Third Party Lenses

Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 676Member
edited April 2018 in Other Manufacturers
Rather than continue to thread jack the mirrorless - fail thread I thought I'd start another one. I've been watching the discussion of the Sigma and Tamron alternatives to similar Nikon glass with considerable interest. I've also been considering a different type lens for a different purpose. I used to do a lot of wide field astro photo work back in my film days and am interested in getting into it with my D610. Although I currently have an AFS 50 f1.4, I'm thinking of picking up a manual focus, relatively fast, wide angle for that purpose. I'm considering several candidates. First, the Rokinon 24 f1.4 gets pretty good reviews for what I'm looking to do. There are also a number of older Nikkor MF lenses that look attractive as well.

From the AI- AIS catalog, the 24 f2.0 and f2.8 are possibilities, as are the 28 f2.0, the 35 f2.0, and the 35 f1.4. Most of the Nikkors can be had for substantially less to nearly the same money as the third party glass. Between the Rokinon (there's an Irix that's wider that's also a possible) and the Nikkors what would you folks recommend? Many thanks in advance.
Post edited by Capt_Spaulding on


  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I have numerous AIS lenses (15mm 3.5, 20mm 2.8, 24mm 2.8, 28mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.2) and I cannot imagine them being suitable for astrophotography compared to what is on offer today. They are great at 5.6 or 8.0, which is where I use them, but when you are shooting astrophotography, you are wide open where all of these lenses show their limitations.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 676Member
    Rats. I was afraid of that. It's been a while. My previous experience was with 50mm 1.7 Rokkors and royal gold 1000. Any experience with or opinions on with the likes of the Rokinon or the Irix? Thanks.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,492Moderator
    edited April 2018
    This is one of my favourite genres.

    I have had the 14/2.8 Rokinon and the 24/1.4. The 14 was subject to too many aberrations for me, the 24 was better in that regard though not as good as the hype (internet chatter) around it. I personally found it extremely hard to focus the Rokinon because the focus action was far too light. Nothing p's me off more than getting home to find my stars aren't pin-sharp (the ridiculously high noise levels in live view of Nikons really doesn't help us there). I tried a 35/1.4 Art, but sound the angle of view too narrow and decided that the narrowest I could stand was 24mm which gives an 8 second shutter speed. If you aren't using a tracking head, you have to use the 200 rule or you are just kidding yourself. If you just want facebook snaps to impress your chums, that is one thing but I am assuming you want to print large. I was just about to buy the Irix when a mate of mine bought it for landscapes and it suits that purpose very well, but for starscapes, it may not be the best choice, to be honest, I don't know yet as I haven't compared the new Rokinon 14/2.4, Irix 15/2.4 and the hideously expensive 14/1.8 Art. There is a comparison on the net, but I found an inconsistency in it which made me doubt its value. The Irix has a high 'T' stop number which gives a noticeably dark view finder which means lost photons. This is so marked that my friend and I went out together and were photographing the same landscape subject but his exposure times were waaay longer than mine due to light lost in his Irix.

    My favourite lens at the moment is my 24-35 f2 Sigma Art which gives a nice bright viewfinder, best aberration performance of any I have used yet and the versatility of a zoom. It doubles up as a great landscape lens too. It rarely leaves my camera body. Aberrations are not a topic where Zeiss owners can say they excel either, I have seen 24mm Zeiss owners nightscapes and they are not as good as my Siggy.

    My quest for an ultra-wide continues, maybe between us we can get there.

    PS, anybody contributing should state whether they shoot crop or FF as most lenses are great for aberration on a crop sensor, but of course you lose out on shutter speed. I bought a Nikon 20/1.8 on the recommendation of a guy on here that I trust only to find it was crap and had to be sent straight back. This is due to me shooting the FX D750 and him shooting crop.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
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