by Ryan Hart | Updated on January 25, 2023 | 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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