In this article, we have reviewed the 10 best lenses for real estate photography in 2020 from Canon & Nikon along with a comparison table and a detailed buyer’s guide to help you choose the best lens possible.
Real Estate photography like any other photography needs that you have the perfect lenses for the job. Photographers need to have various kinds of lenses, for both real estate interior and exterior photography.
But the most common question asked is – what is the best lens for real estate photography?
What follows in this post is an educational guide that will help you get started. Though not a comprehensive overview of each and every lens, we have listed the best lenses from Canon and Nikon that can be used for photographing interior as well as the exterior of real estate properties.
Like landscape photography or astrophotography, real estate photography also has a few requirements to be met for you to capture the best images. So, the lens that you use for night photography might not work well for capturing the pictures of properties.
Let us get started by checking the reviews of the best lenses for real estate photography available online.
Best Canon Lens for Real Estate Photography
If you are looking for an ultra-wide lens that also supports image stabilization, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L is the ideal option for you. The lens features two UD elements and Super spectra coating that helps reduce flare and keeps glaring at bay. The front and the rear elements have fluorine coatings that make it resistant to dust and water.
The lens also features an ultrasonic focus motor and high-speed autofocus, with excellent manual focusing. All the above along with some fantastic specs makes the Canon EF 16-35mm a lens for real estate photography.
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L is solidly built but does not look heavy or bulky. The lens can be used on a smaller lens, but if you are looking forward to capturing professional images, you can match the lens with a full-frame professional camera.
The lens provides excellent image stabilization which can be easily activated using the on and off switch provided. If you have a camera that supports the IS technology of Canon, you can as well use the lens to detect the intentional panning and can easily switch it from the Normal IS mode to the Panning IS mode.
The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L has a wide focus ring with hard stops on both the ends which makes it easy when you have to focus at infinity. The lens is quite a performer, and it works best when it comes to architecture and landscape photography.
2. Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM proudly replaces another lens from the same brand that has quite similar specifications. The lens is specially designed for professional photographers and can be used with DSLRs as well as full-frame cameras. When compared to the other lens it replaces, the Canon EF 14mm is cheaper and comes with additional features.
A significant improvement can be seen in the optical construction and the diaphragm blades it uses. The lens is larger and is also a little heavier in comparison.
Like other lenses from Canon, the Mark II has an excellent build quality and comes included with a weatherproof sealing and has a petal-shaped lens hood. The lens cap also has been re-designed, and it now fits quite securely.
The lens has a six-blade diaphragm, and it provides an even bokeh which is smooth as well. The maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8 and enables the photographers to shoot even in low light conditions with ease. The lens also uses “ring-type ultrasonic motors” which are combined with a dedicated CPU, all of which drive the focusing system and makes it quiet and fast.
Unlike the other longer lenses from the same series, this lens does not accept the screw-in filters which help protect the element in the front. Instead, it includes a rear “gelatin filter holder.” But the filter sheets have to cut to size before you can place them. Also, photographers cannot use polarizers with this lens.
Photographers who have experience in using other lenses from the same series find it easy to use it. The lens cap is durable and fits perfectly and is also easy to remove. Once the lens gets installed on the camera body, it provides an excellent field of view.
The price tag of this lens might deter novice photographers’ form choosing this, but this is one lens that is appreciated by the experts. The lens is just perfect for real estate photography as it provides an excellent “wide field of view coverage” and has a very minimum distortion. If you are looking for a lens for interior photography or one to shoot in tight spaces, this is the one to choose.
3. Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L UD
The Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L UD is one prime lens that can be used for real estate photography. Though the lens does not have autofocus, this is a lens that can be used with a tripod to capture the best images. The tilt-shift lenses have their advantages and let us see how this lens is different from others on the list.
One of the most significant advantages of using the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L UD is that you can tilt or even shift the lens so that you achieve straight lens, which is a must when it comes to capturing professional shots of indoor and outdoor building shots.
All you need to do is take a few minutes to prepare the lens, and you will be surprised to see how beautiful the images you capture are. This is way faster when compared to fixing the spot for hours together!
The Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L UD can also be used to stack the shots and get very sharp and detailed images even when the depth of field is small. The lens also lets you change the focus with ease and enables the photographer to take multiple photos at the same place by just changing the focus for each.
The lens is also compatible with all the Canon EOS cameras and can be used to capture some stunning high-resolution images. Chromatic aberration is minimized, thanks to the use of the UD lens and aspherical elements.
If you are looking for a top quality lens from Canon for real estate photography, this is the one to choose. You certainly will be blown away with the outcome!
4. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
If you are looking for an ultra wide-angle zoom lens, your search ends with Canon EF-S 10-18mmf/4.5-5.6 IS STM. Perfect to be used with the APS-C DSLR cameras from the same brand, the lens has 16-28.8mm of focal length and also includes a stepping motor that provides quiet autofocus – both in live view and video mode.
The lens also boasts of “4 stop optical image stabilization” and has a focusing distance of 22cm. The lens has a Super Spectra coating that reduces the flare and ghosting and has a nonrotating front element. The lightweight lens only weighs about 240gms and measures only 72 cm in length, which makes it the smallest and one of the lightest zoom lenses ever made by Canon.
The image stabilization system of the lens is worth a mentioned. Photographers can easily hold the camera in their hands and still get the best shot. The quick autofocus is another excellent attribute of the lens, and the STM motor comes in handy if you have some videos to shoot.
The Canon EF-S 10-18mm lens is inexpensive but offers impressive features. If you are looking for a low budget lens to kick start real estate photography, this ultrawide-angle addition will be worth it.
5. Canon EF 11-24MM F/4L USM
Did you ever wonder what the world’s widest angle rectilinear zoom lens is? Well, the Canon EF 11-24mm F/4L USM is the one! The lens features three aspherical lenses out of which is an aspherical ground element that helps maximize the quality of the image.
The lens also provides very low levels of distortion and also has a Super Spectra coating that reduces the flare and ghosting. Canon has used fluorine coating over the lens like in other Canon lenses, which makes it resistant to dust and water.
With an ultrasonic focus motor and a nine-blade circular aperture, the lens boasts of excellent and fast autofocus performance. The lens also has a full-time manual focusing and offers a fantastic range of wide-angle focal lengths just in one single optic.
The Canon EF 11-24mm F/4L USM weighs about 1180g and measures 13cms, and this is one big lens when compared to other lenses from the brand. The lens might not balance well when used on a camera with a smaller body but can be ideally used along with a full-frame professional camera.
Though the lens is expensive, it has an excellent build quality and looks very much like the premium lenses from Canon. The outer barrel and its filter thread are made of plastic, but the lens feels quite solid when you take it in your hand.
The lens barrel includes the control for the autofocus and the manual focus. It is also important to remember that the lens offers a complete manual focusing even when the option of autofocus is selected. The image quality provided by the lens is quite outstanding as the chromatic aberrations get controlled well.
If you are willing to afford an excessive price tag and do not really mind the weight, Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM is an amazing lens. Not just the width, the clarity provided by the lens is indeed worth every penny spent.
Now that we have had a look at the best canon lenses for real estate photography, let us have a look at the best lenses from Nikon as well.
Best Nikon Lens for Real Estate Photography
1. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED
The AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED is an ultra-wide zoom angle lens that has two ED glass elements that reduce any chromatic aberrations. The lens also includes three aspherical lens elements that help get rid of distortion.
The AF-S DX Nikkor was the very first of the DX lenses developed by Nikon, and this has given an actual wide-angle capability to photographers using APS-C cameras. The lens has decent blur characteristics, but they are not sharp at the same time, but stays uniform when the frame is wide open.
The focus is excellent, and the corners only get slightly softer. It can be said that it is indeed a good performer for a wide-angle zoom lens. The lens boots of features like a 2x zoom ratio and also has a Silent Wave Monitor that provides accurate and pretty quick autofocus.
Overall, it can be said that the AF-S DX Nikkor is one great lens which is a worthy option for all the photographers who are in the lookout for one true wide angle zoom lens for DSLRs and it just more than perfect for real estate photography.
2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED
If you are looking for a professional ultra-wide zoom angle lens, the Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 16-35m f/4G ED is your ideal one. The constant aperture lens uses the latest of the vibration reduction technology, ideal for FX as well as DX cameras.
The lens was also the world’s first lens with vibration reduction and is pretty fast with a silent wave focus motor. The Nanocrystal coating over the lens reduces flare and makes it resistant to bad weather conditions.
The Nikkor 16-35m f/4G ED is a lens that is built to last. While some parts of the lens are indeed made of plastic, the lens feels solid in hand and is well-protected on the outside too from moisture and dust.
The lens includes 17 optical elements in total and is lightweight and is easy to carry at the same time. The zoom ring of the lens can also be rotated from 16mm-35mm with ease and vice versa. The focus ring too is placed very conveniently on the front of the lens and hence is easy to reach when you wish to switch for manual focus.
The autofocus feature too is accurate and pretty fast and works wonders even when you use it in low light conditions. The autofocus feature of the lens uses the Silent Wave Motor, and this helps it focus just right even in dim and low light conditions. This is what makes it an ideal lens for indoor and outdoor real estate photography.
When you are using the Nikkor 16-35m f/4G ED, you need not worry about flare and ghosting. Thanks to the Nano Coating glass, photographers can also use this lens when they are shooting against the sun.
The Nikkor 16-35m f/4G ED is an excellent lens that has not only impressive optics but also provides amazing sharpness and stunning corners when you stop down to small apertures. The lens certainly competes with some pro-grade lenses from the same brand.
3. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED
Looking for a compact yet affordable ultra-wide-angle prime lens?
If yes, it is time you gave the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 ED a glance. The lens comes with all the features needed in an excellent lens suited for real estate photography.
It features the Nanocrystal coating that reduces the reflection and has a Silent wave motor that helps with quiet focusing. The closest focusing distance of the lens is 0.2m, and the lens has 13 elements in the 11 groups.
The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 ED is a lightweight lens that has an excellent build quality. The lens does feel solid even when the filter thread and the outer barrel are made of plastic. The lens also has a wide focusing ring with a rubberized and ridged grip band.
The lens does not have an aperture ring as it a G series lens, but it does not create trouble unless you wish to use it on a very old camera body.
The lens does not have the feature of vibration reduction, and the lens barrel has the control to switch the focus mode from manual focus and autofocus. As mentioned, the Nanocrystal coat prevents flare which in turn prevents “contrast loss attribute,” which adds-in, when you have to capture some amazing shots of a real estate property as it eliminates reflections.
There is no doubt in saying that the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 ED is a lens of exceptional quality and is compact and comes with a pocket-friendly price. But the wide-angle lens does not have weather sealing and lacks the feature of image stabilization.
The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 ED is a lens that easily appeals to photographers who always want to explore possibilities. This is one lens that promises excellent image quality, and it just delivers that.
4. Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Known to be the widest rectilinear lens of the DX lenses of Nikon, the AF-S Nikkor DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is the best lens for real estate photography. The lens is compatible with all the DX-format SLR cameras from Nikon, and the lens has an angle of view which is similar to a lens of 15-36mm.
Some of the highlights of this lens that are worth a mention are the 24cm close focus point, the iris diaphragm that has seven rounded blades and an excellent optical formula that as two aspherical and two ED elements.
The lens is smaller when compared to similar lenses from the brand, but is an excellent performer. The lens might look big when mounted on a small body camera like the Nikon D3200, but it works perfectly with cameras like Nikon D7000. The lens also works great with every DX camera made by Nikon.
The lens is known for its excellent build quality, uses a premium grade plastic barrel and has a non-rotating 77mm filter thread. The zoom ring of this lens is wide and comes with a ridged and rubberized band that offers excellent grip. The lens does not have internal zooming, which means that the length of the lens can change a little when you zoom.
Otherwise, the lens is pretty short is about 14mm and 24mm when at the longest setting.
The well-performing lens is pretty sharp in the center of the image, throughout the focal range used and the edge sharpness is commendable. Photographers using the lens for real estate photography need not worry as vignetting is a non-issue when you use the lens on a DX camera body. The lens can also be used with an FX camera in the DX crop mode.
Photographers can witness a slight barreling when using it in the 10-14mm range, which turns into distortion at the setting of 15mm. The Nikkor DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED benefits from the quiet and fast autofocus, a decent distance scale and the wide zoom ring it has. The rubber seal on the lens mount protects it from moisture and dust.
The Nikkor DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is not a cheap lens, and the only downside to this lens is the price, which might hold back several photography enthusiasts. But if you are one of those planning to use this amazing ultra wide lens for a paid work, you will for sure find a good number of reasons to buy it as it justifies the cost.
5. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus
An excellent lens from Nikon, the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.8G is one of the best adds in the long line of 50mm lens the brand has to offer. The lens differs from its predecessors as it has a built-in silent wave motor and also has an all-new optical formula which uses seven elements from six different groups.
The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.8G also features a full-time manual focus override and has a weather-sealed mount and the diaphragm which includes seven rounded blades. If you are one of those who needs a lens that is not only compact but comes with a pocket-friendly price, this is the one to go for.
The AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.8G weight about 187 gms is pretty lightweight, but it is heavier when compared to AF-D predecessor and balances well when used with an SLR camera body. The lens is well made and feels solid, even when the outer barrel and the filter thread are made of plastic. The lens had a wide focus ring which is sufficient, and as it is a G series lens, there is no aperture ring.
The low priced lens gets the job done if you need something for basic real estate photography. Though the lens does not have a zoom function, it does include the autofocus feature, which helps you gain some amazing Bokeh effects.
This, in turn, helps to add a little perspective to the images. The lens has a focal length of 50mm which is pretty good as it adds enough depth to the photographs. Those looking to add on some polarizing filters can purchase them online as well.
The AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.8G is a well-performing lens and is the perfect companion of the new Nikon SLR cameras. Compact, affordable and lightweight, this lens is certainly a winner!
Buyers Guide to Choose the Best Lens for Real Estate Photography
Now that we have seen the reviews of some of the best canon lens for real estate photography, including a few from Nikon, let us now have a look at the factors you need to consider when you are buying one.
Zoom Lens or a Prime Lens
One of the most common questions asked when it comes to choosing the best lens for real estate photography is whether to choose a prime lens or a zoom lens. Ask a real estate photographer, and they speak about the versatility a zoom lens offers.
While a 10mm f/4 prime lens will offer amazing pictures with superb sharpness, photographers might need a wider lens to capture images of the space when the room is small. Also, some properties might need a lens with a longer focal length.
When you are using a prime lens, the focal length is the same, and this is one of the main reasons why experts suggest real estate photographers’ to use a zoom lens or a wide-angle zoom lens to capture the best shots.
The Focal Length
When you are into real estate photography, you certainly need to leave behind your telephoto lens. Any lens which is more than 24mm is considered very long when it comes to real estate photography. This holds when you use an APS-C camera.
For example, if you have a Canon DSLR camera that has the APS-C sensor, you need to “multiply focal length with 1.6x” to know the field of view you will get.
Also, a 10mm lens that is used on the APS-C camera provides the same view when compared to a 16mm lens which is used on a full-frame camera. This is one of the main reasons why photographers use a full-frame DSLR camera, especially when they are into landscape or real estate photography.
So, you can stick to the lenses that are less than 24mm if you have a full-frame camera and use lenses that are less than 15mm if you use an APS-C camera.
If you are planning to capture some great images of interiors of a real estate property, you might not need a lens with big apertures. So, you need not spend thousands on f/2.8 lenses as you can get the best shots using the lens in the range of f/5.6 and f/22.
But, if you are into exterior photography and often work with low light conditions, you certainly need to use lenses that have a wider aperture, and you can consider an f/2.8 or bigger lenses.
If you are using a wide-angle lens, you need to certainly worry about two factors – the distortion and the flare. While flare can be minimized or controlled to a certain point, distortion can at times be very strong and has to be fixed in the process.
So, the lens you choose should help you capture pictures that have less distortion. One of the best lenses you can use is the Canon EF S 10-18mm which is available at a good price too.
If you want to capture the best shots without putting in any extra work, you can as well choose the Tilt-Shift lens, but the money spent is worth if you are a professional photographer.
Image Stabilization and Tripod
Having a good and strong tripod does have its advantages. You can get sharper shots even when you are using smaller apertures and slow shutter speeds. All of this is possible as you have a stable and good framing.
But there are situations when photographers’ cannot use a tripod or there might not be enough time where they can set up in each and every room. This is when having a lens with image stabilization comes in handy. As you will use small apertures, the slow shutter speeds will make up for the low light. With a stabilized lens, you can easily shoot with 1/15 in place of 1/125.
These are some of the factors you need to keep in mind when choosing a lens for real estate photography.
When it comes to choosing the best gear for photography, the lens that you use determines the image quality and hence is important than the camera body you have.
Hence, it helps to read through the facts mentioned in the article that help you purchase the best lens for real estate photography that offers stunning performance and is worth every penny spent.
While there are several lenses available for various kinds of photography, you need to choose the lens from the wide-angle zoom market and those that boost amazing sharpness. These lenses not only reduce aberrations but also provide amazing light transmission.
Once you have the ideal lens to match your photography style, you will be right on your way to shooting some amazing pictures and videos of real estate.