Night Photography Lens Test From Ron Brunsvold

Wanted to pass along this lens test from Ron Brunsvold. It will be of special interest to Canon shooters, but since Ron also tested lenses from Sigma, Tamron, and Rokinon, Dark Side (Nikon) shooters should take a look. I would assume that the lens characteristics are the same for both mounts.

One thing I especially like about Ron’s report is his focus on coma. He’s spot on when he says this is particularly important when shooting the night sky. You can fix chromatic aberration and vignetting in post processing, but if your stars come out looking like snow angles, you’re screwed. There ain’t no coma button in Photoshop! I also appreciate his caution against getting too caught with the perfect, coma-free image. Personally, I despise snow angles in my photos, but as Ron says, the average viewer won’t recognize them until they are pointed out. Of course, if the coma is severe, it will degrade the image for all viewers.

In case you’re wondering, I still use the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens for nearly all of my night photography. Honestly, I don’t know how it compares in a head-to-head match with the lenses Ron tested.

It’s perhaps worth mentioning that some of these lenses are manual focus only. This will not be an issue for some, but for me, it’s a deal breaker. I use autofocus for 100% of day photography and 99.5% of night photography. My eyes are just too poor for focusing manually. Unfortunately, the Rokinon 14mm that is so popular among night photographers—with good reason—is in the manual-focus group

Read Ron’s report. It’s good stuff!

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