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What lens for interior real estate?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by norking, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. norking

    norking Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 31, 2013
    Hi. Short question:
    What lens would you choose for interior photography?


    Long question:
    I'm a noob GH1 owner and I've been learning photography with an old cheap pentax K mount legacy prime 50mm (100mm equivalent). I want to buy a my first native lens but the more I search the Web, the more confused I am...

    First I wanted the 14-140mm, then I was sold by the 20mm, and then by the 25mm with better AF, low light and sharpness.

    But now I want to start shooting interiors (hotel bedrooms, etc) and I don't have a clue what's the "best focal length" (Like I said, I only used 50mm)
    Here I am on the eternal fight with prime sharpness Vs the zoom practicality

    Here's my questions "cloud" on my head:

    Is the expensive Panasonic 7-14mm sharper, or is the Olympus 9-18mm more costly effective? And more important, do you guys think I will need these zoom focal lengths over the primes?

    Will a prime be sharper?


    And money a$ide, what's sharper?

    Cheap side
    1. 20mm (or other) Vs 14-140mm II?
    I really love the 20mm but isn't too narrow for interiors? I was on the way to get the 14mm pancake but after viewing the DREWnetwork review my love fell apart.

    1.1. 20mm Vs Panasonic 7-14mm? (just to learn how much sharper is a cheap prime over an expensive zoom)

    Expensive side
    2. Olympus 12mm f/2.0 Vs Panasonic 7-14mm f/4?

    And Finally:
    3. Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 Vs Panasonic 7-14mm f/4? What would you get if you only want the most sharpest images?

    (I would include the Olympus M. Zuiko ED 12-40mm f/2.8 but having a 40mm with no stabilization is a no go for me.)


    I'm sorry for these awkward questions :redface: but I would love to ear any kind of opinions on this subject if you understand my position (and my English)
    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    Easy answer is 7-14mm is the best lens right now for real estate shots no questions...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. norking

    norking Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 31, 2013
    Thanks for the answer.

    And how about on the cheap side? What's the best choices sub 500$? Anything worth considering? (Just to start low...)
     
  4. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    My vote for the 7-14 as well. When I sold my house a year ago, my photos were considered "pro quality".

    Aside from focal length, one BIG advice. Always shoot perfectly horizontal. In airplane terms, with zero pitch and roll. Otherwise your vertical and horizontal lines will not be vertical or horizontal. This gives a very nervous image. If you only want the upper half of the image, do exactly that: zoom out, and crop into the top half. The classic way to solve this is by a tilt/shift lens, but the 7 mm end of the 7-14 serves this purpose well.

    Second advice: shoot from a height of ~1 m. This will make all rooms look bigger.

    Third advice: use a tripod.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Another nod for the 7-14 and for using the level. The extra 2mm can make a big difference inside average residential real estate.
     
  6. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Mike
    The 7-14, a tripod and a spirit level.

    [​IMG] item_L_5607440_2654928.
     
  7. norking

    norking Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 31, 2013
    Thanks, that's some useful tips. Yes wide angle shooting seems very tricky even with photoshop correction.
    The tilt/shift thing is all new to me but I'll do some research.

    I also will need a trigger flash and a wireless flash.
    I need an affordable solution that allows me to work with multiple flashes in the future. It must be Panasonic or can I use 3rd party solutions? How about Olympus stuff?

    Should I start a new thread?
     
  8. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    940
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    7-14. Hands down for interior shots. Sure you could vertical stitch images together...or you could just take one image with the 7-14. I have examples from the Olympus 7-14 f4 if you need to see images. I used a 12-60 prior to that, but retired it once I got the 7-14.

    As to flashes, I use the v5 duos (4 units total) I usually hide 2-3 flashes in the room.
     
  9. norking

    norking Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 31, 2013
    I've got it...
    Except for the 7-14 :)
     
  10. norking

    norking Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 31, 2013
    Thanks you all guys, this community is awesome!!!

    It seems 7-14 is THE lens. After these lens my next buy will be an used GH3 (cause I also do video)

    But now is time to find a flash solution. I would never imagine that buying a flash solution could be difficult.

    Please just tell me one more thing: having a cactus trigger, all wireless flash will work on the same frequency?
    The Cactus RF60 looks amazing
     
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Not much experience but I personally would rather use a pan head or gigapan instead of relying on an ultra wide angle lens. In some cases the 7mm focal length may not cover what it takes to cover an entire room. You can even create a real estate virtual tour of sorts.

    These are the type of shots that are ideal for tripod anyways. So low light slow shutter speeds should never be an issue.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
     
  12. beameup

    beameup Mu-43 Regular

    104
    Oct 23, 2013
    9mm Body Cap Lens... "hands down". And less than $100.
     
  13. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    If you are needing to get something right now for under $500. I strongly suggest the Samyang Fish-eye 7.5mm and de-fishing the image. There are many threads on this site on how to do that . The lens is about $250.

    On second thought , I am not sure now if the perspective distortions at the sides would be misleading, but then again, that would also be the case for the Ultra wide lens.

    I think you might want to try a pan head and stitching together some images, I think usayit suggested it already.. That might end up being the best way to go, and you can just pick up a 14mm 2.5 for about $185 or less.
     
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I used to shoot real estate and I would also recommend the 7-14mm. That zoom range will give you far more scope than any other lens. And if you're serious, make a lightweight ladder an essential part of your gear (for both inside and outside a house). I've done stitching as well and all you really need in those circumstances are two or three shots, and again, that's where the 7-14mm comes in handy. Always have the lights on in a house and take shots without flash as well as with flash. Use flash in a judicious manner, not as a sledge hammer.
     
  15. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi,

    I have the ZD 7-14mm and did some tests with it recently as I was trying to figure out what focal length is needed for interior shots...

    9mm rectilinear (not fisheye): not wide enough for small bedrooms and bathrooms, so that pretty much rules out the 9-18mm unless you want to use a fisheye also.
    8mm - OK
    7mm - better

    I also occasionally use an 8mm ZD fisheye, and 'de-fish' it in software when I need a wider image than the 7-14mm will give.
    The Rokinon 7.5mm FE would be a better choice for mu-43 if you're purchasing.

    I recently got the 9mm fisheye BCL, but it's f8 only so it wouldn't be very suitable for interiors, and the FoV is considerably smaller than a 7.5 or 8mm fisheye.

    Olympus has announced a 7-14mm f2.8 lens, but it will probably be more expensive than the Panasonic 7-14mm.

    Barry
     
  16. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Mike
    Here is a sample shot with the 7-14 set at 7mm, f/5.6, 1/15, ISO 100.

    6258296337_1b26284ba5_b.

    The camera was braced against a door frame. I was using a G1 without a level. As you can see the verticals on the right are slightly tilted. This is why a level is important. This could be corrected in PP, but would result in a slight loss of image coverage.
     
  17. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    +1

    When doing architectural work, any light you add (flash or otherwise) should act as an unnoticeable (visible when you look for it but not noticed otherwise) fill. You should never be conscious of the added light when viewing the picture casually because you want to replicate what the room actually look like. You don't want to create your own lighting effects.

    Good work is done on a tripod at middle apertures. You need the DOF and the ability to very carefully align the camera. This makes the lens' maximum aperture a non-issue. It also opens the possibility of doing some good HDR work. By "good HDR" I mean images that look normal but manage to retain both detail in the darker portions of the room while not blowing out the bright windows. I don't suggest the "grunge" style of HDR that was popular with the art crowd a few years ago.
     
  18. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    I light interiors with a pack system. Fleabay up a norman set up, they'll be relatively cheap. The 24/24, or 40/40 nice high end power when you need it, and good controllable spread and the quality of the light is more realistic than the guns. There's almost always power when you'll need them, and they're bomb proof. You can connect them with a dirt cheap dumb fire wireless set up, so you won't need to be concerned with voltage to the camera. Should cost under $400 for 4 light set up. Replacement bulbs are also relatively cheap.

    ...and Cinefoil, gaffers tape, and some clamps and some decent light stands would be VERY wise to purchase. I'd also suggest a large diffusion panel when dealing with irritating realtors that insist on you coming to shoot mid day in high contrast light blowing in from the windows on some random day.
     
  19. norking

    norking Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 31, 2013
    The 7.5mm is on my wishlist for artistic purpose. I never thought on using it for accurate geometric architecture, mainly because lot's of defished images still look strange to me... but I understand that it can solve the small bathroom problem

    Thank you all for the time spent
     
  20. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    FYIs, many cameras have built-in levels; the one in the E-M1 can be re-calibrated if needed.

    Barry