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07-14-2012, 11:21 PM   #1
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Pentax DA 15mm Limited for real estate photography

So a little while ago I was looking for a wide angle lens I could do real estate photo with. I had my eye on the DA 15mm Limited for it's size, low distortion and build quality. The one thing holding me back was the thought that it might not be wide enough. I got some advice from a member here on the forums that showed me that real estate photography isn't about getting everything in the room in the shot but to let people feel what it's like to be in that room. So I went ahead and got the DA 15mm Limited and I'm happy to say the results (atleast to my eye) turned out very good. I'm much happier with this lens than I would've with the next option (sigma 10-20). The 15mm Limited is an absolute joy to use. Take a look at my shots and let me know what you think. I'm just starting out in this field so any feedback is helpful.












07-14-2012, 11:29 PM   #2
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pics

For some reason the photos didn't show up in my initial message but here they are.
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07-14-2012, 11:31 PM   #3
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more photos

And here's some more.
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07-15-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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hmm, i have same thoughts but how it would be in small apartments?
I see this house is pretty large, at least for usual apartment sizes at my place.
good pictures btw, pls try shoot smaller rooms and let us see results.

07-15-2012, 01:05 AM   #5
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looking good, these are in-camera hdrs?
I would add a bit of contrast to all pics
07-15-2012, 01:13 AM   #6
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i just went to an estate sale today and found a 35 super lentar with approximately one million aperture blades, and sold my super takumar 35mm a few hours later.

these look about perfect.
maybe if the room calls for it, or there is a weird floorplan, you could put the camera up on a stand (or on a tri/monopod and hold it up) to get an angle from the ceiling down 3/4 view, to have a 1/2 front and 1/2 top down view.
07-15-2012, 04:06 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanic Quote
looking good, these are in-camera hdrs?
I would add a bit of contrast to all pics
The sun is so darn bright here in Arizona, I was actually going to suggest doing either a 3 or 5 frame bracket, in order to get a bit more contrast and take advantage of the K5's dynamic range (rather than shadows, to help with the overlighting). To me, with all the sun available, bracketing would help with balancing the contrast. Another important aspect are the windows. The view is not fully washed out, and there is good balance between the interior light and the light coming in from the outside, but its still a difficult chore to balance the two.

If you try bracketing, and as good as in camera bracketing is on the K5, I would still do it manually. Since you are doing single frame images (no stitching), I might suggest trying something like Oloneo PhotoEngine. They have a free 30 day trial that you can download, so you are not out anything, and its something like $125 if you choose to buy it. I would think that 3 frame bracketing should be plenty. It would be one additional step to your workflow. I have also found that it works well on single images.One additional thought. Perspective control - the first image has the home leaning just enough to be noticeable. It is not overwhelming and it is really unavoidable. Photoshop can easily straighten up the lines. You will loose a bit of the image due to cropping in order to square up the image. You will need to frame the image just a bit differently when taking the photo in order to adjust for this loss. Photoshop is expensive though, and another package does not come to mind that would provide the same capability. Here is a tool that works within Elements (apparently - I have not used it)

Last edited by interested_observer; 07-15-2012 at 04:48 AM.
07-15-2012, 04:37 AM   #8
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I agree with i_o above, do some perspective & distortion control and add a lot more contrast (and perhaps less saturation) to the HDR images. Right now they are looking very flat and surreal, which isn't ideal for real estate photos.

But otherwise, the 15mm limited is quite nice for real estate photos. I shoot architectural interiors with one and find it is almost always wide enough when I'm backed into a corner!

07-15-2012, 05:26 AM   #9
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Not having done any real estate photos myself my suggestions are only of a general nature.

Watch the verticals
Beware of objects intruding from the side such as picture frames door handles, furniture etc
07-15-2012, 05:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I agree with i_o above, do some perspective & distortion control and add a lot more contrast (and perhaps less saturation) to the HDR images. Right now they are looking very flat and surreal, which isn't ideal for real estate photos.

But otherwise, the 15mm limited is quite nice for real estate photos. I shoot architectural interiors with one and find it is almost always wide enough when I'm backed into a corner!
In my personal opinion, anything wider than the DA15 is surrealistic, with heavily stretched corners and edges.. And the DA15 is already a little bit surrealistic. Of course, there is the fisheye, which doesn't stretch the edges and corners, but nobody is going to take real estate photos with a fisheye. Wider ultra wides are more about the juxtaposition of subjects very close to the camera with the background, than they are about architecture.

So, yeah, back yourself into a corner with the DA15, and that's probably the best that can be done.
- Sheldon
07-15-2012, 05:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
One additional thought. Perspective control - the first image has the home leaning just enough to be noticeable. It is not overwhelming and it is really unavoidable. Photoshop can easily straighten up the lines. You will loose a bit of the image due to cropping in order to square up the image. You will need to frame the image just a bit differently when taking the photo in order to adjust for this loss. Photoshop is expensive though, and another package does not come to mind that would provide the same capability.
The Silkypix software in the "Pentax Digital Camera Utility"
(bundled with Pentax DSLRs)
can do basic perspective correction
(not quite as versatile as Photoshop,
but good enough for fixing the first image).

Use the "Vertical shift" and "Horizontal shift" sliders
in the "Rotate/Shift" tool,
remembering to enter the correct focal length.
The focal lengths go all the way down to 8mm,
so you can even correct an image from the Sigma 8-16 zoom at the wide end.
07-15-2012, 06:05 AM   #12
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I agree with the comments on perspective control. I think fixing it would really add a finished quality to your shots in this case and set your work apart form the realtor who takes their own shots with a p&s.

These pictures are very good, but as you are practicing and improving with HDR and bracketing I would try to make the interior a little brighter. I think that in arizona a house with windows like that would be pretty bright and the interiors just felt a little dark to me. But given how bright Arizona is outside, I think you did a great job in these shots bringing in the view from outside.
07-15-2012, 08:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The Silkypix software in the "Pentax Digital Camera Utility"
(bundled with Pentax DSLRs)
can do basic perspective correction
(not quite as versatile as Photoshop,
but good enough for fixing the first image).

Use the "Vertical shift" and "Horizontal shift" sliders
in the "Rotate/Shift" tool,
remembering to enter the correct focal length.
The focal lengths go all the way down to 8mm,
so you can even correct an image from the Sigma 8-16 zoom at the wide end.
It has been so long since I used the "Pentax Digital Camera Utility". I had forgotten about this "free" capability.

Also, there is one of the interior shots that could use a bit of straightening as well #8 - in general you were able to keep the interior shots pretty squared up.

I hope you don't mind, but I wanted to see what type of differences some contrast changes could make. Starting with RAW would have been better, and especially if you had a 3 or 5 frame bracket, but just downloading one of your images from above, I tried to touch it up without doing too much harm.

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Last edited by interested_observer; 07-15-2012 at 09:02 AM.
07-15-2012, 01:00 PM   #14
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Hey thanks for all the feedback everyone! Yes these were done with in camera HDR and Lightroom. I also used Photoshop Elements 10 a little to get rid of some flaring/fringing. I'm about to install the Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 that came with the camera since I usually skip any software that comes with my cameras. the outdoor pic could've been a lot better had i been able to back away from the house but there was a metal fence keeping me close to it.
07-16-2012, 06:09 PM   #15
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IMO it should be brighter for real estate indoor shooting
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