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Thread: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

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    How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    I recently purchased a D5100 and so i can try and take professional interior photos. I currently have the std 18mm to 55mm lens. I am thinking of buying the 8mm-16mm lens, but wil that help me achieve the results i need?

    I have some professional estate agent photos below, next to those you can see photos i took with the D5100 using the standard lens, any idea when i can do to bring the photos up to par with the professional photos - including lighting etc?

    Bedroom.jpgkitchen.jpgDSC_0056.jpgLounge.jpgDSC_0047.jpg
    Last edited by Fais; 14th January 2012 at 05:27 PM. Reason: order of pics

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    It looks like your white balance needs to be adjusted to get rid of the colour tint you're seeing. You also probably want to do a little post processing need to be done to correct the angle and distortion on your photos.

    The wider lens will help you get more of the room in , but it doesn't look like the real estate agent photos are taken with anything that's much wider than what you're currently using. What is it you feel you're not achieving with your current photos? Given your taking photos of static objects and rooms have you considered using a tripod to help with the low light situations?

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    Photon Hacker's Avatar
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    At a glance I think the main difference is perspective and white balance. Vertical lines should be kept vertical. You can ensure that by pointing the camera horizontally (No vertical tilt). If you can't get the right perspective that way, be sure to get a wide enough FoV, otherwise when you adjust it in software you will get either cropped edges or an incomplete image. Replace the light bulbs with a colder color one temporarily (Bluer as in higher black body-equivalent (Which is really only approximate) temperature).

    I got this with a quick perspective and white balance adjust in The GIMP
    How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    Hi Fais, (is that your name?)

    I agree with Malcolm and Mario's analysis; a slightly wider lens, attention to verticals when shooting and white balance.

    You won't need an 8 - 16mm, something more like 10 or 12 to 24mm will be far more useful.

    Be careful, with a D5100 (which has no internal focus motor), which lens you buy if you want Auto Focus to work though; if Nikon, you'll need an "AF-S" one and third party, one that says it is USM or HSM or similar.

    With any wide angle and ultra wide angle lens, there will be distortions that need correcting, so you will want a 'second level' PP program like CS5, or something else that can correct these with lens profiles.

    Just to re-iterate, the biggest improvement will come from you, the photographer, having more skill though, so make the most of what you have before spending on a lens.

    You did a good job with presenting this for our review though, so I don't doubt you'll achieve it.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

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    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    White balance is definitely an issue.The mixed lighting (tungsten and flash) will be hard to balance in post.
    Maybe look for the spiral light bulbs that say "Daylight".I think they are fairly common now.
    Another way to overcome the problem is to gel your flash to match the tungsten lighting.

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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    I have found using a tripod really helps, if going wide I use a Sigma 10-20mm, make sure camera is level (a biggie). I do not shoot at eye level, but at about 5 feet, remember you are trying to appeal to women, so shoot from their eye level, us guys we do not really care about how it looks we are more, ya the wide screen will go there. I also shoot from a corner or in a door way that enters the room to give a view as if I had walked into the room. Go luck.

    Allan

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    John C's Avatar
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    Take a look at a wider range of professional real estate photos for examples. Some are much better than others. The fellow who runs this blog occasionally posts some good real estate photos and some pointers. From my observations, the real challenge is getting the lighting right. Most rooms seem to warrant multiple flashes.

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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    In my opinion, if you can invest about US$ 600 in one lens, go for the ultra-wide angle Sigma 8-16mm. This lens has an internal HSM motor so its fully supported by the D5100, including of course autofocusing. I use mine all the time on my wife's D5000 body.

    This lens will give you an amazingly wide-angle equivalent to 12mm focal length on a full frame sensor. For interior photographs, when used properly, it will just give so much better results than any normal wide lens.

  9. #9
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    Fais, if you are looking to really improve your interior images, especially for
    real estate work, then I would suggest you start with Scott Hargis's book
    called "The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors":

    http://photographyforrealestate.net/pfrestore/

    Scott is pretty much the #1 "go to" guy when it comes to interior photographs.
    Before I started shooting real estate, I read his book through about 3 times, and
    practiced shooting on every room in our house (many times..), and what I learned
    from Scott's book made a huge difference in the quality of my images.

    I shoot a D90, and use the 18-105mm kit lens for 90% of my interior shots, and rarely
    do I feel a need to go much wider. The images you posted had some distortion, and
    going wider may only cause even more distortion. I've found that the best way to get
    good vertical/horizontal alignment when shooting into a corner or multi-angled room,
    is to use the viewfinder grid, and align the image making sure that the center-line of the
    image is sharply lined up on a straight vertical, as that allows equal balance to both sides.

    You might also look into the Flickr group "Photography for Real Estate", as they have
    a substantial group pool of images, and you can see/read how some of the better
    interior and architecture photographers are getting the results they are.

    Stay with it, read everything you can find on real estate and interior photography,
    and practice, process those pics, then practice some more, process those and
    repeat this over and over. Look at your images and look for the things you don't
    like, figure out how to make the correction and then go shoot it again. Use that
    nice screen to chimp your pics, and pay special attention to the Histogram, as
    that is a great tool in making needed exposure adjustments in order to get it
    "just right".

    Mike

  10. #10
    Hasselbox's Avatar
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    I use the Nikor 10-24 mm. It has a strong deformation, but with the right setting in the camera, there is no problem.
    On the widest setting, not recomendable for portraits.

  11. #11
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    A wider lens will allow more in the photo but that's not all there is to interior photography. Lighting and furniture rearrangement are of even more importance. Here is a link to someone who really does it well. Mouse over the images to see the "before" and "after". Very instructive.

    http://www.ashleymorrison.com/behind-01.htm

  12. #12

    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    First...you need a tripod, you want to set the camera slightly higher than waste level with a slight downward aim, you will also need a better flash than the built in flash...something ranging from the nikon speedlight 700-910...also as far as lenses go, a lense starting @ 10 or 11mm, you won't want anything wider cause it will look weird, check out the tokina, either the 11-16 or the 12-24 is more than sufficient...let me know if you have other questions...check this video out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aGwNlwaTL0&

  13. #13
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: How to take professional interior shots using D5100, which lens should i buy?

    You might well be better served by investing in suitable lighting; learning how to use it; and a good PP programme to correct minor barrel and keystone distortions – use the 18 to 55 at about 20mm and at around F/7 and stitch two shots together.

    WW

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