Best Real Estate Photography Lenses – 2019 Complete Round-up

Real estate photography is about capturing buildings and their interiors for realtors. It is not just a simple passion but a great business. A good picture can change the face of anything. You can make a small cramped room look spacious and cozy. But to achieve that, you need a great quality lens. This article provides a comprehensive overview of what to look for and what to expect. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Real Estate Photography Lenses

PRODUCT
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Tokina 12-28mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro

  • Equipped with a rubber sealing mount
  • Features a one-touch focus clutch and is the best overall
  • Has a focal range of 12-28mm which is equivalent to 19-45mm on a crop sensor
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Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom

  • Runner-up model has a focal range of 17-40mm
  • Can be used for both film and digital SLR cameras
  • Has an inner focusing system with USM (Ultra Sonic Motor)
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Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro

  • Best for the money and durable
  • Has a focal range of 17-35mm and is an FX lens
  • Features Tokina’s one-touch focus clutch mechanism
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

  • 3 aspherical lenses and two UD lens elements
  • Minimum focusing distance of 0.92ft across the entire focal range
  • Has a focal range of 16-35mm and is the best Canon lens for real estate photography
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G

  • Has both manual and autofocus
  • Best Nikon lens for real estate photography
  • Has a focal range of 16-35mm and is an FX lens
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Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

  • Has an aperture of f/4.5-5.6
  • For EOS cameras with APS-C sensors
  • Has a focal range of 10-18mm which makes it the best wide-angle lens for real estate
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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Ultra Wide Tilt-Shift Lens

  • Prime lens of 24mm focal length
  • Best lens for interior real estate photography
  • Tilt and shift mechanism rotates 90 degrees in any direction
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Can Any Lens Be Used for Real Estate Photography

It is possible to use all kinds of lenses for real estate photography, but you might not get the desired results, or you might have to work a little harder to get the picture. For some extremely long lenses, it can become impossible to include everything in the frame. Long lenses don’t create a very shallow depth of vision needed to create bokeh. It is always best to go for wide-angle lenses as they incorporate everything in the frame. 

Characteristics of Our Favorite Lenses

Given the plethora of products available in the market, it can be difficult to classify any model the best. However, there are some common features in our favorite lenses that make them the best. These include:

Low Distortion

Little to no distortion is an important factor while shooting pictures that involve a lot of straight lines and geometric shapes. This is because, with distortion, the edges of the frame give you bent lines. Real estate photography involves a lot of buildings that are nothing but lines. Even inside rooms, there are edges and geometric shapes that give it its flare. That is something that cannot be compromised even on other types of photography.

Wide Angle

Real estate photography requires pictures of large buildings and rooms to be fit into one frame. That can only be done with wide-angle lenses. They provide the best perspective of the room and make it feel spacious. 

High and Smooth Autofocus

In real estate photography, a lot of the times, you have to focus on objects inside the room, and for that, you need focus. Lenses that come with an in-built autofocus system are always the best. We see a lot of amazing modern technology today for this purpose, such as USM, STM, etc. 

Quick Take - Best Real Estate Photography Lenses

Before we dive into our review, here are the best real estate photography lenses:

  1. Tokina 12-28mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro
  2. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom
  3. ​Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro

Review of the Best Real Estate Photography Lenses

We have tried to compile a comprehensive list of some of the best real estate photography lenses available in the market right now. This article provides a complete review of all that is good and bad in these products to help you make the correct decision.

Tokina 12-28mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro DX Lens for Nikon

PROS

  • Has a sturdy construction, making it durable
  • Has SD glass to eliminate chromatic aberrations
  • Provides great and consistent sharpness across its focal length range
  • Uses SD-M (silent drive-module) to make autofocus smooth and silent
  • Provides great quality at a lower price than other lenses of the same range

CONS

  • Aperture is relatively low i.e. f/4.0
  • Not made for a full-frame camera
  • Does not have a manual focus override

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this lens find it to be the best lens for using on crop sensor cameras. Its wide range is something that really compels buyers to invest in it. Users prefer its sturdy construction to over other models from competitors. It’s mostly used for indoor or landscape pictures. Some people have encountered problems with vignettes at full aperture. However, others are pretty satisfied with it and are willing to overlook most of its shortcomings, considering its relatively low price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is a perfect fit for real estate photography, which is mostly indoors, and therefore its low aperture will not be a problem. It has a new magnetic precision (GMR) autofocus that delivers fast and accurate AF. It has aspherical lenses in both front and back groups that help produce sharp images throughout its focal range.

Who Will Use This Most

Due to its Silent-Drive Module that provides smooth and silent autofocus, it is perfect for shooting HD videos. It is more suited for people with a crop sensor camera. On a crop sensor camera, its focal length increases to 45mm, which gives it a great range. It’s demographic is limited to those who do not shoot in low-light conditions often.

Bottom Line

This lens is definitely worth the cost, which is relatively low to begin with. It provides a great range on a crop sensor camera and is extremely well-built and sturdy. It delivers consistently throughout its wide range. If you are a real estate photographer with mostly indoor shoots, then this will not disappoint.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras, Black - 8806A002

PROS

  • Has a light and sturdy built
  • Comes with weather-sealing
  • Autofocus is fast, silent and accurate
  • Has a low price-tag compared to other ultra-wide lenses
  • Has a large zoom ratio of 2.4:1 compared to other lenses of the same class

CONS

  • Aperture is relatively low i.e. f/4.0
  • Has some chromatic aberration at wider focal lengths, mainly 17mm
  • Produces images with soft corners on a full-frame camera, most noticeable at wider focal lengths

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this lens report that it has some aberrations but can be fixed in editing easily. Overall it gives a good performance with some tweaks on the photographer’s part. It gets mixed reviews, but its low price and good built quality win over most because the small issues it has are easily fixable. In addition, users love its large zoom ratio and autofocus, stating that both of these work great.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens uses Ultra-Sonic Motor for autofocus, which gives smooth and fast focus. Ultra-wide ‘L’ series lenses are usually very hefty priced, but this one has a moderate price-tag. It supports 77mm filters, which make it easy to share with many of Canon’s models. It also stands out because it uses ultra-low dispersion glass to assure great optics.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is most suited for landscape, interior, and portrait photographers. Real estate photography requires large buildings or entire rooms to be incorporated in the frame. For this, photographers need wide-angle lenses, and this ultra-wide Canon model is the perfect match. For usage in low-light conditions, you are going to need a tripod that photographers always have.

Bottom Line

For a Canon ultra-wide-angle ‘L’ series lens, this model is very cheap and worth the buy. It provides great autofocus with USM and has an excellent-quality built. Its weather-sealing provides an extra protection layer, allowing photographers to use it in tough conditions as well. If you are a real estate photographer, you really cannot go wrong with this one.

Best for the Money:
Tokina 17-35mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro

Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro FX Lens for Nikon

PROS

  • Small and light with an excellent build
  • Provides professional results at a low price
  • Switches quickly between manual and autofocus
  • Water-resistant, allowing users to use it in challenging conditions
  • Uses super-low dispersion and aspherical glass to control chromatic aberration

CONS

  • Image corners in full-frame and f/4 are soft in the entire focal range
  • Does not have a silent Ultra-sonic motor but rather uses a DC motor
  • Has noticeable distortion at wide angles but decreases with zooming

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this lens find it to be the best one for using on crop sensor cameras. It’s the wide range that really compels buyers to grab this one. They also commend its sturdy construction and compliment on how it’s better than that of competitors. Some people have encountered problems with vignettes at full aperture only. However, they reported it to be excellent for indoor or landscape pictures.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is designed for full-frame cameras. It is water-resistant, and its small and light built make it durable and efficient to use. It uses a one-clutch focus mechanism that makes it very easy to switch between manual and autofocus. Moreover, it provides amazing contrast due to its aspherical and low dispersion glass elements.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is for you if you have a full-frame camera since it is FX. It is ideal if you shoot in tight, indoor spaces due to its wide angles. In addition, it is perfect if you are an indoor, architectural, or real estate photographer. It easily incorporates the entire scene in the frame, making it ideal for such purposes.

Bottom Line

This wide-angle lens is another model that’s perfect for real estate photography. It provides great value for money and is definitely worth the buy. It’s small but sturdy built make it durable and hence, a valuable investment. Plus, the distortion it might have is comparatively extremely low compared to other ultra-wide range lenses, making it a great pick.

Best Canon Lens for Real Estate Photography:
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens - 9518B002

PROS

  • Has optical image stabilization
  • Has a lightweight and sturdy built
  • Features Nano crystal coating for flare removal
  • Uses Ultra-Sonic Motor for smooth and fast autofocus
  • Comes with a protective fluorine coating on the rear and front

CONS

  • Images might have soft edges
  • Not ideal for low-light photography
  • Edges of its images are not that sharp

What Recent Buyers Report

This Canon model has received nothing but positive reviews from its users. They find it to be light and easy to carry, which makes it great for on-the-go photographers. Some would even go as far as to say it is the best lens they have ever used. In addition, people find it to produce high-quality images and state that it takes amazing landscape photographs.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The selling point of this lens model would be its optical image stabilization that produces a sharp final image. It also has nine circular aperture blades that create a beautiful bokeh effect. Its 16-35mm zoom range is ideal for indoor, landscape, and portrait pictures. Plus, its light construction makes it easy to handle and carry around.

Who Will Use This Most

As with any ultra-wide-angle lens, it takes great portrait and landscape pictures. If you specialize in indoor real estate and architectural projects and have to include a large object in a frame, then this is the one for you. Canon has made a name for itself in producing high-quality professional camera gear, and this model is no different.

Bottom Line

Wide-angle lenses always work like magic for real estate photography. Its light built makes it very easy to carry around without getting tired. Plus, the internal image stabilization creates sharp images overall and in low-light conditions as well. It has super spectra coating that removes flare and gives greater contrast to your images.

Best Nikon Lens for Real Estate Photography:
Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Switches quickly between manual and autofocus
  • Uses Nikon VR II Image Stabilization for sharper results
  • Has a Nano-crystal coating to reduce flare and ghosting
  • Works well with both FX and Nikon DX digital SLR cameras
  • Uses SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for ultra-quiet and fast autofocus

CONS

  • Not suitable for low-light photography
  • Has noticeable distortion at wide zoom range
  • Comparatively expensive than many other similar models

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have a lot of good things to say about this model. They find that it gives them great versatility of use with its wide range of focal lengths. It produces great sharp results and is mainly being used for architecture and interior real estate. They also like that it is capable of producing sharper and quicker results because of its exceptional features.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The best feature of this lens is its VR image stabilization system that produces great focused images, even in low-light conditions. Its great range of 16-35mm provides the user with great versatility. It also provides protection against flare and ghosting effects. Plus, it uses M/A focus mode switch for silent transfer between manual and autofocus.

Who Will Use This Most

As with all the lenses in this list for real estate photography, this one is also for indoor, real-estate, landscape, and portrait photographers. It gives the best results in full-frame cameras as it is built for FX. If you have a full-frame camera, you might want to consider this one. However, since it’s expensive, it might not be the best pick for beginners.

Bottom Line

This wide-angle zoom lens provides great versatility of use and creative opportunities to its user. It incorporates many modern technologies, such as VR, Nano-coating, and SWM, to give the best results possible. The extra dollar on its price tag is definitely worth the amazing result of this model.

Best Wide Angle Lens for Real Estate:
 Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

PROS

  • Has a good quality image stabilizer
  • Has the option of manual focus for quick adjustments
  • Provides sharp images even at the maximum aperture
  • Has STM (stepper motor) for fast and smooth autofocus
  • Features enhanced coating for high-contrast and high-resolution images

CONS

  • Has some distortions at wider angles
  • Has a low maximum aperture of f/4.5
  • Vignetting becomes noticeable at maximum aperture

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this lens find it to be the go-to lens for real estate photography. Users find it provides consistent results even after a long usage period. They find it easy to carry and very light due to its plastic construction. Its ultra-wide range provides great image quality to users, and almost everyone is satisfied with their purchase.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What is best about this lens is its range of ultra-wide focal lengths. This makes it able to produce amazing results in real-estate and architectural photography. Its internal image stabilizer and stepping motor add to its quality results by providing fast autofocus and sharp images. It uses a high-speed CPU and AF algorithm to achieve even better results.

Who Will Use This Most

It is ideal for photographers that work with tight, indoor spaces and large architectural buildings due to its ultra-wide angles. It is perfect if you are an indoor, architectural, or real estate photographer. It easily incorporates the entire scene and room in the frame for a perfect result. In the hands of a good photographer, it can never go wrong.

Bottom Line

Ultra wide-angle lenses are made to be used for real estate and architectural photography. This one is the best among its class of ultra-wide lenses. Its light plastic build makes it easy to carry, but it is still sturdy even without a metal casing. It is a worthy buy for phenomenal real estate photography.

Best Lens for Interior Real Estate Photography:
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Ultra Wide Tilt-Shift Lens

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Ultra Wide Tilt-Shift Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

PROS

  • Has sturdy build quality
  • Constructed using lens-free glass
  • Compatible with all Canon EOS cameras
  • Produces low distortion and high resolution even at edges
  • Has sub-wavelength and super-spectra coatings to handle flare

CONS

  • Not for armature users
  • Relatively more expensive than similar models
  • Has no autofocus, making it unsuitable for beginners

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this lens find it to produce amazing results. They find that it produces sharp corners in images and gives the user great control of the axis of tilt and shift. Users love it for architectural photography and have only praise for this model. Some find it is heavy due to its construction. However, they don’t seem to have a problem with it. In fact, they’re quite happy with their purchase.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are many features that make this model stand out to us. First of all, it has a larger image circle compared to older versions, allowing you to take in more of the shot in one frame. Moreover, we also like it because of the low distortion and high resolution it promises.

Who Will Use This Most

For an architectural and real estate photographer, this is a must-have lens despite is hefty price-tag. If you are new to photography, this might not be the one for you, but once you get the hang of it, it never disappoints. Plus, its wide-angle makes it ideal for indoor real estate photographers.

Bottom Line

This ultra-wide-angle prime lens is a must for indoor real estate work. Its tilt and shift mechanism is easy to get the hang of. Moreover, it has high-precision and low distortion. So, if you are a professional real estate photographer, your money will be well spent on this great investment.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

Some things to keep in mind while buying a lens for real estate photography to ensure the best model are:

Wide Angle Lenses

For capturing buildings and entire rooms in one frame, it is important to have a wide-angle. A longer focal length will end up cutting out half the building from your frame. A wide-angle lens also makes it easy to take pictures of tight spaces like a small room or attic of a house. There is no other way to go but wide for real estate.

Minimum Distortion

If there is one kryptonite of a wide-angle lens, it’s the distortion on the edges of the frame. You have to look for one that provides the minimum distortion or means to correct it. A higher-quality lens is always the right choice for professional work to get sharp results and great contrast.

Zoom/Prime Lens

Using a zoom or prime lens depends on your preference, but in this case, a zoom lens is better suited. It provides more versatility to the user. You do not need to move that much with it, and it promises more sharp and defined edges. 

Prime lenses also offer a lot. They usually have wide-angle lenses and are much lighter. In the end, it all comes down to preference. 

Conclusion

For real estate photography, what is most important is a wide-angle lens, that too of high quality. A lot of the work is around geometric buildings and rooms, and hence it requires sharp results with little to no distortion. This article provides a list of some of the best models available in the market for real estate photography. It tries to cover every aspect of buying a real estate photography lens to help you make the right pick.

People Also Ask

If you still have some confusion about what lens to buy and which is the best, these questions that buyers usually ask might be of some help to you.

What is Focal Length in Real Estate Photography?

There is no single focal length for real estate photography. Real estate photography requires wide-angle lenses; anything larger than 35mm will be hard to work with. You should buy either a zoom lens with a large range of wide-angle lenses or a tilt-shift prime lens with an ultra-wide-angle.

What Setting Should I Use For Real Estate photography?

At extremely wide angles, there is usually noticeable distortion. It is, therefore, best to use 24mm focal length. It is neither too wide nor too long. If you are going to be shooting in low-light conditions, it is best to use a tripod for more stable images. 

Do I Need a Flash for Real State Photography?

Flash can be useful for poorly-lit areas for interior real estate photography. Too much flash and flash in the wrong area can create a horrible result. Make sure it seems as natural as possible. Larger areas might require using more than one flash. Make sure to take some test pictures to get rid of any flares due to flash.

What is the Best Time of Day to Take Real Estate Photos?

It is best to do real estate photography at day time for the best lighting conditions, especially if you are shooting outside or in a space with lots of windows. This will give you great natural light to play around within your frame. It might not be an issue if the room is closed with sufficient interior lighting.