A lens with a high zoom ratio is always welcome in the field of astrophotography. The moon and enormous nebulae are very difficult targets.
The Tokina 11-16 and Rokinon 14mm are two of the best ones out there for astrophotography.
So, which one to pick between Tokina 11-16 vs Rokinon 14mm?
The Rokinon 14mm lens has a wider angle of coverage than the Tokina 11-16. However, Tokina 11-16 lenses have a greater number of aperture blades, offering better bokeh. But it falls short in the focus ring rotation. Also, the engraved scale type of the Rokinon 14mm lens outclasses the Tokina lens.
That’s only a preview of what will be covered in the article. Stick for a while and you’ll get a hang of what these two are made of!
So, what are you waiting for?
Tokina 11-16 vs. Rokinon 14mm Astrophotography: Quick Comparison
Before we jump into a head-on with the lenses, let’s have a look at this quick comparison table-
|Aspect||Tokina 11-16||Rokinon 14mm|
|Angle of View||104° – 84°||115.7 °|
|Mounting System||APS-C||Full-Frame, APS-C|
|Number of Aperture Blade||9||6|
|Focus Ring Rotation||86°||252°|
|Distant Scaling Type||Window||Engraved|
|Price||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
Now, let’s move on to the main discussion.
Tokina 11-16 vs. Rokinon 14mm Astrophotography: Detailed Comparison
Having the appropriate lens for the job is helpful if you want to take photographs of stars. Especially those which are particularly sharp.
After all, a lens that performs well during the day may not be capable of resolving the pinpoint stars that appear in the corners of a photograph when taken at night.
Tokina 11-16 mm and Rokinon 14 mm are the two most popular options out there. You might get confused while picking one, like choosing between a 10 and 20-mm telescope.
For this very reason, we have gone in-depth on all the factors.
Field of View:
If you are doing astrophotography, the field of view is the most important thing. This is due to the fact that the viewpoint controls how a scene is framed and arranged.
A wider lens will allow more capture area. This will allow you to capture more of the sky.
The Rokinon 14mm lens shines here. It has a FOV of 115 degrees. That makes the night sky look absolutely stunning!
On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16 lens has a FOV of 104°–84°. This is less than that of Rokinon lenses.
Hence, capturing wide-angle astrophotos is more suitable with the Rokinon 14 mm lens.
Winner: The Rokinon 14 mm lens with the Field of View segment. It has a wide 115-degree field of view that allows it to capture more.
Mounting systems are part of the compatibility factor. Both lenses are compatible with the APS-C mounting system. This is the standard among digital SLR cameras.
However, the Rokinon 14mm lens supports full frame mounts too. This gives it an edge over its competitors.
The image circle produced by full-frame lenses can encompass a full-frame sensor. APS-C format lenses only need to cover the smaller area of an APS-C format sensor.
Winner: The Rokinon 14mm lens is the clear winner for supporting both formats. It makes the lens more versatile than the other one.
The Number of Aperture Blade:
There is a difference between good bokeh and bad bokeh. It is determined by the number of blades that make up your lens’ aperture.
Like the human eye’s iris and pupil, your lens’s aperture opens and closes automatically. Either a big opening or a tight circle can be created.
So, how many aperture blades should a lens have?
The majority of people think that nine blades are just right. However, this is entirely subjective. While some photographers place a premium on a round Bokeh. Others don’t care that much. In fact, modern, high-quality lenses feature 9 individual elements.
The Tokina 11-16 mm lens has the perfect 9 aperture blades. On the other hand, the Rokinon 14mm has only 6.
This makes the bokeh of the Tokina better than that of the Rokinon lenses. If you want to shoot bokeh photos at night, pick this one.
Otherwise, the Rokinon 14mm lens is better off considering other factors.
Winner: The winner of this part is the Tokina 11-16 lens for having 9 aperture blades. The bokeh effect of it is unparalleled. It can capture astrophotos like the Sony 200 600mm.
Focus Ring Rotation:
Another important factor in astrophotography is the focus. And the focus ring rotation degree is directly connected to the focus.
Here, the photographer can adjust the image focus by turning a ring on the lens.
Hence, the more degrees of rotation, the better focus the lens will have.
The Rokinon 14mm lens shines here too. It has a rotation angle of 252°. On the other hand, the Tokina 11-16 has 86° of rotation.
Distant Scaling Type:
This is one of the most overlooked factors in terms of lenses. The scale type directly impacts the picture quality taken by the lens. For example, the Rokinon comes with an engraved distant scaling system.
This system provides a clearer picture than window-type scaling. This allows for wide-angle focus and capture.
The Tokina 11-16 has window-type scaling. This is good, but not better than the engraved ones. Hence, the Rokinon 14 mm will get an edge here.
Winner: The winner will be the Rokinon 14 mm lens for its engraved scaling technology.
Pricewise, there’s a huge gap actually. And because of that, it’s tough to make a decision. While the Tokina 11-16 costs above $400, the Rokinon can be found for only $300!
However, the increased price of the Tokina lenses is justified by the sheer number of features and quality.
Still, for someone who’s going for a budget buy, there’s only one option available.
Winner: The winner of this section is the Rokinon lens for its relatively low price range.
Which One to Choose Between Tokina & Rokinon?
Rokinon’s 14mm on FX yields 110+ degrees of FOV, so it is a very wide photon bucket. The lens’s F2.8 aperture is great, and it is remarkably sharp in all directions even when wide open.
To no one’s surprise, a prime lens also reduces the expense and bulk of a camera setup.
We highly recommend the Rokinon 14mm F2.8 for astrophotography. The Tokina lens is a good wide-angle option for everyday photography.
But if you’re only interested in using it for astronomical purposes, you’re better off saving your money. You likely won’t need the tracker with a lens of that focal length.
But I still recommend downloading the PhotoPills app and checking out the instructional videos. The app will tell you exactly how long your exposures need to be and how to arrange things for a “classic” Milky Way shot.
In conclusion, I can say that the Rokinon 14mm is the better alternative.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which MM Is Ideal For Astrophotography?
In full-frame, the sweet spot for astrophotography is between 14 and 20 millimeters. For APS-C, it’s 10-14mm and for Micro Four Thirds, it’s 7-10mm. Maximizing the amount of sky that your lens captures is a top priority. A large field of view can also be ensured by using a long focal length.
Does The Camera’s Magnification Have Anything To Do With The Size Of The Sensor?
Yes, the size of the camera’s sensor affects how much it can zoom in. The camera’s magnification will be higher the smaller the sensor is. But it also makes your field of view smaller. But you need a lot of magnification to see the moon or planets.
What Makes A Lens Good For Astrophotography?
Astrophotographers will always prioritize lenses with the fewest optical aberrations, yet every lens has some. In a perfect world, the lens would suffer from neither chromatic nor coma aberrations. Coma is an issue with almost all wide-angle lenses and can be severe with some.
That’s all we had to say about Tokina 11-16 vs. Rokinon 14mm astrophotography. There’s no getting around the fact that these lenses work very well.
Rokinon 14 mm lenses are the best, offering various features and wide-angle shots.
Have fun taking pictures of the stars until we meet again.