night photography

Finding the Best Lens for Night Photography

Best Lens for Night Photography

One of the first steps in finding the best lens for night photography involves studying multiple camera lenses. A single camera lens may not own the qualities needed for that specific photographer. Depending on a photographer’s unique style, the preference to one camera lens may differ from photographer to photographer. A lenses’ quality in night photography is also dependent on the subject. One lens may do well under a streetlight, but it may be harder to photograph stars or the moon in turn. For this reason, the best lens for night photography will differ, and it is dependent on the specific projects and styles of the photographer.

In order to pick the right lens, a photographer must be aware of their subject. An astrophotographer exhibits different needs than a general low-light photographer. For this reason, it is recommended to try as many camera lenses as possible, or at least study a wide range of camera lenses. Asking for advice from other photographers is highly recommended, especially if their style of photography and general subjects closely relate to you as a photographer.

​Night-based camera lenses typically exhibit low light sensitivity with a wide lens. Low light sensitivity puts lenses at an advantage by allowing them to capture things in dark or poorly lit areas. Wide lenses allow the photographer to capture as much of the subject as possible; this is especially useful for photographing the stars, moon, or planets at night. Wide angle lenses keep the stars from “smearing” due to the rotation of the earth. One of the biggest concerns for photographing things at night is quality, quick shutter speed is a way to determine which lens is the best lens for night photography.

​The Best Lens for Night Photography: Low Light Sensitivity

Certain camera sensors are able to collect more light than others. This is determined by the camera’s CCD (or CMOS) sensors. A technique for finding the best lens for night photography involves viewing the amount of pixels that a camera captures within a picture, which can be determined before purchasing the camera. The more pixels that a camera captures, the more light that the camera takes in. Good pixel quality alongside low-light sensitivity is good for poorly lit areas and dark rooms. Prioritizing low-light camera lenses gives the photographer the opportunity to capture a subject in dim streetlight quality, maybe even less. For this reason, the best lens for night photography will exhibit a high pixel at all times.

Lens Size and Width

The second aspect of a camera lens to look for as a photographer of dark subjects is width and length. The wider that a lens is, the more area of the subject that it captures, and it prevents smearing and trailing within the picture. Wider lenses also prevent general movement in the photograph, eliminating blur within the picture. Longer lenses put night photographers at a disadvantage because of excessive smearing within the picture. A close-up lens captures light within certain areas of the photograph, which is advantageous when photographing the Milky Way or the moon. The widest that a camera lens should be in order to effectively take photographs at night should be 24mm or shorter for an Advanced Photo System Camera.Taking advantage of a wide, short lens puts night photographers at an advantage by eliminating star trails and collecting more light within the actual photograph.

Shutter Speed

The speed of the shutter is crucial for how much light that the camera collects in pictures. If a camera captures light at 10 frames per second, then that is significantly faster than a camera that captures light at 20 frames per second. The shutter describes how long the shutter stays open to collect that light, but the longer that the shutter stays open, the more likely that the photograph will exhibit streaks of light. Low frame rate and high shutter speed is very important in finding the best lens for night photography.

Avoiding Image Noise, Blur, and Other Interferences

Not only will the best lens for night photography help the photographer avoid light streaks and poor quality pictures, it will also improve the quality of low-light images. In order to avoid noise and blur, a photographer must test multiple camera lenses against a wide range of subjects. A photographer may learn that their camera lens fairs well against low-light, but photographing the stars in no-light is impossible. Blur is another inevitable demon to overcome, and it takes a well-balanced camera lens to eliminate such a problem.

The solution behind image noise, blur, and other unseen interference's involves the size of the sensor. A small sensor may not fare well against low-light photography and maintain image quality. However, a bigger sensor helps the photographer overcome poor quality in low-light images. The quality of the image is also dependent on the pixel count; lower pixel count is more susceptible to image noise and blur.

Many photographers also believe that fewer megapixels equal better quality in low-light areas.Although this is not proven, many recommended camera lenses come with lower megapixels.However, megapixels are only a small factor towards the many qualities of any of the best lenses for night photography.

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