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06-21-2012, 12:16 AM   #1
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Dilemma

So, Ive been looking for a good excuse to justify buying a DA 15 ltd since forever. And finally my excuse was handed te me on a platter... Or so I thought:

I've been a hobbiest for years now, but recently I did some free shoots for people. And it seems like they really like my shots. The ball started roling when the father of one of the girls I shot contacted me. He has an advertising agency, and I ended up doing product photography for him. This is how I, very recently, accidentally became a pro. (Well, a weekend-pro, I'm not dumping the dayjob yet.)

Then from word of mouth, a realestate broker got in touch with me and he wondered if I would be interested in becomming his photographer. Replacing his current very expensive pro. Everybody's trying to cut costs while maintaining good quality. Very good oppertunities for starters!

"Bingo!" I thought, I need an UWA: the Pentax DA 15 ltd. NOT! Seems like that magical lens isn't wide enough. I've looked through lots of threads discussing this very topic, and I have to agree.

Thing is, personally I really like the undistorted images the DA 15 ltd produces. In my honest opinion, and compared to the 15ltd, the Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 12-24 are very distorted. Yes, distortion is easily fixed in PP, but that results in loss of IQ. I mean, then I could just as wel de-fish my DA 10-17 shots? The FOV of that thing is 180, so it would also have it's advantages.

Could that be enough? Using a DA 15 ltd mostly, and then switch to DA 10-17 & defishing when I need to go wider?

I'm sorry, it's just my lust for the DA 15 ltd seeking loopholes.

06-21-2012, 12:36 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Replacing his current very expensive pro. Everybody's trying to cut costs while maintaining good quality. Very good oppertunities for starters!
Don't sell yourself cheap.
Price your work right, then you'll be able to afford the DA 15 for your own personal photography.
06-21-2012, 12:37 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Replacing his current very expensive pro. Everybody's trying to cut costs while maintaining good quality. Very good oppertunities for starters!
I would be rather careful here. These "pros" make their living out of photography, that is why they are comparatively expensive. If you intend on becoming pro at some point then I would be VERY careful about your pricing! You will be on a sure fire way to bust if you come in low then start jacking prices once you realise the total costs involved. Also the more you value your work the more others will value it too, another reason to not sell yourself short.

But in relation to the DA15, it will be very useful for those outdoor shots of the property. And heck if you do turn pro, you might have some landscape stuff as a side project that the DA15 is absolutely necessary! (Is that what you want to here?)

Edit: I think there was a statistic of 95% of photography businesses go broke. Most, not because they were poor photographers, but because they were poor in business.
06-21-2012, 01:08 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chaos_Realm Quote
Edit: I think there was a statistic of 95% of photography businesses go broke. Most, not because they were poor photographers, but because they were poor in business.
Oh, I believe that immediately. That's why I'm keeping my dayjob and just turn this hobby into a self-funding hobby.

In my case, there is not much cost anymore. I already have my own studio. Just a lens and new body now and then. I just need to make sure it would be equipment I would have bought as a hobbyist too.

06-21-2012, 02:50 AM   #5
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Carpe diem ?

Bonjour,

Sounds like to me that the DA 15 is bound to head into your lenses stable sooner or later ... thus, the question: "Why wait, life's too short!?"

(Is this also what you wanted to hear?)

Allez et bon courage, John le Frog
06-21-2012, 05:18 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The DA 15 would probably work very well for your intentions, but I'd suggest going wider at first - this will give you the ability to crop photos easier, as well as correct for distortion without loosing much of the image. You can always stitch together photos as well (360 pano of a room). Check out that UWA review and see if the sigmas/tamrons meet your needs as well before you bite the bullet.

Off topic but on the ideas of this discussion:
If you come to an agreement with the realestate broker, make sure you have a contract and within the contract that he/she cannot discuss pricing with others pertaining to your contract. This will give you the opportunity to get your foot in the door, create a portfolio, and expand your business without worrying much about "well you charged ________ this much, why are you charging me 40% more?"

One thing to keep in mind as you start to undertake this aspect of photography is lighting - make sure you leave money in your budget (no matter which way you go for lens selection) to purchase some good lighting equipment.
06-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RallyDriver96 Quote
The DA 15 would probably work very well for your intentions, but I'd suggest going wider at first - this will give you the ability to crop photos easier, as well as correct for distortion without loosing much of the image. You can always stitch together photos as well (360 pano of a room). Check out that UWA review and see if the sigmas/tamrons meet your needs as well before you bite the bullet.
I use the 15mm to take pictures while house-hunting. If I wanted to take more professional photos, I'd want something that went wider.

That said, I love my 15mm for other reasons (like hiking in the mountains), and I'm happy to own it.
06-21-2012, 10:38 AM   #8
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My impression is that many of the really wide real estate shots are done via stitching, which can yield a more "natural" apparent perspective than actually shooting an ultra-wide lens. I've done only a little real estate photography and found 15mm sufficient for my purposes if you are creative with your shots, but sure, there are times where you'd want wider or want to stitch.

06-21-2012, 01:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Thing is, personally I really like the undistorted images the DA 15 ltd produces. In my honest opinion, and compared to the 15ltd, the Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 12-24 are very distorted.
Distorted in what way? I've owned and used by the DA 12-24 and the DA 15, and neither lens, at 15mm, has any more noticeable distortion than the other. And according to the photozone, the Sigma 8-16 "shows basically no significant distortions from 12mm onwards." What you will get is loads of perspective distortion; but that's a consequence of FOV, not the particular design of one lens over the other.

If I were doing real estate photography, I suspect I would want the focal range versatility of a zoom. I would therefore choose the Tamron 10-24, because it has the widest range of the UWA zooms. The Tamron would not, however, be my first choice if I were buying an UWA zoom for merely personal use.
06-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
In my honest opinion, and compared to the 15ltd, the Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 12-24 are very distorted. Yes, distortion is easily fixed in PP, but that results in loss of IQ.
That's the conventional wisdom, but in practice I've never noticed distortion correction in Photoshop leading to a loss of IQ, even when pixel peeping. I'm using Photoshop CS5, and have specifically tried to see if the images lost any sharpness after correcting distortion. To me, the images still looked just as sharp, so I have no fear of correcting distortions.
06-21-2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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I would get the 15. It will make you very happy when doing the outside shots. I have both the 12-24 and the 10-17 and I think that things like CA will drive you nuts when doing the outside shots. For inside, I would go with having the 12-24 in the bag. If you are worried about IQ when you do lens corrections, then the 12-24 has less corrections to make. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love my fisheye, but it is just not suited for pro real estate work (pro weddings are another story).
06-22-2012, 11:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
My impression is that many of the really wide real estate shots are done via stitching, which can yield a more "natural" apparent perspective than actually shooting an ultra-wide lens. I've done only a little real estate photography and found 15mm sufficient for my purposes if you are creative with your shots, but sure, there are times where you'd want wider or want to stitch.
BRILLIANT!

I just did some experimenting with multiple shots at 18mm indoor. The stitching is extremely quick and easy. And I can go as wide as I want, whilst the quality remains very high.

This is the loophole I needed to get my DA 15 ltd.
06-22-2012, 11:21 AM   #13
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you lose tremendous IQ when defisheye
and after you crop the degraded edge, bascially you img end up like a normal wide angle lens, like 18mm. so not worth defish.
06-22-2012, 11:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Oh, I believe that immediately. That's why I'm keeping my dayjob and just turn this hobby into a self-funding hobby.

In my case, there is not much cost anymore. I already have my own studio. Just a lens and new body now and then. I just need to make sure it would be equipment I would have bought as a hobbyist too.
That's right, you have your studio, the business does not. You invested a lot into the studio, didn't you, not just in cost but in hours spent fine tuning the setup etc...

Also consider this, your studio, likely in your house, is owned by you and / or your spouse. You need to be careful, in turning pro, that this is NOT attached as an asset of your business, least of all someone launches a lawsuit and attaches your house to the business.

Even as a weekend warrior, you should consider setting up a limited liability corporation, but you really need to look at separating any assets you already own, from the corporation, or selling them to the corporation, so that you are protected.

You should also consider business liability insurance, etc. once you put all these costs in,. plus your time, you will see what your hourly rate and job rate should be.

Remember it only takes one bad customer to cost you everything.
06-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #15
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I suggest the 8-16. It's a lovely lens.
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