The Most Popular Real Estate Photography Lens: Canon 10-22mm

December 1st, 2011

After seeing the results of the real estate photography equipment polls I can’t help from commenting on the results. I’m totally stunned that the Canon 10-22mm is the most popular lens. Not that it isn’t a great lens, it may well be the highest quality lens for cropped sensor DSLRs. I’m just surprised that it is beating the Sigma 10-20mm which is almost half the price of the Canon 10-22mm and is available for Nikon, Canon and other DSLRs.

I think it is awesome that readers of this blog are into quality. This preference for quality shows up in the DSLR popularity of the 5DMkII being the most popular DSLR by a huge margin. I wouldn’t have predicted this. I would have predicted that the cropped sensor Canon DSLRs would be the most popular DSLR. This poll shows that a large percentage of real estate photographers are using fullframe DSLRs. Very interesting! This result tracks my preference, I’ve been using a full frame DLSR since the Canon 1Ds came out in 2003.

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22 Responses to “The Most Popular Real Estate Photography Lens: Canon 10-22mm”

  • i put a full frame on my christmas list this year. lets hope I have been nice

  • It seems contradictory that the most popular lens is cropped sensor lens, but the most popular camera is a full frame DSLR. Hmmm.

  • @ Tad : makes more sense when you consider the distribution of full-frame models vs crop models. Summing all the various crop sensors outweighs the full frames therefore accounting for the “most-popular” crop sensor lens.

  • Interesting! Based on recommendations from a PFRE member whose work I strive to emulate, Iran Watson, (as well as a few days I spent with a rented Canon 10-22mm), I just last week upgraded from the #2 most popular lens (the Sigma 10-20mm) to the #1 most popular lens (the Canon 10-22mm). I couldn’t be happier. And as the poll results show, I’m not alone!

    PS- If any one is looking for a nearly new, pristine, #2 most popular lens for real estate photography, there is one available here: (it says local cash sales only, but I would gladly ship to a PFRE member. You are my people.)

  • Although the Sigma 10-20 is a good lens, I don’t believe it can match the quality of the Canon 10-22. I started out with the Sigma and when I upgraded to the Canon, it took my photography to a new level. The colour rendition (the most noticeable), contrast and sharpness I believe are far superior on the Canon. I use the 17-40 on a full frame now but I do miss the 10-22 because it had hardly any barrel distortion, something I hate about the 17-40.

  • A few weeks ago I was photographing an exterior of a home and having huge problems with lens flare. I had grabbed my 17-40 f4 Canon becasue it called for about a 20mm focal length and was getting unusable shots. I had assumed that the L glass would look the best but when I switched to the 10-22 the flare was insignificant and I got a great shot. Owning a 10-22mm may keep me using a crop sensor camera (7d) for a few more years rather than upgrading to a full frame camera. It is also fairly well put together. I have been using mine since 2004 full time and have dropped it hard several times and it still keeps delivering great shots.

  • Like Peter, I thought of selling the Sigma 10-20 and getting the Nikon 10-24, but didn’t after reading reviews and renting one. While nothing wrong with the 10-24, vs. the 10-20 there wasn’t a significant difference, if any, to justify the price premium. That seems to be born out when you consider that 58% of the Canon crop users use the Canon 10-22, while only 30% of the Nikon users use either Nikon’s 10-24 or 12-24. That percentage could be even worse for Nikon as Canon had “other crop sensor” field while Nikon did not, omitting D40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 200 users. They may have reported the lens, but not the camera body.

  • Like Mike above, I started with the Sigma but switched to the Canon 10-22 and find it so much better. The time you save alone in correcting the deficiencies of the Sigma is worth the spending the extra money on the Canon.

  • I have the Sigma 10-20 with a 60D and I hate it. It is not sharp at all. I completely understand why people spend the extra money and go with the Canon, it is well worth the investment.

  • I’m a Nikon user (only because I had so many special lenses and am locked into the system) but would go to Canon if I were starting out. On my Nikon D-300, I use a Tokina 12-24 f-4 lens which is excellent (some barrel distortion on the ends) and my 10.5 fisheye in tight spaces and correct in Lightroom 3. I don’t use my D-700, because I wanted to keep it in pristine condition for my fine art and commercial work. But, after reading that many of my fellow Real Estate photographers are using full frame, I might start using it with my 20mm f-2,8 wide and my super wide Nikon 15mm f-3.5 (which is very flare prone). I tried shooting interiors with my 28mm f-3.5 PC. Great lens and contrast, but it is not wide enough for interiors.

    I also shoot in med JPG which I thought was large enough for the tours.
    How many people are shooting their tours in Raw and how much better is the final result?

  • Everything I shoot is in RAW. It is my opinion to start out with the highest quality image (also with the most leeway in terms of editing) then I covert to TIF and finally into JPG for final usage online etc.

  • Like Mike & Peter, I too just picked my Canon 10-22 up a couple weeks ago, and it was to upgrade from the Sigma. I did some side-by-side comparisons on my 60D – and, not being too technical about it, the barrel distortion is less noticeable, the color balance looked better, and I perceived the Canon to give a slightly crisper picture. I haven’t done any pro shots with it yet, but I am shooting a hospital tomorrow morning… I’m encouraged by the others’ notes, and I am expecting bigger & better things from the Canon!

    Looks like there will be a glut of Sigma 10-20s on the selling block!

  • I am still wondering if the Canon 24 T/S would have done better if it was listed correctly. However, given the price – I can see why the Canon 10-22 did better. I also think that the Canon is worlds above the Sigma lens and requires less correction in post.

  • A friend of mine swears by Nikon equipment. I use Cannon and have found both to be comparable in quality. I like the 60D. I agree with Larry on the picture quality. As a real state agent- I use it for my website photos and advertising flyers and brochures.

  • In the Real Estate technology training world, this lens is one I love to recommend, but know it is pricey and out of range for many. But everyone I know that has it swears by it and would never shoot without it. I would go so far as to say its the most fun lens you could own. Either with Real Estate or other areas, you can get some very interesting shots with this, and the quality is top notch.

    John Chinello
    RE/MAX University

  • At the recommendation of many on the PFRE Flickr group years ago, the Canon 10-22mm was my first “pro” PFRE purchase. I actually bought the lens before I even decided on a camera! Back then the advice was buy the best lens you can afford and then use what’s left over to buy the camera back. That is exactly what I did and almost four years later my Canon 10-22mm still performs like the day I first used it.

    I also upgraded a Sigma telephoto lens to a Canon L lens recently and while the difference wasn’t night and day, it was enough that I haven’t used the Sigma since. I think Sigma offers good value but when you want the best as a Canon shooter, its just a matter of time before you realize there are very few substitutes for the quality of Canon’s higher-end glass.

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  • I bought the 10-22 mm Canon to start out, used off of Craigslist and had to get a loan just to afford it. It was well worth the money. The definition and colour it produces is the most notable, aside from it being relatively free from barrel distortion (which shouldn’t be a problem for most lenses anyway’s if you use Lightroom 3’s lens correction profiles / auto – correct).

  • Pretty nice and interesting post! I am so happy to find your site!

  • I am kind of curious as to what is the most popular lens for full frame cameras?

  • the canon 10-22mm is such a great lens for real estate photography for the cheaper camera’s and newbies to the industry. the sigma just has too much distortion in it’s shot, although is helped by the latest photoshop adaptive wide angle lens feature.

  • I’m a 5d MK 11 full frame user, I really wanted the widest lens without going fish-eye with an aperture wide enough to help me in low light situations.
    I ended up with the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG. I have been shooting real-estate for a couple of years now and find it very usable, needs sharpening, and lens correction for vignetting in post, but all in all a practical lens. A price driven purchase at the time.I must buy a Canon wide angle to see the difference.

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