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09-29-2015, 01:54 PM   #1
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Reality photography

What is the best lens to use for real estate?

09-29-2015, 01:59 PM   #2
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What do you want to do? Display an interior in full width but distorted due to extreme wide angle? Take outside shots? That's a tough question.
09-29-2015, 02:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mandreasen Quote
What is the best lens to use for real estate?
Rather broad question. Inside? Outside? Aerial? Large lots or city streets?

If things are variable, as in you don't know the situation until you get there, I would get something like the DA 16-85 for general purpose and something very wide for interior shots. The Pentax DA 12-24 would work or one of the Sigma 10-20's.

If you are doing interior shots you need to decide if you will be lighting the rooms or doing HDR. If HDR then a tripod will help. If you are going to light it then of course you will need flash gear and triggers of some sort.
09-29-2015, 02:08 PM   #4
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A tilt/shift lens is generally the best for interior and architecture given no specifics about what you want to do. It can optically correct convergence/divergence that's often encountered. To correct for those things in software, you better have a lot of extra scene in your frame because you will lose a lot of the image correcting for it depending of the severity of the correction, of course.

09-29-2015, 02:18 PM   #5
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After thinking about this for a half a minute. I think you should look at the Theta.
https://theta360.com/en/
09-29-2015, 02:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
A tilt/shift lens is generally the best for interior and architecture given no specifics about what you want to do. It can optically correct convergence/divergence that's often encountered. To correct for those things in software, you better have a lot of extra scene in your frame because you will lose a lot of the image correcting for it depending of the severity of the correction, of course.
Tilt-shift for exterior, not interior. The only TS available for Pentax is the Samyang 24mm, which is really too long for APS-C. I would suggest a Sigma 10-20 for interiors and any decent normal range zoom for exteriors and some interiors: Sigma 17-50 or 17-70 [excellent combination of price and IQ]; Pentax 17-70 or 16-85. Perspective convergence of taller buildings can be corrected reasonably in Lightroom and very well in Photoshop without going to the complexities of using a TSS lens.
09-29-2015, 03:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Tilt-shift for exterior, not interior. The only TS available for Pentax is the Samyang 24mm, which is really too long for APS-C. I would suggest a Sigma 10-20 for interiors and any decent normal range zoom for exteriors and some interiors: Sigma 17-50 or 17-70 [excellent combination of price and IQ]; Pentax 17-70 or 16-85. Perspective convergence of taller buildings can be corrected reasonably in Lightroom and very well in Photoshop without going to the complexities of using a TSS lens.
We know nothing of the OP's camera. Canon has a wide angle T/S. And interior too! A wide space with upstairs you want in the shot too and you will most likely have some convergence. I've used those corrections with my 4x5 camera and interiors before!
09-29-2015, 03:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
We know nothing of the OP's camera. Canon has a wide angle T/S. And interior too! A wide space with upstairs you want in the shot too and you will most likely have some convergence. I've used those corrections with my 4x5 camera and interiors before!
I was presuming he was using Pentax, being a member of PF. But you are correct, Canon does have a 17mm TSS, which would be reasonable for interiors, and the Canon TSS lenses are superior to the Samyang, but crushingly expensive. I also forgot the 15mm Venus macro + shift, which would be good for interiors although not a particularly versatile nor user-friendly lens. I would continue to dispute the need for a shift lens in this day of perspective correction with LR and PS. Field and studio view camera movements were a consequence of no-other-way to correct perspective distortion during the film era. Tilting the enlarging easel was suggested, but only minor corrections were possible before one or both ends of the projected image went unacceptably out of focus, unless the enlarger had a tilting lens board (very rare SFAIK). So I would not change my recommendations. I think the modern primary use for TSS lenses is not perspective correction, but rather DOF extension in some landscape images.

09-29-2015, 03:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I was presuming he was using Pentax, being a member of PF.
This is the OP's one-and-only post on PF.
09-29-2015, 05:22 PM   #10
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Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 with a tripod and two or three flashes.
09-29-2015, 05:32 PM   #11
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Without more information about the OP's camera and actual requirements it is hard to say but for general real estate use a tilt-shift is massive overkill. Even if you could get one wide enough for Pentax. Most real estate offices are looking for fairly low res pictures. Easy enough to shoot wide and correct in post. The extra allows for the loss during perspective control.

Now if the OP is into high end real estate that might be a different story and might justify the cost of a Canon camera and appropriate lenses. But I'm guessing not since they even spelled realty wrong.
09-29-2015, 07:02 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
this is the op's one-and-only post on pf.
IT's A TRAP!
09-29-2015, 08:34 PM   #13
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the best site to learn is photographyforrealestate.net or check out Scott Hargis. There's an article and comment discussion from said site at the bottom right of the homepage.
09-29-2015, 10:27 PM   #14
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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Here is the short answer in multiple points:
  • Most realtors use inexpensive point n shoot cameras for MLS and online listing photos
  • Multiple shots will be taken around the room using a normal or wide angle lens setting
  • These are merged using a stitching tool to make a reasonable version of what the room looks like
  • For more professional results on an exclusive listing the realtor will work with a professional who specializes in that type of photography
On that last point, there are many approaches to the genre and none are particularly inexpensive in terms of gear.


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09-30-2015, 04:42 AM   #15
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It really depends - are you an agent and photograph properties as well, or do you intend to just focus on the photography part?

In our case - in and out multiple properties per day with at most 15mins, on a good day, to spare for photos - Sigma 10-20, whichever version seems to do the job brilliantly - all the photographs on the home page properties here: Home Horizon Q8, are done handheld with KS-1 or 2 or and the Sigma 10-20 older version coupled with either Metz 52 or Pentax 360 flash lights, bounced of whatever. Bear in mind this is real estate photography for the 'versatile' agent, not the standard of a pro that concentrates exclusively on photographing properties for a living. Though that's not a problem with the lens, but time to set up and skill.

The 15mm ltd is brilliant as well, however not wide enough at times, especially in tight rooms - small bathrooms/kitchens. Though just shooting from above your head pointing down to actually show the scale of the room does the trick.

Last edited by mag07; 09-30-2015 at 05:25 AM.
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