A good lens is crucial for astrophotography, and more often than not, such lenses don't come cheap. But when paired with one of the best cameras for astrophotography, the results are truly astounding.
If you're in the market for a wide-angle zoom lens that performs well for astro, you'll want to check out this Black Friday deal on the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens — now $1899 ($500 off the RRP).
When we reviewed the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens, we thought it ticked every box and were very impressed at its sharpness and overall image quality. A great lens for astrophotography needs to have a wide focal length, a large aperture and be sleek and simple to use (especially in the dark) — and this lens has all of that. That's why we rated it as one of the best lenses for astrophotography.
- Read our Black Friday 2024 deals page for big discounts on space gifts
There are some things to consider, though. It's not the most lightweight lens at 840g, so you'll need to be happy to carry that weight around with you. In our full Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM review, we noted that we saw a small amount of fall-off in terms of sharpness towards the edges of the frame when shooting wide open at f/2.8, but it wasn't enough to ruin a photo.
That said, the image stabilization in this lens is very impressive, and we were able to get a handheld shot of the Milky Way with a 1.6 sec exposure. The lens itself has 5 stops of image stabilization which can be bumped up to 8 stops when paired with an appropriate RF mount Canon camera with in-body image stabilization.
If this Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Black Friday deal inspires you to make the jump to Canon, you'll need one of the best mirrorless cameras to pair it with — and the Canon EOS R3 has $1000 off in this Black Friday deal.
Key Specs: 15-35mm focal length, f/2.8 maximum constant aperture, 82mm filter thread, Canon RF mount compatible, 840g/1.85 lbs, 3.5 x 3.5 x 5 inches, has two buttons.
Consensus: It's fast, sharp and versatile — the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is one of the best lenses for Canon RF cameras that money can buy.
Buy if: You have a decent budget and shoot a variety of photographic styles.
Don't buy if: You're a beginner and don't have a big budget, or you shoot purely astro, as you'll want a prime lens with a wider aperture.
Alternative models: If you focus solely on astro, you'll want a prime lens with a wide aperture. Unfortunately, ultra wide-angle primes with an aperture wider than f/2.8 are sorely missing in Canon's RF lens catalog, but if you're on a budget, this Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM lens would do the job, but it's not going to be as good image quality as the 16-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM. You can use the Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens on an EOS R camera though, which would be good for astro with its wide f/1.8 aperture.
If it's the wide focal length you want, try this Canon RF 14-35mm f/4 L IS USM deal. It wouldn't be as suited to astro due to the f/4, but you gain an extra 2mm on the wide end for landscapes and it's much cheaper.
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Kimberley Lane is a landscape & seascape photographer living in South Wales. Originally using photography as a way to cope with health issues, she aims to portray a feeling of calm and peace through her images. Her work has been featured in a number of national photography magazines.