Next lens after 18-55mm kit lens

What is the next best lesns to buy after 18-55mm kit for a beginner?


  • I have just picked up this camera It still has the 18-55 kit for beginners I want to do mostly indoor shot of rooms for real estate posting Any suggestions / hints on how to get the best shots
  • Individual preferences here. Ordinarily I would suggest something like the 55-200 as a second lens to go along with the shorter kit lens. That or the 55-300 gives you a good full range.

    For real estate interiors you might look at wider angles. Unfortunately Nikon's latest bargain wide angle 10-20 zoom has a focus system that will not work at all on a D3100, but some third party lenses exist.

    The 18-55 lens, though not very fancy or sturdily made, is optically decent, and I would not worry too much about replacing it except to go beyond its initial range.
  • It might not be exactly what you're looking for, but I have to say, the NIKON 18-300 is my absolute favorite. I use it for EVERYTHING. It's on the larger side, but the results are amazing.
  • As an all around traveling lens, the 18-300 has many virtues, but I'm not sure that it helps much in the real estate and interior realm, since it still goes only to 18 mm on the wide end.

    Interiors especially will always present a challenge, because any view wide enough to show the whole space is likely also to show perspective distortion. To keep the distortion minimal, you need to try to keep the shot level, and not pointed up or down, even if it results in wasted space that you crop out later.

    When shooting exteriors, if you cannot position yourself level, try to leave a generous margin along the sides for cropping, so that you can correct perspective in post-processing. When you do this, the edges will be significantly cropped, so do not fill the frame with your subject. The more perspective you want to eliminate, the more cropping will occur.

    If you cannot manage a wider lens, consider stitching. There are some decent programs afoot that can stitch together images, including a free one from Microsoft, called ICE. In this one, you must use JPG images, but it can handle any size and number of them, both horizontally and vertically. If you do it right you can achieve an absolutely huge stitched image. If you overlap your images by about 30 percent, you will get a nice stitch. Various distortions occur, especially when doing it freehand, but with practice you can get quite a nice panorama, especially if you don't overdo it. For example, you can get quite a decent width with three shots, amounting to about double the original width. Freehand pans tend to come out with uneven top and bottom edges, so if you are doing a freehand pan, make sure there's some wasted space that can be cropped out. It works well to shoot vertically and let the program crop. Try to keep your horizons level throughout.

    Panoramas are not necessarily the best way to get where you're going, but with practice they can stand in for a wide angle you don't have. In addition, a stitched shot is one way in which you can achieve the effect of a wide angle viewpoint with the shallow depth of field of a longer lens.
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