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Best Lenses for Canon Rebel XSi [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 02/03/2021

The Rebel XSi is one of the fastest cameras available today, and you can maximize the camera's abilities with the right lens. To capture enticing yet quality images, we're going to help you find the best lens for Canon Rebel XSi to improve your real estate photography shoots.

Our Best Lenses for Canon Rebel XSi Reviews

We have talked about the best choices for real estate photography lenses on a Canon APS-C sensor many times. See which one of the Canon EOS Rebel XSi lenses suits your camera most and how they can help flourish your real estate photography career. 

Brand
Best Overall
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
Best for the Money
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
Best Cheap Pick
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Product
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon...
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical...
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Wide Angle
Wide Angle
Item Weight
1.42 pounds
1.15 pounds
0.28 pounds
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
Product
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon...
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Item Weight
1.42 pounds
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
Product
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical...
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Item Weight
1.15 pounds
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Product
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Lens Type
Wide Angle
Item Weight
0.28 pounds
Rating
Price

Best Overall Lens for Canon Rebel XSi: Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

With wide and zoom focal ranges, the Canon EF-S 17-5mm lens is the best lens and most versatile companion for the fast, intuitive shooting ability of the Rebel XSi camera. The lens boasts good sharpness and contrast levels that don't falter much, despite shooting wide open indoors.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon...

The large opening of f/2.8 on this lens enables you to get a shallow depth of field with background blur, perfect if your style also includes creative or detailed shots of a property's features.

Additionally, the lens doesn't change the exposure setting as you zoom in at the closest focusing distance of 1.15 feet. The zoom range is like taking pictures with a 27-88m lens.

There's also a built-in image stabilization that improves sharpness even if you're already using a tripod in low-light spaces. Similar to typical L-series lenses, the 17-55mm isn't weather-sealed, although it enables the use of a UV filter to remove bluish cast in your photos.

While the lens is a bit bulky and heavy, the lens doesn't feel unbalanced when attached to an APS-C camera.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon...
  • 17-55mm wide-angle zoom lens with f/2.8 maximum aperture for Canon DSLR cameras
  • AD and aspherical elements deliver impressive image quality through entire zoom range, Closest...
  • Image Stabilizer lens groups shift to compensate for image shake even in dim lighting

Best Lens for Canon Rebel XSi for the Money: Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5

Giving an ultra-wide angle, the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens contains a fast maximum aperture of f/3.5 throughout the full zoom range, making the lens suitable for real estate photographers who find it difficult to change compositions in tight-corner spaces.

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical...

Since the aperture provides enough exposure, you can save time checking in the camera viewfinder if you have the correct composition or sharp focusing.

This can be your go-to lens if you typically need the widest angle while also having the ability to zoom down when photographing kitchen spaces, closets, or tall structures from short distances.

For comparison, the 10-20mm frame is like photographing with a 16-32mm lens. The field of view creates striking photos with exaggerated perspective, although not to the point of becoming macro, while still allowing you to emphasize elements in a frame.

The lens lets you achieve this while keeping the lines straight, which is important if the pictures will be used for print and MLS.

While its center sharpness is best at the 10mm end, the edge softness decreases as you stop down a little or move toward the longer end. Like the 17-55m, this lens lacks optical stabilization, so be cautious when controlling the manual focus to guarantee sharpness.

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical...
  • Super-Wide: 10-20 with maximum aperture of F3.5 throughout entire zoom range
  • Includes: Petal-type Hood supplied
  • English (Publication Language)

Best Cheap Lens for Canon Rebel XSi: Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

Also known as a pancake lens, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/28 is the best lens for Canon camera users who don't want to haul around bulky lenses. Despite the small size and cheap price, its optical design is par with most EF-S lenses, ensuring great picture quality and smooth focusing.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens

It's an excellent walk-around lens for photographers who specialize in creating virtual tours of an entire property. Its built and broad coverage makes it easier to walk around than using a 50mm lens.

Similar to its 17-55mm counterpart, this lens also uses a fast aperture of f/2.8, which is essential when you need to shoot handheld in low-light conditions. You can drop up to f/4 to retain image clarity, although f/16 would start to decrease sharpness.

While the vast coverage tends to cause distortion, the image quality is still relatively sharper than the typical prime lens, especially at the corners.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
  • Wide angle lens for Canon APS C cameras (equivalent to 38 millimeter on a full frame camera)
  • Focal length & maximum aperture: 24 millimeter 1:2.8, maximum magnification of x0.27
  • Slimmest and lightest lens of the EF S series

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Despite the appearance of a rather basic lens, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 is an extremely sharp lens with a broad opening and focal length. Its weight, image stabilization, and silent motor are desirable features if you also need to shoot videos.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

The barrel length gives a viewpoint similar to a 28mm on a full-frame DSLR. The wider end enables you to keep all elements in the scene in sharp focus. However, it may show subtle corner softness.

This lens has the narrowest maximum opening of all the lenses in this list, although the opening still does a really great job when taking photos in low-light situations.

The 10-18mm makes up for that little downside by being the only lens in its class to use optical stabilization, which is useful if you need extra help in keeping your shots tack sharp.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
  • EF S ultra wide zoom lens. Drive System Lead screw and rack system driven by stepping motor
  • Focal Length and Maximum Aperture: 10 18 millimeter,1:4.5 5.6
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 0.72 feet. / 0.22 meter

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 lens is another great alternative to Canon lenses, especially if you want shorter running speeds to pair with the Rebel's ISO settings. With optical stabilization, fast aperture, and versatile zoom range, this would be another all-around lens for both interior and exterior shots.

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large...

The zoom lens remains very sharp in the center, with the resolution retaining quality on the full focal length. However, there's a hint of distortion and vignetting at the 17mm end, although the chromatic aberration is well-controlled at any focal point.

Unlike the other lenses, the downside is that its autofocusing is rather noisy, emitting a high-pitch sound that can be distracting when working in a quiet environment. However, this won't be much of a deal-breaker if you don't need to record spiels.

On the plus side, the short focus throw allows quick zoom focusing, so the lens only takes about a second for you to refocus your shots and improve image clarity.

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large...
  • For Canon DSLRs with APS-C Size Sensors 4 Stops of Anti-Shake (OS) Compensation
  • Aperture of f/2.8 throughout Zoom Range Accepts 77mm Filters
  • Ultra Compact (Only 3.6", 91.8mm Long) Multi-Layered Lens Coating

Tamron SP 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DI II

From dynamic angle perspectives to a normal human viewpoint, the versatility of the Tamron SP 10-24mm lens is among the best lenses for Canon camera users who are also into real estate photography.

Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD Wide Angle...

The lens offers excellent picture quality, especially in the center of the frame. However, you need to set the camera's aperture a few stops down to get excellent corner performance, particularly when photographing at 10mm and low-light scenes. 

The focal length's perspective is quite similar to using a 35mm lens with a very wide-angle, making spaces look more prominent than actual. Although it's challenging to take pictures at the wider end, the lens lets you capture narrow angles of view to cover more of a room's background.

An anti-reflection coating improves light transmission to suppress glare, giving you more control when taking images at spaces filled with mirrors and reflective surfaces.

Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD Wide Angle...
  • Minimum Object Distance:9.4 inches
  • Angle of View (diagonal) - 108°44'-60°2'(for APS-C format)

Features to Consider for Lenses for Canon Rebel XSi

There are many lenses available on the market, yet it's not enough that a lens is compatible with a camera. Your chosen lens must also have these features to function fully.

Aperture

Aperture is one of the first things you need to consider when choosing a lens for real estate photography as it affects the exposure of your shots. Consequently, your efficiency in working in spaces with low lighting.

Hand holding a Canon 24mm lens

A wide-open aperture, such as f/1.4 to f/1.8, lets you emphasize more details while focusing on everything from the background to the foreground. Remember, faster lenses would have bigger apertures, like the f/2.8 of Canon 17-55m, Canon 24mm, and Sigma 17-50mm.

Furthermore, sharpness relates to aperture because the more light your camera gets, the better the quality becomes. While the lenses all provide excellent photo quality, they differ in the aperture range, and in effect, degree of sharpness.

Focal Length

The focal length may depend on factors such as your style, time constraint, the room's layout, and your client's requests. 

However, for general real estate photography, shots taken at 16mm to 34mm are the best to cover the whole space. A zoom range of 50mm to 70mm also works well if you need to get detailed shots.

Moreover, the focal range of a lens influences zoom versatility, especially when you need to shoot in tight spaces. For instance, the Canon 24mm, Tamron 10-24mm, Canon 10-18mm, and Sigma 10-24mm have the broadest focal ranges. Meanwhile, the Canon 17-55m and Sigma 17-50mm use a wide to zoom range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Canon Cameras Full-Frame?

A quick way to know which Canon cameras are full-frame and which aren't is to look at the Dpreview.com page for Canon cameras and look in the text just above the green price.

Is the Canon EOS Rebel XSi Good for Real Estate Photography?

The Rebel XSi is ideal for real estate photography because it allows the use of lenses from Canon and other brands. You can maximize the camera's performance and good photo quality while using various focal lengths.

Are Third-Party Lenses Good for a Canon Camera?

Yes, even used prime or kit, zoom, and wide-angle lenses from other brands are also suitable for a Canon camera since they usually have the same features, and sometimes, better functions. However, you could stick with native lenses if you want to guarantee compatibility.

Conclusion

A well-composed shot requires the best lenses to sell a property and make it worth thousands of dollars. With the right lens from this list, you can use a Canon Rebel XSi for your future real estate photography shoots to secure consistent and high-paying clients.

6 comments on “Best Lenses for Canon Rebel XSi [2021 Review]”

  1. Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6

    i love the widest angle option, then if theres distortion i just touch it up in LightRoom. I dont always use it on 10.... often 14, 16. But it's nice to have the 10 option for those tiny rooms.

  2. I used a Rebel to get myself established in RE photography back in 2011 with the Sigma 10-20mm and did just fine with it. Upgraded it with the next model out until a couple of years ago I upgraded further to the 80D. Mainly for the video ability.

    For photography aimed primarily for Internet use which does not use high resolution, it's just fine. I found it falters for high resolution print however so if your clients want to have glossy brochures made or buy full page ads or covers in local real estate magazines, you can squeek through but not with much cropping so be sure to shoot verticals as well as horizontals if the images will be used for print in a vertical format. Most print work is done at 300 dpi.

    The Sigma lens I bought slowly began to loose sharpness on the left side with use. But I know others have had great and dependable success with it. I then bought the Tamron 10-24mm which I love and has been serving me well with the 80D for both stills and video. I keep the Sigma in my back up case just in case.

    So you can do a lot in RE with some fairly basic equipment. As long as the equipment works properly and you have a wide enough lens, and I usually start a shot at 10mm even if I then zoom in a bit, it is more about how you use the equipment than the equipment itself. It is your eye that counts, your framing, your recognition of lighting and how to work with it and finally with the digital darkroom abilities. You can have the very best of equipment but it's not the camera that takes the picture, it is the photographers inner eye. The camera simply records the image. So take the photograph in your head before taking it with your camera.

    Many here swear by using a flash in combination with the ambient exposure and others like to light the whole scene with flash. Personally I seldom do, but everyone works in different ways. Who cares how the image is achieved just as long as it is achieved and is satisfactory to your clients. They are the ones who write the checks.

    But I have heard great things about the Tokina 11-16mm I believe it works well ffor both stills and video as well. I am sure there are other's here with experience with other brands to help you pick. All uber-wide angle lenses will have some distortion to deal with so do learn to use Lens Correction in your post processing.

  3. Peter makes some good points. The XSi should be ok to get started with if you can learn to maximize it's strong points and avoid situations where it is weak. I also suggest that you don't get too invested in accessories for the camera that you can't keep if you decide to upgrade. Used gear from a reputable dealer can save you some money and at this juncture, realize that Canon is migrating from DSLR to mirrorless so support may fall off in a few years. Third party accessory companies will also start changing over their product lines as Canon shifts more of their product line to mirrorless bodies and the new format lenses. The 5D and 1D series bodies and L series (pro) lenses will still be viable for many more years, but the consumer (XSi) and Prosumer (80D) will be getting left behind much faster. If you can build your business to the point where you are consistently staying busy, gear upgrades shouldn't be a problem if you are charging enough for your work. Be sure to put gear purchases, upgrades and maintenance in your annual budgets that you are using to calculate your Cost of Doing Business.

  4. The Canon 10-18 lacks a distance scale. The Canon 10-22 includes the distance scale and can be purchased refurbished for about $40 more than the Sigma.

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