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12-04-2009, 08:14 PM   #1
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Interior photography

Hi, I am a novice to say the least and need to acquire a camera/lens that will enable me to take good quality interior home shots. What would you recommend that would not be cost prohibitive? Thank you!

12-04-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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Presuming you are using a dslr, something with a pretty short focal length.
The 12-24 zoom is quite nice for interiors, though I don't know what you define as cost prohibitive. It isn't a cheap lens.
Something to consider is, if you can, learn how to do stitched panoramics. It's not so easy in small areas because of the difficulty of swinging right around the nodal point, but it's doable, and with a bit of care it can be done successfully.
There are panoramic heads for tripods that make it much easier, but by the time you get one, the lens would probably be looking cost effective.
12-04-2009, 08:45 PM   #3
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It's possible that you most cost effective and easiest to use option would be a point and shoot camera that has a panorama stitching feature.
For a DSLR the cheapest option would be to as a kit. The kit lens will be 18-55mm and you would probably be using it in the 18-28 mm range.
Buying used will obviously lower costs.
If you go the DSLR kit route, that would give you the advantage of being able to buy better lenses (zooms or primes) as your skills improve.
A tripod should also be considered a must have item as you should expect to have fairly long exposures.
12-04-2009, 09:00 PM   #4
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Any Pentax body would work fine. The cheapest lens that would do an adequate job (in my opinion) is the 16-45. You can usually find them on the pre-owned market for $225-275. It is relatively wide (35mm equiv. = 24mm) and is close to distortion free.

I am currently using the DA15 and love it. For it's size, it is remarkable - sharp, and near distortion free. Others prefer the DA12-24 or Sigma 10-20, but I choose to stick with the small primes.

12-04-2009, 11:13 PM   #5
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A used K10D or K20D with a Pentax 12-24mm, Sigma 10-20mm or Tamron 10-24mm lens would serve your purpose. BestBuy has refurbished K10s at a decent price. If you want new, the K-x will work also.
12-04-2009, 11:28 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Being a novice, I would suggest the kit lens for starters. It won't break the bank, and it will give you the ability to take some decent not so wide interior shots until you are able to invest in an ultra-wide lens (none of them come cheap).
12-05-2009, 09:58 AM   #7
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There is a LOW cost option for you! I was faced with this problem when I needed pictures to sell an estate house. I tried a wide angle lens attachment from Olympus called WCON .7. It screws to the front of the kit lens and converts 18mm to 13mm. I zoomed the kit lens to get about 14 or 15mm. The quality of the images were very good considering the lens was only about 40 usd (from ebay). There was a thread about the Oly wcons here a while back.

08-18-2010, 09:40 AM   #8
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Shooting inside generally means shooting wide angle. All wide angle lenses have a noticeable degree of distortion. There's some software that I'd recommend getting, PTLens that will fix that distortion easily. PTLens. It comes as stand alone software or as a Photoshop or Lightroom plugin. At $25 USD, its a good purchase.
08-18-2010, 11:29 AM   #9
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It's my specialty. Oh wait--I thought you wrote, "inferior photography"! Never mind.
08-18-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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The advice about the Olympus wide converter is a great one. I have one such converter (not Olympus, mine is actually higher quality) and it works quite well on a wide DSLR lens. I haven't been using it in quite a while, but it would work well with the kit lens, I think.
08-18-2010, 02:39 PM   #11
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Gonna have to have something real wide, but the price goes up in leaps and bounds with good wide lenses (usually).

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 08-19-2010 at 07:41 AM.
08-19-2010, 05:21 AM   #12
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How about an old film camera? You get "full frame", so a 18mm lens looks as wide as 12mm on digital! E.g.

SMC Pentax-FA J 18-35mm F4-5.6 Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database

Used Pentax film 35mm SLRs and film-compatible lenses are readily available in the marketplace on this forum.

Also, if you're shooting indoors, lighting may be dim and you might want to invest in a cheap tripod and a flash unit. I got a AF280T - a nice unit that can bounce and swivel.

As for me, I just acquired a Sigma 10-20mm 1:4.5-5.6. It's a digital only lens. It's VERY wide! I took a couple of shots on Pentax Day with it just outside my home.
08-19-2010, 05:30 AM   #13
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My addition to this is to take enough time to experiment and test camera and lens settings. Just about any lens can be used for interior architectural shots. Depending on the desired style of interior shots, I suspect the goal will be maximum depth of field so noise and soft image concerns are to be considered.

BTW, I've never be fully satisfied with the shots I've taken with my 18-55 fully stopped down. They can get pretty soft and it's asking a lot from that lens.
08-19-2010, 06:41 AM   #14
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In addition to a wide lens, in-camera HDR will be a real benefit as it can handle the problem with windows being too bright and corners too dark.

The Pentax K-x with 18-55mm kit lens and a modest tripod would do a good job for most purposes.

Dave in Iowa

PS Sony has a good low light DSLR camera with built-in HDR that'll work without a tripod (a500 for around $450 with kit lens). I'd sure get one to avoid having to use a tripod. While some P&S cameras have HDR think the low light performance would be a real negative.

Last edited by newarts; 08-19-2010 at 07:05 AM.
08-19-2010, 12:33 PM   #15
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All the above suggestions are good. A pano P&S will be simple and easy, if the quality level is acceptable to you and your clients. A Kx with 18-55mm kit lens, tripod, and flash, will give you good quality but will require stitching software, and your time and effort. (NOTE: to shoot stitched panos, you can make a nodal-point tripod adapter with just a couple bucks' worth of hardware: brackets, bolts, nuts, washers.) On a Kx or other dSLR, a rectilinear ultra-wide lens in the 10-24mm range will be fairly simple, but expensive, and may still require a tripod and flash(es). I haven't tried a wide-angle adapter that hasn't sucked, so I can't recommend any, but those mentioned above might do. Depending on your needs, wants, tastes, you might want a fisheye lens -- the distortions can be dramatic.

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