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What is the best 28mm f2. 8 (or faster) lens for stars?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:51 pm
by aliengrove
I am still searching for a lens for shooting stars at night from the aircraft. I bought a Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f2 (identical to the K series 28mm f 2.0) partly for this purpose. The main issue with that lens is its weight and length, the slightest turbulence exaggerates any movement. Camera is mounted on a Gorillapod. The K 28mm f3. 5 fares much better, and is far less prone to coma, but is not fast enough really. I use it at f4. So ideally I want a 28mm lens that's sharp across the (full) frame at f2. 8, not prone to coma, and lightweight. Shooting at less than f2. 8 appears to not be practical due to shooting through an inch of glass, I can't get everything in focus (I have tried it with various 50mm and 55mm lenses) I am only interested in manual focus lenses.

Any recommendations?

What is the best 28mm f2. 8 (or faster) lens for stars?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:03 pm
by Smeggypants
I cant' help with the lens, and I won't even suggest asking the airline to let you mount a camera externally :) ( not that it would work in those temperatures anyway ) Oh wait.... A hassleblad would. After all that worked on the Moon ;)

I suppose you've thought about using higher ISOs to allow smaller apertures? Maybe the forthcoming Sony A7s III will have better High ISO performance?

What is the best 28mm f2. 8 (or faster) lens for stars?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:00 am
by geordie01
Kiron 28mm f2 is a goodun also in Vivitar flavour

https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreview ... f2-mc.html

I have the PKA version

What is the best 28mm f2. 8 (or faster) lens for stars?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:25 pm
by HarisF1
I've got a Sigma 28mm f/1.8 Aspherical II that may be worth a shot due to its huge aperture. It's an AF lens but can be manually focused.

Re: What is the best 28mm f2. 8 (or faster) lens for stars?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:30 am
by aliengrove
Smeggypants wrote:I cant' help with the lens, and I won't even suggest asking the airline to let you mount a camera externally :) ( not that it would work in those temperatures anyway ) Oh wait.... A hassleblad would. After all that worked on the Moon ;)

I suppose you've thought about using higher ISOs to allow smaller apertures? Maybe the forthcoming Sony A7s III will have better High ISO performance?


LOL. I would love to mount a camera on the outside of the aircraft. As for ISO, I am already shooting at 6400, not such a problem for the A7s, but I have recently discovered that stabilisation on the A7rii works for exposures up to 5 seconds with camera on the gorillapod and no turbulence. . I guess there is just enough movement to keep the Ibis active. So mainly I want to try and keep the length of exposure down, without cranking up the ISO. I discovered this while messing around with my SMC-A 50mm f1. 4.


geordie01 wrote:Kiron 28mm f2 is a goodun also in Vivitar flavour

https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreview ... f2-mc.html

I have the PKA version


Thanks for the recommendation! I have ordered one (Vivitar flavour :) )off ebay, also in PK mount.


HarisF1 wrote:I've got a Sigma 28mm f/1.8 Aspherical II that may be worth a shot due to its huge aperture. It's an AF lens but can be manually focused.


I find it easier using older mf lenses. I can find out exactly where infinity is and easily set it.

What is the best 28mm f2. 8 (or faster) lens for stars?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:18 pm
by aliengrove
Just received the lens, looks good but not quite as sharp at f2. 8 as my Distagon f2.0. Will see how it works out at work. Nice and small, which is what I wanted. The Distagon did cost me a lot more money, but it's still my favourite lens.

Re: What is the best 28mm f2. 8 (or faster) lens for stars?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:39 pm
by aliengrove
aliengrove wrote:Just received the lens, looks good but not quite as sharp at f2. 8 as my Distagon f2.0. Will see how it works out at work. Nice and small, which is what I wanted. The Distagon did cost me a lot more money, but it's still my favourite lens.



The Vivitar is great, works very well for what I wanted it for