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Thread: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

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    Default Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?



    Hello everyone,

    I recently got a "new" lens for my camera. It's an old Nikon lens, 80-200mm (f/4.5) my father had decades ago. I got an adapter and decided to give it a try.

    Now, I was wondering if this is any good for astrophotography (in a very beginner's way). I already have a wide lens (Samyang 12mm f/2.0) and thought I could pair it with this one.

    My question is: can I get good astrophotos with lens? Maybe get some detail on M42 or M31?

    Here's a photo of the lens on my XT-10:



    Thanks for your help.

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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

    Nikon made a few zoom lenses of this size. Do you know which one you have? One key is the shape of the rear blind, round or rectangular. The one with the rectangular blind is the newer model and is very highly rated for sharpness. It could be a good lens for Astro photography
    John

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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?


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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

    Zoom lenses are not the best choice for astro work. They can suffer from "zoomcreep" when pointed skyward. You can use something like a silicon or rubber band to hold the focus but it's fiddly at best and focus is critical when doing long exposures. Personally I'd use a prime lens. The gold banded Nikkor 180mm ED f2 from the 70-80's is a great choice.
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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leveye View Post
    Zoom lenses are not the best choice for astro work. They can suffer from "zoomcreep" when pointed skyward. You can use something like a silicon or rubber band to hold the focus but it's fiddly at best and focus is critical when doing long exposures. Personally I'd use a prime lens. The gold banded Nikkor 180mm ED f2 from the 70-80's is a great choice.
    Thanks, I hadn't thought of zoom creep, that could indeed be a problem. I'll have to make some experiments and see what happens.

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

    The N version is a nice lens for its era.
    John

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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

    Quote Originally Posted by JML View Post
    The N version is a nice lens for its era.
    I'm sorry, I was probably mistaken when I posted that link. I think it's not the "N" version, but the previous, the "K" version:
    Zoom-NIKKOR 80~200mm 1:4.5 210601

    At least that's what I think after consulting this page:
    Nikon Lens Versions and Serial Nos

    Am I mistaken?

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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

    I got me a old and used 180mm f2.8 prime... in ebay for 100 bucks... it is a TANK !!! on how it is built and on weight !!! and this lens doesn't come with a tripod bracket and paying another 100 for the bracket itself seems a little too much for me ... I'm thinking making something like this ...
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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdq636 View Post
    I got me a old and used 180mm f2.8 prime... in ebay for 100 bucks... it is a TANK !!! on how it is built and on weight !!! and this lens doesn't come with a tripod bracket and paying another 100 for the bracket itself seems a little too much for me ... I'm thinking making something like this ...
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    Default Re: Old Nikon lens - good for astrophotography?

    Quote Originally Posted by prl View Post
    I think it's the previous, the "K" version:
    Zoom-NIKKOR 80~200mm 1:4.5 210601
    Nikon Lens Versions and Serial Nos
    The "proof" as they say - is in the pudding, so take a few images and decide for yourself.
    This lens' pluses are the fact that you already have it, Nikon make good products, and you are using it on an APS-c camera, so the poorer corner and edge areas of lens performance will be cropped out of your images.
    The minuses are that zooms have improved more in recent years than any other lens category and while a Nikon lens in general terms is near the top of most folks preference list, this one is near the bottom of the list within the Nikon family.
    As others have said, prime lenses are better, but this lens is worth evaluating. It will probably perform best at around 135 to 150mm and may sharpen at the edges if you stop down a half to one stop. You may see diffraction spikes from the diaphragm in the stopped down images, so take a lot of images at various zoom settings and apertures for your evaluation. If it does do well stopped down, you can make a circular stop from an old lens cap or filter to eliminate the diffraction spikes.
    Scopes: 28" f/3.8 self built Dob, 8" Skywatcher f/4 Newt, iOptron 115mm f/8 Newt, Nova 9.5" RC, Celestron 5" f/6 FAST SCT, 6" f/15 Jaegers achro, Celestron Nexstar 102mm achro.
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