12 Best Wide-Angle Lens For Real Estate Photography 2022
If you want to get into real estate photography, it is important to have the right set of gear with you. Not only does having the correct tools make your job easier, but it also adds more value and quality to your work.
One of the most crucial tools to invest in when planning to take real estate images is a good lens, and not just any lens for that matter – it has to be a good wide-angle lens.
Wide-angle lenses are most ideal for shooting properties as they are able to capture the entirety of the area without distortion or having to crop out any important elements.
Below, we talk about everything there is to know about wide-angle lenses, from the differing focal lengths, down to our 12 most recommended options.
How do you take wide-angle photos for real estate?
When it comes to showcasing your listing, you want to highlight all its best features and more! This usually means having to fit the entire space into one frame, which would give off the impression that it is bigger than actual size.
While it is important to keep photos as close to the real thing, it is essential to comfortably get the needed elements in the shot. The only way to properly do so is with a wide-angle lens.
What lens do real estate agents use?
Real estate agents, home sellers, and real estate photographers alike should all use wide-angle lenses if they want to get as much of the space in one frame as possible. It is important to be able to do so since selling a listing means being able to provide as much information and showcase as much of the space as you can, leaving no room for the imagination.
In the digital age, it is so easy to lose a potential client due to insufficient details. They can just as easily find the next best thing, which is why it is crucial to invest in the right set of lenses that can bring your listing to life and keep your potential buyer’s focus on you.
If you are a real estate agent, home seller, or photographer looking to get your first wide-angle lens, there are 5 factors you need to consider in choosing the best one for you.
Factor #1: Wide Angle Focal Length
Now that you know real estate photography entails having a good wide-angle lens, it is time to take focal length into consideration.
Wide-angle lenses have a smaller focal length compared to standard lenses, which is the reason behind its high quality images despite shooting in narrow or poorly lit areas. However, there are different ranges to wide-angle lenses, with some of them being more difficult to work with than others.
In today’s market, there are so many wide-angle lens choices that they range from 8mm up to 40mm. We highly recommend sticking to a lens with a maximum focal length of 12mm, or even 16mm, because anything wider than that will lead to distortion.
Those between 8mm to 11mm are considered ultra wide lenses or fish-eye lenses, which are not ideal for professional real estate photography. These are mostly just for aesthetic purposes as they result in significant quality loss by diminishing a ton of detail off your image. Oftentimes, the photos taken with ultra wide angle lenses look unrealistic and overly exaggerated.
Factor #2: Aperture
Understanding how your camera’s aperture affects your photos quality is important. This is one of the elements that can really make your photos look great, and it would be a shame to not maximize its potential.
By working with the widest aperture, you can be sure of getting vibrant images even when they were taken in poor lighting conditions. We suggest investing in a lens that reaches at least f/4 through all its available focal lengths. Anything wider than that would be a great bonus and a convenience to have when a situation arises.
It is important to know that a lot of the standard, more affordable lenses have variable aperture, which will adjust each time you change the focal length of your shot. While this can still produce quality work, it may pose an inconvenience at times.
If you have the resources to get a lens with constant aperture, regardless of the focal length you utilize at the given moment, then you are more capable of using the lens to the best of its abilities and get higher quality images as a result.
Factor #3: Crop Factor (Crop Sensor vs Full Frame Sensor)
The crop factor of your camera directly affects the focal range you are able to work with, and understanding this is essential when choosing the right lens for it.
With an APS – C or crop sensor camera, you are not able to get the full field of view, while a full-frame camera can capture everything from corner to corner. Because of this, images taken with an APS – C tend to look like they have been zoomed in, compared to full-frame cameras that can process the space as a whole.
Because of how the APS – C is designed, lenses with a smaller focal length do not work well with it. You will need to invest in a lens that has a wider (or even ultra wide) focal length to balance the image out.
If you have the resources to get a full-frame camera, or perhaps you may even already have one, then sticking between 12mm – 40mm is fine.
Factor #4: Zoom or Prime Lens
Now that you know which focal length and aperture to get, it is time to weigh out whether you should get a zoom lens or a prime lens.
There is only one main distinction between the two:
- Prime lenses have one fixed focal length
- Zoom lenses offer a full range of focal lengths
Because of this, a prime lens is expected to be more affordable and is usually much sharper, too. The only major flaw is that it lacks versatility and flexibility when shooting varying properties.
If you do not necessarily need to take photos from a distance, and if you do not mind taking more than one lens to a shoot, then the prime lens is a great option in itself.
However, if you have the resources to be more practical, flexible, and can invest more for convenience, we recommend going for a zoom lens.
Factor #5: Chromatic Aberration and Distortion
A lens of lower quality will tend to show more signs of chromatic aberration and distortion. While wide-angle lenses are expected to have a little distortion, this can be easily remedied in post production.
A lot of DSLR cameras today even have a built-in feature wherein you can correct distortion as you shoot, making it all the more advantageous to get a good camera. However, if your camera does not have one built in, you can just as easily correct it in Adobe Photoshop or another editing software with built0in lens profiles in their tool options.
You can easily prevent chromatic aberration and distortion by being more cautious when it comes to overly affordable lenses or brands that you have not heard of yet.
16mm vs 18 mm vs 20mm vs 24mm lenses for real estate photography
The focal length you work with basically dictates how much of the entire scene your camera can capture in a single frame.
Smaller numbers such as 8mm or 10mm have a much wider angle of view and are considered ultra-wide lenses. These show much more of the scene, but also tend to have more distortion.
Bigger numbers such as 16mm up to 40mm have a narrower field of view and show less of the scene.
The Focal Length Multiplier
With a full-frame camera, you can take the focal length as is, plain and simple. When it comes to real estate, you want to keep the maximum at 12mm to 16mm, and play around with anything smaller than that depending on the scene you are shooting.
However, with a crop sensor or APS camera, it is not as straightforward. This is because the sensor sizes of an APS camera are smaller, and will have the effect of multiplying the given focal length by a focal length multiplier. If you are using a Nikon or Sony, the focal length multiplier is 1.5, and if you are using a Canon, the focal length multiplier is 1.6.
Things can get a little confusing when there are calculations involved so here’s an example. If you put a 12mm lens on a cropped sensor Nikon camera, you must multiply the given 12mm by the Nikon cropped sensor multiplier, which is 1.5.
12 x 1.5 = 18
This means that the effective focal length on this pair is 18mm.
The Focal Length Sweet Spot
Understandably, the presence of the focal length multiplier can pose a challenge to a lot of real estate photographers because then not all of the lenses can work as effectively in real estate, and they run the risk of investing in a lens that may not have as wide a view as they expected.
However, most professional photographers find that the most effective focal lengths are between 16mm to 24mm, especially when shooting interior real estate. It is also recommended to get a zoom lens that covers this entire range so you have more flexibility on the field.
12 Best wide-angle lenses for real estate photography in 2022
Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of focal lengths, check our list of our top 12 recommended wide-angle lenses for real estate photography. Keep in mind that some of these are better suited for full-frame cameras, while most options can work well on either APS or full-frame.
1. 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 relatively popular zoom lens. It is a favorite among many real estate photographers because of its advantageous focal length paired with a fair aperture.
This lens is more than capable of taking excellent interior and exterior real estate images, and is perfectly compatible with most of the Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras.
Moreover, the Sigma 10-20mm has a multilayer coating on the glass that is highly effective in minimizing signs of glare or ghosting, which results in crystal clear images that are free of distortions regardless of the lighting condition you are shooting in.
- Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
- Avoids front lens rotations
- Possesses a unique landscape perspective
- Features a multilayer coating
- Offers a much quieter operation
- Autofocus needs some adjustment
- It is rather large and a little heavy
- The edges have a few issues with sharpness
2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED
The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED is most known for its exemplary VR stabilization, which effectively eliminates all signs of hand vibration effects while shooting without a tripod.
It results in quality images that are very sharp and wide enough to capture the majority of the space. It is definitely an ideal option for real estate photography, especially on a busy multi-location shoot day.
Last but not the least, this lens works wonders even in low light conditions.
- Has excellent vibration reduction features
- Nikon FX mounting
- Excellent center sharpness
- Two different built-in focusing modes
- Offers an even brightness level
- Is of durable build
- Good value for money
- May be a challenge to adjust focal length
- Wider apertures show signs of soft edges
- Noticeable distortion when using 16mm
- Does not have Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coating
3. Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
The Tamron AFA012N700 SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD has been said to be one of the best wide-angle lenses on the market today.
It works exceptionally well with any-sized space, be it interiors or exteriors. In fact, it has also proven to be a rather successful pick for architectural and landscape photography, making it almost an all around option.
Its built-in focusing mechanism is very satisfactory, as it gives crystal clear images so long as you know how to maximize the settings.
The glass also features a fluorine coating that prevents dirt from getting to the surface, ensuring that your photos are spec and dust-free. This is a huge bonus especially when shooting exteriors or outdoors.
- Has Vibration Compensation
- The zoom range of 15-30
- Fluorine coating on the lens
- 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
4. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is an excellent lens for all kinds of real estate photography, including architectural and landscape.
This lens allows you to easily capture a wide coverage area and get a whole lot of detail within one frame. It also sports a smooth and silent autofocusing feature of excellent quality.
Thanks to its Aspherical elements, it is a breeze to capture photos from tricky angles without the need to consider light error or any noise in your shot.
- 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
- Quite expensive
- Image quality lacking along the edges of the frame
- There is noticeable distortion when using 10mm
5. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Known to be one of the most robust lenses on the market today, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is built with an exceptionally secure construction. In fact, it is one of the most solid builds among all of Nikon’s offerings.
This durable lens has 2 Extra Low Distortion glass elements and 3 Aspherical lenses that deliver exceptional results. Moreover, it has a signature Nano Crystal Coating to ensure its resistance against dirt and other outside elements.
Its focal length range of 14 – 24 millimeters puts this right in the middle of the real estate photography soft spot. Its 0.9 feet closest focus distance also allows you to take high quality shots in close range with little to no blur. This is by far one of the best Nikon lenses you can get your hands on.
- Exceptionally sharp images
- Ability to take close range photos
- Amazingly solid construction
- Consistent top-notch performance
- Full frame coverage with f/2.8 aperture
- Noticeable distortion when used at widest angle
- Inability to utilize filters with a special holder
- It is quite big and heavy
- It is expensive
6. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens
If you are looking for an extremely durable lens that captures images on a professional standard, then look no further than the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens.
Its design lets you capture vivid and vibrant subjects that stand out from the background, giving your listing a different look compared to traditional photos.
Furthermore, this lens features edge-to-edge sharpness, allowing every single detail within the frame to be crystal clear in the final output. Its extra low dispersion (ED) and aspherical (AS) glass build are also great at keeping issues such as flare, ghosting, and other lighting issues at bay.
- FX-format lens
- Multipurpose lens kit
- Takes exceptionally sharp images
- Smooth focusing ring
- Premium built quality
- Very light and portable
- Compact design
- Limited zoom range
- Slower aperture
7. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED
The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED has been repeatedly praised for its quality and consistent level of performance regardless of the environmental conditions. It has a 7.8-inch close focus feature, which makes taking detailed shots a breeze.
Its build is highly durable and compact, which makes it a great option for multiple location shoots and other instances where portability is a plus.
Moreover, it sports the signature Nano Crystal Coat on the glass, protecting it from any rendering issue, giving you a clear and spec-free image each time.
- FX – format lens
- 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
8. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED is a great option for both interior and exterior real estate photography.
Its autofocus features are above standard and its f/1.8 aperture makes it the ideal lens for shooting in conditions with insufficient lighting.
- 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
9. Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC
The Rokinon 14mm lens is compatible with both Nikon and Canon’s range of cameras so long as you have the correct mount. This lens is a great option for photographers looking for high quality wide-angle lenses with a limited budget.
It performs exceptionally well even at its maximum f/2.8 setting. It is also very lightweight and durable, making it highly portable for bringing from one location to another.
If you are just starting out with real estate photography and do not want to splurge too much on an advanced lens, then this is the perfect pick for you.
- Wide-angle field of view
- Excellent sharpness
- Reasonably priced
- Very low chromatic aberrations
- Resistant to ghosting
- Excellent color rendition
- Great micro contrast
- Robust build
- Operates on manual focus only
- Manual aperture control
- Distortion is visible
- Vignetting is visible
10. Tokina 12 – 28mm f/4 AT – X ProDX
A first entry for Tokina on the list, this 12.28mm option is made of durable build and is more suitable for cropped sensor cameras. Its focal length is equivalent to a 19 – 45mm lens on a full-frame camera, giving you excellent flexibility.
What’s great about this lens is its ability to minimize distortion levels and produce high quality real estate images with every project. Truly, this lens is well worth the investment.
- Good sharpness
- Low distortion
- Overall good image quality
- Durably build
- Built-in silent AF motor
- Good value for money
- No built-in image stabilization
- Chromatic aberration is visible in RAW files
11. Canon EF – S 10 – 18mm f/4.5 – 5.6 IS STM
This lens is best suited for cropped sensor cameras and is perfectly compatible with all of Canon’s EOS range.
Its focal length of 10-18mm makes it a good wide-angle lens and a great choice for those still starting out with real estate photography.
It may not have too much zoom capabilities but what it lacks in zoom, it makes up for with its built-in optical image stabilization and an enhanced autofocus system. You may not be able to take photos from too far of a distance, but you can definitely have exceptionally sharp, high quality images of nearby subjects.
One advantage to its 22mm minimum focus distance is that you are able to capture crystal clear detailed shots on top of its excellent wide-angle photos.
- Above standard sharpness throughout entire focal length range
- Reasonably priced for its caliber
- Ultra wide angle field of view
- Optically stabilized
- STM focus motor
- The lens mount is made of plastic
- Barrel distortion at 10mm
- Traces of color fringing
- No lens hood included
- Narrow aperture
12. Canon EF 16 – 35mm f/4L IS USM
This Canon option is part of the L-series lenses, which means the glass and build are of exceptional caliber compared to most standard lenses. It features top of the line weather sealing and a protective fluorine coating, making it the perfect option regardless of the weather conditions. It also features an Ultrasonic Motor (USM) on the lens, which is designed to help with quick and accurate autofocus.
Apart from its remarkable build, it is also Canon’s sharpest wide-angle lens ever, seeing as there is little to no softness around the corners of the resulting photographs.
Its focal range of 16 – 35mm is definitely wide enough to capture spaces of any size, and its built-in optical image stabilizer assists in taking sharp, no-shake images, making it the ideal pick for real estate photography.
- Exceptional Canon L Series build quality
- Fast and highly accurate aperture
- Efficient built-in image stabilizer
- Great sharpness
- Keeps chromatic aberrations limited
- Features fluorine coating on lens
- Weather sealed
- Well designed lens hood
- Reasonable price point
- Certain limitations with maximum f/4 aperture
- Aperture and ISO are audible in video operation
All of the above options are great choices, and you can’t really go wrong with choosing either one. All you need to ensure is that it is compatible with your camera and fits the needs of your real estate photography projects.