Neewer 35mm f1.2 – Cheap astro-photography lens

I was looking for options to start taking photos of the stars and asteroids, that’s when I came across this lens. I did not want to spend a lot on a lens that I was going to use occasionally. Prime lenses can cost a fortune! Specification wise this lens satisfied what I was looking for i.e. short focal length and small f number. In simple terms we need these parameters to be like that to allow our camera shutter to be open for longer time, gathering maximum light. You need it to shoot dim objects in dark. For example I keep the shutter open for 8-10 seconds for each photo on my APSC camera, if you have a full frame camera you can do it for 12-15 seconds with better result.

Amazon Link

Pros:

1. I bought this lens for EUR 70 in Germany. Considering lenses that are sold specifically for astro-photography may cost way higher, this was cheap.
2. The build quality of the lens is good, it does not feel like a cheap product in hand.
3. The results were satisfactory. I have used it to take photos of Perseids as well as in outdoors during day time. You check the sample photo links below. I think this can be used for portraits as well, something that I have not tried. Because it provides good background blur.

Cons:

1. The cover that comes with lens is very cheap plastic. I know I am going to keep this lens, so may be I will get a new one. Costs about a Euro in eBay.
2. This lens flares badly when artificial light comes from the corner. While using for astro-photography you need to be sure you do not have some stray light falling on it. However that is the first rule when you are trying to shoot night sky. I recommend using lens-hood like this.

Results:

Click on the links below to the posts with the respective photos.
Perseid Meteor Shower
Daytime pot marigold
Night landscape

I just realized this lens is three times more expensive in India! Neewer 35mm f1.7 is sold at normal price though. If you can, then order f1.2 from abroad or let me know if I can help you if you’re really really into it. 🙂

Sony Cybershot DSC-WX350

Sony Cybershot WX350

Specification Summary:

18.2MP, 20x Optical Zoom, Exmor R CMOS Sensor

Feedback:

This was my second camera after a Canon Powershot. I enjoyed that camera for a good 3 years. But Sony WX350 was the camera that got me into loving photography. I bought it in 2014 and was impressed with the product right from the beginning. It was beautiful, light and was an absolute joy when it came to photo quality in ideal conditions. After I started using the “Program” mode I could further enhance my shutter skills 🙂 No doubt Sony is now giving Nikon and Canon run for their money in all camera segments,

I discovered recently that Sony had released a new firmware 2.0 for this camera and it was fairly easy for me to upgrade my camera. I am sure the new cameras come with this firmware already.

Sample Picture:

Pros:

Reliable image stabilization. ISO 3200 support(low light performance). WiFi transfer and control. A lot of scene selection options available to beginners for video and photo shooting. Full HD recording. Good build quality of body and buttons.

Cons:

Not the best camera for night time shooting due to small sensor size. However most point & shoot cameras will have this issue except the very expensive ones like Sony RX100 series. While setting custom white balance levels sometimes the camera does not pick the right color temperature. Best option is to leave it AUTO or any PRESETS like CLOUDY.

Verdict:

This is an excellent camera for beginners. I would highly recommend it over DSLRs or System cameras for anyone who is starting to take up photography as a hobby. If you jump directly into F-stops, Aperture, Shutter etc you may be lost in the technicalities rather than enjoying a good shoot. The program mode provide enough options for a beginner to improve over a year. Also you could go for WX500 if you get a good deal.

Links

Sony Cybershot DSC-WX350 BLACK

Sony Cybershot DSC-WX350 PINK

Sony Cybershot DSC-WX500 BLACK

Sony Cybershot DSC-WX500 WHITE

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