Last Updated on August 20, 2020 by Jose Barrios
Guides for real estate lenses are a dime a dozen, but the catch is that most of these reviews are by persons who never photographed real estate for a living.
I photograph houses for a living, I don’t do weddings, I don’t do events, just houses. So, my recommendations are for lenses I have used or their equivalents.
You only need one Wide angle lens
Don’t go out and go nuts buying all sort of lenses for real estate photography, truth is you only need one wide-angle lens for 99% of your regular photoshoots. Lenses like ultra wides, fisheyes, tilt-shifts, or super-fast ones are hardly ever used unless you are photographing high-end properties. And even then, these other lenses are so expensive, that unless you are doing million-dollar homes every week, you are better off just renting them.
Your lens must be wide, and it must be sharp.
Nikon full-frame lenses for real estate
My everyday lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G
While not the fastest lens in the market, for real estate photos what you really need is sharpness, and this lens delivers. This is my daily driver when photographing a house.
This full-frame lens is sharp, which is great for real estate, and costs around $750. I use this lens at 18mm almost all the time, and only go up to 24 or 35 when I’m doing a close up shot of a detail or a piece of furniture.
Unlike its more expensive cousin, the Nikon 16-35mm F/4g ED VR, you do not need VR (vibration reduction) since most of the time you will be photographing from a tripod. Even handheld at F9 I have no problems doing my outdoor shoots and getting very sharp images.
If you are short on cash and need an FX lens, then the Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro for Nikon at about $430 is a good second choice.
Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro
This great lens from Tokina comes in at half the price of a similar Nikon or Canon lens offering great quality without the price of a similar full-frame lens.
Canon full-frame lenses for real estate
If you are a canon user you also have several options in wide-angle lenses that are suitable for real estate photos. Your best bet without breaking the bank is the EF 16-35mm f/4 at about $1,000. While not as fast as its more expensive alternative the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM, it comes in at almost $700 less. Keep in mind that for real estate photos fast lenses and nice bokeh are not required.
EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
Delivering the ultimate combination of wide-angle, low-light performance, L-series optics, and compact construction, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens is a phenomenal complement to any EOS SLR camera.
CROP SENSOR LENSES FOR REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY
My pick for for my crop sensor Nikon and Canon cameras: Sigma 10-20 f/3,5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD
I have this lens in both Nikon and Canon mount, I use it on my Nikon D7500 and on my Canon M50. It is a great lens and equal to the Nikon 18-35mm, and at around $400 (depending on if it’s Canon or Nikon mount) it is a great buy. It does have more distortion on the widest end, but nothing that Lightroom cannot correct.
I have traveled with this lens and have some amazing shots that I took with it. It is also a great lens for video because of the constant f/3.5 aperture when zooming. The low F-stop also makes it great for low light situations.
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM
A really great lens if you are using a crop sensor camera, and quite hard to beat for the price. It is also a great lens for video because of its constant f 3.5 aperture.
Other high-end options
There are many other options for higher-end products, from costly tilt-shift lenses to ultrawide lenses that offer almost zero distortion, but the reality is that if you are starting out, or even a veteran like me, you will never use them enough to justify owning them.
Instead of spending your budget on more lenses, you are better off with a good flash like the Godox AD200 or a Manfrotto 055 tripod with an MHXPRO-3WG geared head. This combo alone will save you time and help you when taking composite photos for things like window pulls or flambient shots.
I hope this guide helps you save on your gear and get you on your way to being a successful real estate photographer.
Nikon18-35MM F/3.5-4.5 G
- F-Mount Lens/FX Format
- Aperture Range: f/3.5 to f/29
- Three Aspherical and Two ED Elements
- Super Integrated Coating
CanonEF 16-35MM F/4L IS USM
- EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
- Aperture Range: f/4 to f/22
- Two Ultra-Low Dispersion Elements
- Three Aspherical Elements
Tokina17-35mm f/4 Pro FX
- Nikon FX and Canon EF
- Bright Constant f/4 for Low Light Photos
- Two Super-Low Dispersion Glass Elements
- One Aspheric Glass Element
Sigma10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
- Nikon DX and Canon EF models available
- 15-30mm (35mm Equivalent)
- Aperture Range: f/3.5 to f/22
- Two ELD Elements, One SLD Element
See why you need a UV filter on your lens
A UV filter will protect your lens from dirt and scratches by being the first in line to get hit by outside elements and can save you hundreds or even thousands in damages to your lenses.