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Any Advice on a Wide Angle Lens?

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4A Vardagsrum

5 Vardagsrum 1

Since you guys always give the best advice I’m hoping you can help me out. Again.

See these realtor’s photos of our living room from a year ago? I would love to do exact befores and afters much like I did of our old house here, here and here. The problem is that the photographer shot these with a wide angle lens and there’s no way I can replicate that with what I currently have lens wise.

Any advice on an affordable wide angle lens for a Canon DSLR? Affordable kind of being the operative word.

Thank you!


  • Messy says:

    I don’t know anything about cameras and such. But if it’s only for the before-and-afters, maybe you could just photoshop them into wide angle…?

  • The thing is I don’t get the area closest to me in the shot at all with the lenses I have so there’s nothing to photoshop :).

  • Jo says:

    Back in the UK I was an estate agent and I used what we called a ‘fish eye’ lens on our cameras which was fabulous.
    Sadly I can’t remember the brand BUT.. do be careful of wide angle lenses Benita because they fiddled with ours, bought new, supposedly better ones and they were dreadful. On top of which I see terrible distorted photos on property sites all the time, that have obviously been taken with a certain type of lens.
    Can you not just get the same one as you estate agent ?? or is it a horribly expensive one ?
    Jo xx

  • Pauline says:

    I’m a nikon girl but i think you have to go for a 18mm. A zoom or maybe a prime lens and try it second hand. And if you only need it for occasionally interior shots maybe someone around can lend it to you?
    I know the problem; shouting only with 50mm.
    Bye, Pauline

  • Sevi says:

    Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6
    Though it distorts the objects which are closer to the right and left edges of the photo. This is something I like but if you do not prefer it, you might have to go for a more expensive lens or the one Tokina has, 12-24mm I guess.
    I actually wanted to buy that Sigma for myself as well but I couldn’t afford it before going to Rome so I might wait for another trip I think :/

  • I didn’t think of that, I should call them and ask but I bet it’s expensive because the estate agents don’t shoot themselves but use pro photographers with pro equipment…

  • I will definitely check second hand and I’ve considered renting one for a weekend but that turned out quite expensive and I’d have to do it all at once. I was hoping I could do it little by little when I have them time.

  • Sigma 10-20mm could be distorting the objects that are closer to the lens, I’m not sure how it works… But this lens was recommended by a friend, he also owns a few lenses, cares about his pocket but also takes great shots as well.. for his work

  • Thank you! I’ll look into those!

  • ami says:

    Hi Benita 🙂 I’d recommend the 28mm 1.8 as far as a wide angle lens. If you buy it new it’s about 500 USD so not exactly cheap, but often you can rent them for the weekend for much much less (here for the weekend they often only charge the one day rate). Not sure if you have rental shops there though. I have the 28mm because itcame in handy when I shot weddings in tight spaces but mostly do portrait work now so I stick with the 85mm and 50mm. If you ever need sample shots as examples let me know and I’d be happy to help!

  • I’ve looked in to renting but it’s quite expensive over here and I don’t have a rental place nearby so it would be a bit complicated. I’ll look into that lens you’re suggesting, thank you!

  • stefanie says:

    I think you what you need is at least 18mm. I did several semi-professional shoots of interior and always used my 18-70 Nikon lens. I guess if you squeeze yourself in the corner, use a tripod, then you could take such pictures as you posted with that 18 mm lens. But I sometimes wish I had a more wide angle lens and I am looking myself for a cheap alternative too (just for Nikon). I think fish eye (which is like 8-10 or so?!) is too much, but if you get something like 10-20 or 12-24 that would definitely work.
    Love your blog 🙂

  • Jo says:

    Well you never know.. there might be a market in second hand pro equipment.. and the photographer will know. Or he might have some advice on a good quality but well priced new lens.
    Good luck
    Jo xx

  • I’ve had the Sigma 10-20mm for a while now and although it does distort a little, nothing you can’t work on in Photoshop. I still haven’t done much indoor shooting with mine – no inspiration for such so I can’t comment much on how it performs for shoots like these in general. I’d say it’s pretty good, and definitely fits a lot on 🙂 I definitely recommend something like that for shoots like this, and can’t wait to see the results!

  • Marta says:

    Hi Benita! My boyfriend uses a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 wideangle lens on his Canon DSLR, he is very happy with it because he uses it for architecture interiors and he gets very very little distortion on the edges. I can’t remeber the price but he was very happy with the price/quality relation.
    I would avoid fisheye lens for the kind of pictures you need, we bought it recently and it’s more for playing and making strange pictures 🙂

  • Jaimie says:

    hi benita, i also use the sigma 10-20 mm f/4-5.6 on a canon 20d. i think i paid around $400 for it five years ago. i use this lens all the time, especially for landscapes. like a previous poster mentioned, there is a little bit of distortion, depending how close the objects are to the bottom corners, but it’s not too bad. at this price for a wide angle, i can’t complain. i’ve been quite happy with it.

  • Emily M says:

    I use the Tokina 12-24mm f/4 for architectural interiors and I’ve been very happy with it although it is not really pro quality – there is some distortion and chromatic aberration (color fringing) both of which can be fixed in Photoshop. I love it for landscapes too. It was around $500 new, 5 years ago. They have since come out with a newer model. If price is an issue I would definitely consider a used copy. Mine has stood up to all kinds of abuse with no sign of failure.
    The kit lens that comes with Canon DSLRs is 18mm at the wide end, which is fairly wide… and that lens is much more affordable.

  • Naomi says:

    Benita, check out the second hand market, you can pick up good lenses much more affordably. There are quite a few second hand lenses for sale on Ebay at any one time so I’m sure you will find one of the lenses recommended by others here.

  • Nini Tjäder says:

    Photoshop CS6, Adaptive Wide Angle features and panoramas. Test the public beta which is presently available for free download.

  • Pat Redmond says:

    My wife is an avid fan, and suggested I check out this post. The first thing I would suggest is contacting a local pro and asking them to do it for you in return for a mention in a post – with your readership they should consider it!
    I’m not sure what lenses you currently have, but you will often find that non-DSLR camera are wider than standard DSLR lenses. Something to consider – maybe you can just use a P&S which goes down to 12mm. GX200 is a decent example, if you’re looking.
    The other thing I would consider is photo-stitching, for example
    You can take a bunch of images, and merge them together. The photos don’t have to be beside each other – they can be above and below, so you can get the floor near your feet.
    If you need a hand with stitching, let me know. I would be happy for you to dropbox me the raw files, and I will send them back to you stitched together.

  • nicolezh says:

    Hi Benita,
    I had a quick chat with my partner who is into photography and also uses the Tokina 11-16mm. He recommends some reading in the interwebs:
    There is a reliable test that compares several wide angle leses by someone who is a pro tester and also into interior photography:
    This test recommends the sigma 10-20 for quality-price relation, althought its light gathering capability is not the best.
    If you look for a lens with a decent light gathering capability (low minimum F-Stop) Sigma 8-16mm would also be an option (it is more expensive than the others). There is also a test of Canon users debating the different lenses on Canon:
    If you need more tests, let me know, we are happy to support you!

  • Liz says:

    Kolla på pantaffärerna också. Där brukar det finnas mycket fotogrejor!

  • elisa says:

    well, you’ve had lots of wonderful replies! we just got a Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM for just this reason, shooting rooms is so difficult otherwise. have a good search, there are good prices to be found. x

  • Hmmm, I have the kit lens. Maybe I should try it out once more for these shots… Thanks!

  • I’ll be sure to check out Ebay!

  • Thank you so much for the offer and tips!

  • Det har jag inte tänkt på! Bra idé!

  • Thank you all so, so much for all the advice so far! What on earth would I do without you?!

  • Steph says:

    I have the Tamron 17-55mm for my Canon 40D and just adore that lens! It’s not quite as super-sharp as my Canon 1.4 50mm but it’s not bad at all – and it’s definitely affordable.
    Good luck!

  • Not sure if you know this, but you can rent really nice wide angle lenses fairly cheaply. That way, you could photograph your rooms and in the process see if you want to invest in one. Nicole at Making It Lovely did that for her son’s nursery, I don’t remember the company she used.

  • Malin says:

    Kan det inte finnas någon fotoklubb eller community där man kunde få låna objektivet över en helg? Vi gjorde precis det utan att betala för att ta säljbilder av lägenheten. Det är en hobbyfotograf community på nätet där man visar bilder för varandra och träffas och fikar och så. Kanske kunde räcka med att nämna hobbyfotografen här på bloggen menar jag som någon sa om det nu finns något liknande i Sverige 😉

  • cammie says:

    Photojojo sells a few SLR lens adapters, including a wide-angle/macro version. I have no idea how well it actually works, but they do show a few with and without comparisons. It is significantly cheaper than buying an actual lens. I’m not sure if they ship internationally, but I am sure you could find a website that does. Or feel free to e-mail customer service, they are very nice and would probably help you find someone who carries it who does ship to Sweden.

  • That sounds awesome! Must check out! I have a similar macro lens already that works really well so this might be the affordable option I’ve been looking for.

  • Melissa says:

    What about a fish-eye filter? I have one that was only 10 USD and it’s really fun. Might be a little more distorted than you’re looking for but it might help.

  • Jakob says:

    As a real estate photographer, Canon EF-S 10-22mm is the one to get, our two photographers shoot up to 8 homes a day with this lens. Worth every penny.

  • Last year, I rented this lens for a while and I absolutely loved it: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM. The whole world looked so much bigger!

  • Hope says:

    Benita, I’m with Melissa. I also purchased a 10 USD ‘fish eye’ attachment and have played with it to see if I want to spend more money on a macro lens later. You can find them on Amazon. It’s worth a try for the first step.

  • Sophia says:

    Most of the suggestions above seem quite adequate and I would only like to add that with digital SLR’s, unless they are 5d and up, because of the smaller sensor dimensions you get less wide angle range than the actual reading on the lens. For instance the 35mm works alomost like a 50mm. That’s why you probably can’t work with the ones from your kit. So, before you buy something else make sure you know what the “real range” is for your camera.

  • Messy says:

    I agree some of those realtor photos look horrible… But these look good.

  • Nikole says:

    Just rent! Never invest a ton of money into a lens until you’ve rented it and had a chance to know if it is the right lens for you. There are tons of lens rental sites online so hit up Google!

  • Susan says:

    If you do a search on with your camera model and “wide angle lens” it turns up all kind of options, some seem so cheap to be bordering gimmicky attachments but there are some under $20 with great reviews. Good luck 🙂

  • Karen says:

    This may be showing my ignorance about what is available in Sweden, but if you or a friend has an iPhone, there are wide angles lenses available for the phones at a very reasonable price. The quality may not be the best, but there’s always PhotoShop and iPhoto to spruce it up! This is if you don’t want to make a huge investment and want to use it just for special shots. Please fill me in (anyone) if I am not correct about this. Thanks!

  • I’m sure they’re available online over here but I’m not a great fan of taking photos with my iPhone. I do some days for my 365 project but other than that I prefer my dslr 🙂

  • Again, thank you all so much for the advice and tips! I’ll check it all out and will let you know what I get for sure!

  • Linda27 says:

    Hi Benita, Sophia above mentioned this and it is really important! First you have to find out the crop factor of your camera. All lenses are still described as if working with a full frame sensor, but most of the current amateur DSLR’s have a much smaller chip than the old 35 mm film, which means that these old lens designations are not what you get when you have a digital DSLR.
    Average crop factor for amateur DSLR is 1.5 which means that e.g. an 18 mm lens (like your kit lens) is actually a 37 mm lens, so not a really wide angle.
    Even if it is expensive, maybe it would be wise to rent before you buy in order to get the effect you want!

  • Gabor Berger says:

    I would use the tilt-shift lens Canon ts-e 17 mm or do the corrections in postproduction, Photoshop.

  • Maura says:

    I don’t know anything about cameras, but yay! I’m excited for the photos! Good luck with your lens.

  • ayse says:

    I remember that back home in Istanbul, my sister actually bought a second hand lens that a pro-photographer used and exchanged it for a newer version in the store. I’m not sure what the deal would be in Stockholm, but worth checking it out…

  • Carly says:

    Hi Benita! I have the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and love it. It’s not cheap but such a great lens. They call it the hidden “L” len for crop cameras. What’s great about it is that it’s made for crop cameras so it will give you those true wide angle settings. It’s totally worth investigating. You could probably even rent one to try it out.

  • Mira Crisp says:

    I was going to suggest a fish eye filter too. I bought mine for $39 a few years ago and I still like to use it. It will give you a wide angle with a bit of blur around edges but it should serve the purpose. Something like this Opteka .35x HD² Super Wide Angle Panoramic Macro Fisheye Lens for Canon EOS / EF

  • Michelle says:

    I have no lens suggestions. But if you are impatient, just take a series of shots frolm left to right, overlapping, then layer them in your photo editing program and merge and flatten. That’s what I do with my point and shoot photos, using PhotoShop.

  • Kaitlyn says:

    I know has a wide angle lens adapter that fits on your current lens. Might be worth a try! A whole lot cheaper then a new lens.

  • Kristianna says:

    I know a couple of people who’ve found some great used lenses on Craigslist — I know Sweden has its version — often even professionals will sell lenses they’re offloading b/c of platform changes, or they simply got a new one. Could be well worth the looksee to see if a short trip near your home would result in a good find.