Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax Lenses

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 30, 2011, 7:45 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Rodney9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Yeronga, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 3,518
Default Real Estate Lens and Flash

Hi,

I had the opportunity to watch a real estate photographer and now I may be able to get some business.
She was using a Nikon D300, Nikon hot shoe flash and Sigma 10-20mm, I'm sorry I didn't see which one though. Shots taken in and outdoor.

I will need to buy a flash and wide lens but I will need to be budget conscious. It is a good time to buy for us Aussies with our dollar doing so well.

For my K20D I think the AF360 would do the job admirably, but I am confused which lens, I have read reviews on the Sigma and it seems the older slower 10-20mm F/4-5.6 is better than the newer F/3.5

Then there are the Pentax 12-24 and the 10-17.

All and any advice would be very much appreciated.

Rodney
__________________

My Flickr Photos

Pentax K-5 K20D K100D
Pentax DA 55-300mm 4-5.8 ED / Pentax M 200mm F4 / Pentax Tak K 135mm 2.5 / Pentax M 100mm F4 Macro / Tamron SP AF90mm 2.8 Di Macro / Pentax M 1.7 50mm / Pentax M 2.8 28mm
Rodney9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 30, 2011, 10:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
snostorm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago Suburb, IL, USA
Posts: 2,770
Default

Hi Rodney,

The only lens I personally own from your list is the DA 10-17, and it's more of a specialty lens than one that I'd use commercially. I really think that you'd want a rectilinear lens for this kind of work, and the 10-17 is a diagonal fisheye, so you'd have to correct for distortions in every shot. It's only a true fisheye at 10mm, but there's still quite a bit of distortion at 17mm. You can defish the images, but they get pretty soft at the corners and edges. The plus side is that it's very wide, defished it's about 135 at 10mm, compared to @102.4 for the 10-20 at its widest. I'd say if your friend is doing well with her 10-20, it would probably not be a bad idea to follow her lead.

I know that the DA 12-24 is a premium quality lens, but it's costly. Harriet has one, and can probably give you more details.

A former Pentax user, wackyroger, had the older Sigma 10-20 (f4-5.6), posted quite a few pics taken with it, and I was always impressed with his results. If you can get one, this is probably the best bang for the buck of the ultra ultra wide zooms, I would think.

Unless you're anticipating shooting very big rooms, the AF 360 FGZ would probably be fine, but you'd need a diffuser to cover the lens at its widest. I've never done this kind of shooting, but one thought is a flash with a swivel head would allow you to bounce off a wall in back of you which might be useful to get the coverage that you need shooting ultra wide.

There are probably articles on the internet that can give you some tips from photographers who have some actual experience in this genre -- I'm just guessing about the flash. . .

Lots of luck in your new enterprise. . .

Scott
snostorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 2011, 11:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

I agree with Scott that the 10-17 is not a good choice. I would recommend using either the Sigma 10-20 or the Pentax 12-24, which is very good at interiors. If you want to see some pictures I took of a house using mostly the 12-24 but with a couple of 10-17 shots mixed in, there's an album at: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p205916133 . The pictures aren't all that great, I wasn't trying all that hard and residential interior isn't exactly my thing. But it would give you some examples of why the 10-17 would not be your best choice. Some of the "before" pictures were HDR. Some of the "after" pictures were using the 540 flash bounced off of the ceiling. I would think the 360 would work OK, especially because you can always use it wirelessly, which would give you more ability to bounce without having a swivel head. I'm pretty sure I just used the flash on a hot shoe.

I really need to get a proper diffuser, but find that using a coffee filter works reasonably for many things and it doesn't cost anything. I've also heard of people using rubbing alcohol bottles, that's probably closer to a proper diffuser. I just haven't bothered to make one.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 2011, 2:55 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 1,381
Default

I would agree with Harriet and Scott that the 10-17 would be inappropriate for interior shots, with the rectilinear lens being a much better choice. The best lens for the job, I think that you have two good choices, across the Pentax 12-24 and the Sigma 10-20. The price difference, in terms of a value proposition is difficult. I have seen excellent images from both. The Sigma being wider does have a bit more distortion than the Pentax, however just from the price the Sigma would probably be the better value. You would need to do some checking to see which variant of the Sigma would be better for you. I would have to believe that the wide angle of the lens would put pressure on the flash to illuminate such a wide area. That would be a big concern in terms of selecting a flash unit.

The other area I would suggest is that based on the property, floor plan, lighting conditions, light will vary a lot, and to an extent that a flash may not be the best tool all of the time. I have read a number of articles that the application of HDR for interior photography - in particular real estate images, can be a reasonable approach. This would help with diminishing the blown out windows, coupled with the dark corners of the rooms. Another aspect I have seen is the use of stitched photography for 360 degree images. In this you would set up in the middle of the room and take about 6 images, stitching them together with the appropriate software and also the viewing software. In this respect the viewer could essentially stand in the center of the room and just virtually turn around seeing everything.

I think that all of this depends on the property, what is desired by the owner and agent, along with your time, post processing and the fee. But there are some ideas.

There are some good websites on the various subjects and may be of help.....
hope that helps...
interested_observer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 2011, 12:24 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Dr. C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sequim, WA
Posts: 282
Default

You have already received some excellent advice, but I'll add my support for the 12-24. When I was doing some very modest architectural photography, I absolutely loved that lens. I used the AF360 flash attached or wirelessly and added a few slave flashes. The websites mentioned above are quite valuable. Didn't do any HDR then, but if I were doing that work now, I would certainly give it a try as mentioned above. The highlights from the windows do present a challenge.

Enjoy.
__________________
Regards,
Lawrence Culbertson
Sequim, WA


K5, Sigma 50 1.4, Tamron 28-75, Tamron 70-200 2.8, Panasonic LX5, Canon G15
Dr. C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2011, 8:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Rodney9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Yeronga, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 3,518
Default

Thank You All for your valuable advice, i do very much appreciate your thoughts.

I have ordered the Pentax 12-24 ED AL and AF360.

I went with the 12-24 for a couple of reasons, mainly quality , a little extra range and I love Pentax.
The only negative I could see was the arguable 10% angle I lose between 10 and 12mm, but if it it was ever a issue I can always stitch.

Of course it will be also a fine landscape lens and also quite handy for street shooting.

Thanks again and I look forward to posting some shots from this combination, hopefully they arrive by end of next week, B&H say 3-5 days.

Rodney
__________________

My Flickr Photos

Pentax K-5 K20D K100D
Pentax DA 55-300mm 4-5.8 ED / Pentax M 200mm F4 / Pentax Tak K 135mm 2.5 / Pentax M 100mm F4 Macro / Tamron SP AF90mm 2.8 Di Macro / Pentax M 1.7 50mm / Pentax M 2.8 28mm
Rodney9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2011, 9:50 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

You'll enjoy the lens, it's very nice, is it really cheaper for you to order from B&H? Make sure you post some sample real estate shots.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2011, 10:04 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Rodney9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Yeronga, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 3,518
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
You'll enjoy the lens, it's very nice, is it really cheaper for you to order from B&H? Make sure you post some sample real estate shots.

Lens Price Range: $904.00 to $1,249.00 at 8 Australian stores
B&H price $US700 + $US66 Delivery

Flash Price Range: $315.97 to $485.00 at 15 Australian stores
B&H price $US221

With the power of the Aussie dollar to U.S., it is a good deal for me.
I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

Rodney
__________________

My Flickr Photos

Pentax K-5 K20D K100D
Pentax DA 55-300mm 4-5.8 ED / Pentax M 200mm F4 / Pentax Tak K 135mm 2.5 / Pentax M 100mm F4 Macro / Tamron SP AF90mm 2.8 Di Macro / Pentax M 1.7 50mm / Pentax M 2.8 28mm

Last edited by Rodney9; Apr 2, 2011 at 10:11 PM.
Rodney9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2011, 10:49 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 1,381
Default

Hi Rodney,

I think that you will be very happy with the lens. I have one and between it and my 31, they are just about the only lenses I seem to use. Its distortion is very low. Along that train of thought take a look at this site....
Scroll down to two sections - Angle of View Calculator and Dimensional Field of View Calculator. Using the crop value of 1.5 and focal length of 10 and 12, yes the difference in the Angle of View is 10 degrees. However to really quantify that, turn it into linear units of measure with the Dimensional Calculator. At 10 feet to the subject the difference between 10 and 12mm turns out to be 24' and 20' or a 20% difference. The sensor size is going to remain constant, so the same pixels are going to have to represent 20% more area - or an additional 4 linear feet of the scene. Yes - the Sigma is wider, and you can squeeze in more, but at what cost to sharpness and the overall distortion of the light especially at the edges that must be bent into the sensor so as to be recorded. There is a point of diminishing returns. Close in, you want to accurately represent the scene of the room. In landscapes, you can get away with a wider angle of view, since the vast majority of the scene that you are shooting is effectively at infinity. So in interior or close in shorts, the sharpness and clarity of the information recorded by the individual pixels is what you are after, in my opinion.

The 12-24 does give up a bit in terms of angle of view, however that is traded in order to retain its sharpness and low distortion in what the sensor records. So in terms of accuracy and image quality of the picture, I think that you will be very happy with the results.

I have been comparing two lenses, my 31 Ltd and a 28 that I had the mount converted (a 20 year old Contax Carl Zeiss). The difference in the amount of information each pixel has and the difference in both angle of view and the linear scene recorded is really large. Much larger than what I had expected. This is only going to be amplified in your case between the 10mm and 12mm ends. I think you made the right choice. I find my 12-24 to be extremely sharp, even on night shots.

Enjoy the lens and I think it will be the cornerstone of your business.


Last edited by interested_observer; Apr 2, 2011 at 11:01 PM.
interested_observer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2011, 7:11 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 54
Default

+1 on D12-24 as a good choice.

I've done a little of this work myself for hire. When I first started doing it I used a DA 16-45mm at 16mm to good effect. Nice lens, had a good copy. I later got a Sigma 10-20mm and found the distortion at 10mm to be too much, so I'd back it off to about 12mm and above. While I don't have the DA 12-24mm, I think that is how I'd go if this was a regular part of my business. 12mm was quite adequate, especially after learning to do cramped quarters with 16mm.

That said, I see you are considering flash. I do not want to dissuade you too much here and I think this is an important part of your kit. Still... may I make a suggestion that you also get a tripod and try to take photos in natural light with longer exposures wherever possible (read: most situations)? You'll need to be quite aware of and set WB a lot, but to my sensibility it is well worth it.

Even a little tastefully done HDR where it is warranted is quite useful and looks better in interiors generally than does flash.

With interiors there is often little you can do that is all that compelling unless the real estate is very, very high end. What you ** can ** do is develop a style and finish that looks a little different, more natural, and thereby distinguish yourself from the crowd.

Regards and best wishes on this venture. I think the 12-24mm is a great choice!

Seaain
seaain.gray is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:21 PM.