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Shooting Buildings With Canon Camera
Need One Lens Both Zoom And Wide Angle

by Architectural Historian

Versatile Wide to Telephoto Canon Lens<br>For Archtectural Photography

Versatile Wide to Telephoto Canon Lens
For Archtectural Photography

I am an architectural historian who has always used Canon's until my latest Panasonic Lumix which I detest. Going to back to the familiar Canon interface I am looking for a camera with one lens that does it all (ha ha). I don't care about shooting video or sports. But I do want to be able to zoom in on cornices in imperfect light as well as capture wide angles when I'm backed up against a narrow medieval street. Price is not the issue - convenience of carrying only one thing is. What's the best I can do?


Thanks for asking about getting a single Canon lens/camera combination that will enable you to shoot both wide and zoomed-in detail shots of architectural subjects for historical use.

Before I give you the quick answer, it's important to share a few important factors that will affect what's the best solution to your question.

How much distortion you're willing to accept, particularly at super wide-angle views.
If you're willing to do any editing after you photograph your architectural subjects.
Whether you would consider a Canon mirrorless camera or would prefer to stick with a DSLR.
How much image quality you really need.
If you have any limits in your budget.
How wide of a lens will serve your purpose.

Best single Canon Lens For Architectural Photography

The EF-S 18-200mm lens may be your answer. The zoom range is over 10X giving you both wide and telephoto capabilities. It is not a Canon "L" lens, but you may not need that level of image quality.

It is for Canon APS-C sized sensor cameras and that will save you some weight and space over getting a full frame Canon with bigger camera body and bigger lenses needed. For comparison the angle of view is equivalent to a 29-320mm lens on a full frame (35mm) camera.

The widest angle of view is wide, but not super wide, so it really depends on how wide you need. Most serious architecture photography is done with wider (17mm).

The longest focal length of 200mm on the other end of its zoom should be plenty of magnifications for your subjects.

Feel free to contact me privately through my One on One Camera Advisor Form

I hope this helps,

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Need One Lens Both Zoom And Wide Angle

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Architectural History
by: Architectural Historian

More details here. I am a professor of architectural history and so the vast majority of the slides I shoot are for teaching purposes in the classroom. This means they don’t have to be publication or award worthy. But, for example, I do need to pull in dome mosaics (dim interior or day lit exterior), or Maya temple tops, or gargoyles, as well as get a full shot of a facade on a narrow medieval street. I try to use my own slides for teaching and so that influences my international and national travels. I end up shooting literally thousands of images per trip. And while I do discard the rejects, I do not take the time to do any post-shoot editing. I recognize and accept distortion at super wide-angle views. I limit the times I shoot super wide angle, but I do use it. (My last trip I used my Iphone for the wide angles, and yes they are wonky when doing interiors). Price is not the object, but convenience is - I no longer am willing to carry and switch out lenses. Battery life is very important (My worst experience is taking the Lumix on a remote shoot - helicoptered in, there for three days, all my batteries died the first day and I didn’t bring a second camera. I had to get very Zen about just being in the moment!) Will to do mirrorless or DSLR. Thank you!

Architectural Historian, Consider one of "Canon's Bridge cameras." Your desirable super wide to super telephoto zoom is huge. For instance, the PowerShot SX60 HS has a gigantic 65X optical zoom lens equivalent to 21-1365mm. The image quality should be plenty adequate for teaching presentations. The low light performance isn't great, but again probably okay for your intended use. Ultimately, a tripod or using flash would be best image quality when shooting in dark situations.

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Author Bruce Lovelace
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Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

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