Most of the beginner photographers have tried to capture the moon and failed miserably. They often blame their camera for not being able to capture the moon clearly, but lenses play an essential role.
If you want to capture the moon with all of its details and marks, a good lens is a must. There’s no way around that.
But it’s not all about gears. Skills and expertise are needed for capturing a stunning shot of the moon through your lens.
Best lens for moon photography in 2023
Lenses are much improved in 2023 with their functional ability. Now, high-functioning lenses don’t weigh a lot like older lenses. Sony, Nikon, Canon and other companies are competing to produce the best lens of the current time.
Each of the top brands has some unique features that make one different from the other. That is why it is tough to determine the best lens for moon photography.
However, by determining the needs of moon photography, we can compare the lenses and choose the best one from them. Every lens has its speciality in specific fields. Some lenses are suitable for wildlife photography of insects while others are good for astrophotography.
Comparison table of top 10 lens for moon photography
|Nikon AF-S DX|
|* 18 mm (Focal Length)|
* 1.21 (pounds)
* 3.9 x 3.1 x 3.1 (inches)
|WEEBUY150X-0513||* 360 mm |
* 0.16 (pounds)
* 18.8 x 9.1 x 5
|Canon EF 2746B002|
|* 800 mm|
* 9.92 (pounds)
* 18.1 x 6.4 x 6.4
|Panasonic H-E08018-cr||* 8 mm|
* 12.8 (pounds)
* 3.5 x 4.5 x 7.2
|Opteka||* 650 mm|
* 1.43 (pounds)
* 18.5 x 4.1 x 4.1
|Nikon Zoom Lens||* 70 mm|
* 15 (pounds)
* 4.6 x 2.9 x 2.9
|Altura Photo||* 8 mm|
* 1.14 (pounds)
* 3 x 3 x 3
|Panasonic G X VARIO II||* 12 mm|
* 1 (pounds)
* 4 x 4 x 4.8
|Canon EF-S||* 55 mm|
* 13.8 (pounds)
* 4.2 x 2.8 x 2.8
|Canon EF||* 24 mm|
* 1.77 (pounds)
* 4.5 x 3.5 x 3.5
Our 10 picks of best lens for moon photography
1. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR – Simply the best
The Nikon AF-SDX is one of the best options to go for if you want a portable lens with a promising level of optical performance. This lens has been designed with advanced features such as the three extra-low dispersion glass elements which are designed to correct chromatic aberrations or optical color defects, caused due to indifferent light wavelengths.
It is designed for capturing both images and videos in several different situations. You can also take a wide-angle or super-telephoto photo using it. Its VR function lessens camera shakes as it provides a faster shutter speed.
It is very lightweight, weighing around 550g and measures approximately 78.5mm (d) into 99mm (l). At the wide end, you may feel as if you turned the ring too far to get very little change.
In terms of survivability, we suggest you don’t hit the front of it. To conclude, the Nikon AF-SDX is a good, portable lens that can do almost anything. That is why it is easily the best lens for moon photography Nikon is producing.
- It is a portable lens that acts as a contributing factor.
- It has a focal length of 18-300mm and zoom ratio of 16.7x.
- It delivers a crisp, high-quality image in high pixel count cameras.
- Its autofocus is fast and accurate, and manual focus is good at the long end.
- Bokeh mode is good at 100mm and longer.
- Filter threads, hood mounts and zoom ring are made of plastic.
- The front portion of the lens is not very strong and may break if hit.
- Strong distortion might be an issue for some people.
The Nikon AF-DX minimizes camera shakes by providing a stable effect equivalent to the shutter speed of 4.0. The camera helps in delivering high-quality images with stunning clarity. That is why it’s our top pick when it comes to moon photography.
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2. WEEBUY – Best telescope for moon photography
Yes, a telescope is very useful for moon photography. Especially if you want close-up shots with all the details of the moon’s service, this is why we are recommending the WEEBUY telescope.
The glass of the telescope is highly coated for clear and crisp images. Due to the presence of a special moon filter, the viewing of the moon and its craters become easy.
The device is highly portable and due to the quick and easy way of assembling and dissembling the products makes it highly valuable.
The stability of the telescope comes due to the special tripod fixed in it that allows a clear image of the moon or any other beautiful scenery. The pictures of far distant can also be seen due to the wide range of lenses.
The bigger and better lenses make it easy for astronomers to view objects. The earth telescope is less likely to be damaged by flying space debris. The stability of the telescope gives a clear image of the moon or any other cluster of objects.
- It has an aperture of 70mm and a focal length of 360mm f/4.
- The picture is of good quality.
- Tripod is stable, which makes the viewing of object non-disturbing.
- Easy to assemble.
- A very powerful telescope.
- The price usually is very high.
- If mistakenly broken it becomes hard to repair.
- The instruments are not replaceable and become out of date very often.
Due to the glass coating, the images are sharp and crisp. The telescope is easy to assemble and dissemble. The telescope lens becomes way more stable with the help of a tripod. The telescope is lightweight and portable and can be carried to places.
3. Canon EF – Full-time manual focus feature
The Canon EF is the most expensive lens manufactured by Canon. The lens is widely sharp from corners and slightly sharper at the bottom. For making it no less than the best lens for moon photography, Canon has put a lot of features in this product.
One of the most significant improvements in the lens is reduced vignetting. The 800mm focal length nicely magnifies the out of focus background of an image by creating a strong blurred background.
Chromatic aberration (CA) tends to be very low, and the flare is very well controlled. The main expectation is of the color and contrast of the picture with the help of this lens which is very pleasing. The image quality is excellent.
The Canon EF 800mm be the longest telescoping lens among other canon lenses. It consists of a ring-type ultrasonic motor and inner focus system, which makes the image sharper by all means. The outstanding correction of color fringing along with a good contrast comes from the refined optical design.
- Full-time manual focus.
- Super Spectra lens coating which delivers a clear image.
- The extension tube allows good focussing.
- 8 blade rounded aperture creates a strongly blurred background.
- The heavyweight of the camera makes it difficult to carry.
- Hand holding of the lens without any support would be of risky.
- The framing of images becomes difficult because of the 800mm focus.
- Exposures at f/5.6 are darker even in the centre of the frame, which is more than f/8 exposures.
The weight of the lens is quite heavy and becomes challenging to carry out. While telescoping a moon, the image barely fits into the picture. The lens is a bit costly, but when it comes to sharpness and high-resolution photos, we should count on this lens.
4. Panasonic G LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT – For excellent pictures and videos of the moon
The PANASONIC LUMIX Professional 8-18mm Camera Lens has a wide-angle which provides a great deal of zoom into a picture.
Panasonic after collaborating with Leica manufactured a camera lens which provides clear and sharp images with controlled fringing and aberrations, and this is due to the low dispersion and aspherical images.
The nano surface coating above the lens helps to minimize flare and ghosting so that the picture can have increased color accuracy and contrast. The metal body is durable with splash and dustproof.
The 240fps autofocus helps in clicking pictures as well as shooting videos. The rounded seven-blade diaphragm provides a pleasing bokeh mode.
The lens is heavy and would not fit in normal filters. The lens also requires gentle handling. Braking of any part would cost a lot. The lens feels very built and more massive than usual lenses.
- The wide-angle zoomed lens delivers a clear view of the very depth of the image.
- Nano surface coating reduces unwanted ghosting and flaring.
- High speed auto focus of 240fps for improved video performance.
- Durable metal body for any kind of harsh weather.
- 4k video support for smooth running of any shoot.
- Not optimal for astrophotography.
- The front glass elements retract into the lens when zoomed inwards.
- The tube it is fixed in is fully opened where dust and moisture could enter easily.
All-round performance of the lens is superb. It is a great lens with a perfect weight. The image tends to be sharp at almost all the focal lengths. The only things that it lags behind are the variable aperture along with the long end tube, which is fully opened to allow dust to enter easily.
5. Opteka – Highly compatible
The Opteka is a high definition manual focus telephoto zoom lens for both professional and amateur photographers. The lens is designed for photographing distant objects.
The lens is super adapting for a variety of wide-angle camera types. The optical lens is fully multi-coated for the suppression of ghost and flare images. The built-in rotating tripod mounts the lens very steadily and easily to the tripod.
A soft lens pouch is given in addition to store the lens while travelling. The item weighs 1.43 pounds. It has a minimum focus distance of 4.9m and has an aperture of f/8-16. The unbeatable purity and color saturation beat the need for lab color timing corrections for other filters.
Using a tripod while shooting is necessary to allow a stable shoot overall. The size of the lens gives it a very heavy look, but in actual it only weighs 1.43 pounds which is nearly 2 kg.
The Opteka lens is very simple to use for professional photographers. The quality of the image is excellent. Due to the superzoom feature, far off images could be seen very easily. The slip ring present allows you to rotate the camera with convenience.
- The advanced optics used by the lens reduces chromatic and spherical aberrations.
- The super zoom performs spectacularly well.
- The compatibility of the device is very high.
- The solid construction of the lens helps it withstand hard situations.
- A very feature limited lens.
- Not recommended for amateur photographers as it is difficult to operate.
- Manual focus is difficult and slow.
- The focus is not very high and stable.
Overall the lens is of a high quality which clicks tremendously good pictures. The price is not very high. It brings you really close to the subject matter located miles away.
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6. Nikon 70mm – Lightweight Nikon lens for moon shots
This lens works great on FX if you want to buy a cheap lens and goes well with a tripod. The lens goes great with portraits but not very well with landscapes.
For making it a decent lens for moon photography, Nikon has made some developments in this product that previous versions lacked.
The lens works with almost all FX digital cameras. The lens only works with autofocus cameras. It works fine at almost all focal lens. The autofocus speed is somewhat identical and slow.
The maximum aperture is 300mm with a focal length of f/5.6. The hood is of plastic and not metal, and there are no front bumpers.
- The image stabilization makes handholding more efficient.
- The lens is of a lightweight.
- The stability of the image enhances with the use of a tripod.
- Works on auto-focusing camera.
- Good at taking portraits.
- High power 4.3x zoom lens.
- Does not work on manual camera.
- Not good at capturing landscape photography.
- Does not produce very sharp images as compared to other high-end lenses.
- Not suitable for professional photographers.
The lens provides a lot to learn about real photography. Very much comfortable for amateur photographers. The lightweight and the low price makes it more efficient for buying the product.
You can capture wonderful night photos at higher shutter speeds. The only thing that it lags behind is the non-availability of working on manual cameras.
7. Altura Photo – Lens with high-quality multi-layered coating.
The Altura photo fisheye lens in the new addition to a professional series of lenses. The straightforward use of the lens makes it easy for amateur photographers to capture images.
With a multilayer lens coating, the AP-8MC unlocks new angles for capturing high definition sharp pictures. The highly advanced optics makes the Altura fisheye the most used and ultimately the best fish-eyed lens. Comes with an additional petal lens hood which can be used to protect the lens from damage during travelling.
It is a great lens for landscape photography which makes it one of the best lenses for astrophotography. It doesn’t really show up with the perfect sharpness of distant images.
It is a recommended product for creative landscape but not for portraits. The focus and aperture work manually. The fisheye lens goes well with artistic shots and landscapes. It takes stunning pictures in the low light camera. There is a decent range of angles to make the picture look straight.
- Aperture range- 8mm and focal length of F/3-22.
- Multilayer lens coating for reduced flare and ghosting.
- Manual focus and aperture control increase the demand for this fisheye lens.
- Lens construction with hybrid aspherical elements to increase the sharpness of an image.
- The lens sometimes is of poor quality.
- Doesn’t fit to most of the Nikon cameras.
- The autofocus is rather disturbing as it takes time to focus a distant image.
- It is hard to adjust the image manually.
The overall performance of the lens is spectacular as it proves to be the best astrophotography lens because of its stability using a tripod.
The lens proves to be the best for the landscape picture shoot and lags behind portrait pictures as its main aim is to provide sharpness of an image rather than blurring the background.
8. Panasonic G X VARIO II – Good looking and durable
The PANASONIC LUMIX Professional 12-35mm Camera Lens is a versatile zoom wide-angle lens which is particularly popular for capturing portrait pictures. It provides a 24-70mm equivalent focal length range.
With the help of this focal length, the lens provides a convenient performance throughout the zoom range. The main benefit for this type of lens is that it works very well in the low light background and also helps to control the greater depth of the field.
Nano coating enables the lens to reduce ghosting and flaring. The power optical image stabilizer increases the stability of the camera to suit the handheld shooting. The all-metal durable body keeps the lens away from dust particles and enables it to use in harsh conditions.
A good tripod increases the stability of the lens. There is less flaring and ghosting due to nano-coating. The lens is amazing for video capturing. Fix sharply with all focal length lightweight, and contrasty.
The only thing that it lags behind is bokeh mode which helps to enhance the image. The quality of the image is excellent in every aspect. The build quality is acceptable though the lens is dense than the 12-35. The shape of the lens looks like a tank, but it does not make it look cheap.
Image quality is very good until you compare it with newest 70-200 designs of Nikon and Canon. Image separation is not taken under consideration until you would check it on a larger format with the same lens.
- Standard zoom for micro four-thirds mirror less-camera.
- Bright constant focal length maintains consistent performance.
- Nano surface coating applied to reduce ghosting.
- The metal finish of the lens prevents the entry of dust and splash.
- Videos are unwatchable due to the issue with jittering.
- The lenses contain few bugs which are not repairable.
- It creates a problem while shooting video because of focus breathing.
The Panasonic Lumix is a versatile wide-angle lens which magnifies to a very great extent. The aperture ranges from f/2.8 to f/22. The lens is suitable for cinematic shoots and not landscape events.
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9. Canon EF-S – For both amateur and professional
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II is one of the most inexpensive lenses with less metal and more plastic. It has a 400mm effective focal length of f/4-5.6 which is most suitable for wildlife photography. Wildlife and sporty images require a low fps to achieve fast shutter speed, the lens, unfortunately, provides a 250mm fps which is not very much suitable for clicking motion pictures. At least the excellent image stabilizer helps to lower the shutter speed to capture motion pictures. The blurred movement somehow cannot be prevented.
The lens works very well for amateur photographers. The price of the lens is not very high, and photographers get them at a minimal rate. You get decent shots with the 18-55 mm kit. The lens becomes effectively stable with the help of a tripod. Very good for close-up pictures.
The lens build quality is of a low end. A plastic lens mount gives a quick sign of whether the lens is kept in the right position or not. Micromotor delivers relatively slow AF, but it is not a very big problem.
There is no focus limiting switch; as a result, the image could get zoomed to a very great extent and make the picture look quite blurry. The lens is not parfocal as it requires to refocus on the image after the change of the focal length.
- It captures images within a range of 250mm.
- Works well with amateur and semi-professional photographer.
- Works tremendously well with portrait pictures.
- The stabilization of the lens makes it more powerful capturing steady images.
- Cannot capture clear images for more than 250mm.
- Not suitable for professional photographers.
- Always faces a problem with depth of fields.
The image quality of this lens is very interesting as it attracts many photographers due to its high-end resolution pictures. The nano-coating prevents the lens from flare and ghosting.
10. Canon EF 24mm – High accuracy lens for clear moon pictures
The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II is a high-performance lens with a consistently large aperture and zooming lens with a wide focal length. The lens achieves super quality image due to the magnification type chromatic aberrations.
The autofocus is silent and catches the image very quickly. Manual focus is also available for these types of lenses to click soft-focus images. The lens is also perfect for close-up shots with the minimum focusing distance of 0.38m and magnification of 0.29x.
Canon as a whole couldn’t fix the image stabilization of any of the lenses of this series, except that the lens works tremendously well in low light. This kind of lens is used for portrait images. There is less option for price ranges as the lens is of top-notch quality.
The stabilization is the only part where the lens lags behind. The focusing system is really quick and silent. It does not have any body image stabilization so it might make the image blurry.
- It is best for both image quality purposes as well as accuracy.
- The lens is very shard and also has excellent contrast.
- The autofocus is extremely fast.
- Contains a multiple range of focal lengths.
- The price is very high.
- Lack of stabilization.
- Manual focus is time-consuming.
- The lens does not omit OIS (optical image stabilization).
The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II is an overall high-performance lens with excellent overall image quality. The lens mainly focuses on the sharpness and the contrast of the image. It creates a beautiful combination of the body and lens. Consider buying this lens for best overall performance.
Things to consider when buying best lens for moon photography
Moon photography is not quite the same as general astrophotography. Astrophotography can be taking pictures of stars, galaxies and other celestial objects including the moon. But if you are interested in only moon photography, you need your lens to be specific features for that.
So, what makes moon photography different? Well, first of all, the difference in light. Moon is the second brightest object of the sky, and that means, it does not require for a lens to have a very low aperture.
Stars are not very bright because of the distance. So, taking photos of stars is entirely different from moon photography. But both are still a subcategory of astrophotography or night sky photography.
Another thing to know is that the moon does not have the same shape all the time. We all know that it changes eight times in a month. Most photographers are interested in taking pictures of a full moon and close up shots of the moon’s surface.
There are some other things to consider when you are going to buy the best lens for moon photography. We have described them below for your assistance.
Any random type of lens is pretty useless in moon photography. There are specific lenses that are usable for this purpose. There are even subcategories of moon photography as a result; you need to know what kind of moon photography you are interested in.
To have a general idea, we can recommend a lens that can give you good performance. That’s a telephoto lens, also known as a zoom lens. If you are a beginner, the best choice for you can be a zoom lens. A telephoto lens has a 60mm or more focal length, which helps in moon photography.
Even in general photography, the aperture is an important term to know. You might already know about this if you have a minimum understanding of cameras. In that case, skip to the last paragraph of this section where have talked about the aperture range for moon photography.
For those of you who don’t have an understanding of aperture, the aperture is the term that describes the opening of the diaphragm through which light passes. The measurement unit of the aperture is f/number. The smaller the number, the bigger the aperture and brighter pictures.
It does not take high aperture to capture the bright moon in a moonlit night. We recommend an aperture range of f/8 to f/10 for the best performance.
Frequently asked questions
This field of photography needs special features. You might come across to some confusion while dealing with them. This is why we have provided the top 10 questions when it comes to moon photography.
What ISO setting is needed for moon photography?
Keeping the ISO as low as possible is the best method. Best lens for taking pictures of the moon should have a wide range of ISO.
Why am I unable to take close-ups of the moon?
You might haven’t use the right settings for it. You can find further information about it on the web.
What should be the shutter speed for moon photography?
We recommend a minimum shutter speed of 1/80th for camera lens for moon photography.
Manual vs autofocus, which is better?
Definitely manual. But as a beginner, you can use autofocus to get used to the lens.
Are all the lens suitable for a professional?
Not all lenses can be a good choice for professionals but can be a good starting point for newbies.
What should be the aperture for moon photography?
f/8 can be a good setting for a full moon.
Why is stabilization important?
You do not want your camera moving even a bit when taking pictures. This is why stabilization is a must.
Telescopes vs Lenses, which one should I use?
Telescopes are definitely better for some fields. But if you are a newbie, we suggest that you get used to a lens first.
How to be sure of the compatibility?
The best way is to buy the featured lens for your camera. Nikon and Canon have featured lenses that are compatible with most of their cameras.
What are the extra pieces of equipment that I should use?
You need a good tripod, a compatible lens, and the best camera for moon shots and you’re good to go.
Moon photography is not as simple as we may think. The field has its special requirements, and we recommend our readers to have good knowledge of all the necessary information.
Only some photography gears cannot take a picture great. The person behind the camera needs to know the camera well to ensure high-quality and stunning photos of the beautiful moon.
This is why besides purchasing the best lens for moon photography, we advise you to improve your skills to become a professional.
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