5 Best Moon Photography Lenses [2022]

by Ryan Hart | Updated on October 25, 2022 | Post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

When you want to capture the majesty of a wide, full moon on a summer evening, you need the right lens. Lunar photography can be challenging because often, what we see with our eyes isn’t what the camera captures.

Between planning out your shoot to work around the phase of the moon, its rising and setting times, and the weather, you want to be certain that your camera and lens can deliver the high-quality images you’re looking for. That’s where this guide can help you.

Check out the detailed analysis of each lens below to find the best lens for moon photography.

What is the Best Moon Photography Lens?

If you’re photographing the moon alone, you can get good results with a 200mm or 300mm lens. Still, to fill the frame, you’ll likely want an even longer telephoto lens, or you can use a teleconverter to extend a lens you already own.A 1500mm lens is an excellent choice for the fullest frame and will offer rich, detailed shots.

Here are the best lenses for photographing the moon and getting amazing results.

1. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens

Canon EF 100-400mm Lens

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens was specially designed for night sky photography that captures your subjects in crisp detail.

Canon is a well-known and loved brand for a reason. They create excellent products, and this lens is no different. The Canon EF 100-400mm is a superb choice for cutting-edge wildlife and nature photography.

Highlights:

  • The unique Canon UD element provides great contrast and resolution with minimal chromatic aberration.
  • The Air Sphere Coating significantly reduces backlit flaring and ghosting.
  • The 9-blade aperture offers soft backgrounds, and the 3-mode stabilizer provides four steps of image correction.
  • The telephoto aperture range of four to 5.6 is perfect for close-ups of the full moon, with a 1:3 magnification ratio.
  • Since this lens allows you to photograph a far distant object, like the moon, without using a tripod, you can get the perfect shot from anywhere you want, including rocky terrain.

What the Canon EF 100-400mm Does Best:

This lens provides extremely sharp images throughout the zoom range, and the stabilizer helps anyone to create beautiful shots. The focus is reliable throughout the zoom range and fast for capturing spontaneous photos.

Check Prices for the Canon EF 100-400mm Lens

2. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens

Canon EF 75-300mm Lens

The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lensis great for capturing a large landscape with the moon as the focal point. It can be your telephoto and zoom lens with a fantastic aperture that creates lovely blurred backgrounds and works in low-light conditions very well.

For high-contrast shots of the full moon against the dark sky, the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 minimizes chromatic aberrations.

Highlights:

  • The Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 is perfect for shooting high-detail images of celestial bodies, including the moon, stars, galaxies, and more. Because it can shoot out to 300mm, the zoom depth is very impressive.
  • The maximum aperture ratio is 1:4-5.6, which makes for a very good telephoto lens that can capture far-off objects like a full moon.
  • This lens for moon photography is also a wise choice because it’s great for low-light situations, including dusk and nighttime photos.
  • It’ll produce crisp images while remaining lightweight, which is essential if you’re out on location when photographing the moon.
  • No flashlights or tripods are required with this long exposure lens.

What the Canon EF 75-300mm does best:

Again, it’s hard to go wrong with a Canon. This telephoto lens is spectacular for long-range, low-light shots, which is exactly what you need for lunar photography.

Check Prices for the Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6

3. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm Lens

The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens kicks things up a notch. This DSLR lens has 500 millimeters of zoom power and 4.5 stops of vibration reduction, which can be great when hiking for the best moon shot. It’s very compact and offers soft backgrounds and incredible low-light performance.

Highlights:

  • This telephoto zoom lens is perfect for capturing detailed shots of faraway objects. You’ll get soft background across the entire zoom range with reduced lens flare and ghosting.
  • The Silent Wave Motor AF system is fast-focusing. It offers enhanced control for spontaneous shots, like clouds passing over the moon in just the right way.
  • It’s lightweight and compact for such a powerful lens and keeps images sharp with stabilization features.
  • Paired with DX-format cameras, you’ll get an additional 1.5x zoom effect for an angle of view equal to 750mm.

What the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm does best

Nikon is another trusted name in photography. With the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, you can get incredible shots of the moon with depth, high contrast, and crisp quality.

Check Prices for the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm

4. Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens

Sigma 150-600mm Lens

The Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lensis an excellent choice for those starting out in the industry and looking for the best lens for moon photography on a budget.

It’ll produce sharp images of the moon with great detail and contrast no matter your skill level. The telephoto zoom lens is also excellent for sports or wildlife photography.

Highlights:

  • The Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary offers variable aperture in a hyper-telephoto lens. It’s lightweight, compact, and can handle very long reach.
  • It offers the latest Sigma technology, including a Hyper Sonic Motor that’s quiet and optimized for long-range shooting.
  • The optical stabilizer has an accelerometer that improves panning photography vertically and horizontally.
  • The zoom lock can be set for any focal length, and it has a new manual override for making adjustments for improved focusing.
  • The SIGMA Optimization Pro updates lens firmware and is USB-dock compatible.

What the Sigma 150-600mm does best

The Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary is an excellent choice for sharp, detailed photos at an impressive zoom. Thanks to the high maximum reach, you’ll be able to capture the moon in the full frame or create a beautiful landscape, incorporating wildlife.

Check Prices for the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary

5. Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lens

Sony FE 200-600mm Lens

The Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Super Telephoto Zoom Lensis another excellent lens from a company known for its quality and innovative designs. As one of the highest-end lenses on the list, this telephoto moon photography lens offers incredible resolution throughout the entire zoom range. It’s versatile and offers excellent image quality for all your full-frame moon photos.

Highlights:

  • The Sony FE 200-600mm lens offers amazing quality with extra-low dispersion glass elements and an aspherical element for minimal chromatic aberration and sharpness from corner to corner.
  • The Nano AR coating minimizes ghosting and flare as well.
  • The incredible zoom range is sharp all the way to the maximum depth, and the DDSSM delivers fast, precise, and quiet autofocusing and capture.
  • The 11-blade aperture adds beautiful bokeh to the backgrounds, even using the narrow depth of field at the super-telephoto lengths.
  • Because it’s so fast and quiet, it’s great for wildlife moon photography when you want to capture birds and other animals along with a gorgeous full moon.

What the Sony FE 200-600mm does best

The Sony FE 200-600mm is an excellent high-quality lens that is perfect for mid-range to established professional photographers. The internal zoom mechanism is a customer favorite throughout reviews and provides stability on such a long lens.

Check Prices for the Sony FE 200-600mm

What is a Moon Photography Lens?

A moon photography lens is a special type of lens that is designed for taking pictures of the moon. Moon photography lenses typically have a long focal length, which allows them to capture a lot of detail.

They also usually have a large aperture, which helps to reduce the amount of time that is needed to expose the film or sensor to the light.

Moon photography lenses can be very expensive, but they are worth the investment if you want to take high-quality pictures of the moon.

How to Take a Picture of the Moon

A DSLR or mirrorless camera will provide the best moon photographs, but even a smartphone can produce great images with the right settings.

Once you have your camera ready, you'll need to find a clear night sky with minimal light pollution. The moon will be brightest when it is closest to the horizon, so try to position yourself accordingly.

If you're using a DSLR or mirrorless camera, then set your focus to manual and turn off autofocus. Then, use your camera's live view function to zoom in on the moon and adjust the focus until the image is sharp.

Finally, take the picture! For best results, use a tripod and set your shutter speed to 1/500 or higher. With a little practice, anyone can capture stunning images of the moon.

Bottom Line

A telephoto lens is a type of camera lens that allows you to take images of distant objects with greater detail than a standard lens.

When taking pictures of the moon, a telephoto lens can be especially useful for capturing close-up shots of craters and other surface features.

In addition, telephoto lenses typically have a large maximum aperture, which means they can gather more light than a standard lens. This is important for taking pictures of the moon, since the moon is often quite dimly lit.

Finally, telephoto lenses have a relatively long focal length, which means they can magnify the image of the moon, making it appear larger in your photo. For all these reasons, using a telephoto lens is the best way to capture clear, detailed photos of the moon.