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Using Wideangle Focal Lengths With Restraint For Interior Photography

Published: 09/09/2013
By: larry

Simon Maxwell, our man in London, just finished a nice tutorial on using your ultra wide angle lens with restraint.

A wide angle lens is essential for shooting real estate, but an ultra wide angle lenses can be abused. When I first got my first real wide angle lens (a Canon 16-35mm on a Canon 1Ds) I loved to rack it out to 16mm and shoot a whole listing with it on 16mm. Then when I would show the results to my wife (the listing agent) she would go ballistic and send me back to shoot it over again because the property looked like a "bowling alley".

The fact is, as Simon illustrates in this tutorial, an ultra wide angle lens can give you some pretty wacky, exaggerated perspective that really looks strange to the eye and is very distracting to the viewer. Yes, there are many agents out there that want that "bigger than it really is" look, but be deliberate. Don't just blindly go wide because you can. There's a reason that most tilt-shift lenses are 24mm- it's because architecture generally looks more natural when shot around 24mm than 16mm, or 14mm.

11 comments on “Using Wideangle Focal Lengths With Restraint For Interior Photography”

  1. Thanks Simon: very informative and well presented, From the feed back it looks like you have posted other tutorials. Is there a link or URL where I may view them.
    Dave Jones

  2. Great article / video again Simon.
    Really useful and informative stuff to keep in mind.

    Especially as I'm having to deal with the 'go as wide as possible' (with no regard to the effect!) Agent style at the moment, and it's doing my head in!


  3. I agree with Niall. I have to work with a dogmatic supervisor who is always harping on me to go wider than my 12-24 (x1.5)
    A lot of the ultra wide stuff just look too weird and unnatural.

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