Reviewing the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 and Nikon 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lenses for Night Sky Landscape PhotographyBL News
David Kingham is a lanscape photographer who focuses (pun intended?) on the night sky. He field-tested some of our fisheye lenses to see which one is most suitable for this kind of work. If you’re interested in astrophotography and landscapes, check out Kingham’s findings below (reprinted here with permission):
Fisheye Lenses for Night Photography
by David Kingham
I’ve been looking to add a fisheye to my arsenal of night photography lenses, but I was never able to locate solid information on what the best lens is for my style of night photography, specifically. I knew I needed to do my own testing to know for sure. I received the Sigma 15mm 2.8 and Nikon 16mm 2.8 from BorrowLenses.com and I needed to go someplace spectacular to test them out–what better place than Canyonlands National Park?
I first tested the Sigma and tried setting the focus manually to infinity and taking a shot only to be disappointed to see blurry stars on the LCD. I then used Live View to set my focus on a bright star and, even though the focus was set well before infinity, it was now razor sharp. Not ideal, but I have the same problem on my Rokinon lenses, so I can get used to this. I switched over to the Nikon, which feels solidly constructed compared to the Sigma and is smaller and lighter as well. Another positive about the Nikon is that it hard stops at infinity. This means no guessing on your focus–just spin it until it stops and you have no worries. Sounds like the Nikon is the clear winner right? I thought so until I loaded the images at home to get a closer look.
[learn_more caption="What is Live View?"] Many cameras allow for Live View shooting, including the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800. This feature allows the user to focus and compose a scene while looking at the LCD screen rather than through the DSLR viewfinder.[/learn_more]
Ultimately, the Sigma wins for me because image quality is my top priority. That said, you may wish to choose the Nikon because a lower-quality, but in-focus, shot is way better than a high-quality, but out-of-focus, shot. The Nikon is just so easy to use with the hard stop at infinity. With the Nikon 16mm, it will be much harder to miss a shot and you’ll enjoy using it more!
To read more from David Kingham, check out his blog here.
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