I'm going to be in New Mexico and Utah for three weeks from mid May to beginning of June and would like to take some wide angle night shots, maybe do some light painting in the foreground, with the milky way in the sky (although I will have some nights where the moon is full all night, bummer). I have used my Canon 10-18 stm at night before, but didn't like it because it has no distance markers and is difficult to focus manually, especially in the dark. I was considering renting a Tokina 11-14, but wasn't thrilled with having it for all that time. A friend has very generously offered to let me borrow his Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. I wondered what everyone thought of the lens in terms of taking shots of the night skies, versatility, and durability.
In terms of night sky photography, I would be putting this on my crop body Canon 70d, so, I think 14mm would be plenty wide enough and f/2.8 would be fast enough, am I right? What about image quality? I think the Rokinon or the Tokina would be better at night than my slower Canon 10-18.
As far as versatility goes, I really don't want to carry two UWA with me. I do love the Canon 10-18 stm in daylight for landscapes with foreground interest. It is also pretty light and small. I occasionally use a polarizer on it (when it doesn't cause banding). With the Rokinon 14mm, I think I would just use the hyperlocal distance and have to live without the polarizer. Any thoughts on using the Rokinon for landscapes, too?
So, the scary part and the big drawback for me is the durability of the Rokinon. That is a whole lot of glass on the front element and I will be hiking and camping for at least a few nights in the desert. What about dust and scratches? What if it gets bumped around in my backpack? I try to be careful, but I'm not perfect. If my own lens got ruined, oh well, I buy insurance for that. If I rented, I would buy the insurance, too. But my friend's lens? Yeah, I don't want to scratch or dent that. Will it stand up to a little rough handling?