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09-25-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
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Which lens(es) for real estate photography?

I read some very similar threads to this, and I have accumulated some good info on this now, but I was hoping to find a bit more advice specific to myself. I'm thinking about getting into

Much of the recommendations seemed to point to two specific lenses...

The Pentax 15mm ltd, and the Tamron 10-24.

Now, the way I see it, the Tamron 10-24 has the advantage of being wider, and going to 24, which may limit the fisheye effect a bit, when the room is available. It also has f/3.5 as opposed to f/4. It is also currently $200 cheaper. That's nice. I'm not opposed to saving money

I also have a DA 40 ltd, I think that might work for outdoor shots when I have enough room. That's a fantastic little lens. Would that complement one of the above lenses?

If so, would those two be a pretty solid lenses?

I will also hopefully be adding a K-5, or K-5 Mk II, the K20D will be a backup/secondary camera for the same purposes.

And possibly flashes, would those be necessary for real estate work? If so, which ones would work well?

Thanks everyone!

09-25-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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Sigma 8-16
09-25-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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I own both the Tamron 10-24 and the Pentax 15 Limited. If I had to make a living off one lens for indoor shots for real estate I'd own the 10-24. It's much more versatile and when you HAVE to have the shot 10 is far wider than 15. The Tamron 10-24 is not a fisheye. It has some distortion at the widest end but it is a rectilinear lens. Lightroom is your friend in adjusting out known distortions for most lenses.

The 40Ltd is likely to be wide enough, as you suggest, for outdoor shots. The easy way to tell is to just take it outside and shoot a house from the angles that you want and see if its working for you the way you want.
09-25-2012, 07:48 PM   #4
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Tamron.

It's cheaper and more versatile. The DA 15 is by all (well, most) accounts a nicer lens, but if you're going for one, and it's for a job, get the one which will do the job better*. The DA 15 is also not very wide. I would even say not wide enough for real estate in this day of the inexpensive ultra-wide. Since these will likely be <1000px web images, the quality advantage of the DA15--if any--will be unused.

Also the Tamron is a rectilinear lens (meaning, not a fisheye). "Barrel distortion" is the term for when a non-fisheye lens 'looks a little fisheyed' but it can very easily be removed entirely in post production, at the expense of a negligible amount of image quality.


*I know someone could do it with just the DA15, and possibly even be happier, and possibly even produce better photographs, but I have to believe a (faster, wider) zoom is a better tool for the job. And I generally dislike zooms.


09-25-2012, 07:49 PM   #5
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Um... what he said.
09-25-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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The Sigma 10-20/3.5 HSM is the lens that changed my view of Sigma's QC. It also tested better for CA and sharpness in the corners than the Tamron 10-24, which settled the matter for me. Of course, it isn't quite as versatile at the long end, by comparison, but for interiors that's rarely a consideration.
09-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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If you want to compare, here is the review that PF did on the 5 UWA Zoom choices.
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 vs F4.0-5.6 - The Bottom Line - PentaxForums.com
09-25-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
Sigma 8-16
Why do you suggest that? Sharpest? Fastest? Cheapest?

QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I own both the Tamron 10-24 and the Pentax 15 Limited. If I had to make a living off one lens for indoor shots for real estate I'd own the 10-24. It's much more versatile and when you HAVE to have the shot 10 is far wider than 15. The Tamron 10-24 is not a fisheye. It has some distortion at the widest end but it is a rectilinear lens. Lightroom is your friend in adjusting out known distortions for most lenses.

The 40Ltd is likely to be wide enough, as you suggest, for outdoor shots. The easy way to tell is to just take it outside and shoot a house from the angles that you want and see if its working for you the way you want.
I've done a little bit of that with the 40 and like it. I mostly just like how damn sharp EVERYTHING in the shot is.

That's VERY helpful that you own both. Thank you very much for the comparison!

QuoteOriginally posted by Timothy Quote
Tamron.

It's cheaper and more versatile. The DA 15 is by all (well, most) accounts a nicer lens, but if you're going for one, and it's for a job, get the one which will do the job better*. The DA 15 is also not very wide. I would even say not wide enough for real estate in this day of the inexpensive ultra-wide. Since these will likely be <1000px web images, the quality advantage of the DA15--if any--will be unused.

Also the Tamron is a rectilinear lens (meaning, not a fisheye). "Barrel distortion" is the term for when a non-fisheye lens 'looks a little fisheyed' but it can very easily be removed entirely in post production, at the expense of a negligible amount of image quality.


*I know someone could do it with just the DA15, and possibly even be happier, and possibly even produce better photographs, but I have to believe a (faster, wider) zoom is a better tool for the job. And I generally dislike zooms.
I wouldn't say I dislike zooms, I do prefer primes but I am not opposed to zooms at all. Thanks for the definition of "barrel distortion," that makes a lot of sense now!

QuoteOriginally posted by Timothy Quote
Um... what he said.

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
The Sigma 10-20/3.5 HSM is the lens that changed my view of Sigma's QC. It also tested better for CA and sharpness in the corners than the Tamron 10-24, which settled the matter for me. Of course, it isn't quite as versatile at the long end, by comparison, but for interiors that's rarely a consideration.
Very interesting thoughts. Perhaps I didn't consider all the lenses that were in the list! It is also possible this lens is newer than the threads I was reading...

QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
If you want to compare, here is the review that PF did on the 5 UWA Zoom choices.
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 vs F4.0-5.6 - The Bottom Line - PentaxForums.com
Thanks very much. I think I've read this before but need to re-read it.

09-25-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buschmaster Quote
Why do you suggest that? Sharpest? Fastest? Cheapest?


I've done a little bit of that with the 40 and like it. I mostly just like how damn sharp EVERYTHING in the shot is.

That's VERY helpful that you own both. Thank you very much for the comparison!


I wouldn't say I dislike zooms, I do prefer primes but I am not opposed to zooms at all. Thanks for the definition of "barrel distortion," that makes a lot of sense now!


"That's what she said" - YouTube


Very interesting thoughts. Perhaps I didn't consider all the lenses that were in the list! It is also possible this lens is newer than the threads I was reading...


Thanks very much. I think I've read this before but need to re-read it.

You are welcome. Its a good read and I revisit it occassionally myself. I have been tempted by the HSM and constant 3.5 of the Sigma, but the Tamron is a very nice lens and I've taken some really great shots with it so I stay with it. Good luck.
09-25-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
You are welcome. Its a good read and I revisit it occassionally myself. I have been tempted by the HSM and constant 3.5 of the Sigma, but the Tamron is a very nice lens and I've taken some really great shots with it so I stay with it. Good luck.
Why not stick with what works?
09-25-2012, 09:04 PM   #11
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If you do prefer primes, theres going to be a Samyang 10mm prime coming out soonish. If it keeps the quality up that most of the otehr modern Samyangs do, it could be worth grabbing.
09-25-2012, 09:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
If you do prefer primes, theres going to be a Samyang 10mm prime coming out soonish. If it keeps the quality up that most of the otehr modern Samyangs do, it could be worth grabbing.
Yes, but its both manual focus and, given recent Samyang price trends, likely to cost more than a new Tamron 10-24 with AF.
09-25-2012, 09:46 PM   #13
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Yes, you need a flash.
Basically, real estate photos are pretty easy. Set lens to 10mm, bounce flash off ceiling or use a stofen on the flash. Move to next room and repeat.

Also, the photos will all be resized small and set on very lossy jpeg compression for quick loading on websites, so don't worry too much about fractional gains in lens quality.

Real estate photography is not art and especially not about truth, it's about trying to make the rooms look large and bright and airy. That's why you want an ultra wide and a flash. Because most houses are small and cramped and dark. It also helps to take the photos from about 5 feet high, because it makes the ceiling look higher.

Last edited by calsan; 09-25-2012 at 09:55 PM.
09-25-2012, 10:32 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Seems to me a sub-prime lens would be the obvious choice. The 2mm super sub-fisheye is perfect, as it allows you to watch your back for lurking investment bankers- you know, the ones who are so bent they look straight in a fisheye lens. Original packaging includes a lovely faux plastique "bubble" container. Contact Fannie Mae for easy financing terms.
09-25-2012, 11:18 PM   #15
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I should clarify at this point that my recommendation was out of the DA15 and the Tamron 10-24, due to the general advantages of an ultra-wide zoom. If you are considering other lenses in that range, I'll defer to those with more experience across the various brands.

edit:
Also, for real estate, given the fact that the images will be quite small, there will certainly be room to "zoom with your crop tool", so the extra reach of a 24mm over a 20mm should not have much of an impact for you.
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