Is A 22 mm Wide-Angle Lens Wide Enough For Real Estate Photography?

May 27th, 2015

Olympus11-22Gene says:

I am a Realtor with an Olympus E-500 digital camera and interested in taking interior photos. There are two lens you recommend. The 7-14mm f4 and the 11-22mm f2.8. Big price difference between the two. Is there a big different in the photos and is it noticeable? I am not a pro but do want to take some nice interior photos on my listings.

First of all, the Olympus sensor size makes the focal length multiplier for these lenses 2.0 which means the 7-14mm is effectively a 14-28mm lens and the 11-22mm lens effectively a 22-44mm lens. The other important fact is that the sweet spot for shooting interiors is around 24mm (effective). That is, 24mm is wide enough to show interior spaces well but not so wide images have strange, distracting perspective distortions.

The 7-14mm is twice the price of 11-22mm and the quality is better but probably not twice as good. The added cost is to get that ultra-wide-angle. My experience is that you can get buy very nicely with the 11-22m since it with hit the sweet spot of 24mm and go slightly wider. For many years, before I moved to digital, I shot listings with a fixed 24mm and was very happy with the results. Just be aware though that the 11-22mm will not give you that ultra-wide-angle views that the 7-14mm will give. Some Realtors like this ultra-wide look but many readers here will argue that not being able to go too wide is a good thing.

Is there anyone that has experience with both of these lenses?

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9 Responses to “Is A 22 mm Wide-Angle Lens Wide Enough For Real Estate Photography?”

  • I love my 10-22mm because I can adjust it as needed. Also the angle does make a big difference but editing is where you make the money! If you don’t know lightroom or photoshop I’d hire a professional photographer, it will make all the difference in the world for your listings. Good Luck!

  • As a former Olympus Tech rep I have experience with both lenses. Although the 11-22 is a great lens the 7-14 is the go-to for real estate shooting. It is a rectilinear lens and that is important if you want your straight lines to be straight rather than bending. That is why the 7-14 costs so much more than the 11-22. I would suggest you get a newer camera body as the sensors in the newer ones are better for dynamic range and also MP count. Another feature I love about the Olympus E-3 or E-5 is the articulated screen. When backed into a corner or against a wall you can compose and shoot from the side of the camera rather having to be behind it. The 7-14mm lens is roughly the same lens as the Nikon 14-24 and is equally as sharp.
    I agree with Aubrey that time and effort for an agent is better spent prospecting and closing deals rather than spending countless hours trying to make images look good. Cheers

  • I tried mft cameras ( Panasonic and Oly)and really like to use those bodies but there is two big problems. MFT sensors dynamic range Is far behind Nikon and Sony FF sensors and all mft lenses i have tried so far, have quite big flare problem. I think it mft body Is not best to shoot RE pictures.

  • Sorry, my mistake.didnt read enough carefully, question was about FTcameras and lenses, not MFT.

  • Gene, I used to photograph Olympus products for their slide presentations to the corporate office.
    Being a Nikon User, they frowned on me using my Nikons in their studio to shoot Olympus products, so they gave me an SLR and lenses to use while on site. The image quality of Olympus lenses was so impressive and rivaled my Nikon glass. Later I bought an Olympus DSLR for travel and a few lenses, one being their 7-14, which I found it to be an incredible lens. If you are going to stay with Olympus, this is a wonderful lens which you will not be sorry. DSLR bodies are now disposable as they change every few months, but good glass is what you should invest in. if you wait long enough, you can pick up a hi-end DSLR body for a great deal, as soon as the new models come out.

  • 16mm for FX
    11mm for DX

    To me those are the widest you’d ever want to go, but they are indispensable. 22mm as the widest option in the kit would compromise your choices.

  • Olympus had a very nice DSLR, E-30 (approx. $1500 for the body) which had some features better than their flagship E-3. B&H had one for $299 in great shape. It also has an articulated screen.
    I sometimes use my Fuji X-Pro1 with their 10-24 (equivalent to 15-36mm) super sharp lens. The problem I find when using this camera system, is I tend to go wider than I should. I get caught in the excitement of how impressive the view looks at 15mm. It works great for some exteriors, but interiors are harder to keep straight, and lighting an area that wide is a pain in the butt. when using super wide lenses, you need to be disciplined on not going too wide. when shooting my Nikon D-700 full frame, I used my 20mm f-2.8 prime. it was sharp, fast and couldn’t vary my focal length. I like working with primes as you know what to expect when using it.

  • I shoot with the Olympus E-M1 and the m.9-18mm micro fourthirds lens. I also occasionally shoot with the m.12-40mm which is a beautiful lens and sharp from corner to corner.
    There is the new m.7-14mm pro lens that just came out; but it is beyond my needs right now; love to hear any reports about it from real estate photographers.
    I love the micro fourthirds bodies, and I’ve been using Olympus cameras since the E-1. I would love to hear more from the folks here who use Olympus/Panasonic cameras, especially micro fourthirds.

  • I currently shoot with an E-M1 but have stayed away from Real Estate photography because the only lens available was the Panasonic 7-14mm (EFL of 14-28mm). I used this lens with the E-M5 and noticed lots of purple flaring.

    Olympus has just announced their m.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro. I am REALLY looking forward to using this lens. From what I’ve heard, its build quality is top-notch, as are all the Olympus Pro series. And incredibly sharp as well.

    I tried shooting some interiors with my m.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro (EFL 24-80mm). While its an incredibly sharp lens from corner to corner, it wasn’t wide enough for interiors. All the m.Zuiko pro lenses are weather-sealed, tack sharp from corner to corner and built like tanks.

    If you decide to go with the 11-22mm, you may be able to use it by stitching a couple photos together. Lightroom CC has made this really easy to do now.

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