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The Second Most Popular Lens In Real Estate Photography

Published: 18/02/2014

The most popular subject on this blog is wide-angle lenses. The most popular post on the PFRE is the 2007 post on  wide-angle lenses. It gets a staggering amount of traffic, day in and day out. Makes sense I guess, wide-angle glass is the most important piece of gear a real estate photographer has.

I've done posts on the most popular lens in real estate photography (the Canon 10-22mm). But when recommending wide-angle lenses to beginners besides the Canon 10-22mm I always mention the Sigma 10-20mm. It is a couple hundred dollars less than the Canon but is available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Pentax, Minolta and Sigma DSLRs. According to my lens poll on the lens page, it is the second most popular wide-angle lens used in real estate photography.

While some photographers report that they have upgraded to the Canon 10-22 and like it better, many others report they love the Sigma 10-20mm and would not use anything else. The Sigma 10-20mm has it's own Flickr group with 15,000+ members and 285,000 photos! The Canon 10-22 has a Flickr group too but it's not as big.

So if you are using a DSLR with an APC-C sensor (not full frame)  and you are on a budget you should consider the Sigma 10-20mm. You don't have to buy it new either. Right now on Amazon there are 19 used Sigma 10-20mm lenses priced between $434 USD and  $360 USD.

Larry Lohrman

15 comments on “The Second Most Popular Lens In Real Estate Photography”

  1. Have been shooting with the Sigma AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM for almost two years now, shooting at f/8 when using flash and at f/11 when taking my 5 or 6-shot brackets. I must say that I've been *very* pleased with it. I made my decision to buy this lens based on value-for-money. At the end of the day, *ALL* ultra-wide lenses are going to give some distortion, so with that fact in-mind, I compared and went with this lens because, **dollar-for-dollar**, it gave the best results. Is it perfect? No. But then again, neither is the Canon 10-22 (for $220 more, new) or even the Canon 17-40L ($410 more!) Anyway, I think it's a really solid and *dependable* lens with great performance & build! As an FYI, here's a review from PhotoZone that I read that clinched it for me: (BTW, when you read the PhotoZone review for the Canon 10-22, you'll see that the Sigma outperforms it.

  2. I've only heard good things about the Sigma 10-20mm. My Canon shooting buddy switched to the Canon 10-22mm and likes it a little bit better. As a Nikon shooter, I opted for the 10-24mm right up front because I figured I'd make the move some day anyway. What I like about the Nikon is that I can usually use just that one lens for the whole shoot. Interiors tend to need wide, but the exterior allows me to back up and forgo the distortion. The 24mm (X1.5) ends works well in these situations.

  3. I allways use a Sigma 10-20mm for my shootings, im happy with it, but frankly speaking i dont had the oportunity of try any other, i bougth it from second hand more of a year ago in my old canon 50D and now in a 60D, i feel a bit more barel in this last camera than in the 50D but... this is thath at moment i have.

    So if some one is thinking in buy one is a great value.

    you can check in my site success, just some exteriors and close up photos are with other lens a Tamrom 18-270 first edition, rest is with sigma.


  4. Have been using the Sigma 10-20 for years and very happy with the purchase. Initially went into a local camera store with my camera and took sample shots with competing Tamron and Tokina, not tempting myself with the 10-24 Nikon. Back home reviewing the shots, liked the Sigma the best, and well enough there was no need to go back and compare the Nikon. Has really great color and contrast and really stood out on a landscape shot last year in Switzerland. Accidently shot the same scene overlooking Sion - differing locations/elevations about 5 minutes apart - with the Tamron 17-50 and the Sigma. The difference in contrast, particularly the sky, noted in post was amazing as the Sigma.

    Currently making the switch to full frame (undecided on the D610 or D800) but with Nikon's current (and rare) lens only sale, have the 16-35 on backorder - giving me some time to decide on the body. Will keep the D7000 as backup (and preferred for PAP) so won't be getting rid of the Sigma, but debating on the f2.8 Tamron as could use the f4 16-35, and for low light, some primes. While Nikon's 14-24 has the FF preference that Canons 10-22 has for crop sensor, don't really need to pay that premium when shooting consistently at f8.

  5. I use this lens for real estate and a lot of other commercial work. I mount it on my Nikon D300s. I LOVE IT!! I bought it used for $375 from a private party locally. I've made that back many times over. Lightroom 5 has an auto-correction for this lens already programmed in (it needs it as the distortion is pretty big). I've used Nikon branded optics like the 10-24mm and while a tad better at some apertures, isn't worth the extra money to me. This lens is very sharp and controls flare very well.

  6. I am a real estate agent and shoot all my own photos. I've had the Sigma 10-20 for about 4 years or so, first using it with my Nikon D3100, then my D5100. I have never tried another wide angle lens, but I love that Sigma! Does everything you'd expect, and reasonably priced as well.

    To see the photos I have shot with it, go to and click on "Featured Properties". Most (but not all) were shot with that lens.

  7. I started out with the Sigma 10-20mm and liked it very much. Noticed a bit of annoying chromatic trouble especially around windows on interior shots, and since I'm doing more and more model home photography, decided to upgrade to Nikon's 10-24mm. Love it ... maybe it's just my imagination, but the images do seem to have a bit more clarity. As to the chromatic trouble, I've just upgraded my PS to CS6 (NOT the cloud) and the Camera Raw has a button in there that works like a charm (which also helps with distortions, if I don't want to bother with doing it in Photoshop). In looking back, I could probably have stayed with the Sigma ... but oh well. Am using these with both my Nikon D300 and Nikon D7000.

  8. @Lois - You raise a good point. All Adobe RAW image editing products like Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom use was is called Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) software to remove well known lens imperfections that each brand of lens has. Your workflow should involve running all your images through ACR or some other RAW processing software that uses lens profiles built for each specific lens type to remove these defects. You need to verify that what ever RAW processor you are using has a lens profile for the lens model you are using.

  9. I have had the sigma 10-20 for years and it still goes great. I have upgraded my camera from a Nikon D300s to a nikon D610 - and still use the sigma 10-20. I use it in DX mode on the camera and with the raw files more managable in size, it gives me great results. I see no need to upgrade to the 16-35 lens. I always shoot at F7 through to F16. I do try and avoid the very wide end of the lens

  10. I dont know if its just me or have this website gone from tips and tricks and news in this business to "most popular lenses" and "photographer of the month" etc???
    How many aticles have you posted about "most popular...."?

    Sorry im not angry or bitter, im just disappointed with posts on this blog since about a year ago 🙁

  11. @ Jane, while everyone is entitled to their opinion (and perception), I must say that I’m a little surprised by your comment. This blog updates its articles every *3-4 days*, on average, and tries to take into account a quickly growing membership -- many of whom are beginning photographers and have never seen previous topics. Photography is, at its core, a science and the laws of science don’t change. Which means that once you’ve done an article on a subject, the next articles on that topic end up being derivative, yes? Furthermore, recycling articles/topics to give those new members access to information that will help them in establishing their business (and to save a few bucks!) can be expected. Perhaps one way to manage your “disappointment” is to make suggestions as to topics that you believe would add value to the membership (or perhaps to write an article yourself) 🙂

  12. @Jane ... I just re-read my response to your comment and I think it might have sounded a little snarky. I assure you, that wasn't my intent. I was simply trying to highlight the enormous challenge of maintaining a blog of this nature. Thanks!

  13. @Jane - Sorry to disappoint... As I suggested at the beginning of this post in deciding what to write about, I pay attention to which posts that I've done in the past are the most popular. The blog traffic statistics show that the subject of wide angle lenses, which wide angle lens to choose is THE #1 interest of readers. Email questions from readers confirm that too. Also, the reason I focus on what's popular with readers is that equipment popularity is a measure of the collective wisdom of the readers. Crowd-sourcing is very powerful and insightful. I only began to be able to tap into crowd-sourcing about 5 years ago when I started using polls.

    If you or anyone has specific questions or areas of interest feel free to use the link under "Contact Larry" on the upper right side-bar to send me you ideas, questions or what ever.

  14. There's a new UWA zoom into play. Fujion XF10-24mmF4 R OIS. It has the widest zoom range for any wide angle apc-s lens and on top of that it's constant F/4 AND it has optical stabilization. It offers more flexibility than the already great Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS.
    imo this is the ultimate apc-s lens for real estate photography.
    I think compact mirrorless is here to stay. Specially with great cameras like the new sony a6000 (that has just world's fastest AF) and the FUJIFILM X-Pro1. apc-s dslr no longer have the edge regarding quality focus speed and lens.
    Has anyone tried it yet?

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