12 Best Nikon Lenses For Real Estate Photography 2022
It is true that the lens you invest in can make a world of difference as to how your photos get captured – more so than the camera body itself! With real estate photography, it is all the more crucial to pick one that not only gets all the necessary details in one shot, but it should also be able to perform well in varying lighting conditions and for different types of listings.
Because of this, real estate photographers are always on the lookout for the best lenses on the market. If you are one of them, and happen to be a Nikon user, then this article is perfect for you. We give you a breakdown of our top 10 recommended Nikon lenses below, and a few things you need to consider when deciding which one is best for you personally.
Keep in mind that best does not necessarily mean overly expensive, so we made sure to include a few good choices below $200!
What is the Best Nikon Lens for Real Estate Photography?
The best Nikon lens for real estate photography does not have to be the latest model or the one with the most advanced settings. When considering your options, the most crucial factor in a good lens for real estate is ensuring that it is more than capable of catering to all kinds of spaces and lighting conditions.
In your line of work, you are expected to encounter various types of properties – from bungalow residences to 3 story mansions – and those are just the exterior factors. Think of the interiors you need to adapt to, does the house have dim areas, a narrow hallway, a super wide living room, or a very bright kitchen?
No matter the job, you want a lens that is up to the challenge. However, every lens has its own set of strengths and weaknesses over the others, and it does not always follow that the more affordable ones are of low quality.
Figuring out the best Nikon lens for real estate photography starts with establishing what exactly your needs and preferences are on the job. Once you get a better idea of what you will be shooting more of, and how you would want your images to look like, then you can narrow down the multiple choices on the market today and find one that best suits you.
5 Things To Consider Before Buying Nikon Lenses For Real Estate Photography
There are five aspects you need to take into consideration when choosing the best Canon lens for real estate photography, namely:
Wide Angle Focal Length
We have already established the importance of a good lens, but more specifically, you will need one with a wide angle focal length in real estate photography. This is because images of the property, be it interior or exterior, should be able to showcase as much detail of the area as comfortably possible, and the only way to achieve that is through having a lens designed wide enough to take all of it in.
Wide angle lenses have a much smaller focal length compared to standard ones, which makes it more than capable of capturing high quality images even in narrow or poorly lit spaces. We recommend investing in a lens with a maximum focal length of between 12mm and 16mm. This is a good maximum range to stick to, as it will cover enough of the subject while preventing too much distortion.
To further minimize chances of distorting your photos, do not purchase ultra wide lenses or fish-eye lenses since these result in significant loss of both quality and detail, and your end result will also look unrealistic.
Figuring out the aperture range capabilities of your camera can really help your photos look their best. With the ability to work with the widest aperture, you are guaranteed to get vibrant images even in properties with poor lighting conditions.
It is most ideal to invest in a lens that could reach at least f/4 through all its available focal lengths. If you can splurge for one with an even wider aperture range, then consider it a bonus!
One thing to note is that a lot of the standard, more affordable lenses have variable aperture, which will also shift whenever you adjust the focal length of the shot. This is still highly efficient, and you should still be able to get high quality photos.
However, if you have enough resources to invest in a lens that features a consistent aperture, no matter the focal length you decide to use at a given time, then you can better maximize the lens’ capabilities and capture images of a much higher caliber.
Crop Factor (Crop Sensor vs Full Frame Sensor)
The crop factor of your camera impacts how you should choose your lens because it directly affects the focal range you could work with.
With an APS – C or crop sensor camera, you do not have the ability to get the full field of view, while a full-frame camera can easily maximize corner to corner. The images taken with a crop sensor camera tend to look a little more zoomed in, compared to full-frame cameras that can process the entirety of the space.
Because of this, certain lenses do not work well together with crop sensor cameras. You will need to purchase a lens with an even wider focal length, or even going for an ultra wide angle variant, just to balance the image out.
However, if you plan to purchase (or already have) a full-frame camera, then sticking between 12mm – 40mm is fine.
Zoom or Prime Lens
Next factor to consider is if you should get a zoom lens or a prime lens.
The main disparity between the both lenses is that prime lenses have one fixed focal length while zoom lenses offer a full range of focal lengths.
Prime lenses tend to be more affordable than zoom lenses and are usually much sharper as well. The downside is that they usually lack versatility and flexibility.
For those that do not necessarily need to zoom in from a distance, or do not mind packing more than one lens for a given shoot, a prime lens is a great option. However, if you want to be more practical, versatile, and invest in convenience, we recommend a zoom lens.
Chromatic Aberration and Distortion
The quality of the lens you purchase will show through the amount of chromatic aberration and distortion that shows up in your images. Wide angle lenses are really expected to have some form of minor distortion and chromatic aberration, but these are minuscule and can be easily corrected in post production.
In fact, a lot of modern cameras now have a feature built into them that can correct distortion while you are shooting. If your camera is not one of them, there is also the option to fix it through Adobe Photoshop or other advanced editing programs that have built-in lens profiles to help you adjust it quickly.
Lenses with lower quality tend to have a more exaggerated distortion that is often too difficult to fix in post production, to the point that some may even require specialized software to undo it.
To prevent this, do more research when considering budget lenses and stay away from overly cheap options or brands that you are not familiar with.
Here Are Our Top 10 Picks For The Best Nikon Lenses For Real Estate Photography
A lot of these Nikon lenses are a favorite among seasonal real estate photographers. These have been proven and tested to deliver high quality, detailed images that are vibrant and pleasing to the eye.
You are sure to capture stunning photos with any of these options and make that listing stand out above the rest.
1. Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm F/1.4D DSLR Lens with Autofocus
The Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm F/1.4D DSLR Lens is an absolute gem when it comes to real estate photography because it also happens to be the best Nikon lens for taking low light images.
It also has a great range, and works perfectly with both Nikon DX and FX DSLR cameras.
Furthermore, its aperture of f/1.8 allows you to keep the focus on your subject and capture excellent images with a shallow depth of field.
- Secure lens construction
- Offers shallow depth of field
- Has dust protective lens cap
- Exceptional low light performance
- Sharper image capturing, especially at maximum aperture
- No built-in VR
- Soft at f/1.4
2. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens delivers edge-to-edge sharpness and allows you to capture real estate images within large properties. It also features a seamless autofocus, which can really save some time and energy when out busy on the field.
This lens is very compact and can easily fit in your gear bag, or when you are traveling from one location to the other. It is also very light, which makes it a great extra pair of lenses since you can barely feel the difference.
- Silent wave motors
- Best for capturing large real estate area
- Smoother Autofocus
- Nikon DX and FX DSLR compatible
- Edge-to-Edge sharpness
- Fast aperture
- Compact and portable
- No zoom capabilities
- No vibration reduction or aperture ring
3. Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 Aspherical Super Wide Angle Lens
The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 Aspherical Super Wide Angle Lens is a zoom lens that is highly capable of taking stunning interior and exterior real estate photos, and is perfectly compatible with most of the Nikon DSLR cameras.
It also has a multilayer coating to minimize any sign of glare or flare, resulting in a crystal clear image that is free of any distortion no matter the lighting condition.
- Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
- Avoids front lens rotations
- Unique landscape perspective
- Multilayer coating
- Quieter operation
- Autofocus needs adjustment
- Quite large and heavy
- Some issues with corner sharpness
4. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED is perfect for both interior and exterior real estate photography. It has exceptional autofocus capabilities, and sports a maximum aperture of f/1.8, making it the perfect companion even in poor lighting conditions.
- Compatible with all types of Nikon DSLR
- Compact design for extra portability
- Stable performance
- Offers great low light images
- Efficient sharpness
- Not for budget photographers
- Lacks optical stabilization
- Some barrel distortion
5. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED
The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED is praised for its excellent VR stabilization, which has the power to eliminate all hand vibration effects you may acquire when not using a tripod.
Its wide-angle lens also allows you to cover a large space all at once while still keeping the sharpness of the image at its maximum, making it ideal for real estate photography on a busy shoot day.
Furthermore, this lens has exceptional capabilities to take clear real estate images in low light conditions.
- Has vibration reduction feature
- Nikon FX mounting
- Excellent center sharpness
- Two different focusing modes
- Even brightness
- Great, robust build
- Good value for money
- Focal length adjustment is a bit of a challenge
- Soft edges noticeable at wider apertures
- Noticeable distortion when using 16mm
- Does not have Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coating
6. Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
While it may not be under the Nikon brand name, the Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD is by far one of the greatest Nikon wide-angle lenses on the market.
It’s perfect for any-sized interior, sizable exteriors, and even wide architectural photographs. The focusing mechanism on the lens is good, giving you clear and sharp images so long as you know how to work its settings.
It also sports a fluorine coating that prevents dirt from sticking to the surface of the lens, making it much easier to keep your photos free of specs. This is a big bonus when shooting exteriors and in the outdoors!
- Has Vibration Compensation
- The zoom range of 15-30
- Fluorine coating on the lens and all-weather build
- Lower noise
- Efficient background blur
- Bright f/2.8 aperture
- Efficient optical stabilization
- Full-frame compatibility
- It is not very lightweight
- Rather bulky
- Image quality tends to suffer on high resolution sensors
- Heavy barrel distortion
- Nikon version does not support rear filters
7. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens
The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens is a highly durable and extremely robust lens that can capture images on a professional level.
Its specs allow you to capture subjects that appear much more vivid compared to its background, making it the perfect choice for those who want their listing to pop and really stand out.
It also sports edge-to-edge sharpness, making all the details in your property as clear as day. Furthermore, its extra low dispersion (ED) and Aspherical (AS) glass build efficiently prevents any issues with lighting.
- FX-format lens
- Multipurpose lens kit
- Extremely sharp photographs
- Smooth focusing ring
- Premium built quality
- Very light and portable
- Compact design
- Limited zoom range
- Slower aperture
8. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED
The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED offers steady and consistent performance in a variety of conditions. It features a 7.8-inch close focus capability, allowing you to also work with close up objects and really get the details.
The lens is of durable build in a compact frame, making it very portable and easy to bring around from one location to the other.
Furthermore, it has a Nano Crystal Coat on the glass, which protects the lens from any rendering issue, giving you a clear and spec-free image each time.
- Ultra-wide lens features
- 7.8-inch close focus
- Best performance in low light
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Great for landscape photography
- Versatile at taking close shoots
- Some edge softness on higher apertures
- Modest barrel distortion
- Lacking in optical stabilization
9. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
This lens is great for shooting both architectural and landscape images. The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED allows you to capture a wide area and get ample detail in one shot.
Its autofocusing feature is also very smooth and silent, which is very beneficial in most occasions. Thanks to its Aspherical elements, you can easily shoot from challenging angles without the need to consider light error or any noise seeping through.
- Sharp photo rendering
- Free of lens chromatic aberrations
- Best for the architectural shoot
- Perfect focal length
- Color Corrections
- 2.4x zoom ratio
- Ultra-wide field of view
- Its expensive
- Image quality tends to suffer along the edges of the frame
- There is noticeable distortion when using 10mm
10. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is known to be a robust lens that has one of the most secure constructions among all of Nikon’s offerings. It has 2 ED glass elements and 3 Aspherical lenses that deliver exceptional results.
Furthermore, it sports a nano crystal coat, making it highly resistant to dirt and other elements.
Its focal length range of 14 – 24 millimeters makes it highly ideal for shooting real estate images, paired with its 0.9 feet closest focus distance, that allows you to capture great images in close range with no blur.
This is one of the best Nikon lenses you can invest in.
- Extremely sharp images
- Close range images
- Solid construction
- Consistent performance
- Full frame coverage with f/2.8 aperture
- Noticeable wide-angle distortion
- Requires a special holder if you want to utilizer filters
- It is quite big and heavy
- It is expensive
What Are Tilt Shift Lenses For Nikon Cameras
Tilt shift lenses are a kind of specialty lenses that have been designed to shoot building exteriors and other types of property with very strong vertical lines.
While using a tilt shift lens, the camera’s body can stay perfectly leveled while you adjust the composition of the photo by maneuvering the optics of the lens up and down.
The tilt shift lens is the only kind of lens capable of this unique process, resulting in keeping all the vertical lines vertical and effectively preventing issues surrounding the aspect, perspective, distortion, and the like.
These lenses are not exactly the most affordable on the market but are relatively high in value. Especially if you find a lot of your projects involving properties with vertical lines, investing in a tilt shift lens can save you a lot of time and resources that would have otherwise gone to editing the image and fixing its perspective. Furthermore, you would not have to spend money on advanced software to make the corrections before it has all been straightened out (quite literally) even before the photo has been taken.
There is, however, a downside with tilt shift lenses – they do not have zoom capabilities. The concept of the lens is for adjusting it upwards and downwards, which leaves no room for extending and shortening. It may be an inconvenient limitation for some, especially those taking photos of multiple kinds of listings in varying perspectives.
Top 2 Tilt Shift Lens For Nikon Cameras
While tilt shift lenses are not crucial to every real estate photographer’s set of gear, it is of great use when a situation calls for it. If you land a project wherein you have to take photos of intricate exteriors with vivid vertical lines, or other situations wherein the chances of distortion are high, this is the lens that saves the day.
Below, we have a list of our top two tilt shift lenses for Nikon cameras:
1. Nikon Nikkor PC 19mm
The Nikon Nikkor PC 19mm has above par build quality, and allows you to have full control over the perspective, focus, and depth of field. You can redirect the tilt operation either parallel or perpendicular, and also use it for selective defocus or miniature effect.
- Incredible sharpness
- Robust build
- Nano crystal lens coating
- Operates on manual focus only
2. Rokinon 24mm f/3.5 Tilt Shift
The Rokinon 24mm f/3.5 Tilt Shift lens is the best budget tilt shift lens you can find on the market. It allows for precise control over both the perspective and depth of field, and even features the Extra Low Dispersion technology to keep aberration and colorization at bay.
It is compatible with most Nikon DSLR cameras so long as you get the correct mount.
- Provides a good range of tilt / shift
- Good build quality
- Excellent price point
- Great maximum magnification
- Low chromatic aberrations
- Low vignetting
- Image quality suffers when wide open
- Is prone to ghosting
- No lens hood included
- Some barrel distortion
Now that you have a clearer picture as to what the best Nikon lenses are on the market, you can better decide which one (or two) are best for your real estate photography business.