Sony 50mm 1.8 prime lens for astro photography?

gkarkey

Novice Member
Original poster
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
1
Following
2
15
15
Sep 21, 2020
HI everyone,
I was wondering if you can throw your thoughts about using the Sony FE 50mm 1.8 prime lens (I got this for taking portrait pics of my infant) for astro photography.

I get few hours every fortnight to do some hobby photography.
I have recently bought a Sony alpha 7IVR with Sony FE 24-240mm lens and Sony FE 50mm 1.8 prime lens..
Before buying new lenses, i want to try astro photo with my existing lenses.

My understanding is that low f stop lens is better than higher ones for astro (i am more than happy to get corrected, i am just learning).
Hence I was wondering whether i could try the prime lens with a f stop 1.8 for astro photography.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JC Photography

Sdhiker

Novice Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
1
Following
1
13
13
Sep 28, 2020
Country
United States
City/State
San Diego, California
I've used it once before for some astrophotography, it worked ok. Just realize that unless you are going for a zoomed in view of a particular subject and the milky way you are more then likely going to want to stitch a few shots together to make a more complete picture. Also remember to at least go by the 400 rule, although I wonder if even that is to long on the Sony A7R IV, I have not tried mine for astro yet I've only been using my A7R3. The 400 rule is 400 divided by the focal length = number of seconds of exposure. For Example 400 / 50 mm = 8 seconds of exposure time before you will start to see trailing in the stars. When you are using a wide angle lens I think you can get away with it a little easier because its harder to see the start of star trailing but with 50 mm its going to be much more prominent. I would recommend picking up the new 20 mm F1.8 for some astro, it has gotten great reviews and is a little more affordable. I love using my 24mm f/1.4 for astro, but that is a much more expensive lens. Good Luck (y)
 
  • Like
Reactions: gkarkey

gkarkey

Novice Member
Original poster
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
1
Following
2
15
15
Sep 21, 2020
I've used it once before for some astrophotography, it worked ok. Just realize that unless you are going for a zoomed in view of a particular subject and the milky way you are more then likely going to want to stitch a few shots together to make a more complete picture. Also remember to at least go by the 400 rule, although I wonder if even that is to long on the Sony A7R IV, I have not tried mine for astro yet I've only been using my A7R3. The 400 rule is 400 divided by the focal length = number of seconds of exposure. For Example 400 / 50 mm = 8 seconds of exposure time before you will start to see trailing in the stars. When you are using a wide angle lens I think you can get away with it a little easier because its harder to see the start of star trailing but with 50 mm its going to be much more prominent. I would recommend picking up the new 20 mm F1.8 for some astro, it has gotten great reviews and is a little more affordable. I love using my 24mm f/1.4 for astro, but that is a much more expensive lens. Good Luck (y)

Thank you.

I'm thinking of getting a wide angle lens such as 20mm f1.8
Before that, I might try with the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 lens at 24mm f3.5 to start with and see how it goes.

I suppose the 16 secs exposure that I can get with 24mm @f3.5 might be better than 8 secs 50mm@1.8

I have never taken a Astro photo before. Now keen to test it out..
 

Sdhiker

Novice Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
1
Following
1
13
13
Sep 28, 2020
Country
United States
City/State
San Diego, California
I have read that the 20mm lens is really doing well for Milky Way's, that would be a great inexpensive lens to start with. Check out Lonley Speck for more information on Astrophotography. https://www.lonelyspeck.com/how-to-make-an-amazing-photo-of-the-milky-way-galaxy/. Its one of those subjects that you can never learn enough about. Just when you think you have it figured out you will learn a new technique that ups your game. Make sure to use the magnifying feature and zoom in on a bright star and then fine tune your focus until the star is a pinpoint of light before taking the shot, sometimes I will even move my camera to find a bright star in the sky, find focus and then move the camera back to the composition I want before snapping the shutter just to make sure I'm getting focus in. Hopefully you will like astrophotography, its a fun rabit hole to fall down. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: gkarkey

JC Photography

Active Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
6
Following
1
60
293
Aug 18, 2020
Name
Justin Childress
Country
United States
City/State
Carthage, NC
HI everyone,
I was wondering if you can throw your thoughts about using the Sony FE 50mm 1.8 prime lens (I got this for taking portrait pics of my infant) for astro photography.

I get few hours every fortnight to do some hobby photography.
I have recently bought a Sony alpha 7IVR with Sony FE 24-240mm lens and Sony FE 50mm 1.8 prime lens..
Before buying new lenses, i want to try astro photo with my existing lenses.

My understanding is that low f stop lens is better than higher ones for astro (i am more than happy to get corrected, i am just learning).
Hence I was wondering whether i could try the prime lens with a f stop 1.8 for astro photography.
Yea that probably going to be a little much for the milky way. You could always shoot a panorama and stitch them together. I recommend at least a 50% overlap. I would check out some of the Rokinon lenses for astro. They are really good MF prime lenses for very affordable prices.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gkarkey

JC Photography

Active Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
6
Following
1
60
293
Aug 18, 2020
Name
Justin Childress
Country
United States
City/State
Carthage, NC
HI everyone,
I was wondering if you can throw your thoughts about using the Sony FE 50mm 1.8 prime lens (I got this for taking portrait pics of my infant) for astro photography.

I get few hours every fortnight to do some hobby photography.
I have recently bought a Sony alpha 7IVR with Sony FE 24-240mm lens and Sony FE 50mm 1.8 prime lens..
Before buying new lenses, i want to try astro photo with my existing lenses.

My understanding is that low f stop lens is better than higher ones for astro (i am more than happy to get corrected, i am just learning).
Hence I was wondering whether i could try the prime lens with a f stop 1.8 for astro photography.
For settings I would shoot at f/1.8, 3" exposures, and ISO 2500-6400. You go much longer than 3" you will begin to get star trails. Thats the plus of using a wide angle as you can get much longer exposures.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gkarkey

tcoquelin

Novice Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
38
29
Aug 29, 2020
Before buying extra glass, get some practice with astro photo stacking process and tools (I use Siril)
Topics you can learn/practice:
  • Shooting planning (I use stellarium)
  • Choose best exposure time and ISO
  • Estimate the desired "equivalent total exposure time" (how many shoots do you need)
  • Get proper black, offset and flat reference frames (this is for sensor and lens calibration)
  • finally stack the hundreds of GB of photos you shoot with care
Before you get more glass, a start tracking system improve your results so much more than glass for the same amount of money ...
 

Pro Membership Upgrade

  • If you'd like to support this community you can easily do so by becoming a Pro Member and unlocking the following benefits:

    ✓ No Adverts in the Forums
    ✓ Pro Member Competitions
    ✓ Sell Items in the Marketplace
    ✓ Unlimited Gallery Uploads
    ✓ Higher Resolution Gallery Uploads
    ✓ Forum Profile Signature
    ✓ Custom Profile Cover Photo
    ✓ Advertise Your Photography Workshops

    Pro Member Upgrade

Shopping Links

You can also support this site by purchasing gear through the following affiliate links:
Although I would recommend supporting your local camera store if you have one.

User Menu

alpha shooters text logo

© 2020 Alpha Shooters. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Alpha Shooters is an independently run website and is not affiliated with Sony.com
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.