This is a guide covering the best Canon lenses for astrophotography.
In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:
- Best overall Canon lens for astrophotography
- Best budget Canon lens for astrophotography
- Pros and cons
- Important features
- And more
Let’s dive in.
7 Best Canon Lenses for Astrophotography
Click/tap on each lens name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!
In a hurry? Check out our top pick!
Lots of Canon users are doing astrophotography during their free time. And whether you’re a pro or a hobbyist, you will need the right Canon lens to get the best results.
Unfortunately, finding the right lens can get a bit tricky considering the number of options in the market. You’d need to consider the construction of the lens, the quality of the shots, and more.
To help you find the right lens, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best Canon lenses for astrophotography.
|1.Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Ultra-Fast Standard AutoFocus Lens |
|– Sharp and vibrant colors|
– Great for most applications including astrophotography
– Easy to use on both AF and MF mode
– Robust design
|2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens |
BEST BUDGET LENS
|– Sharp results in most of its aperture options|
– Quiet AF performance
– Vibrant colors
– Great for different scenarios
|3. Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Wide Angle Lens ||– Superior sharpness|
– Wide-angle for shooting landscapes
– UD lens that minimizes chromatic aberration
|4. Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens ||– Offers an in-between option for 24mm and 50mm prime lenses|
– Produces sharp results
– Has image stabilization
– Quiet AF
|5. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L ||– A great range for landscapes and astrophotography|
– Perfect for outdoors with its weather-resistant and dust-resistant features
– Sharp images with vibrant colors
|6. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens ||– Handy even without a tripod|
– Wide focal length makes it a good choice for shooting landscapes
– Superb edge-to-edge sharpness
|7. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L ll USM ||– Great for shooting landscapes|
– Wide range of wide-angle focal lengths
– Handy for shooting in different situations
– Quiet and fast autofocus
What is the Overall Best Canon Lens for Astrophotography?
1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
Ask any professional photographer and they will tell you that you can never go wrong when you invest in a 50mm prime lens.
However, for those who are unfamiliar with different types of lenses in the market, they’d usually think that 50mm lenses are all the same. In reality, that’s not the case.
Among the best Canon lenses for astrophotography, we’d consider the Canon EF F1.2L USM lens as the best pick.
For starters, it’s a highly versatile lens. It allows photographers not only to enjoy astrophotography but also other types of photography.
It can be enjoyed by photographers who usually shoot portraits, landscapes, and even macro photography.
What makes it a stand-out lens in astrophotography is the fact that it gives you sharp results. It comes with a super spectra coating that helps minimize flare and ghosting.
If you’re going to use it during the daytime for shooting landscapes, it comes with a fast and accurate ultrasonic motor.
And by night time for shooting astrophotography, you can easily set it on manual mode and let the lens do its magic for long exposures.
The only downside to this nifty-fifty lens is that it’s a bit too heavy for some users.
You might find it a bit too bulky for your taste in case you want to minimize the weight of your gear whenever you are going outdoors.
What is the Best Budget Canon Lens for Astrophotography?
2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
In case you don’t have a large budget for your lens, then you should consider getting the Canon EF 50mm F1.8 STM lens.
This budget-friendly pick is a highly versatile prime lens that is perfect for most scenarios. It produces sharp results, plus the colors are stunning whether you’re shooting indoors or outdoors.
This lens delivers a near-silent performance with its stepping motor. For long exposures, it gives stunning results.
Plus, composing the photos isn’t exactly complicated given the versatility of the focal length.
It has a compact construction that can make it easy for you to have it in your bag. Testing the lens, we find the wider apertures to be a bit soft.
On the other hand, you rarely use F2.8 and wider if you’re doing astrophotography anyways. F4.0 and up gives users sharp results.
Is it a pro-grade lens? That’s not exactly the case.
It’s a good lens if you’re the hobbyist type. On the other hand, there’s a difference between a professional Canon lens for astrophotography and a lens designed mostly for casual users.
But despite that, it’s still a solid choice and it deserves to be mentioned as one of the best Canon lenses for astrophotography.
3. Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Wide Angle Lens
The Canon EF 24mm F1.4L II USM wide-angle lens is a favorite by many professional photographers.
It comes as a great pick if you wish to have a wider perspective in your shots. It’s a good option if you wish to include picturesque landscapes.
This lens became popular because it can be used for different scenarios including weddings and street photography. It is handy even when you are shooting in low-light situations.
But when it comes to its application in shooting at night doing astrophotography, consider this lens as one of the best in the market today.
For one, it’s an L-series lens. These are professional-grade lenses that are known for their sharpness and vibrant colors.
It comes with UD lens elements that can help minimize chromatic aberrations.
It also comes with fast and quiet AF. And if you are more comfortable doing manual focusing, this offers a great experience as well.
Another reason why we included it as one of the best Canon lenses for astrophotography is the fact that it’s dust and water-resistant making it perfect for shooting outdoors.
So what’s not to like? Some users prefer the 35mm counterpart not only for practical reasons in terms of their budget but it can also because of performance.
This lens shoots so wide that some users have a hard time seeing the scene through the viewfinder.
4. Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Wide Angle Lens
The Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM Lens is a favorite by many professional photographers and hobbyists.
It’s a good pick for those who are shooting portraits or for those who plan on taking photos of magnificent landscapes. When it comes to astrophotography, its focal length is perfect.
It’s a good alternative in case you’re one of those who find 24mm lenses too wide and 50mm prime lenses too narrow for your taste.
It’s the perfect in-between that makes the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 lens among the most popular and one of the best Canon lenses for astrophotography.
If you plan on using this lens for shooting videos, then the stepping motor can also be useful given its quiet operation.
Plus, it comes with an image stabilization feature that makes it easier to use when you don’t have a tripod with you.
Then, there are a few things that you should also know before you commit to the Canon RF 35mm F1.8. After testing the lens outdoors, there’s a noticeable barrel distortion and vignetting.
But of course, these are minor things that you can correct on your computer using Adobe Photoshop.
5. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
The Canon EF 17-40mm F4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens comes in as a great choice for those who don’t want to carry multiple wide-angle lenses.
Also, it’s a no-nonsense pick because it doesn’t have wider apertures that are not used for astrophotography.
This means that it wasn’t intended for shooting portraits with blurred backgrounds. It is also not the type of lens that you’d like to bring indoors without any flash or additional source of light.
The Canon EF 17-40mm F4L is a great choice for those who are always outdoors. It produces sharp results and accurate colors.
Next, if you’re going outdoors, you can expect the conditions to be unfavorable for flimsy lenses.
The Canon EF 17-40mm F4L lens offers an extra layer of protection against dust and water since it comes with dust and water-resistant features.
For its construction, it also features 3 aspherical lens elements and a Super UD glass element that make it handy for all types of conditions.
Plus, if you plan on using the AF, the ultrasonic motor is known for its quiet and standout performance in terms of finding subjects.
These things make it one of the best Canon lenses for astrophotography. But of course, there are a few things that you might not like about this lens as well.
For instance, if you’re looking for a lens that you can use for applications other than shooting landscapes and during the night time, then you might experience difficulty with this lens.
This lens also produces a lot of aberrations. For some, this can be a deal-breaker. This means that you’re going to spend more time on post-processing when you use this lens.
But then, you also have to consider the fact that it’s an ultra-wide-angle lens. It’s close to producing fish-eye results given its focal length.
If you want to avoid distortion, then you’d want to use somewhere 35-40mm. You’d notice that things would get “bent” starting at 20mm down to 17mm.
6. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
There are lots of photographers out there who also love using lenses that can produce wider shots than what the typical 24mm wide-angle lenses produce.
The Canon EF-S 10-18mm F4.5-5.6 IS STM lens is a great candidate for this application.
You get that extra-wide view perfect if you plan on capturing landscapes and when shooting astrophotography at night.
As far as the quality of shots is concerned, the shots are comparable to high-end lenses that we’ve tested.
It produces sharp photos and great colors that make it a favorite by professional photographers even if it’s not exactly considered a pro-grade lens.
The edge-to-edge sharpness is noticeable on this lens across the focal length range.
Just by looking at the lens, this is made specifically for the outdoors. Its apertures are not wide enough for shooting indoors, but it can get the job done when you’re shooting nature and cityscapes.
If you are insistent on using the lens indoors, you’d want to make sure that you are using strobe lights to make it work.
It is equipped with all the right tools that you will need in case you want to shoot without a tripod. It has an image stabilizer that can minimize shaky shots.
The AF is also fast and accurate. The stepping motor gives a silent performance too.
Now, if you’d look closely, you will notice that there is some barrel distortion in the shots. However, this is expected considering the focal length range of this lens.
7. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L ll USM
Some individuals prefer having an all-around lens when they are looking for the best Canon lenses for astrophotography.
Compared with the other best Canon lenses for astrophotography that we’ve featured, the Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L II USM zoom lens is the perfect Jack of all trades lens that you should go for.
It gives you the best performance whether you are shooting portraits, group photos, landscapes, or even when you need to shoot indoors.
The aperture is wide enough for different functions aside from astrophotography.
This lens produces sharp results. For its AF functionality, it makes use of a quiet and smooth ultrasonic motor.
This makes it easy to use when you are shooting videos too since it can eliminate the noise while focusing.
When it comes to shooting at night, the lens is easy to use. And since it’s an L-series lens, expect superior quality shots especially on long exposures.
However, there are instances when a wider aperture produces softer results. But then again, it’s common for photographers to use F8 and up when shooting landscapes and astrophotography.
If you’re in the market for the best Canon lenses for astrophotography, it might be a good idea to consider not only your budget but also your style.
Some users prefer shooting ultra-wide shots while others are happy with a nifty-fifty lens.
Also, be sure to check the pros and cons of each lens to know what to expect from a possible distortion or if the lens produces softer results than what most photographers expect.
Also check out 10 Best Cameras for Astrophotography in 2021.
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John is a photography enthusiast by heart. He shoots both film and digital with a preference leaning towards his 1960s Canon QL19 and the robust Nikon F2. As for digital, he loves to take handy mirrorless cameras on his trips. Over the last 12 years, he’s had experience using different brands of lenses and cameras making it handy in giving unbiased reviews on anything that is photography gear related.