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Another Lens On The List Of Lenses Good For Real Estate Photography

June 16th, 2013

Nikon18-35In January Nikon added the Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S NIKKOR to it’s wide-angle zoom lineup. This lens is designed as a moderately priced alternative for full frame bodies like the D600. That is, this lens at $750 USD is less expensive than top 3 Nikon full frame wide-angle lens alternatives (14-24mm, 16-35mm and 17-35mm), but to get that lower you have to sacrifice some aperture and zoom range, which will enforce some wide-angle restraint on your shooting.

This lens will work on non-full frame bodies but becomes equivalent to 27-53mm which is not ideal for real estate.

I’m adding this lens to the PFRE lenses page as a choice for Nikon full frame bodies. The purpose of the lens page is to help real estate photographers decide which lenses to purchase for real estate shooting. The lenses page gives comparative ratings, Amazon pricing and a poll that now lists the shooting choice of nearly 2000 PFRE readers. I think the collective experience of 2000 PFRE blog readers is particularly valuable to making a lens choice. So if you haven’t already participated in this poll please take the time to click the poll to tell us what you are using to shoot real estate. Also, if you think I’ve missed a lens that should be on the lenses page please let me know in the comments.

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13 Responses to “Another Lens On The List Of Lenses Good For Real Estate Photography”

  • I use a Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM on a 5D3 almost exclusively for interiors. I was intrigued to see that it scored an 8.75 (out of 4 reviews, with 100% of reviewers recommending it) and a 9.8 (out of 39 reviews, although only 92% recommended it – wonder why?) on fredmiranda.com. It would get my vote if listed.

  • @Dave- I’m familiar with the Canon 14mm, it’s a magnificent piece of glass with all most no distortion, but my aesthetic sense says one should only be shooting at 14mm a VERY small amount of the time if at all. It is listed in the non-full frame section of the lenses table because it is much more appropriately used on a cropped sensor where it’s effectively 22.4mm.

  • With respect… [deep breath]…

    I know you’ve said this in the past but Canon have designed and have marketed this lens primarily for use on full-frame sensors by architectural and landscape photographers (see http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/lenses/ef_lens_lineup/lens_wide_pro/ef_14mm_f_2_8l_ii_usm). It’s an EF mount, not an EF-S, and I bet you’d never find anyone using such an expense ($2,359 RRP) piece of glass on a low-end consumer body, like a $500 EOS Rebel. I see you’ve included the 14-24 Nikon and the 12-24 Sigma in the full-frame Nikon area and I imagine they’d often be used at 14 or 12 mm focal length respectively. I know of many RE photographers who use the 14mm (including Scott Hargis on his 5D – see http://scotthargisphoto.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/the-gear-bag-video-tour/ at 1:50). Most of the web sites over here (and in the US I see) only allow between 25 and 30 photos per property (20-30 photos per property is a good number to aim for, IMHO) and agents often prefer showing as much of each room or area in as few photos as possible, especially when they have to also include exteriors and twilights as well in those 25 shots. I used to use the 16-35mm for interiors but got asked time and again by agents whether I had a wider-angle lens because that’s what they wanted. My primary goal in business is to supply a product/service that my clients want, not what other photographers say they should get and that’s why it works for me (after all, they’re the only ones paying me).

  • Excuse me — I would NEVER, EVER, EVER use my 14mm on a 5D.
    I own it, used it when I shot on a crop sensor body (which made it a 21.5mm equivalent). On a full-frame camera, I think going wider than 17 is really asking for trouble, unless it’s a very unusual situation indeed.

  • When I switched from my Nikon D-300 (using a Tokina 12-24 f-4 lens which I love) to my Nikon D-700, I only had 3 wide full frame lenses. A 28mm 3.5 PC lens, 20mm f2.8 and my very expensive (25 year old) 15mm f-3.5 which is claimed to be rectilinear and no distortion. The 28mm PC lens is very sharp, and great contrast, but not wide enough for interiors. The 20mm is wonderful, but wish it was slightly wider. The 15mm, would be ok if it didn’t pick up glare, and was a bit sharper or contrasty. And, you can’t place a filter over it.
    So, I went back to cropped frame, Nikon D-7000 using the Tokina 12-24. But, I was thinking of looking into the Tokina 11-22 f-2.8 for a faster lens.
    I wish Nikon had an 18 or 20mm PC.

  • Apologies Scott!

    I guess the agents I’m dealing with just love wide angle shots.

  • Until very recently I had been shooting at 16mm in almost all situations. I’ve now started to zoom in whenever it seems appropriate, to around 24mm. I am finding just a bit of resistance to the change. Nothing direct, but just a general ‘I want to see it all’ from my clients. I think, though, that with time they will start to value the ability to focus on a particular part of a room rather than the whole expanse of an interior. Especially in today’s world where so very many homes are open plan and the main living spaces don’t really have true separation.

    So why does it seem that photographers recommend shooting less wide, while agents seem to think that is the best way? Educate the client, yes, but also provide what they want/need. Where is the middle ground?

  • @Marvin – My personal experience is that many agents are influenced by wanting spaces to look bigger than they are although I think this varies a lot geographically. It’s almost a fad in some areas. On the other hand, anyone trained in the arts, like Architects or Designers would rather have a space look more like it is seen by the human eye and not have circles in corners look oval and have exaggerated perspective. For example, in architectural and design publications you never see interior shots vary much from around 24mm.

  • Agents that want ALL interior shots at 14mm are asking for trouble at some point. Nothing will pi$$ off potential buyers more than feeling the home was misrepresented by “trick photography”. A 14mm can make a coat closet look spacious.

    14mm has its uses, but it’s not the lens I would grab by default. Just my $0.02.

  • Larry,
    I tried shooting D-700 using my Nikon 24-85mm lens set to the 24mm focal length to see if that would be a good standard. if so, I was willing to invest in the pricy Nikon 24 PC. but I felt that it didn’t give me a wide enough view, especially in the condo’s kitchens and bathrooms. I felt my 20mm, was almost the perfect lens on my D-700, and wish Nikon had a 20mm PC. The 28mm PC is an incredible lens, but best for exterior use. I borrowed a friend’s Nikon 14mm and found it way too wide.

  • I would like to know what you guys think of the Sony SEL 10-18mm f/4 OSS or Samsung 12-24mm f/4-5.6 for a much more portable system.

  • While I current use a D7000 with the sigma 10-20, I am about to go full frame with a D800. Toying with the 20 2.8 prime. Looking at my current usage so the Sigma, actually range is between 14 and 18 with the crop sensor. As such, a 14m prime on a full frame would be too wide for universal use. Likewise, I enjoy the capability for the occasional 10mm. As such, the 18-35 may be too limiting. After all, a zoom is for the convenience when can’t zoom with your feet. the 14-24 and 16-35 may be better suited, providing the occasional capability beyond the ‘normal’ shooting range.

  • @Larry, I’ve been very happy with the D800 16-35 combo!

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