What is the best lens for milky way time lapse?

Niels Tholen

Hey guys,

I always wanted to make a time lapse of the milky way moving acros the night sky. To get the best results I need a lens with a big aperture. I found a fantastic comparison of 'milky way lenses', check this out:


This review shows that the Rokinon 24mm f1.4 is the best choise. Since I am a APS-C shooter I believe 24mm is not wide enough (24mm = 38mm) on my Canon 70D. The Rokinon 16mm f2.0 seems to be a good choise too and I think it is wide enough to capture a milky way scene, but I am not sure about this.

Does anyone own the Rokinon 16mm f2.0 and use it on a APS-C camera? Maybe you shot the milky way with it and like to share the results in this post? Any other lens advice is welcome to.

Thanks everybody,



TLN Community Manager
Staff member
Maybe you're talking about the 14mm f2.8. I have that one and it's amazing! I would put an eye on the nost recent 10mm f2.8 still from rokinon/samyang. I had my hands on it and it has the same quality as the 14mm but it's even wider with not a lot more distortion as the 8mm

Niels Tholen

Thanks for your reply!

The 14mm f2.8 scores 1032 points, the 16mm f2.0 scores 1875 point in the review. Based on this review the 16mm seems to be the better choise. Since I have no experience with it I was wondering if anybody around here had some experience with it.

I'll definitly look into the 14mm f2.8, thanks Alan


Active time-lapser
Hi Neils

I wouldn't personally be too worried about an f2.8 lens, and I only say that as I do normal landscape photography with night work also, but only use my Sigma 10-20mm f4 (On a Pentax K50) depending on how well your camera handles iso noise, f3.5 or f4 is usually sufficient if you have issues finding one you're happy with. I personally really rate the Sigma fantastic lenses. This is one of my fairly recent shots using the Sigma. Not trying to hijack your thread mind, just want to show what is capable of :)


Niels Tholen

Hi Justjay,

Don't worry about hijacking this thread. This is exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks for your reply!

I also have a Sigma lens (35mm f1.4 Art) and itnis fantastic. I also have the Canon 10-22 f3.5/4.5 but I did not get shots like you made. Probably I don't shoot the night sky at a place that's dark enough (to much light pollution). In the future I will try to shoot the milky way with my 10-22 again at a darker location!


Active time-lapser
Hey Niels

Ah well if you have the Canon, that should be easily sufficient! What's the noise handling on the 70D? F3.5 should be good :)

It could well be how dark it is, although if you try to ETTR you can get it :) not sure if you use any app to find the band though?

Niels Tholen

Hey Justjay,

Thanks again! The noise handling is ok at ISO 3200. At what ISO value did you shoot the above image?

And yes, I know my way around the night sky. I don't neet an app to track the milky way. I shot the milky way before and it is visible, but it does not 'pop' like your image above.


Active time-lapser
Think I was at 30sec 6400 iso, F4.

Ah that's good, wanted to check but no offence intended :) I think the key is to letting as much light in as possible, and the editing really helps. I've only just found a good way to edit them using Lightroom!

Aaron Priest

Active time-lapser
Nikon's 14-24mm f/2.8 is my favorite. Arguably the best night landscape lens ever made; extremely sharp edge-to-edge when wide open with very little coma, distortion, or vignetting. I shoot a lot of night timelapse and panoramas with it. Many Canon 6D shooters use the Nikon lens with an adapter.

Rokinon's 14mm f/2.8 and 24mm f/1.4 are incredible bargains for the quality, and Sigma's 35mm f/1.4 ART is also a beautiful night lens wide open, though a touch on the long side for landscape astrophotography. Those are the lenses we recommend the most at night photography workshops.
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