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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Architecture, Real-Estate & Buildings Talk
Thread started 04 Jan 2016 (Monday) 16:54
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Best lenses for real estate photography?

 
jnecr
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Jan 04, 2016 16:54 |  #1

I'm looking to "upgrade" from my Canon 70D to a 6D for multiple reasons. But my primary income generation from the camera will be real estate photos. So that brings up what lens is the most ideal?

Currently with my 70D I use a Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, this lens is really not a good lens and I would never recommend it to anybody. However, it's what I had and nobody but me seems to complain. Ideally for a crop sensor I gather that Canon's EF-S 10-18mm and 10-22mm lenses are the ideal lenses. Perhaps with the 10-22mm being a bit sharper?

I see that a lot of people here use either a Canon 17-40L f/4L, or 16-35 f/4L or f/2.8L. The 17-40 is undoubtedly the most cost-effective, but I wonder how much difference that extra 1mm on the wide end makes? I find that I already shoot most photos at 10mm with my crop sensor. I'm not really considering a non-zoom (like a TS-E or a Rokinon prime) as I'd almost definitely have to buy more than one lens (I do interior and exterior and don't need/want the wide end for exterior) and this would also increase the amount of time I spend on site. However, I really like the sharpness of some of the wide-angle Rokinons and, of course, that low price.

I see that Tamron has come out with a 15-30mm f/2.8 VC. It has some good reviews and it is right around the same price as a 16-35mm f/4. I don't care so much about the extra speed or IS, but that's yet another millimeter wider of focal length... Anybody have any experience with it?

Anybody else have any other lenses they'd consider for such tasks? And what's your dream lens and what's the lens you actually use day-to-day?


-John

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njstacker22
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by njstacker22.
Jan 05, 2016 14:17 |  #2

I'm curious about the multiple reasons why you want to swap out your 70D for a 6D. A 70D should be more than enough to shoot real-estate.


Sony A7ii [Sony FE 16-35mm f/4] [Sony FE 28-70mm] [Rokinon 135mm F2] [Sony 50mm 1.8]
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cccc
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Jan 05, 2016 14:42 |  #3

I used an XSI with a Sigma 10-20mm for years. Then a 7D with the same lens for a couple more. Now I have a 6D with a 17-40mm. The lenses aren't terrible at all. I've found that shooting wider generally isn't better, so don't focus on super wide focal lengths. My only qualm with the 17-40mm is the corner softness.

I would like a 16-35mm II, but I don't need one. Having shot with TSE lenses on assignments, they'd be great to have in my bag, but for day-to-day real estate work, they are completely overkill.

Learn to use some lights, the impact to your photography will me much greater than different glass or new bodies.




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jnecr
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Jan 05, 2016 14:44 as a reply to njstacker22's post |  #4

Sorry, the multiple reasons are mostly NOT for real estate. I'm finding the 70D to be much less than ideal at a lot of things. I'll probably keep it for some wildlife just because that extra 60% can be quite useful to add to a long lens. But, for anything from landscape to portrait I'm finding that I don't like it so much.

Realistically though, can I expect to have less noticeable distortion from a 16mm lens on a FF camera than a 10mm lens on a crop sensor? That and a bit of added sharpness would be the reasons I would most likely take the 6D over a 70D for interior photos.


-John

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MalVeauX
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Jan 05, 2016 14:56 |  #5

Heya,

I would think you would be avoiding ultrawide focal lengths, regardless of sensor size. 16mm on full frame is still very distorting of anything you're close to in the frame. The same as a 10mm does, with the same frame up, on APS-C. I would think you wouldn't want to go much wider than 20~21mm on full frame, or 15~16mm on APS-C for the most part. Ultrawides make rooms look bigger than they are and exaggerate features near the edges especially if close to them, while dwarfing things in the distance and center frame.

I've seen stuff from APS-C shooters in realestate with lights that you couldn't tell if they were out of a full frame, APS-C, APS-H, or even medium format and resized for web. The bottom line is they are going to be web-size or at best magazine size, ie, small. So the sensor really doesn't make hardly any difference here, especially if you're using lighting or blending several photos (tonemapping).

If anything, lighting and post-processing makes more of an impact on this stuff, than having a full frame and a better lens (again to produce web-sized images).

Very best,


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Alveric
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Alveric.
Jan 05, 2016 17:00 |  #6

jnecr wrote in post #17844505 (external link)
[..]And what's your dream lens and what's the lens you actually use day-to-day?

24mm TS-E f/3.5 L Mark II, and that's what I use day to day.

That being said, real estate photography seems to be a run and gun affair, so, if I were purchasing a lens for that purpose alone, I'd go with an EF 17-40 f/4 L: very sharp and very affordable. I wouldn't buy Rokinons/Samyangs/Bowe​rs: some of them tend to have distortions that are quite difficult to correct in post –i.e. mustache distortion. They're cheap, really. I wouldn't buy Tamron or Tokina either: especially with Tokina, it seems that you've a 30% chance of getting a dud. Sigma is so-so. I'd stick with Canon glass, or Zeiss if you can afford it.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Left Handed Brisket.
Jan 05, 2016 17:08 |  #7

Tokina 16-28 2.8 works great for me on FF.

Here's the lens sample photo archive for this lens
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=965311


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

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Wilt
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. 7 edits done in total.
Jan 05, 2016 17:30 |  #8

MalVeauX wrote in post #17845776 (external link)
Heya,

I would think you would be avoiding ultrawide focal lengths, regardless of sensor size. 16mm on full frame is still very distorting of anything you're close to in the frame. The same as a 10mm does, with the same frame up, on APS-C. I would think you wouldn't want to go much wider than 20~21mm on full frame, or 15~16mm on APS-C for the most part. Ultrawides make rooms look bigger than they are and exaggerate features near the edges especially if close to them, while dwarfing things in the distance and center frame.

I guess I am 'old school', and I used to adhere to the 'truth in RE photos' school, with the concept that brokers wanted to bring in clients to look at properties, and the client expected to not be 'lied to' in the photos. I would use 24mm shift lens on 135 format.
Then I hear a bunch of 'make it look big and get them to come to the open house' points of view...in short, "Fool 'em to come look!" So then I talk to RE agents, and it seems more are of the "FOOL EM...I have an obligation to my (selling) clients " school than the "I have an obligation to my (buying) clients, so I want folks coming throught".
When I ask, "So you do not mind fooling the buyer, getting them to come in after luring with photos of spacious houses, then they go away angry at the photos' misrepresentations", the RE agent's response is "They came in and saw the house in person, so I don't care that the photos may be stretching the truth! They came in to see, and judged for themselves!!!"
In short, it seems the ethics of old have given way to the "Lure 'em in!" ethic, and they like the 17-20mm rather than 24mm look! used car salesmen and RE agents have a lot in common.

17mm FF FOV

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Shift-3.jpg

24mm shift lens FF FOV

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Shift-1.jpg

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Alveric
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Jan 05, 2016 17:47 |  #9

Wilt wrote in post #17845959 (external link)
I guess I am 'old school', and I used to adhere to the 'truth in RE photos' school, with the concept that brokers wanted to bring in clients to look at properties, and the client expected to not be 'lied to' in the photos. I would use 24mm shift lens on 135 format.
Then I hear a bunch of 'make it look big and get them to come to the open house' points of view...in short, "Fool 'em to come look!" So then I talk to RE agents, and it seems more are of the "FOOL EM...I have an obligation to my (selling) clients " school than the "I have an obligation to my (buying) clients, so I want folks coming throught".
When I ask, "So you do not mind fooling the buyer, getting them to come in after luring with photos of spacious houses, then they go away angry at the photos' misrepresentations", the RE agent's response is "They came in and saw the house in person, so I don't care that the photos may be stretching the truth! They came in to see, and judged for themselves!!!"
In short, it seems the ethics of old have given way to the "Lure 'em in!" ethic, and they like the 17-20mm rather than 24mm look! used car salesmen and RE agents have a lot in common.[..]

My feelings exactly, Wilt. What's more and worse, many of these scoundrels are also the ones who scream bloody murder when the photographer wants to charge above $50 per shoot. Can't blame a photographer for running and gunning at such rates; but I'd think it'd be better for the photographers to turn them down and let them shoot the properties themselves with their phones (well, a number of realtors actually do this), rather than encourage the practice.

Those are the reasons why I don't bother with real estate photography at all.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

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Wilt
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. 3 edits done in total.
Jan 05, 2016 18:00 |  #10

The argument for a shift lens, rather than correcting converging verticals in software...

24mm non-shift, converging lines corrected during postprocessing, introduces some modest horizontal scaling error.

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Principles/IMG_5230pc.jpg

17mm non-shift, converging lines corrected during postprocessing -- introduces very noticeable horizontal scaling error!

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Principles/IMG_5229pc.jpg

Compare the above shots to shift lens shots in post 8

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njstacker22
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Jan 07, 2016 08:39 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #17845959 (external link)
I guess I am 'old school', and I used to adhere to the 'truth in RE photos' school, with the concept that brokers wanted to bring in clients to look at properties, and the client expected to not be 'lied to' in the photos. I would use 24mm shift lens on 135 format.
Then I hear a bunch of 'make it look big and get them to come to the open house' points of view...in short, "Fool 'em to come look!" So then I talk to RE agents, and it seems more are of the "FOOL EM...I have an obligation to my (selling) clients " school than the "I have an obligation to my (buying) clients, so I want folks coming throught".
When I ask, "So you do not mind fooling the buyer, getting them to come in after luring with photos of spacious houses, then they go away angry at the photos' misrepresentations", the RE agent's response is "They came in and saw the house in person, so I don't care that the photos may be stretching the truth! They came in to see, and judged for themselves!!!"
In short, it seems the ethics of old have given way to the "Lure 'em in!" ethic, and they like the 17-20mm rather than 24mm look! used car salesmen and RE agents have a lot in common.

17mm FF FOV
QUOTED IMAGE

24mm shift lens FF FOV
QUOTED IMAGE

You're absolutely correct but it's not my job to tell agents what they want. I shoot with a 10-22 (w/ 70D) and that has suited my very well. I do agree that most times at 10mm it's just too wide. HOWEVER, I have attempted to tighten up my shots and INSTANTLY got complaints from my clients. I will say, using a 10mm has benefited me greatly though when shooting tight spaces (especially bathrooms).


Sony A7ii [Sony FE 16-35mm f/4] [Sony FE 28-70mm] [Rokinon 135mm F2] [Sony 50mm 1.8]
https://www.flickr.com​/photos/djbigley/ (external link)

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MalVeauX
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Jan 07, 2016 09:07 |  #12

Wilt wrote in post #17845959 (external link)
I guess I am 'old school', and I used to adhere to the 'truth in RE photos' school, with the concept that brokers wanted to bring in clients to look at properties, and the client expected to not be 'lied to' in the photos. I would use 24mm shift lens on 135 format.
Then I hear a bunch of 'make it look big and get them to come to the open house' points of view...in short, "Fool 'em to come look!" So then I talk to RE agents, and it seems more are of the "FOOL EM...I have an obligation to my (selling) clients " school than the "I have an obligation to my (buying) clients, so I want folks coming throught".
When I ask, "So you do not mind fooling the buyer, getting them to come in after luring with photos of spacious houses, then they go away angry at the photos' misrepresentations", the RE agent's response is "They came in and saw the house in person, so I don't care that the photos may be stretching the truth! They came in to see, and judged for themselves!!!"
In short, it seems the ethics of old have given way to the "Lure 'em in!" ethic, and they like the 17-20mm rather than 24mm look! used car salesmen and RE agents have a lot in common.

I get what you're saying and agree to an extent.

But this perspective largely represents the lower end market to entry middle class.

Very best,


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Alveric
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Jan 07, 2016 11:48 |  #13

A professional photographer is also a consultant; thus, it's part of his job to educate clients on what works best for their particular situation, and then let them decide, and based on their decision even tell them that he's not the right photographer for them and let them walk out.

A button pusher, on the other hand, merely takes instructions and does as the client (absolutely clueless as he might be) tells him to do, then collects his pittance of a compensation and goes home.

The client isn't always right, sometimes he's an eejit.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

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Snydremark
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Jan 07, 2016 12:12 |  #14

I'd look into a tilt-shift or two. As some of the others have mentioned, going UWA on architectural shots tends to lead to lots of distortion and it can be difficult to get a good sense of a space from the pics.

Speaking from a purely consumer standpoint, as I do neither RE nor RE photography, when I'm looking at house/apt listings, the photos taken in the vein of Wilt's "let's fool them" scenarios (UWA/FF shots) drive me absolutely, bug nuts because they distort the room so badly it's impossible to do an initial gauge on what sort of space you'd actually be working with when it comes time to put *stuff* in the room(s).

I much prefer shots that show a more realistic and proportional view of the actual rooms. A good T/S or two (say a 17/24 and a 45) ought to allow more natural images of the spaces in most areas.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

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Wilt
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Wilt.
Jan 07, 2016 12:16 |  #15

MalVeauX wrote in post #17848286 (external link)
I get what you're saying and agree to an extent.

But this perspective largely represents the lower end market to entry middle class.

Very best,

hah, hah! I will have to tell this to the RE agent I spoke to, who sells $1-3Milliion homes in SF


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