Collection: Best 135mm Astrophotography Targets

Best 135mm Astrophotography Targets Revealed

When it comes to astrophotography, having the right lens can make all the difference. Enter the game-changer: the 135mm lens, a must-have for amateur astrophotographers seeking breathtaking celestial vistas. In this guide, we unveil the Best 135mm Astrophotography Targets that will elevate your night sky captures to new heights.

Why 135mm?

The 135mm lens strikes the perfect balance – smaller than a telescope, user-friendly, and budget-friendly. Most importantly, it unlocks a gateway to some of the most expansive deep-sky objects in the night sky.

The Ultimate 135mm Lens: Rokinon/Samyang 135mm f/2

Our top pick for the ultimate astrophotography experience is the Rokinon/Samyang 135mm f/2. Offering stellar results for both full-frame and cropped sensor cameras, this lens is not just affordable but excels in low-light conditions. Capture the brilliance of the night sky, with stars remaining round even at f/2!


Samyang 135mm F2 Astrophotography

Samyang 135mm F2 Astrophotography

Sale price 799$Regular price 820$Sale


Best Targets for Your 135mm Lens

I - Rho Ophiuchi

  • Magnitude: 4.6
  • Constellation: Ophiuchus

Rho Ophiuchi, a stunning molecular cloud complex, is a prime target for your 135mm lens. Best captured in the Summer months, its bright and dark nebulae provide a captivating spectacle. Easily processed, it offers a palette of colors waiting to be revealed.

Rho Ophiuchi 135mm

Image: Rho Ophiuchi photographed with a 135mm lens and DSLR.

II - The Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31)

  • Magnitude: 3.44
  • Constellation: Andromeda

Known as the Andromeda Galaxy, Messier 31 is a galaxy enthusiast's dream. Spanning over 6 times the size of the full moon, it's an ideal fit for wide-field astrophotography with just your DSLR and the magical 135mm lens.

Andromeda Galaxy 135mm

Image: Messier 31 astrophotography with a 135mm DSLR lens.

III - The Triangulum Galaxy (Messier 33)

  • Magnitude: 5.72
  • Constellation: Triangulum

Rising high in the Fall sky, the Triangulum Galaxy is a beginner-friendly target. Its size and brightness make it a perfect match for your 135mm lens, capturing a celestial masterpiece.

Triangulum Galaxy 135mm

Image: M33 the Triangulum Galaxy astrophotography with a 135mm lens.

IV - The California Nebula (NGC 1499)

  • Magnitude: 6.0
  • Constellation: Perseus

Known as the California Nebula, NGC 1499, with its distinctive shape, is a fantastic target for your 135mm lens. Capture its beauty during the Fall and Winter months and explore the challenge of revealing its intricate details.

California Nebula 135mm

Image: NGC 1499 with a 135mm lens for astrophotography.

V - The Pleiades (Messier 45)

  • Magnitude: 1.0
  • Constellation: Taurus

The Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, is a beginner's delight. With your 135mm lens, unveil the gaseous wonders behind the bright stars. This easily recognizable cluster is a captivating subject for both close-ups and wide-field shots.

Pleiades 135mm

Image: Messier 45 The Pleiades star cluster DSLR Astrophotography.

VI - The Seagull Nebula (IC 2177)

  • Magnitude: 15.2
  • Constellation: Monoceros

Embark on a cosmic journey with the Seagull Nebula. Its vibrant colors and large apparent size make it an exciting target for your 135mm lens. Capture the beauty of this nebula and explore the neighboring Thor's Helmet Nebula.

Seagull Nebula 135mm

Image: IC 2177 Seagull Nebula astrophotography 135mm lens.

VII - The Veil Nebula Complex (Cygnus Loop)

  • Magnitude: 7
  • Constellation: Cygnus

Dive into the vastness of the Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant offering a myriad of colors and textures. Its large size makes it ideal for wide-field astrophotography with your 135mm lens.

Image: astrophotography of the Cygnus Loop, Veil nebula with 135mm lens.

VIII - Sadr Region, or Anywhere in Cygnus Really

  • Magnitude: Varies
  • Constellation: Cygnus

Explore the rich details of the Sadr Region in the constellation Cygnus. This massive area of Hydrogen Alpha gas provides endless possibilities for capturing nebulous wonders with your trusty 135mm lens.

Image: Cygnus Sadr Region 135mm lens Astrophotography.

IX - The North America and Pelican Nebulae (NGC 7000 & IC 5070)

  • Magnitude: 4
  • Constellation: Cygnus

Hit two celestial birds with one stone – the North America and Pelican Nebulae. These bright and popular nebulae fit perfectly in the frame of your 135mm lens, offering a dual delight for astrophotographers.

Image: North America nebula and Pelican Nebula astrophotography with a 135mm lens.

X - The Blue Horsehead Nebula (IC 4592)

  • Magnitude: Unknown
  • Constellation: Scorpius

Capture the mystical Blue Horsehead Nebula with your 135mm lens. The nebula's reflection and intricate dust patterns provide a mesmerizing challenge, best undertaken under dark skies for optimal results.

Image: Astrophotography of IC 4592 the Blue Horsehead Nebula with a 135mm lens.

XI - The Orion Nebula (Messier 42)

  • Magnitude: 4.0
  • Constellation: Orion

The iconic Orion Nebula, Messier 42, is a visual masterpiece. Perfect for beginners with a 135mm lens, it promises easily visible results even with short exposure times. Dive into the details of M42 and reveal the faint dust surrounding this celestial gem.

Image: Messier 42 The Orion Nebula DSLR Astrophotography.

XII - The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434)

  • Magnitude: 6.8
  • Constellation: Orion

Explore the enigmatic Horsehead Nebula with your 135mm lens. Teaming up with the Flame Nebula and neighboring nebulae, IC 434 offers a captivating vista. Use a Hydrogen-Alpha filter for optimal results, capturing the cosmic dance of gas and dust.

Image: The Orion Nebula and Horsehead Nebula with a 135mm lens.

XIII - The Witch Head Nebula (IC 2118)

  • Magnitude: 13
  • Constellation: Eridanus

Uncover the mystery of the Witch Head Nebula during the Winter months. This faint and challenging target rewards patient astrophotographers armed with a 135mm lens. Venture into the depths of Eridanus and reveal the elusive gaseous tendrils.

Image: The Witch head Nebula astrophotography with a 135mm lens.

XIV - The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237)

  • Magnitude: 9.0
  • Constellation: Monoceros

Behold the grandeur of the Rosette Nebula, a celestial canvas waiting to be captured with your 135mm lens. This diffuse emission nebula, accompanied by the Christmas Tree Cluster, offers a delightful wide-field experience.

Image: NGC 2264 and NGC 2244 with a 135mm lens.

XV - The Christmas Tree Cluster and Cone Nebula (NGC 2264)

  • Magnitude: 3.9
  • Constellation: Monoceros

Immerse yourself in the beauty of NGC 2264 – a celestial duo comprising the Christmas Tree Cluster and Cone Nebula. Your 135mm lens unveils a cosmic spectacle, capturing the essence of Monoceros with multiple targets in one frame.

Image: NGC 2264 and NGC 2244 with a 135mm lens.

Spring Galaxy Season Challenges

While Spring is deemed "Galaxy Season," your 135mm lens can still capture celestial wonders. Here are three targets to consider:

M51 – The Whirlpool Galaxy

  • Magnitude: 8.4
  • Constellation: Canes Venatici

Explore the interaction between galaxies with M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy. Your 135mm lens can reveal intricate details in this cosmic dance.

Image: M51 astrophotography with a 135mm lens.

M101 – The Pinwheel Galaxy

  • Magnitude: 7.9
  • Constellation: Ursa Major

Unravel the beauty of the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101, as it graces the Spring sky. Your 135mm lens captures the essence of this larger-than-life spiral galaxy.

Image: M101 astrophotography with a 135mm lens.

Polaris and IFN

  • Magnitude: 1.9
  • Constellation: Ursa Minor

While not a galaxy, Polaris, the North Star, surrounded by Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN), offers a unique wide-field challenge. Capture the interplay of starlight and nebulous clouds.

Image: Polaris and IFN astrophotography with a 135mm lens.

Unleash the Cosmic Magic

Armed with your 135mm lens, the cosmos is your canvas. From nebulae to galaxies, each target invites you on a celestial journey. Explore, capture, and reveal the wonders of the night sky. With our guide, the universe is yours to unlock – one mesmerizing shot at a time.