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Best Lens For Real Estate Photography [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 17/02/2021

Sharp, clean-looking photos plays a significant role in your success as a real estate photographer. With most people now doing their house-hunting online, property pictures have become even more powerful. That is why you need the best lens for real estate photography. 

Our Top Lens For Real Estate Photography Review 

We’ve put together comprehensive reviews of what we concluded are the best lenses for estate photography as well as an all-inclusive guide on what to consider when choosing the best lenses. 

Brand
Best for Full Frame Cameras
Nikon 16-35 mm f/4
Best Tilt-Shift Lens
Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED
Best Wide Angle Lens
Nikon AF- S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
Product
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration...
Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED Zoom Lens...
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Tilt Shift
Wide Angle
Weight
1.5 pounds
1.95 pounds
1.07 pounds
Rating
Best for Full Frame Cameras
Brand
Nikon 16-35 mm f/4
Product
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration...
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Weight
1.5 pounds
Rating
Price
Best Tilt-Shift Lens
Brand
Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED
Product
Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED
Lens Type
Tilt Shift
Weight
1.95 pounds
Rating
Price
Best Wide Angle Lens
Brand
Nikon AF- S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
Product
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED Zoom Lens...
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Weight
1.07 pounds
Rating
Price

Best Lens For Full Frame Cameras

Here are our best lenses for full-frame cameras:

  • Nikon 16-35mm f/4
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f4L 15 USM lens
  • Tamron SP 15-30mm f12.8

Nikon 16-35 mm f/4 

If you are a Nikon full-frame camera user looking for the ideal lens that will enable you to take real estate pictures that speak for themselves, then you might want to give the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 wide-angle lens a try. 

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration...

The Nikon 16-35mm f/4 has a total of 17 elements within and weighs approximately 680 grams, making it easy to carry around especially if you’re taking pictures of several rooms in a property consecutively. 

The lens has a versatile focal length of 16-35mm with a 107-degree angle of view, allowing you to capture most of a room in a single, sharp, and well-defined photo. What’s more, its zoom ring allows you to easily rotate from 16 to 35mm and vice versa, allowing you to easily zoom in and out of your space of focus. 

The lens also features a Nano Crystal coating that protects it against flare, therefore, preventing the lowering of the overall contrast of your pictures. Its autofocus performance is accurate and fast even in low light conditions, this will help you take clear and high-quality images of areas around the property that have poor lighting. 

Its vibration reduction (Image Stabilization) significantly reduces the effect of shakes and unwanted movements of your hands. This enables you to get clear and sharp shots of the spaces within a property without having to use a tripod.

What we Like

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Exceptional Autofocus Performance even in low light conditions
  • Great focal length with an impressive angle of view
  • Vibration reduction and Silent Wave Motor reduce the unwanted movement, and the shutter sounds of the camera, enabling the user to obtain clear and sharp shots.

What we Don’t Like

  • Its distortion and vignetting is quite heavy
Sale
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration...
  • Ideal for wide-angle and "normal" shots
  • Maximum aperture: f/4 ; Offers two focus modes, M/A (autofocus with manual override) and M (manual)
  • Lens construction: 17 elements in 12 groups

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens

If you are a Canon DSLR camera user on a tight budget looking for a lens that has a perfect combination of value and exceptional functionality, then the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens might be what you have been looking for. 

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens - 9518B002

Weighing approximately 615 grams, you can easily carry it around when shooting different rooms on a property. If you’re shooting outdoors, this lens has a robust structure and is weather sealed, enabling it to withstand harsh weather conditions. 

Like the Nikon 16-35mm f/4, this lens has a versatile focal length range of 16-35mm, with a 108-degree angle of view. This allows you to take clear and well-defined images of wider spaces, with more background showing, making them more professional and appealing. 

It also has a nice and wide focus ring, that can easily be adjusted manually. The closest focus is approximately 28cm throughout the focal length range, which is great if you want to take wide-angle close-up pictures of a particular space inside or outside the property. 

Like Nikon 16-35mm, the autofocus performance is exceptional even in low light conditions, enabling you to take clear and sharp shots of rooms with poor lighting. This lens also features the same Image Stabilization, which enables you to take smooth and blur-free pictures while hand-holding. 

What we Like

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Low image distortion
  • Fast autofocus speed

What we Don’t Like

  • Low maximum aperture
  • Sharpness drops off at the edges and corners of the frame
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens - 9518B002
  • Make sure this fits by entering your model number
  • Full-time manual focus permits critical focusing precision, even in AF mode. Help provide excellent...
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 

Another great option is the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 lens. One of its highlights is its impressive focal length range with an ultra-wide angle of view, enabling you to take clear and well-defined images of wider spaces. 

Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 for Canon...

This lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 which remains constant throughout the zoom range, allowing you to get high-quality images even in spaces with poor lighting conditions.

Both the zoom and focus rings work with smooth precision, for maximum accuracy while shooting. Its Ultrasonic Silent Drive Motor enables the lens to focus both quickly and silently.

Just like the Canon EF, this lens also comes with the Image Stabilization feature that reduces unwanted shakes and movements of your hands. This enables you to get clear and blur-free images, without necessarily using a tripod.

What we Like

  • Wide focal length range with an impressive angle of view
  • Maximum aperture of f/2.8 is constant throughout the zoom range
  • Robust structure
  • Image Stabilization feature

What we Don’t Like

  • It is quite bulky
  • The distortion is quite heavy
  • Sharpness tends to be affected when shooting wide spaces
Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 for Canon...
  • Super high-quality high-speed ultra-wide-angle zoom lens
  • Lens has triple lens coatings consisting of the newly developed ax coating, plus band and bar...
  • Dual MPU system for AF and VC

Best Tilt-Shift Lens For Real Estate Photography

Tilt-shift lenses eliminate distortion, making images look as realistic as possible. We recommend the following: 

  • Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED lens
  • Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II

Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED Lens

The Nikon PC NIKKOR is a favorite among real estate photographers because it not only captures high-quality images at wide angles but it also supports tilt and shift adjustments. This enables you to take pictures of properties while keeping the lines completely vertical making them look as professional as possible. 

Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED

It has a maximum focal length of 19mm with 97 degrees angle of view. With this, you will be able to have a large depth of focus when capturing wide images of the spaces all while keeping the background in focus. 

Like the Canon EF and Tamron SP,  this lens has an adjustable focus ring that allows you to manually adjust the focus of the images to your liking. However, due to the tilt and shift adjustments, the lens omits autofocus which is quite a disadvantage.

Unfortunately, it also does not come with an Image Stabilization feature like the Canon EF, so you need to use a tripod to shoot quality images. 

What we Like

  • Features tilt and shift movements
  • Eliminates flare
  • Ultra-wide perspective 

What we Don’t Like

  • No autofocus
  • No image stabilization
Nikon PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED
  • Front & Rear Lens Caps
  • CL-1120 Soft Lens Case
  • Limited 4-Year USA Extension upon Registration

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Ultra-Wide Tilt-Shift Lens

The Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Ultra-Wide Tilt-Shift Lens promises a wider range of lens movements, unparalleled perspective control, and sharpness; making it one of the best tilt-shift lenses for real estate photography. 

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Ultra Wide Tilt-Shift...

The lens features a maximum focal length of 24mm with an impressive 84 degrees angle of view. However, if you would like to make the spaces look a little bit wider than they actually are, then this lens will be a disappointment. 

The lens features tilt and shifts adjustments which enable you to level and reframe the camera to capture everything, especially if you are taking pictures of spaces with high ceilings, all while keeping the parallel lines completely vertical. This enables you to capture images that are sharp and wide enough yet not too wide to make them look unrealistic. 

However, just like the Nikon PC NIKKOR, it does not have autofocus or the Image Stabilization feature so you need to use a tripod to shoot.

What we Like

  • Impressive optical performance
  • Tilt and shift adjustments that can be adjusted independently
  • Excellent contrast and color
  • Subwavelength structure coating that controls flare

What we Don’t Like

  • Quite pricey
  • No autofocus
  • No Image Stabilization
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Ultra Wide Tilt-Shift...
  • Tilt and shift lens compatible with all Canon EOS cameras; ultra wide 24mm focal length
  • High-precision lens elements for low distortion and high resolution; +/- 8.5 degrees Tilt and...
  • Aspherical and UD lens elements minimize chromatic aberration

Best Wide Angle Lens For Real Estate Photography

Wide-angle lenses enable you to capture a wider view of the space you’re shooting while being able to get the entire space into a single shot. In this category, we recommend the following:

  • Nikon AF- S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
  • Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
  • Sigma 12-24mm f/4DG HSM Art Lens

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF ED Zoom Lens

Combining an ultra-wide angle with a constant maximum aperture of f/4, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR is a versatile wide-angle lens ideal for real estate photography. 

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED Zoom Lens...

It has a wide focal length range of 12-24mm which is the perfect spot for both interior and exterior real estate photography. Its maximum aperture of f/4 provides consistent light transmission throughout the zoom range, enabling you to capture high-quality images. 

However, this aperture makes shooting in spaces with low lighting conditions quite a hassle. 

The lens features a super integrated coating that eliminates flare, internal reflections, and ghosting. This enhances the images’ contrast and color, especially when shooting spaces with strong lighting conditions. Its Silent Wave Motor offers fast and quiet autofocus performance for easier operation. 

What we Like

  • It is a sharp ultra-wide-angle lens with impressive color and contrast
  • Excellent focal length
  • A super integrated coating that controls internal reflections, flare, and ghosting
  • Silent wave motor that provides fast, precise, and quiet autofocus performance

What we Don’t Like

  • Quite expensive
  • Not weather-sealed
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED Zoom Lens...
  • 12 to 24 millimeter autofocus zoom lens with f/4 maximum aperture for Nikon digital SLR cameras
  • 2 Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and 3 aspherical lens elements for superior optics
  • D type design provides precise distant information for flash and ambient light exposure

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Wide Angle Zoom Lens

With a focal length range of 17-40mm, the Canon EF will be able to capture dramatic images that emphasize the space while keeping the background in focus and attractive. 

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom...

Its constant maximum aperture enables you to have enough light throughout the entire focal length. What’s more, it is also ideal for shooting tight spaces. However, images taken in spaces with poor lighting conditions may not come out as good because of its maximum aperture. 

The lens features an Ultrasonic motor that offers fast, accurate, and quiet autofocus performance. Manual focusing and zoom control are easy thanks to its focus and zoom rings that are well designed, turn smoothly, and are nicely damped. 

This lens also eliminates flare very well, resulting in excellent color and contrast of the images taken. Finally, while the lens is also very sharp at the center. it tends to fade away at the corners.

What We Like

  • Very affordable
  • Great focal length range that allows you to capture a wide view of spaces while keeping the background in focus. 
  • Ultrasonic motor that offers smooth, fast, and quiet autofocus performance.

What we Don’t Like

  • It is not really sharp at the corners of the frame
  • It has quite a heavy distortion
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom...
  • 17 40 millimeter ultra wide angle zoom lens with f/4 maximum aperture for Canon SLR Cameras....
  • 3 aspherical lens elements and super UD glass element create superior optics in all conditions,...
  • Powerful ring type ultrasonic monitor (USM) produces fast and silent autofocusing, Focuses as close...

Sigma 12-24mm f/4D G HSM Art Lens

Another lens that ticks off everything you are looking for in a wide-angle lens is the Sigma 12-24mm f/4D G HSM Art Lens. This lens maintains an excellent image quality with a wide maximum viewing angle. 

Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF...

The focal length range of 12-24mm enables you to shoot wide spaces while keeping the background and other far-off objects within the frame in focus. What’s more, it also allows you to shoot clear and well-defined images of tight spaces. 

This lens also has a moderately wide constant maximum aperture that allows adequate light to reach the sensor, making the shutter speeds shorter while still preventing the items in the space you are shooting from looking smaller in the frame. 

The lens also produces images that are very sharp at the center of the frame, although it tends to drop off at the corners. It also resists backlighting and flares really well, enabling you to get great quality images of spaces with strong lighting conditions.

What we Like

  • It has an excellent image quality with a wide focal length range and viewing angle
  • Constant maximum aperture
  • Ultrasonic focus ring
  • It handles backlighting and flares really well

What we Don’t Like

  • It has an external extending zoom that is not entirely sealed from dust and moisture
  • Its maximum aperture makes it challenging to shoot spaces with poor lighting conditions.
  • The image sharpness tends to fall off  at the edge of the frame
Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF...
  • It allows photographers to enjoy the world of zero distortion that is ideal for landscape or...
  • Continuing the tradition of the ultra wide angle range with incredible perspective, this new lens...
  • With F4 throughout the zoom range, it is one stop brighter than the previous model, allowing...

What to Consider for the Best Lens for Real Estate Photography

Hand holding a camera lens

The best lenses for real estate photography have a good combination of focal length, aperture, and the right type of lens for your specific needs. 

Let’s look at some of these features below. 

Focal Length

You have probably noticed by now that a lens focal length is important when it comes to real estate photography. A focal length is basically how much of a scene you are able to fit in the frame and capture. 

In real estate photography, the lower the focal length number the better. This is because it provides you with a wide-angle of view, allowing you to capture clear and well-defined images of wider spaces. However, you must also keep in mind that you also need the right focal length to capture small spaces like bathrooms. 

We recommend choosing a lens with a focal length that is not too high to prevent you from capturing everything and not too low that you are not able to bring the background of the scene in focus. 

Type of Lens 

While this is still a controversial issue in real estate photography, choosing the best lens for you largely depends on your preferences and goals. Let’s take a look at why different types of lens are important for real estate photography. 

  • Wide-angle lenses: These are ideal if you want to remain closer to the scene (space) and still make it look as large and open as possible while still capturing everything in that space in the shot. 
  • Tilt-shift lenses: Prevent distortion when shooting with a wide-angle lens by allowing you to shoot the property while keeping the lines completely vertical, making the images look as realistic and professional as possible
  • Zoom lenses: Enable you to take multiple types of shots. It also allows you to test different focal lengths to decide which one works best for you.

Aperture

A lens’ aperture refers to how wide it stays open when you take a picture. So, the wider the lens open, the lower the aperture value. When choosing the ideal lens for real estate photography, always go for one that has a relatively low maximum aperture value.

This is because the lens will be open enough to allow more light to strike the sensor, enabling you to take high-quality pictures of spaces with poor lighting conditions. 

The maximum aperture also determines the depth of field of a picture. Experts recommend going for a lens that has a maximum aperture value that is a bit high, which results in a shallower depth, more focus, and of course excellent images. 

Conclusion

We can all agree that there is probably no other piece of your photography kit that affects the quality of your real estate images other than the lens. Hopefully, this detailed guide will give a good place to start when it comes to choosing the best lens for real estate photography. 

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