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The Holy Trinity of Landscape Astro Lenses

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Are you using the right lenses for landscape astrophotography? The traditional goto lens for landscape used to be a 16-35mm or thereabouts, as long as it had a maximum aperture of f/2.8, it could double for night duty. But with the advent of mirrorless cameras and smaller, lighter, more inexpensive lenses, what options are out there, and what would a professional landscape astrophotographer use?

In this video by Alyn Wallace, he shows us the three lenses he uses to capture those stunning astro landscapes. He doesn’t waste any time getting to the point of the video either, in the opening seconds we already know his astro “holy trinity” consists of a 14mm f/1.8, a 24mm f/1.4, and 50mm f/1.4. What follows after the reveal is a detailed explanation of why each lens made it into his kit, and what specific use each one has. For example, the 14mm and 24mm work well together because what the 14mm captures in one frame, he can opt to take a three-shot panorama with the 24mm and increase the resolution and detail. 

As someone who has not made the switch to mirrorless yet, weight is a precious commodity in my camera bag, and I have always been more attracted to higher quality zoom lenses like the 16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, and 70-200mm f/2.8. That trinity of lenses has always served me well in my landscape shooting. But having said that, I was seriously impressed with the sharpness and fidelity of the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 when I used it in Death Valley years ago. I also wasn’t that big into panoramas, so the idea of using a 24mm prime to do a rather minimal three-shot panorama never occurred to me. Regardless, this video has me questioning my kit and opening my eyes to different possibilities as I get more involved with astrophotography. 

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