Several days ago a reader asked me what THE best setup for shooting real estate would be. Until then I'd always been asked what the cheapest one was. At the Seattle Workshop in April I had a chance to shoot with a Nikon D3 and 14-24mm f2.8 for about 20 minutes. I could tell then that the 14-24mm was very special glass.
It wasn't until a recent comment exchange on the "lenses" page with a couple of readers that it dawned on me that the D700 was the other half of a sweet combination for real estate photographers.
So here's why I think the Nikon D700 and Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 is currently the best possible combination of body and lens for a real estate photographer:
- The 14-24mm f2.8 is currently the best ultra-wide glass on the planet. As Ken Rockwell says, "...it makes all other ultra-wides look line poo-poo". The 14-24mm covers the perfect range for real estate shooting. The best ultra-wide glass is a good place to start!
- The D700 is full frame. This means the 14-24mm lens is a 14-24mm lens... no 1.5 crop factor. An important feature for wide-angle shooters.
- The D700 is the same sensor that the D3 has that has ISO sensitivity that goes up to 12,800. OK so probably you are probably not going to shoot at ISO 12,800 but if you get good results at 800, or 1600 or 6400 that increased sensitivity effectively increases the power of your off camera flashes.
- The D700 has a built-in flash unit. This means you have away to trigger off camera flash units like the SB-800 or SB-80 or other optical slave flashes without buying extra equipment like Pocket wizards or cactus triggers. You just use optical triggering. After seeing Thomas and Scott use this technique at the Seattle Workshop I was sold on the simplicity of optical triggering. Apparently the built-in flash can also act as the "commander" for Nikon's automatic flash system too if you are inclined to use that mode.
I rest my case. Because of the built-in flash I think the D700 is even better for real estate than the D3 which costs $2000 more. Oh, by the way, I have all Canon equipment (1Ds and 16-35mm F2.8), but if I had to replace it tomorrow I'd replace it with a D700 and a 14-24mm.