The Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE lens is Samyang’s latest Auto Focus lens for Sony FE mount, usable on Sony Full frame and APS-C (crop) cameras.
You can read my full review on this lens here http://gippslandimages.com.au/samyang-af-35mm-f2-8-lens-review/ for this review/test I will focus on it’s ability for Astrophotography.
Wide field Astro photography is something I really enjoy, so much so I created an Australian Facebook community for those interested in the same, Nightscape Photographers Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/nightscapephotographersaustralia/ Naturally one of the first questions I was asked in regards to the Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE lens was how does it perform when photographing the stars.
A few nights ago I was lucky enough to get some clear skies so headed out with the Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE to do a little bit of testing, here are the results. All images in this test are taken using the Sony a6500 and Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE lens, results may be different when using Sony’s full frame mirrorless cameras.
The above image is Un-edited straight out of camera taken with the Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE and Sony a6500 mounted on my Skywatcher Star Adventurer mini eq mount, settings 35mm, f2.8, 30sec, iso3200. The next few examples are 100% crops from this image.
Above, 100% crop from the centre of the first image.
Above, 100% crop from the top left hand side corner, tiny amount of coma visible in the larger stars.
Above, 100% from the bottom Right hand side of the first image, pretty good with pretty much no coma.
Above, again a 100% crop from the bottom right hand corner, this time with a tiny bit of de fringing in Lightroom.
From these examples you can see that although there is a small amount of coma it is minimal. The Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE performs really well as far as coma is concerned. In the examples we can also see a small amount of purple fringing, again not an issue but in the interest of this test I added a very small amount of de fringing in Lightroom to the last image to show how easily it is removed.
Above image was taken straight off my tripod and is 7 seperate images aligned and stacked in photoshop, setting for each image 35mm, f2.8, 8sec, iso6400.
I took images with the Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE lens both on my Star Adventurer tracking mount and directly off my Benro Travel Angel tripod, static, with no tracking.
The reason for this is I wanted to demonstrate what can be easily done with this lens when the camera and lens is simply mounted on a tripod with no tracking. Sticking to the 500 rule I was able to use a shutter speed of 8 seconds without trailing, because this lens has an f2.8 aperture I was able to gather enough light and detail in the milkyway with the 8second exposure without having to go too high with iso, my final settings were 35mm, f2.8, 8sec, iso6400. I took seven images one after another with these settings, once home I used photoshop to auto align and stack these images to help reduce noise and bring out detail, with a little bit of tweaking I was able to achieve the image above.
Above image 15 stacked frames, 35mm, f2.8, 20sec, iso3200
Above is an image taken using my star adventurer tracking mount, this time I shot 15 images with a longer exposure and lower iso, again aligning and stacking in photoshop, this has made for a cleaner image with a bit more detail.
One thing I noticed and felt it was worth mentioning was the Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE lens seems quite resistant to fogging of the front lens element. I shot these images and more, about an hours shooting in total without the lens fogging up, the camera and tripod had quite a bit of dew on them and there was a bit of fog around, but the lens stayed clear.
As you can see from the examples the Samyang AF 35mm f2.8 FE performs quite well when it comes to astro photography with low coma and a bit of resistance to fogging.
Full review on this lens can be found here http://gippslandimages.com.au/samyang-af-35mm-f2-8-lens-review/
If you are interested in how to take images like those above but don’t know where to start check out my blog on Basic Night Sky Photography http://gippslandimages.com.au/basic-night-sky-photography/
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