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Unleashing the full potential of a Nikon camera requires a lens that equals the resolving power within. The NIKKOR lenses are all designed to meet Nikon’s strict standards, and they win acclaim from astrophotography enthusiasts from all over the world. The superior performance of a NIKKOR lens working together with a Nikon camera makes a perfect partner for you as you explore the world of astrophotography.

AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
(shot at 14 mm)

Cygnus’s rear to Cassiopeia’s portion of the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy (the H-alpha region in Cygnus to Cepheus, such as North America Nebula) [fixed-mount shooting]

©Toshio Ushiyama

Camera: D810A
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Exposure: [M] mode, 13 seconds, f/2.8
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Normal/On
White balance: Color temperature (3850K)
Sensitivity: ISO 3200

NIKKOR lenses acclaimed by astrophotography enthusiasts

From the purist Nikon user to the enthusiast who wants to mount a NIKKOR to their cameras through a mount adapter, NIKKOR lenses have earned the trust of countless astrophotographers. This is because NIKKOR lenses live up to the high standards required for astrophotography: minimal peripheral distortion, sharp depiction, few chromatic aberrations, and reduced flare and ghosting.

One of the most popular lenses is the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, a fast, wide-angle zoom with a fixed maximum aperture. Even at the maximum aperture of f/2.8, this lens exhibits only minor distortions of the star’s image due to coma aberrations, and maintains quality depiction to every corner of the frame. As a result, it has gained widespread use among astrophotography professionals and enthusiasts.

Addressing wholeheartedly the demands from countless photographers in the field, the NIKKOR lenses have earned their trust for its excellent optical performance established over the years. The quality line-up will support your creative picture making in astrophotography, as well as general shooting.

Wide-angle lenses

Wide-angle lenses are those with a focal length shorter than 35 mm (FX/35mm format equivalent). These lenses are widely used for shooting star landscapes, and their ease of use makes them suitable for your first astrophotography lens. You'll be able to capture large constellations and the Milky Way in full frame, or compose a shot of the tapestry of stars with the scenery that surrounds you to create a dynamic expression.

Recommended subjects

Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G

Orion (includes diffuse nebula of Orion, and Rosette Nebula) [fixed-mount shooting]

©Toshio Ushiyama

Camera: D810A
Filter: Cokin X-Pro Diffuser Light Ref.820
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Exposure: [M] mode, 6 seconds, f/2.5
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Normal/On
White balance: Color temperature (4000K)
Sensitivity: ISO 3200

Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED

The Milky Way in summer with Mt. Chokaizan [tracking-mount shooting]

©Takayuki Yoshida

Camera: D750
Mount: Vixen Polarie [Celestial tracking mode]
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Exposure: [M] mode, 60 seconds, f/2.2
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Low/On
White balance: Auto
Sensitivity: ISO 2000

Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED (shot at 10 mm)

Sagittarius to Cygnus [tracking-mount shooting]

©Takayuki Yoshida

Camera: D5500
Mount: Vixen Polarie [Celestial tracking mode]
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Exposure: [M] mode, 180 seconds, f/4.5
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Low/On
White balance: Auto
Sensitivity: ISO 3200

Recommended wide-angle lenses

— AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Fixed maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range. Many astrophotographers have endorsed its excellent optical performance, producing much of their work using this zoom. Exhibits splendid edge-to-edge sharpness across the frame from the maximum aperture. Its ultra-wide angle of view of 114°-84° is best suited for creating dynamic star-landscape shots with, for example, the Milky Way in the frame.

— AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED

Compact, lightweight and superior performance achieved with the latest optical design. This is an ultra-wide prime with a 94° angle of view. Its maximum aperture of f/1.8 enables shorter exposure times for stopping the star trails at fixed-mount shooting. It also allows you to stop down a few steps and still enjoy image sharpness across the frame.

— AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED

An 84° angle-of-view lens well suited to star field photography with a wide perspective. Its resolving power brings out the best sharpness in your cameras. The fast maximum aperture of f/1.4 enables shorter exposure times for stopping star trails at fixed-mount shooting. It also allows you to stop down a few steps and still capture images with good point-image reproduction across the entire frame.

— AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G

This fast wide-angle prime with a 63° angle of view is good for framing a part of a constellation or a specific feature in the Milky Way. It is also suitable for shooting a widely spread nebula when used with a DX-format camera. Its sharpness across the entire frame gives it versatility for various uses, whether in fixed-mount or tracking-mount shooting.

— AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED

This compact and lightweight wide-angle lens realizes superior point-image reproduction. It also delivers the high resolving power and sharp rendering capability of prime lenses. Its angle of view of 63° is suited to framing part of a constellation or a specific feature in the Milky Way. The lightweight body facilitates loading the lens and camera to a portable tracking mount.

— AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

This 2.4x ultra-wide zoom for the DX-format delivers a stunningly wide angle. The angle of view of 109° at the maximum wide-angle position means you can capture the great summer triangle from Sagittarius to Cygnus along with the Milky Way. The zoom range of this lens allows various compositions combining the stellar sky with landscapes.

Normal lenses

Normal lenses are those with a focal length of around 50 mm (FX/35mm-format equivalent). Their fast maximum aperture means that you can use a fast shutter speed to capture stars. As with wide-angle lenses, the normal lenses are handy for beginners, and could be used for capturing the Milky Way or constellations, for example.

Recommended subjects

Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G

Bright part of the Milky Way in the vicinity of Sagittarius [tracking-mount shooting]

©Takayuki Yoshida

Camera: D750
Mount: Vixen AP Equatorial mount, sidereal time tracking
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Exposure: [M] mode, 60 seconds, f/2.8, composite of two frames
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Low/On
White balance: Auto
Sensitivity: ISO 3200

Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

Cygnus [tracking-mount shooting]

©Takayuki Yoshida

Camera: D5500
Mount: Vixen Polarie [Celestial tracking mode]
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Exposure: [M] mode, 120 seconds, f/3.2
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Low/On
White balance: Auto
Sensitivity: ISO 1250

Recommended normal lenses

— AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

At approx. 185 g, this remarkably light and compact normal lens achieves fine image quality with a new optical design including an aspherical lens element. With the fast maximum aperture of f/1.8, it is suitable for shooting nebulae that spread across the night sky with a pale light. Its angle of view is suitable for aiming at the densest and brightest parts of the Milky Way.

— AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G

This fast prime lens finely reproduces point light sources such as the stars and city lights as point images across the frame at the maximum aperture. The fast aperture of f/1.4 means that you can maintain low ISO sensitivity and shoot at a faster shutter speed. The angle of view at 40°50′gives a star field and star landscape view close to that visible to the naked eye.

— AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G

A compact and lightweight normal lens for the Nikon DX format. With the standard 44° angle of view in the DX format, this prime lens delivers fine depiction. The fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 captures even faint light from the stars. It is suitable for shooting nebulae that spread widely across the night sky.

Telephoto lenses

Telephoto lenses bring distant astronomical subjects close. A lens with a focal length from 100 to 300 mm range is handy when dealing with the night sky. You can target star clusters and nebulae by mounting your system onto a portable tracking mount.

Framing comparison with different focal lengths (M8 and M20 shot with AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II)

Shot at 100 mm

©Takayuki Yoshida

Shot at 200 mm

©Takayuki Yoshida

Camera: Nikon D750 Mount: Vixen AP equatorial mount, sidereal time tracking
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Nikon digital SLR cameras with a NIKKOR lens or a telescope Exposure: [M] mode, 120 seconds, f/3.2, composite of two frames
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Low/On
White balance: Auto
Sensitivity: ISO 1250

Recommended telephoto lenses

— AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

This telephoto zoom covers the focal-length range of 70 to 200 mm with a fixed maximum aperture of f/2.8. With the fast maximum aperture, this lens allows you to shoot star clusters or nebulae at short exposure times. Optimized for FX format cameras, the resulting images deliver stunning detail and contrast across the entire frame. Nano Crystal Coat also effectively reduces flare and ghosting effects.

— AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

A compact and lightweight telephoto zoom with an f/4 fixed maximum aperture. Nano Crystal Coat effectively reduces flare and ghosting effects. An experienced astrophotographer will find the 200 mm class lens handy for targeting nebulae, and the 70-200 mm focal-length range allows the shooting of various kinds of astronomical subjects. The lightweight body allows you to load the lens and camera onto a portable tracking mount.

— AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II

This fast telephoto prime with an f/2 maximum aperture delivers superb sharpness and high contrast even at the maximum aperture. Its 12°20′ angle of view is suitable for capturing large nebulae or star clusters all within the same frame. Equipped with a tripod-mount collar that is rotatable to 360° with 90° stops, you can switch between vertical and horizontal orientations while maintaining the optical axis.

— AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II

A highly regarded professional super-telephoto lens with a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8. The Nano Crystal Coat reduces ghost and flare effects, helping to create stunningly crisp, clear image. Sharp star images from the maximum aperture of f/2.8 mean that it is suitable for nebulae and comets that cast a pale light.

Magnify stellar objects with your telephoto zoom

Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II
(shot at 200 mm)

M45 (the Pleiades) [tracking-mount shooting]

©Takayuki Yoshida

Camera: D5500
Mount: Vixen AP equatorial mount, with autoguider tracking
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Exposure: [M] mode, 300 seconds, f/6.3 (composite of two frames)
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Off/Off
White balance: Direct sunlight
Sensitivity: ISO 1600

Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
(shot at 300 mm)

M31 (Andromeda galaxy) [tracking-mount shooting]

©Takayuki Yoshida

Camera: D5500
Mount: Vixen AP equatorial mount, with autoguider tracking
Image quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF)
Exposure: [M] mode, 600 seconds, f/6.3 (composite of two frames)
High ISO NR/Long exposure NR: Off/Off
White balance: Direct sunlight
Sensitivity: ISO 1600

— AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II

A compact and lightweight telephoto zoom lens covering up to 200 mm (equivalent to 300 mm in FX/35mm format), incorporating a retractable lens mechanism for great portability. Renders star clusters and nebulae crisply thanks to its high optical performance with an ED glass element which reduces chromatic aberration. The lightweight body enables easy attachment of the camera system to a portable tracking mount.

— AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

A super-telephoto 5.5x zoom lens covering up to 300 mm (equivalent to 450 mm in FX/35mm format). The optical system with an HRI (high refractive index) lens element produces sharp, high-contrast images throughout the entire frame from the maximum aperture, while achieving compact and lightweight design - allowing you to enjoy shooting star clusters and nebulae. The compact and lightweight body also ensures easy attachment of the camera system to a portable tracking mount.