Choosing a lens for Interior Photoshoots

When shooting interiors, you need two types of pictures – stock pictures that show the space from different perspectives and some close-ups of objects for creative appeal, the former dominating the set. So for all purposes, you can leave your telephoto behemoths at home when on an interior photoshoot.

Go wide:

As logic would dictate, wide-angle lenses are the go-to lenses for interiors. Their field of view (FOV) is greater, hence they can help capture as much of your space as possible. The problem with interiors is – you might have very little space to work with, so you might find yourself pinned into a corner to increase your FOV and you might still not get enough in the frame.

To counter this, we use Canon’s EF 16-35mm f/2.8L. At the wide-angle end, it is wide enough to give you some room and does not produce noticeable distortions. The aperture of f/2.8 also brightens up the indoor space, since light is always a problem in this kind of a photoshoot. The zoom available on this lens also adds to the flexibility when composing a frame. The lens comes up to nearly Rs 1 lakh.

canon 16-35

Tilt and shift:

Tilt-shift lenses are dream additions to the kit of any professional architecture photographer. In a nutshell, they allow one to adjust the composition and FOV without tilting the camera. The tilt-shift functions help control perspective and correct convergence of lines in the frame. The lens to go for in this category, according to us, would be the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift Lens. Apart from the ability to tilt and shift, it reproduces remarkable hue and contrast. Manual focusing can feel alien at first to someone used to the beeping of a homing auto-focus beacon, but a couple of shoots later, it starts growing on you. And sharpness is usually better in pictures where you don’t leave the focusing to the camera’s artificial intelligence.

The tilt range on this lens is +/- 8.5º and shift spectrum is +/- 12mm. But these features come at a cost – this premium lens can set you back by at least USD 1,900, or Rs. 1,20,000.

canon tilt shift

Your prime partner:

Prime lenses, in other words, fixed focal length lenses have their own benefits. And while they can’t work for all the pictures you need to click in a photoshoot, they certainly add some creative and beautiful images to the set. One clear advantage of a prime lens is a bigger aperture – f/2.8 or higher. This amplifies the light in your frame- which can be very helpful while shooting closed spaces. In case your tripod buckles, a bigger aperture size can even enable you to shoot hand-held. However, we wouldn’t recommend the technique for interiors, since the level of the tripod is as essential a factor as its stability. They also give wonderful results in terms of linear distortion, which means the straight lines in your scene will remain straight.

A tried and tested lens in the category is the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM. Get close to the finer details with this one. Its optical quality is one of the best around in the category. An aperture of F/1.4 obviously adds a lot more flexibility in terms of light, and it comes at a relatively cheap price of nearly Rs 23,000-25,000. It has an even cheaper cousin – the Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 II, which can cost as little as Rs 7,000.