I just bought my first DSLR camera Nikon D5300 and currently I only have the kit lenses. I am looking to get some new ones soon to use them to take pictures of the moon and maybe even the stars. As the options out there are countless, can anyone suggest to me the best price for value sense for this purpose? I am looking for something around £100 or less.



The Moon, and stars and the Milky Way etc, will require quite different lenses.

If you want to take images of the stars, you need a wide, fast (very low F-stop, generally lower then F/2.8) lens. You can get passable images of the Milky Way with a kit 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 however it is not great because you'll have to raise your ISO to compensate for a relatively high F-stop which can lead to a noisy image. Ideally you want something like a 14mm f/2.8, Rokinon make one of these that goes for about 200 pounds, which is, as far as I know, probably about as cheap as you'll get a lens like that.

However, like I said, if you just want to experiment with Milky Way photography, your kit lens will be fine. Also, if you have an understanding of post processing, you can stick together a panorama image in Photoshop (or Lightroom), in which case you can shoot with a longer focal length lens like a 50mm or 35mm f/1.8 which almost every brand makes very cheap and is a great first lens because it is very versatile (great for portraits as well)

For taking images of the Moon, you'll want a telephoto lens (probably 200mm or longer). With the Moon, having a fast lens isn't as important, because the moon is a lot brighter than the stars. There's a rule in lunar photography called the "luney 11" rule, which means that if you are shooting at F/11 your shutter speed should be the same as your ISO, so as you can see, you don't need a very fast lens for decent photos of the moon. I understand that Nikon, like Pentax, didn't change their lens mount when auto-focus came into the picture. This means that you can probably pick up a used telephoto lens from the film days, very cheap. My first "non-kit" lens was an old Pentax 75-250mm f/4-5.6 which I bought off eBay for 40 AUD (about 20 pounds) which I still use. So keep an eye on eBay etc, you never know when a really cheap lens might come up.

Another key consideration if you want to do astro-photography is a tripod. If you want to take pictures of the stars you'll need to expose for up to 30 seconds which, obviously, you can't hand hold. I would recommend lashing out and buying a good tripod, which is one of the most important things with almost any kind of photography.

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