Samyang/Rokinon 135mm F2 for Astrophotography: Review & Imaging Tests

Let’s unbox, review and test this lens to find out why it is one of the best bang for your buck deals in astrophotography! I’ll walk you through all this incredible lens has to offer as we go outside to test it with some deep sky imaging. If you own the Samyang or Rokinon version of this lens please let me know about your experience using it and what your imaging in the comment section below.

One important thing to mention off the bat regards the confusion over any differences between Samyang and Rokinon lenses.  From what I’ve read, the 135mm f2 versions of each lens are identical. The difference in their names simply comes down to a marketing decision. If both are available to buy where you live, do what I did and go with the cheaper one, that ended up saving me about 20 dollars for this the Samyang model.

When researching what lens to buy for astrophotography, there were several things that led me to this Samyang Lens. One of which was its low F number. At F/2, this has a very large aperture which lets in a tremendous amount of light, leading to fainter objects showing up under ideal imaging conditions and shorter individual exposure times needed to collect light for stacking and post processing. The true beauty of this lens comes from the fact that even shooting at F2, you can still get incredibly sharp images across the entire field of view and that’s not always the case for lenses.

The second thing that sold me on this lens was the fixed 135mm focal length. Prime lenses that don’t zoom often lead to sharper results for astrophotography due to the design of the lens. 135mm is also a nice sweet spot for my current tracking mount. At a little less than 2 pounds, its light enough for my Skyguider Pro and the amount of sky that it can image will reveal faint details of impressive deep sky objects but also doesn’t push the limits of what my tracking mount is capable of in terms of its tracking accuracy at long exposure times.

Few things test a lens like imaging the nighttime sky with its pinpoint stars and faint deep sky objects, so let’s put this lens to the test and see if it’s impressive claims match up to the real-world rigor of astrophotography by imaging the Constellation Orion. Now the detail of your images will vary from mine due to things like light pollution, exposure times and post processing but the thing I really want to point out is the sharpness of this lens, fully open at F2. From the Flame and Horsehead nebulas near the bright star Altinak, to the Orion Nebula with its nursery of dynamic gas clouds creating stars all the way over the extreme edge of the image where faint stars shine bright, this lens remain as sharp as the center of the image across the entire field of view. The Samyang 135mm F/2 easily lives up to its hype and should be near the top of your list of purchases if you are new or experienced in the field of astrophotography.

If you’re using or are looking to buy the Samyang or Rokinon 135mm F/2, please let me know what you’re imaging with it or any questions you may have in the comment section below. Thank you all so much for your support and clear skies from Late Night Astronomy.

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