The most crucial item in my photography bag has always been the lens. In 2018, while photographing auroras with a Chasing Light guide, she introduced me to her Sigma 20mm f/1.4 lens, which I promptly purchased before my next trip to Aurora latitudes. Although it's quite heavy and cannot accommodate filters without a specific and expensive system, this lens is a remarkable piece of glass and technology. I also own a Sony 16-35mm f/2.8, but after using both lenses on my recent trip to Norway, I found that the Sigma is the superior option for aurora photography. Here are a few reasons why:
Firstly, the Sigma lens is incredibly fast, with an f/1.4 aperture that allows for lightning-fast exposure times. As the auroras are constantly moving, longer exposure times result in a green zone on the image that doesn't do justice to the auroras' dancing. The Sigma lens captures light like no other lens I've tried, producing sharp and bright pictures of the northern lights even in low light conditions. This is especially important when using a high ISO to avoid noisy images. With the Sigma, I was able to shoot at an ISO of 640, and even at 3200 ISO, the images remained clear and sharp.
Secondly, the Sigma lens is incredibly sharp and belongs to the high-quality lenses produced by a well-recognized company.
Finally, the Sigma lens is relatively affordable compared to other lenses, with a price tag of around 700 Swiss Francs. While it's not the same lens as my Sony 16-35mm, for aurora photography, it's the best option in my opinion. Overall, I've found the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 to be my perfect solution for capturing sharp, bright, and vivid images of the northern lights.