Sunday, March 24, 2013

Northern lights with D800 and Samyang 35mm f1.4

Awesome show of northern lights, probably the best since the early 2000's when was the last solar maximum. According to Spaceweather.com the planetary Kp index peaked at six out of ten. All these images were shot with Samyang's 35mm f1.4, it's an awesomely sharp and contrasty lens, especially factoring in the price of just under 300 eur.

Samyang 35mm f1.4 northern lights

Sadly, the infinity stop wasn't properly calibrated as they usually aren't in these Korean miracles. Live view was used to focus instead of relying to the distance scale. At f1.4, less than half a millimetre of focusing ring movement is enough to ruin the sharpness of the image.

Samyang 35mm f1.4 and D800 shoots violet northern lights

It's a big lens, but so is the camera (Nikon D800) I'm using too. I also tried the lens on a older film camera (Nikon FM or somesuch) and the lens honestly felt just too big for that body. I couldn't get proper grip of the camera and the focusing was a pain in the shooting hand because of that.

Landscape and aurora borealis with D800 and Samyang 35mm f1.4

The bokeh is tad nervous and the bokeh balls show some kind of inner structure, which is from the aspherical elements I'd guess. However, that's usually not an issue if shooting stars and skies with this lens.

Revontulikorona

Stars stay almost pin sharp even at the very border of the image, this is remarkable feat for such a cheap lens. For example Nikon's own 24mm f1.4 suffers from bad case of astigmatism and chromatic aberrations.

Sinivioletit revontulet

Build quality is very decent, but the provided lens hood feels like its plastic is cut from a cheap bucket. It's thin and feels somehow finicky when putting it on the lens.

Siilinlahden revontulet

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