What is the Best Canon Lens for Star Photography?

Whether you do star photography as a personal hobby or for other purposes, one thing is for sure, you need the best lens.

This ensures you get excellent quality long exposure shots of the night sky.

And when it comes to lenses, a few big names come to mind- Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Canon.

The latter is one of the most trusted household names and you won’t go wrong with their products.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at some of the best canon lenses for star photography worth taking for a night spin.

Top Choices

Best canon lens for astrophotography

Selections that seem to perform well for astronomical imaging include:

1. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

If all you need is to get super-wide shots of the night sky and other landscapes without burning a hole in your pocket, Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens could be worth considering.

It is one of the lightest Canon lenses designed to work with EOS crop sensor cameras.

The glass elements it packs, which include UD, aspherical, and the larger-diameter element ensure that it gets remarkable shots of the sky without aberration and distortion problems.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens also comes with image stabilization, which can help when using a tripod.

As for the level of freedom, you get a little thanks to its full-time manual focus. 

However, as a low-to-mid-priced lens, you really don’t want to expect a lot from it.

But if you are a beginner astrophotographer or someone into it for sheer fun, Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 is still a good deal.

Features

  • Optical image stabilizer
  • 10-18mm focal length
  • Nearest focusing distance
  • Ultra-low dispersion element
  • Full-time manual focus

 Pros

  • Attractive price point
  • Convenient image stabilization feature
  • Produces good quality shots
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons

  • Struggles in low-light situations

2. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon RF 15-35mm is one of Canon’s incredibly well-built lenses for night photography.

With a focal range of 15-35mm and Nano Ultrasonic AF, this fisheye lens nails amazing views of the celestial events.

Glorious details of the stars are visible at 35mm but with a slight drop in sharpness-something that doesn’t bug that much.

Plus, you can still crop images, an ability most lenses lack.  

Design-wise, this lens is beautiful and less cluttered allowing for a fuss-free operation.

Though unnecessary for astrophotography, it still bears 5 stops of optical stabilization that can be further stretched to 8 stops with a compatible RF body. 

As a versatile tool for astrophotography, architecture, landscape, and other types of photography, Canon RF 15-35mm is totally worth having.

Features

  • L-series glass
  • Beautifully crafted top
  • Silent focus & zoom rings
  • 15-35mm focal distance
  • Aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22
  • Nano ultrasonic AF

Pros

  • Comes with image stabilization
  • Clearly detailed images thanks to the generous aperture
  • Can crop images
  • Versatile to serve other functions
  • A beautiful and less-cluttered design
  • It works great with dark settings

Cons

  • Costs a pretty penny

3. Canon EF 17-40MM F/4L

Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L is another gem that takes epic star photographs.

The super Ultra-low Dispersion glass element together with the three Aspherical lens elements ensure your shooting experience will be immersive.  

Like other Canon lenses, this one too sports superior coatings to allow the use of digital SLRs.

On top of that, it has a full-time manual focus to override automatic settings. Courtesy of the robust design, the kit formidably withstands the rigors of harsh weather.

Besides astrophotography, Canon EF 17-40MM F/4L is also perfect for wedding and nature photography.

Furthermore, its focal range of 17-40mm might reduce the number of lenses you would need to carry along.

Does that sound like a sweet deal? If yes, then this lens might be a great grab.

Features

  • UD glass element
  • Ultrasonic Monitor
  • Full-time manual focus
  • 17-40mm focal range
  • Weather-resistant

Pros

  • Focuses silently
  • Designed to work even in harsh conditions
  • Versatile design
  • Superior picture quality

Cons

  • Lacks a wider aperture
  • You need a higher ISO camera to get clear shots

4. Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM

Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM is a versatile, ultra-fast lens that could come in handy for practically any photography situation.

It’s therefore the one gear you should have if you’ll be shooting something else later beside the stars.

The lens boasts spectra coating whose purpose is to tone down flare and ghosting. As such, you can expect it to capture sharper details both during the day and night time.

Also, it comes with a full-time manual focus for the freedom to pick your own settings.

There are a few setbacks with the Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM. First, its design is bulky and that can be discomforting.

Secondly, the large make adds more weight to your gear bag. Thankfully, Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 serves as a better replacement as it is both cheaper and weightless.

Features

  • Super Spectra coating
  • Manual focus override
  • Latest Ultrasonic Motor
  • 50mm focal range

Pros

  • Works well in both light and dark situations
  • Decent quality shots
  • High-speed autofocus
  • versatile to serve many purposes
  • offers freedom to override automatic settings

Cons

  • It’s fairly expensive 

5. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM is dependable on the true essence of the word itself.

With a focal distance between 16 and 35, this is another versatile workhorse that you can carry along for activities that stride beyond astrophotography.

Boasting a grandiose f2.8 wide aperture, and Subwavelength coating( SWC), this lens will get you stunning images that make you go “uh-huh.”

But before we talk about its astronomical price tag (which is totally worth it), note that the lens is also designed to resist dust, water, and other harsh conditions.

As one of Canon’s best wide-angle lens, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L features improved optics to do away with the sharpness that mostly appear on the edges of images.

So in exchange for such remarkable clarity, this lens comes at a price that many would deem expensive.

But if you are a professional photographer, this rig is worth splashing money on.

Features

  • 16-35mm focal length 
  • Top-quality SWC & Air Sphere coatings
  • 9-blade circular aperture
  • f/2.8 maximum aperture

Pros

  • Remarkably clear shots with reduced chromatic aberration
  • Reduced distortion in the corners of images
  • Superb control over the depth of field
  • Weather-resistant

Cons

  • It’s an expensive lens
Top canon lens for taking pictures of stars

Final Thoughts

To be frank, depending on who you ask, the answer for “what is the best canon lens for star photography” can be anything.

And there is one reason for that-personal preferences matter.

However, the few lenses we have recommended come highly praised by experts who point cameras to the sky most of the time.

As such, we are sure any choice you make will deliver impactful imagery!