mirrorless and DSLR options for Nikon and Canon. We have Sony and Fujifilm lenses. And you’ll find brilliant lenses for Olympus, Panasonic, and Pentax cameras. We’ve also included some third-party lenses for even more variety.

1. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Canon RF
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
15-35 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
Yes
Filter Size
Filter Size
82 mm
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Air Sphere Coating, aspherical and UD elements, dust- and splash-resistant, fluorine coating
Best For
Best For
Canon mirrorless cameras

If you have a Canon mirrorless camera, the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM is the best lens for astrophotography. It’s a wide-angle zoom lens with sharp optics and top-of-the-line build quality. It’s a fantastic investment if you’re serious about Milky Way photography. 

All 16 glass elements have been shaped with precision and expertise. But it’s the Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) and aspherical elements located at the mount-end of the lens that maximizes image quality. They reduce all types of distortion, including chromatic aberration. That’s why you get images with edge-to-edge sharpness at any focal length.

Picture quality is also aided by Canon’s Air Sphere Coating (ASC). It minimizes optical problems like lens flare, ghosting, and vignetting. And while these problems are more common when working in bright light, the coating still improves image quality when shooting astro. 

It’s a wide-angle zoom lens with a 15-35mm focal length. The 15mm end gives you a super-wide field of view, which is perfect for capturing large sections of the sky above. The zoom range doesn’t give you much additional reach. But it gives you more composition options.

The fast f/2.8 aperture is a big positive for astrophotography. You’ll be shooting at night, so you need to make the most of what light is available. You also have built-in image stabilization to help give you sharper images in low light. It’s a huge benefit when using bulb mode with slow shutter speeds.

The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM is a rugged lens that’s great for outdoor shooting. It’s dust- and splash-proof, which gives you peace of mind. Rain shouldn’t be a problem for astrophotography because you need clear skies. But dry locations like deserts are the best for viewing the night sky. That’s why it’s good to know dust won’t be a problem.

 

2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III IS USM

Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Brand
Brand
Canon
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Canon EF
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
16-35 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
82 mm
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
SW Coating, Air Sphere Coating, dust- and splash-resistant, UD elements
Best For
Best For
Canon DSLR cameras

The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III IS USM is similar to the previous RF lens, with beautiful optics and image stabilization. But this has Canon’s EF lens mount, making it the best astrophotography lens for Canon DSLR cameras.

The pristine image quality comes from the 16 glass elements. All are of the highest quality, as you’d expect from Canon. But of those 16, two are Ultra-low Dispersion elements. And when paired with the Air Sphere Coating, you don’t need to worry about lens distortion. The glass also has a Subwavelength Coating (SWC) that prevents reflections.

With a 16-35mm focal length range, you get beautifully wide shots and a handy zoom range. It’s ideal for night sky photography. But it’s also a versatile lens you can use for many photography genres. It’s one of the best Canon lenses for landscape photography.

With a fast f/2.8 aperture that’s constant throughout the zoom range, you can capture as much light as possible. The image stabilization, which gives you an extra four stops of compensation, also gives you a helping hand. It’ll improve your results in low light.

Durability isn’t a concern with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III IS USM. It has a dust- and splash-resistant build. And the outer elements have a fluorine coating that protects against smudges and scratches. It’s a top-quality lens and a must-have for aspiring astrophotographers using DSLRs.

 

3. Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Nikon Z
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
14-24 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
112 mm
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Nano Crystal Coating, dust- and moisture-resistant, aspherical elements
Best For
Best For
Nikon Z-series mirrorless cameras

If you’re using a Nikon Z-series camera, the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is the astro lens you need. It’s a robust, durable wide-angle lens ideal for Milky Way photography. It’s a quality lens that belongs in your astrophotography camera backpack.

At the widest point, you get a 14mm focal length. That’s close to being a fisheye lens, but you don’t get a distorted fisheye view. It gives you a beautiful 114-degree angle of view, which is wide enough to capture a huge portion of the sky above. The zoom range also allows you to play with composition for interesting night shots.

The lens is comprised of 16 elements arranged in 11 groups. These include four Extra-low Dispersion (ED) and three aspherical lenses. Combined, they produce stunning clarity by preventing aberration and distortion.

Flare, reflections, and ghosting are eradicated by the two special lens coatings. There’s a Nano Crystal Coating and a Super Integrated Coating, both improving image quality. For added durability, you also have a protective fluorine coating on the outer elements.

Thanks to the fast f/2.8 max aperture, you’ll be able to maximize light transmission to the camera in dark environments. There’s no vibration reduction system. But thankfully, many of Nikon’s Z-series cameras have sensor-shift image stabilization. When paired with this lens, you won’t have any problems in low light. 

It’s dust- and moisture-resistant, so it’s perfect for outdoor photography. Rain won’t be a problem on a clear night. But dew and condensation can be a problem when shooting after sundown. That’s why it’s good to know the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S can cope in those conditions.

 

4. Nikon AF-S FX 14-24mm f/2.8G

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F/2.8G ED
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Nikon F
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
14-24 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
None
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
ED elements, aspherical elements, Nano Crystal Coating
Best For
Best For
Nikon DSLR cameras

The Nikon AF-S FX 14-24mm f/2.8G is one of Nikon’s all-time best wide-angle lenses. Originally released in 2003, it’s still flying off the shelves today. And that’s because it delivers outstanding results for landscape, architecture, and astrophotography. 

With two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) and three aspherical elements, the lens gives you sharp and clear images. Distortion is a common complaint with wide-angle lenses. But the sensational engineering in this lens means distortion is never an issue.

Nikon has also used several lens coatings to improve picture quality even more. There are Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coatings that reduce lens flare and vignetting. They also improve light transmission by reducing light reflections, which helps low-light performance.

The bright f/2.8 aperture also helps when shooting in low light. It allows you to take in as much light as possible. And it’s constant throughout the zoom range. You can use the f/2.8 setting at 14mm or 24mm.

One downside is the lack of image stabilization or vibration reduction. That means you have to be extra careful when shooting long exposures in bulb mode. The lack of a filter thread is another disappointment. But you can still use square or rectangular filters mounted in front of the lens.

The dust- and moisture-resistant build makes it rugged enough for long night shoots in the open air. And that’s another reason it remains one of the best wide-angle zoom lenses. The Nikon AF-S FX 14-24mm f/2.8G is a must-have if you’re still using a Nikon DSLR camera.

 

5. Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM (Canon)

Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM (Canon EF-Mount)
Brand
Brand
Sigma
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
14 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
None
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Aspherical element, multilayer coating
Best For
Best For
Nikon and Canon users looking for an artistic wide-angle prime lens

If you have any doubts about third-party lenses, you need to see Sigma’s range of Art lenses. They are all exquisite pieces of photography equipment. And the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM is one of the best astrophotography lenses available.

With two aspherical elements, distortion and aberration are practically non-existent. These are backed up by three F Low Dispersion (FLD) and four Super-low Dispersion (SLD) elements. That’s why you get sharpness from corner to corner.

Sigma has also treated the outer elements with their special multilayer coating. It reduces flare and ghosting, and it improves sharpness. It helps add sharpness and definition to celestial objects in your night sky images.

While you won’t need the autofocus for astrophotography, it’s good to know this lens has an excellent Hypersonic Motor. That adds to the versatility of this superb wide-angle prime lens.

Unfortunately, due to the large front aspherical lens, there’s no filter thread. You can still use independently mounted filters. But circular screw-on filters are not an option with this one. There’s also no image stabilization, so you might need a camera with sensor-shift stabilization to help you out.

With a superfast f/1.8 aperture, you get excellent low-light performance. Having that one extra stop helps you get even more detail from the night sky.

The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM is one of the finest wide-angle primes out there. And we don’t just mean in the third-party division. It can compete with the top lenses from Nikon, Canon, and Sony. 

The lens pictured above is compatible with Canon EF-mount cameras. But if you’re not a Canon user, you can also get the lens for Nikon and Sony cameras. Click the links below to find the lens you need. 

 

6. Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 ED GM

Sony FE 14mm F/1.8 GM SEL14F18GM
Brand
Brand
Sony
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Sony E
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
14 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
None
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Two XA elements, two ED elements, Nano AR coating, nine-blade rounded aperture
Best For
Best For
Sony full frame cameras

The Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 ED GM is the best astrophotography lens if you’re using one of Sony’s phenomenal mirrorless cameras. They have powerful full frame sensors, making them ideal for astrophotography. And this is the perfect wide-angle prime to complete your astro setup.

It achieves perfect picture quality thanks to the high-quality glass within. As well as two ED elements, there’s one standard aspherical lens and two Extreme Aspherical (XA) lenses. And there’s also a Super ED element in there too. That’s lens manufacturing at its finest. And you’re reaping the rewards with pristine image quality.

The f/1.8 aperture is ideal for Milky Way photography. It helps bring more light into the camera, allowing you to shoot with slightly shorter shutter speeds. And it’ll bring more clarity and detail to your night sky images. It’s a real bonus when shooting in the dark.

With a nine-blade rounded aperture diaphragm, there’s less chance of flare or light distortion at the edge of the images. It also gives your images a smooth bokeh effect if you’re shooting with a shallow depth of field. That’s not much use in astrophotography. But that’s good to know if you want to shoot other genres of photography.

There’s no optical stabilization built in. But Sony Alpha cameras are equipped with sensor-shift image stabilization, so it’s not necessary in the lens as well. Due to the bulbous front element, there’s no thread for camera filters. You’ll have to use square filters mounted in front of the lens.

You won’t have issues using the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 ED GM outside at night. The barrel is dust- and moisture-resistant, so you can focus on snapping incredible shots. This lens is the perfect partner for your Sony Alpha camera. And together, you’ll have the perfect astrophotography setup.

 

7. Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4R WR

Fujifilm FUJINON XF 16mm F/1.4 R WR
Brand
Brand
Fujifilm
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Fujifilm X
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
16 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
67 mm
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Nano GI coating, two aspherical elements, two ED elements, dust- and weather-resistant
Best For
Best For
Fujifilm X-series cameras

Fujifilm cameras are great all-around cameras. And they are actually an excellent choice for night sky photography. If that’s your thing, then you need to pair the Fujifilm X camera with the Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4R WR. It pairs rugged build quality with sharp optics.

As a prime lens, you get better edge-to-edge sharpness than most zooms. And the lens has a fantastic 16mm wide-angle focal length. But most of the credit for the picture quality is thanks to the specialist glass elements.

There are two ED elements at the mount-end. And you’ll find two aspherical lenses within the barrel. That’s why users experience so little distortion with this lens.

You also have a Nano GI coating on the glass for better light transmission. It reduces visual imperfections like glare and ghosting. And it improves image detail when shooting in low light. Basically, it helps you see more stars.

We can’t ignore the f/1.4 aperture any longer. That’s a superfast maximum aperture. And it makes this Fujifilm’s best wide-angle lens for low-light photography. You get maximum light transmission. And thanks to the quality of the glass, you get pristine image quality even with the aperture open to f/1.4.

The fact there’s no optical stabilization is disappointing. But Fujifilm’s latest X-T cameras have built-in five-axis stabilization. They also have a Pixel Shift Composite Mode that’s perfect for detailed Milky Way photography.

The weather-sealed Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4R WR is rugged, so nighttime condensation isn’t an issue. It’s also compact and lightweight compared to many similar lenses. It’s the perfect lens if you’re using your Fujifilm X-T5 to capture the stars above.

 

8. Olympus ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO

Olympus ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
Brand
Brand
Olympus
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
7-14 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
None
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Three Super ED elements, two aspherical, splash- and dust-proof
Best For
Best For
Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras

Olympus (now OM System) cameras are excellent for astrophotography. And the Olympus ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is the best partner when shooting the stars. It’s lightweight and compact, and the image quality is fantastic.

While the listed focal length is 7-14mm, the reality is slightly different due to the crop factor of Micro Four Thirds cameras. The effective focal length is equivalent to 14-24mm on a full frame camera. But despite the increase, you still get a super-wide-angle zoom lens.

The lens might be compact, but the lens is packed with beautifully constructed glass elements. There are 14 in total, which are arranged in 11 groups and include one ED and three super ED elements. You’ll also find two aspherical elements in there. They combine to give you sharp, distortion-free images at all points of the focal range.

With a fast f/2.8 aperture, you get fantastic low-light performance. It’s constant throughout the zoom range, so you don’t lose any stops when you zoom in. And while the lens doesn’t have image stabilization, all the latest Olympus cameras do. They also have multi-shot high-resolution modes, which are great for night sky shots.

There’s a manual focus clutch and a fast and silent AF motor. Those features aren’t much use for astrophotography. But they show it’s a versatile wide-angle zoom you can use for different types of photography.

The Olympus ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is also dust- and splash-proof, so working outside for long periods isn’t an issue. This lens proves that you don’t need the biggest cameras or lenses to shoot stunning Milky Way photography.

 

9. Panasonic Lumix S 18mm f/1.8

Panasonic LUMIX S 18mm F/1.8
Brand
Brand
Panasonic LUMIX
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Leica L
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
18 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
67 mm
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Dust-, freeze-, and splash-proof, three aspherical elements, one UED element
Best For
Best For
Panasonic Lumix full frame cameras

The Panasonic Lumix S 18mm f/1.8 is your best option if you’re using a Panasonic Lumix full frame camera. It’s a compact lens with a beautiful wide-angle focal length. The optical quality is fantastic. You’re practically guaranteed glorious night sky images with this lens.

The build quality is phenomenal. It’s dust- and splash-proof, which is important when shooting at night for long periods. And it’s freeze-proof, allowing you to work in conditions as low as -10º C. You need that kind of resilience when shooting in cold areas at night. But even in desert conditions, temperatures can drop considerably when the sun goes down.

Distortion and aberration aren’t an issue with this wide-angle prime. The edge-to-edge clarity is thanks to the quality of the glass inside the lens barrel. It includes three aspherical lenses, three ED elements, and one UED element.

It’s difficult to find wide-angle lenses that have an aperture faster than f/1.8. It allows you to shorten your shutter speed, which reduces the risk of motion blur. You get sharp, pinpoint stars rather than soft white dots in the sky.

The Panasonic Lumix S 18mm f/1.8 is perfect for night sky photography. And the 67mm filter thread allows you to use circular filters to reduce light pollution. It’s a simple yet versatile wide-angle prime lens. It’s great for video production as well. But it’s the best Panasonic lens for night sky photography.

 

10. Panasonic Lumix G 10-25mm f/1.7

Panasonic Lumix Leica DG 10-15mm f/1.7 ASPH
Brand
Brand
Panasonic LUMIX
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.7
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
10-25 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
77 mm
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Dust- and splash-resistant, three aspherical elements, focus clutch
Best For
Best For
Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras

Panasonic Lumix also makes incredible Micro Four Thirds cameras. And if that’s your camera of choice, you need the Panasonic Lumix G 10-25mm f/1.7 for stunning Milky Way photography.

It’s a compact and lightweight lens, much like the MFT cameras. That means you can travel light if you’re heading out to a prime astrophotography location. It’s also rugged enough for long photoshoots outdoors. So you don’t need to worry about dust, condensation, or cold temperatures.

The glass engineering within the lens is exquisite. There are three aspherical and four Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements that minimize visual distortions. And these are backed by one Ultra-high Refractive index (UHR) element that reduces reflections, increasing light transmission.

With the super bright f/1.7 maximum aperture, you get superb low-light performance. It gives you more freedom with your ISO and shutter speed when shooting the sky at night. And it’s constant throughout the zoom range.

Panasonic Lumix MFT cameras might be small, but they are more than capable of capturing stunning shots of the Milky Way. And the Panasonic Lumix G 10-25mm f/1.7 is the G-series lens that gives you the best cosmic results.

 

11. Rokinon 14mm f/2.4 SP (Canon)

Samyang XP 14mm F/2.4 for Canon EF
Brand
Brand
Samyang
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Canon EF
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
14 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
None
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Ultra Multi-coating, two aspherical elements, three HR elements
Best For
Best For
Nikon and Canon users looking for a good-value wide-angle prime

The Rokinon 14mm f/2.4 SP is a fantastic wide-angle prime lens at a reasonable price. It doesn’t quite match the quality of some lenses from the bigger brands. But it still gives you fabulous optical quality and a wide viewing angle. It’s also available for Canon EF and Nikon F cameras.

Despite being on the more affordable side of the spectrum, the lens construction is excellent. The barrel contains 18 glass elements. These include two ED and two aspherical elements that reduce distortion, particularly at the extremes of the image. And it has three High Refractive elements that improve light intake. That gives you images with better clarity and definition.

You also have a special Ultra Multi-coating on all the glass elements. This helps reduce other optical problems like lens flare, ghosting, and vignetting.

The f/2.4 aperture is also excellent for night sky photography. You can reduce your shutter release times, preventing motion blur as the earth rotates.

The Rokinon 14mm f/2.4 SP is a great lens if you’re on a tighter budget. It’s considerably cheaper than many lenses on this list. But you can still capture stunning images of the stars above. It’s a great wide-angle lens to have in your bag.

The lens highlighted above is compatible with Canon EF cameras. If you’re a Nikon user, click on the link below to find the lens for your camera.

 

12. Pentax D FA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR

HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F/2.8 ED SDM WR
Brand
Brand
Pentax
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
15-30 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No
Filter Size
Filter Size
None
Key Features
Key Features
Weather-resistant construction, ED elements, multilayer HD coating
Best For
Best For
Pentax cameras

Pentax cameras are rugged and reliable workhorses. And their high-performance DSLRs are great for shooting astrophotography. But of course, you’ll need the right lens. And that lens has to be the Pentax D FA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR.

It’s a versatile wide-angle zoom lens with a fast and constant f/2.8 maximum aperture. You get excellent low-light performance throughout the zoom range. You also get sharp image quality even at the widest focal length. And that’s thanks to the Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements within the lens.

Pentax specializes in rugged equipment, including its lenses. And the Pentax D FA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR is no exception. It has a completely weather-resistant construction, meaning rain showers of any strength are no problem. Rain is rarely a problem with astrophotography, but it also protects against dew and condensation.

 

FAQs on the Best Astrophotography Lenses

Astrophotography is one of the most complicated disciplines. And finding the best lens for astrophotography isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic. 

What Type of Lens Is Best for Astrophotography?

Astrophotography is a broad subject. And you can use several types of lenses for different types of astrophotography. But in our list, we’ve gone with wide-angle lenses.

Wide-angle lenses are the best for capturing large sections of the sky above. This is often called Milky Way or night sky photography. That’s because the night sky is the subject of the image. Other types of astrophotography focus on capturing specific celestial objects, like star clusters, nebulae, or planets.

Capturing these deep-space objects isn’t easy. You need a lens with a long focal length, like a telephoto lens. But you also need powerful telescopic equipment. It’s specialist gear that doesn’t come cheap.

That’s why we’ve focused on wide-angle lenses for night sky photography. With the right lens, anyone can try it from their backyard. Deep-space photography is definitely worth it if you have a passion for space and astronomy. But you can ease your way into it with one of the incredible lenses on our list.

Is a Prime or Zoom Lens Better for Astrophotography?

When it comes to prime vs zoom in astrophotography, you have the choice of either. Both have their positives and negatives, which is why we’ve included primes and zooms in this article.

Prime lenses tend to have better image quality. There are fewer moving parts and elements within the lens, meaning there are fewer variables. You’re not changing the trajectory of light by adjusting the focal length. The problem is that you have less versatility. You can’t adjust the composition without moving the camera. 

The main positive of using a zoom lens is its versatility. With a changeable focal length, you get a much greater shot variety. And by zooming in, you get closer to distant subjects. A powerful zoom isn’t so important with this type of photography. But it does give you more composition options, especially if you include Earth-bound objects in the foreground.

The downside of a zoom lens is the optical quality. They are more prone to distortion and chromatic aberration at the edges. And this can be a real issue with wide-angle focal lengths. However, this is becoming less and less of a problem with modern lenses. And you won’t experience much distortion with any of the lenses here.

Snow-topped mountain range with stars above
© Benjamin Voros
 

Which Filters Are Best for Astrophotography?

Astrophotographers commonly use filters to enhance their cosmic photography. And there are several types of filters they like to use.

Light pollution filters are the most popular in astrophotography, particularly with night sky photography. They block certain light waves, so light from artificial light sources isn’t transmitted. That means the camera sensor is only picking up the natural light in the sky. You get much more clarity and detail in your Milky Way images.

You can see all the best light pollution filters in our full article.

Standard light pollution filters are also known as broadband filters. That’s because they only block a small spectrum of light waves, allowing a broad range through. But astrophotographers also use narrowband light filters.

Narrowband filters block all but a specific line of the visible light spectrum. Some transmit more than one line, which is why you’ll see dual-, tri-, and quad-band filters. These filters are used to capture deep-space objects like nebulae.

You also have solar filters. These are a very niche tool for photographing solar flares and solar eclipses. You should never point your camera at the sun. It will break your sensor and your eyes. But with a strong solar filter, certain types of solar photography are possible.

There’s a lot of science involved in astro filters. And while we’re not NASA, we do have a more detailed article on the best filters for astrophotography.

What Is the Best Camera for Astrophotography?

There are two types of cameras you can use for astrophotography. There are specialist astro cameras for capturing celestial objects and deep-space phenomena. Or you can use a standard interchangeable lens camera, like a DSLR or mirrorless.

When it comes to Milky Way photography, all you need is a DSLR or mirrorless and a wide-angle lens. That means you can use any half-decent camera to capture the night sky.

But there are a few key features that will help you get the best results. Of course, the better the resolution, the better the detail in the night sky. But image stabilization is also beneficial when shooting the stars, helping you get sharper images in low light.

One special feature to look out for is Pixel Shift or Multi-shot Mode. It’s also sometimes called High-resolution Shot Mode. In this mode, the camera takes several exposures to create one high-resolution image. This is one of the best ways to capture stunning images of the sky at night. And it gives you more detail and definition from smaller cameras.

You can see our full article on the best cameras for astrophotography if you want specific examples. 

What Accessories Do I Need for Astrophotography?

You can’t shoot the Milky Way without a tripod. You’ll be shooting at night, so you’ll need to use very slow shutter speeds. And when you’re shooting in bulb mode, you need all the stability you can get.

That’s why a remote shutter release is also essential. In bulb mode, the camera will pick up the slightest movement and ruin your image. A shutter remote allows you to open and close the shutter without touching the camera. That means no unnecessary shakes or bumps.

It gets cold at night, so you won’t regret packing a decent pair of photography gloves in your camera bag. And we recommend a waterproof camera backpack so your gear stays protected against rain, dew, and condensation.

 

Conclusion: The Best Astrophotography Lenses

If you’re a photographer with a passion for the stars, you need the best lens for astrophotography. While you can get specialist lenses for deep-space photography, we’ve opted for wide-angle lenses for capturing the night sky. We’ve seen some excellent lenses, but they all have wide focal lengths, fast apertures, and brilliant image quality.

The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM is our favorite lens for shooting the sky at night. It’s a beautiful lens with incredible optical quality. It also has a fast and constant f/2.8 aperture and optical stabilization. It’s the best astro lens if you’re using a Canon mirrorless camera. 

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Astrophotography Lenses
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon RF 15-35mm F/2.8L IS USM
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 S