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Lenses for Astrophotography


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Hi all,

I had a rifle through this thread because I was interested in playing with astrophotography with my M10-R, and also had a look at some other review sites. I saw that Jack Takahashi mentioned the Voigtländer 21mm f/1.4 is quite good even when wide open. The coma from his sample shot on his review in the far corners seem acceptable, and certainly might not be too noticeable.

I'm certainly tempted to give it a try - what do you guys think?

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Posted (edited)
vor 44 Minuten schrieb Life By Stills:

I saw that Jack Takahashi mentioned the Voigtländer 21mm f/1.4 is quite good even when wide open.

It‘s true: The Voigt 21mm 1.4 is very good wide open (flatter field than the Lux).  However, the vignetting is really extreme (much worse than the Lux). Imo unusable for Astro wide open. You need to stop it down to f2.8 for this reason alone.

Edited by anickpick
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12 minutes ago, anickpick said:

It‘s true: The Voigt 21mm 1.4 is very good wide open (flatter field than the Lux).  However, the vignetting is really extreme (much worse than the Lux). Imo unusable for Astro wide open. You need to stop it down to f2.8 for this reason alone.

Ahh. I can see why that might be annoying for some people. I've never personally had a problem with vignette - I like the character of it, and I've never attempted to correct any vignetting in post editing. Is the 21mm 1.4's vignette so extreme as to be not correctable in post? What are the pitfalls in correcting in post which make people want to get a lens with minimal vignette?

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Posted (edited)

I do like the Voigtländer 21mm 1.4 very much. The look wide is gorgeous in many situations.

However, for Astro photography heavy vignette is usually not desirable.

In case of the Voigtländer 21mm 1.4, vignette is really extreme wide open... It means you have a 1.4 lens in the middle of the frame and probably a 2.8 lens towards the edges. You'll get better results (less noise in the outer parts of the frame after correcting vignette in post - as well as less coma) stopping down to f2.8 and exposing properly.

Edited by anickpick
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I thought I would post a couple of examples I shot last week with the M10-R. This first is with the 21mm SEM @ f/3.4, ISO 3200, 16 sec.

It is over processed, perhaps, but I wanted to see how much I could bring out of a single frame in post.  Interestingly, in neither this shot, nor the next, the camera failed to recognize the lens and thought I was shooting with a 50mm Cron.  Probably user error.  I'll try to get it right next time. But this does make me wonder if the edges of the image would be appreciably better had the computational corrections been applied. As was, there was quite a bit of vignetting, and blurring at the edges. I'm not surprised by this, but I was caught off guard by the amount of lateral color shift toward the edges -- quite a bit of red which can still be seen even though I lowered it a lot.  Please do click on the image for a better rendering.

 

 

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Edited by bcorton
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Posted (edited)

Same scene again (Cygnus region of the Milky Way), this time with the 28mm Summicron ASPH (1st iteration), here at f/2.8, 16 sec., ISO 3200. This is closer to how the sky appeared to me on that night. There is some coma visible in the corners, but acceptable, I think.  Again, I wonder how much better it might have been had the camera correctly identified the lens, or even if I might have been able to use f/2.  Next time.

 

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Edited by bcorton
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Posted (edited)

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On 5/30/2022 at 6:07 AM, bcorton said:

I thought I would post a couple of examples I shot last week with the M10-R. This first is with the 21mm SEM @ f/3.4, ISO 3200, 16 sec.

It is over processed, perhaps, but I wanted to see how much I could bring out of a single frame in post.  Interestingly, in neither this shot, nor the next, the camera failed to recognize the lens and thought I was shooting with a 50mm Cron.  Probably user error.  I'll try to get it right next time. But this does make me wonder if the edges of the image would be appreciably better had the computational corrections been applied. As was, there was quite a bit of vignetting, and blurring at the edges. I'm not surprised by this, but I was caught off guard by the amount of lateral color shift toward the edges -- quite a bit of red which can still be seen even though I lowered it a lot.  Please do click on the image for a better rendering.

 

 

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Thanks so much for posting these samples, @bcorton.

Wondering if the lens is slightly decentred, as the upper right corner seems to see more distortion / coma / smearing than the upper left corner?

Edited by Life By Stills
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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Life By Stills said:

Wondering if the lens is slightly decentred, as the upper right corner seems to see more distortion / coma / smearing than the upper left corner?

Thanks @Life By Stills.  It sure seems a little rougher on the right, doesn't it?  I guess more tests are in order.  It's a brand new lens -- literally -- I made that photo the very day the lens arrived. So, I suppose I can get it fixed or exchanged if need be.

Edited by bcorton
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Posted (edited)

Here is my first attempt at stacking images. I can't say I really know what I'm doing, but I thought I'd share the results.

Sagittarius rising. M10-R. 50mm Summicron (v. 5) @f/2.8, 4 seconds, ISO 3200. Eleven frames stacked with Starry Landscape Stacker, and the results processed quickly and dirtily in Affinity.

Normally, I'd crop the extreme edges, but I wanted to show how the lens did full-frame.

 

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Edited by bcorton
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On 5/31/2022 at 5:10 PM, bcorton said:

Thanks @Life By Stills.  It sure seems a little rougher on the right, doesn't it?  I guess more tests are in order.  It's a brand new lens -- literally -- I made that photo the very day the lens arrived. So, I suppose I can get it fixed or exchanged if need be.

You're welcome @bcorton. I had a look again and it really does seem rougher on the right. Definitely I think do your tests quickly and get that fixed / exchanged asap!

Fingers crossed - good luck.

 

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I just wanted to add my praise for these amazing shots I've seen posted, makes me consider trying to do something myself but I'm a film only guy right now and that's a whole bad of pain for astrophotography.

I understand that for point sources of light, optimal 'signal' means large physical aperture - the actual diameter of the lens, whereas for distributed light sources (nebulae) it is the f-number that is important (just like terrestrial photography). 

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4 hours ago, Life By Stills said:

You're welcome @bcorton. I had a look again and it really does seem rougher on the right. Definitely I think do your tests quickly and get that fixed / exchanged asap!

Fingers crossed - good luck.

 

@Life By Stills,

Last night’s and today’s tests have confirmed your initial suspicions. (RATS)  The right side of any image has definite distortion / blurring.  Close or at infinity. At all tested apertures. I’ve notified the dealer and hope for a quick exchange. 
Thank you for your critical eye and experience in first pointing it out. 

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16 hours ago, bcorton said:

@Life By Stills,

Last night’s and today’s tests have confirmed your initial suspicions. (RATS)  The right side of any image has definite distortion / blurring.  Close or at infinity. At all tested apertures. I’ve notified the dealer and hope for a quick exchange. 
Thank you for your critical eye and experience in first pointing it out. 

Hi @bcorton,

You're welcome! Glad it made you do some tests sooner rather than later, and glad you spotted it too. Fingers crossed you'll be able to get a quick exchange on it. @anickpick already pointed out, the Voigtländer 21mm f/1.4 has some serious vignette wide open, but review of Jack Takahashi seems to suggest it's good in terms of sharpness for astrophotograhy (if you don't mind the vignette which @anickpick highlighted).

Fingers crossed for the dealer's response on the lens though!!!

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1 hour ago, Life By Stills said:

Hi @bcorton,

You're welcome! Glad it made you do some tests sooner rather than later, and glad you spotted it too. Fingers crossed you'll be able to get a quick exchange on it. @anickpick already pointed out, the Voigtländer 21mm f/1.4 has some serious vignette wide open, but review of Jack Takahashi seems to suggest it's good in terms of sharpness for astrophotograhy (if you don't mind the vignette which @anickpick highlighted).

Fingers crossed for the dealer's response on the lens though!!!

The dealer (Sean Cranor of Camera West) is delightful to work with. He said he’d get it exchanged for me. I’m sending it off today. 🙂

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  • 1 month later...

And a personal shot I took after buying the lens

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rather than wide, you could go long! M9 with a Visoflex mounted 560mm f/6.3 Telyt.  Taken just as the eclipse was starting:

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and enhanced with Topaz software it becomes a startling great moon photo - nice job Susie

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I’ve tried Astro for the first time with my 28lux. It’s a 30shot stack. Came out pretty nice to my eyes 😃

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  • 1 month later...

15mm Zeiss distagon 

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Edited by ralph
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