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Is 16-35f2.8L good for my real estate photos? Inside homes and landscape


Is that Boston?  Bob from Boston?

"It's always nice to find such a photogenic cloud formation."

There is always Photoshop.  And I will never tell?  Did he or didn't he? Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

@ebiggs1 wrote:

Is that Boston?  Bob from Boston?


Cambridge. Home of Harvard and MIT. Right across the river from Boston. I work for the City of Cambridge as a computer system administrator and sometime photographer.


The City Hall was a gift from a rich Californian, Frederick H. Rindge, who had grown up in Cambridge. Built in 1892, it has been beautifully maintained and is a prized landmark. (Boston's City Hall, built in - and with the architecture of - the 1960s, has come to be regarded as one of the ugliest public buildings in the Western Hemisphere.)


"It's always nice to find such a photogenic cloud formation."

There is always Photoshop.  And I will never tell?  Did he or didn't he? Smiley Happy


Nonsense. I might be persuaded to believe that you used a gradient ND filter on that picture, but I don't think you Photoshopped in those clouds. They look genuine to me.  Smiley Wink


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Bob from Boston,


OK, I have never been to Boston or even Massachusetts (sp).  New York is as as far east I have been and that was for work.




All I can say, Bob from Boston, is don't bet your life on it.  Smiley Wink

Not giving up any indications on that photo in any manner or form but I routinly take snaps of clouds when I spy some beautiful formations.  If a person wanted to, again not saying one way or the other, it is best to replace the enitre sky.  Not simply add clouds.


"And I will never tell?  Did he or didn't he?"

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


The 16-35 is a good indoor lens for real-estate.  The TS-E 17mm and TS-E 24mm would be even better, but those are special purpose lenes.


When a lens is pointed upward or downward (relative to the horizon) vertical structures in the image (doorways, windows, etc.) will pinch inward or outward.  That means doors take on a trapezoidal shape instead of a rectangular shape.  To keep that from happening, the lens needs to be "level" to the horizon line (to the floor of the room).  A tripod would REALLY help to let you get the shot framed while keeping the camera level so you don't get trapezoidal distortions.


When you shoot real-estate, you'll find a lot of these trapezoidal (keystone) distortions.  To minimize the problem, you'll want to  be mindful of the camera angle.  


But what happens when you find that the room looks better when shot from a certain position... with the camera off to one side... or a high angle or low angle, etc.?   But those angles create the distortions.  If you move the camera to a position where you don't get the distortions, it's no longer the room perspective that you want.   This is a problem that "tilt shift" lenses can solve.


The TS-E lenses (tilt-shift) are specialty lenses.  They have an aticulated lens that can shift along one axis and tilt along another axis, and each of those two axes can be rotated so it can do this in any direction you need.  This provides the ability to shift perspective and also alter the plane of focus.  The lenses are ideal for both architecture and landscape photography.  BUT they are manual focus only (no such thing as an auto-focus tilt-shift lens... from any manufacturer.)  This means the lenses can be used to make sure that verticals actually remain vertical.


These two shots were taken with the same camera, same lens, and same position (camera was on a tripod).  I am using the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L tilt-shift lens.  For the first image, the tilt and shift axis are all zero'd out (no tilt, no shift... in other words it's working like a 24mm prime lens with no funny-business going on.)  


Riverhouse (uncorrected).jpg


In the second shot, I adjust the "shift" axis to correct for the perspective distortion of the building.




Notice that in the first shot, the building appears to be "leaning" back.  In the second shot it appears upright.  That's what the perspective correction provides.  This can be done in Photoshop, but it requires an extra-wide shot (because you're going to lose a bit of the sides of the image after you perform a "keystone" correction and then crop the image back to a rectangular shape.    (BTW, the brain expects some perspective narrowing as distances get farther.  If the building is made to be perfectly parallel top to bottom, the brain may perceive an optical illusion that it seems to get "wider" and not remain parallel.  So I'll use the grid-lines in the camera to dial in a "perfect" parallel correction.... and then back off the correction just a tiny bit to keep the brain happy.  That means the image is technically just a tiny bit narrower at the top then at the bottom.)


The "tilt" axis allows you to alter the plane of focus based on something called the Scheimphlug Principle.    It's ideal for landscape because the plane of focus can be laid into the plane of the landscape itself.


Again... tilt-shift lenses take a bit of learning (especially the "tilt" axis.)  They can be VERY frustrating until you learn to use them because they aren't going to help you get the shot... you just have to take the time, do the reading, do lots of practice, etc.  I actually took the time to learn the math, so that I could physically measure the distances and angles and determine the ideal tilt-angle, then tested the lens to see if my math was right (it was).  I don't know any photographers who get out measuring tapes and calculators when using the lens, but it helped it "click" for me so that I finally understood what the lens was doing.


It'll be easier to learn with a nice wide-angle lens and the 16-35mm is an excelleng choice for most real-estate and landscape needs.  I only mention the tilt-shift because you'll quickly notice the perspective distortion issue and will be wondering how other photographers solve that problem (and don't forget it can also be solved via Photoshop.)


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da


Which 16-35/2.8L? Original or II? Most users of both report a substantial difference.


If you are going to buy a 16-35mm lens, new, the EF 16-35/4L IS is probably the better choice, as real estate is not shot at f/2.8, and it is less expensive than the 16-28/2.8L II. Most users, with prior experience with either f/2.8 version, report that the 16-35/4L IS is optically better. Of course, some need f/2.8 for low-light with moving subjects.


If you aleady have the 16-35/2.8L II, then you have a good lens, so there may be no reason to change.


The above is based upon my research, as I consider a 16-35mm lens purchase. I am still using an EF-S 10-22mm, which on a 7D, "sees" the same angle-of-view as 16-35mm on your 6D. The "real estate" I shoot is crime scenes, but the same principles apply, except that I am not trying to make something seem more spacious than it really is, so I must mostly show "normal" angles-of-view.


As for the new EF 11-24/4L, it is already being delivered. One sat, briefly available, in the display case at Houston Camera Exchange, and yes, I was very tempted to deploy my credit card! (A sense of fiscal responsibility managed to win; I will wait, and save.)

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