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Old 17-06-2007, 10:42 PM
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Question Which widefield lens on a budget.

Here's one for the camera lens gurus.

If you had $1000 to spend and you decided on a widefield lens for astrophotography to be used with either a Canon DSLR or a dedicated CCD with T thread adapter, what would you choose and why? Excluding the famous 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens. I already know it is a must have Maybe something less than this focal length or more than this focal length.
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Old 18-06-2007, 04:59 AM
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Without a doubt, it'd have to be the 17-40mm Canon L series.

For more of a budget, the Sigma 17-70mm is a great performer.
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Old 18-06-2007, 07:07 AM
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I knew you'd pop in with that one Mike. It seems your are rather taken with it. Is that the f/4 L series lense for around $1000 - $1200?

I've considered it as part of a growing collection but I'd also like to get a longer one like the 100 mm f2.8 macro or similar.
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Old 18-06-2007, 07:11 AM
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Yes Paul, that's the one.

You could also try the 10-22mm Canon wideangle. RB uses this one and has some excellent results with it.
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Old 18-06-2007, 08:29 AM
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If the budget can be stretched to almost $1500 Paul there's a beautiful Prime that's usually overlooked because it's an "awkward" FL for normal photography.
It's the very very sharp Canon 135mm f/2 and I believe it's a killer lens.
Yes it's not considered "wide field" compared to the ones mentioned and the budget is blowing out but I suppose it depends on how you define widefield for astro work compared to say a telescope.
I'm very keen to give this one a try for astro and terrestrial work !

I also like the ones mentioned so far (10-22mm, 17-40mm) but as you know primes are sharper, lower f-ratios allow you to stop down the lens to minimise CA while still giving you brighter pics at same exposures but of course there's the cost difference.
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Old 18-06-2007, 09:04 AM
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Thanks guys.

Andrew for the purpose of this thread I would still consider 135 wide field. Even up to 200mm. I guess it's all relative. It is wide field when comparing to an LX200 or even an ED80 for that matter. The 135 does sound pretty good though.

The $1000 is only a guide. While I am in the market for a new lens hopefully others will get some valuable info from this thread. It is very much along the lines of previous threads I have posted on The best Laptop, and which ccd for under 3 grand etc.

Cheers
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Old 18-06-2007, 06:11 PM
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Any other options before I bite the bullet on this? I'm also considering the f/2.8 100mm macro. Good wraps on that as well. Any ideas on how it compares to the f/2 100mm (non-macro)?

Last edited by [1ponders]; 18-06-2007 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 19-06-2007, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Boy View Post
If the budget can be stretched to almost $1500 Paul there's a beautiful Prime that's usually overlooked because it's an "awkward" FL for normal photography.
It's the very very sharp Canon 135mm f/2 and I believe it's a killer lens.
Yes it's not considered "wide field" compared to the ones mentioned and the budget is blowing out but I suppose it depends on how you define widefield for astro work compared to say a telescope.
I'm very keen to give this one a try for astro and terrestrial work !

I also like the ones mentioned so far (10-22mm, 17-40mm) but as you know primes are sharper, lower f-ratios allow you to stop down the lens to minimise CA while still giving you brighter pics at same exposures but of course there's the cost difference.
I have this lens! it is the lens that prompted me to sell $8000 of pro grade zooms and work exclusively with primes... (I am a photographer by trade if anyone asks why )

I paid about $1700 back in october 2004
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Old 19-06-2007, 06:55 PM
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Paul,

The best performing Canon wideangle I've seen for astrophotography if the 85 f1.2L, but sorry its not a budget lens!

Back to the budget (under $1000 - if purchased OS from BH Photo or similiar) you've got plenty of options:

Thinking of astrophotography as the main use I'd consider:

Peleng 8mm Fisheye - Cheap, manual focus, but have seen some impressive results! Not a true fisheye unless used with 35mm format.
Canon 17-40 L - possibly your best bet at the true wide-angle (at 17mm).
Sigma 17-70 - Cheaper alternative to 17-40, with more range. Sharpness a little lacking at extreme ends wide open perhaps and it doesn't cover full frame.
Canon 28 f2.8 - I had this one, sold to mike. Very useable wide open.
Sigma 30 1.4 - I've seen some stunning results with this lens. Apparently AF can be a bit touchy on these lenses. Not a full frame lens.
Canon 50 1.4 - Perhaps even sharper than 50 1.8 and with USM and distance scale.
Canon 60 2.8 Macro - Should be an excellent astro lens - but haven't seen any results yet.
Canon 85 1.8 and 100 2 - Similiar designs and both sharp lenses, similiar in performance to 50 1.8. I've heard the 100 2 is margninally better for astrophotography.
Canon 100 2.8 - I have this and it is a great astro lens, wonderful for portraits and macros (I've been considering selling this lens due to lack of use, but just can't bring myself to do it!). Here is an image made with it wide open http://www.pbase.com/terrylovejoy/image/36529489
Canon 135 2 - Everyone I know who has used this raves about its performance. Excellent performance for astrophotography even wide open. BTW you will get one for $1200-1300 if you look around.
Canon 200 2.8 - Not really a wide angle, but highly recommended!

You can see some nice work done with the 135 2 and 200 2.8 here:

http://astrosurf.com/buil/gallery/roph/img.htm


Terry
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Old 20-06-2007, 06:59 AM
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Thanks guys, exactly the stuff I'm looking for
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Old 20-06-2007, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CometGuy View Post
Paul,

The best performing Canon wideangle I've seen for astrophotography if the 85 f1.2L, but sorry its not a budget lens!

Terry
I agree Terry, here is a shot I did using this lens last year.
This was a single 90 sec exposure at f/1.4.
I'm hoping to give it another go, this time stack a few frames and also get the tracking better.
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Old 20-06-2007, 01:09 PM
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Yep I've looked at that lens a couple of times Andrew but at just under 3 grand I just couldn't bring myself to do it. But its been a close call a couple of times

Give me a yell if you do happen to talk yourself into selling that 100 2.8 Terry
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Old 20-06-2007, 07:47 PM
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Paul,

Yep lookout for a possible add in the near future! I originally got the 100 2.8 Macro for comet searching but in my moderately light polluted evening sky it was coming up a bit short on limiting magnitude. So I opted for the 200 2.8. I have been thinking about using both cameras with the 70-200 at 100 and the 100 macro for doing wide angle comet searches in my darker morning sky. So might just hold on to for the time being.

Terry
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Old 21-06-2007, 11:03 AM
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Damn Terry, I just looked at that link for the 135 and 200. They give a cracker image.



Down to 4
17-40
100 macro
135
200



I think it's between the 100 and the 135 atm.



Although that 200 does a fine looking image
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:56 PM
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Well I done gone and did it

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...330#post232330
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:21 PM
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Well I think I'm in love

Tonight is the first night I've had a chance to get out with the 135 and I am wrapped. I've still to learn how to focus it easily, which will come with more use no doubt, but boy is it sharp. From the shot's I've taken already it is crisp to the corners. None of the comet stars in the corners as all. I am so looking forward to M31 at Duckadang
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