Best lens for real estate photography

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
JackM
JackM Veteran Member • Posts: 8,677
Re: Best lens for real estate photography
2

Your gear is more than up to the task. I have had the 5D Mark II, III, and IV, and have done a lot of r/e with only my 16-35/4L IS. It really is great and I have had lots of success with it, and previously a 17-40/4L, over the course of about 10 years. Your 16-35/2.8 III is at least as good.

I have rented the 17mm TS-E twice, including once just a couple weeks ago. It's optically excellent of course but other than the perspective control and fixed focal length, there is no practical difference between it and the 16-35 in the images they produce. The shift function is a convenience but I still cannot quite bring myself to plunk down $1800 for a used one. It is rare to encounter a r/e scene that absolutely requires a TS lens. 99% of the time you simply keep the camera level to keep your vertical lines vertical, and you control how much floor or ceiling is in the picture by raising or lowering the camera.

Occasionally you must point the camera up or down, and then you can correct the distortion in post if it's not too great and if you can afford the necessary cropping. A TS lens is nice in that it allows you to compose these shots precisely, at shooting time, with no cropping. With a regular lens like a 16-35, in that situation you must try to compose the shot to allow room for the cropping that happens when you correct the distortion. I would recommend doing a few shoots with your existing gear and see how it goes. I also recommend taking bracketed shots and making HDRs in post, and no flash.

One thing I found odd about the 17 TS-E was that it really threw off the camera's meter quite often. Maybe it's something to do with the huge image circle lighting up the inside of the camera, I don't know, but I had to use manual exposure quite a bit.

These were all taken with the 16-35 except one was taken with the 17 TS-E, can you tell which one? (without peeking at exif!)

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 JackM's gear list:JackM's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +5 more
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