Best Lens for Architectural Photography Nikon 2021

(Last Updated On: November 8, 2021)

Lenses for architectural photography seem to have a special magic, particularly with Nikon cameras. The wide-angle perspective probably makes things appear entirely different from what we are used to from our human eyes or “normal” cameras.

In every genre of photography, equipment matters, and this is also true for architectural photography. If you want to capture an entire structure or room in the frame or choose a dramatic composition, then put a wide-angle lens in your bag. However, remember that sometimes even such a lens may not capture a massive structure or a sense of place – this is where the ability to create panoramic shots comes in handy.

On the other hand, you do not have to show everything but focus only on the most exciting details. Bring a zoom Nikon lens with you for more information to help convey architectural features richly and excitingly. In addition, a telephoto lens comes in handy for shooting from a distance and will make building walls and lines smoother (with less distortion). Good composition contributes to interesting architectural photographs. While distortion can add drama and a sense of artistry, backward tilted buildings and excessive distortion may not be very appealing. Always consider the angle and how you want to represent the object. We have compiled some of the best lens for architectural photography Nikon in the article. We suggest you have a look at them and explore more.

Photographers who specialize in architectural photography correct distortions in post-processing or buy tilt-shift lenses to avoid distortion in the first place. If you are starting and want to experiment with feeling dramatic, shoot from a lower or higher angle to maximize distortion. Remember that this effect can be interesting, but it is not recommended to make it too intense, as it can be distracting.

Move and try different angles – shoot bottom-up, get closer or further away, get down to the ground or, if possible, rise above the buildings, and see what makes your photos better. The main difficulty with architectural photography is that you cannot control the position and orientation of an object (especially when it comes to buildings).

One of the most interesting (and recommended) lighting options for buildings is side or frontal (front-to-side). This position of the light source provides sufficient illumination and can create interesting shadows on the façade of the building, which makes sense of three-dimensionality. So scout your location at different times and see how light and shade change your images’ look and feel.

In addition, be careful with solid backlighting when photographing buildings, as this can end up with a uniform black surface unless you plan to create a silhouette. Then, again, the time of day comes into play, and if the building has a backlight, it is added to the photo.

Alternatively, you can take photographs at night. Even bridges, sculptures, and windmills can be fascinating subjects for shooting in the dark. Again, pay attention to the colors and lighting of the structures, and use a tripod.

As mentioned, there is not much control over the large-scale lighting of an existing stately structure, so work with the available light. You can do this effectively if you take the time to determine which light is most attractive.

There are many lenses for architectural photography in the wide-angle range. Depending on the budget, there should be something for everyone for Nikon cameras.

Best Lens for Architectural Photography Nikon (Comparison)

NameDimensionsWeight 
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm3.43 x 3.27 x 3.27 inches1.01 Pounds

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Nikon G ED-IF AF-S DX VR3.82 x 3.03 x 3.03 inches1.23 Pounds

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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105m3.5 x 2.99 x 2.99 inches0.95 Pounds

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Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm

The Nikon 10-24mm comes with the widest angle of view for any of native Nikon DX classic (diagonal) lens, with an oblique angle of view at the 10mm focal length position of 109 ° for architectural photography. It is compatible with Nikon APS-C format SLR cameras and has a built-in focus motor, i.e., it will work with all members of the DX line.

The lens fits nicely in hand. It has a plastic body, but of high quality. It is unlikely that you will feel any backlash or creaking – everything is assembled and fitted perfectly. A wide zoom ring is located on the front of the lens. For better control, it is additionally rubberized. The focal length scale is plotted unevenly, as with all Nikon zooms.

Slightly below the middle is the second ring, which is responsible for manual focusing. It rotates smoothly and predictably, and for ease of perception, you can find a different focusing scale under it. In addition, the focusing distance scale is indicated in two values   – feet and meters.

Visually, the lens looks like such a whopper. Although in reality, he is not. The vast front lens greatly facilitates it with a 77mm filter diameter. The lens would be significant if it significantly enlarged its trunk while zooming. Still, it practically does not do this – is the maximum length achieved at 24mm focal length, and it is not much more than the minimum, which is typical for a focal length of 14 mm. However, what is huge is the HB-23 hood. It increases the size of the lens. Nevertheless, oddly enough, wide. It practically does not get longer.

Moreover, it has a metal mount with an additional rubber seal. Therefore, you can safely change the optics a couple of times a day without worrying about the condition of the mount and the negative impact of dust and moisture on the lens. Only in reasonable quantities: Throwing it into the water or the dustbin for a vacuum cleaner is still not worth it. In automatic mode, focus works quickly and tenaciously. However, in places, he still stubbornly refused to focus. Here is “no” – and that is it.

The optical scheme of our hero consists of 14 elements in 9 groups. Of these, three elements are aspherical, and two are made of ED glass. A 7-blade diaphragm will not produce perfect bokeh, but this glass is not intended for such purposes.

ProsCons
Build qualityLack of a built-in vibration suppression system
Excellent sharpness across the entire frame
Low level of distortion at the widest angles

Conclusion:

It is intended primarily for photography of landscapes and architecture. Even at the widest angle, the level of barrel distortions is only 3.1%. At 14 mm focal length, it will become more challenging to see geometric distortions; their level drops to 0.5%. It is incredible since we can often see more distortion rates, for example, on whale lenses. Nevertheless, their focal length only starts from the 18 mm mark.

 

 

Nikon DX VR 2159 18-200mm

Nikon G ED-IF AF-S DX VR 2159

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f / 3.5-5.6G ED was a game-changer when it was released. It was marketed as an optional lens offered by the Nikon D300, and many people, including professionals architectural photographers, have bought the lens. A lens that allows people to go out and enjoy the ride without worrying about wearing more than one lens. These lenses are still perfect and sell for unused dollars.

The lens mount is made of high-quality plastic with a metal lens base like other consumer-grade lenses. It has a slightly textured surface that does not leave marks. To solve the problem with the old Nikon 18-200mm lens, an 18mm lens lock wrench is included to prevent the lens from stretching during transport or removing it from the camera bag.

Zooming in towards the larger end of the focal length greatly enlarges the lens. Despite the two movable inner tubes of the lens (two-chamber design), there is practically no vibration. Now there is no more very choppy processing and creepy zoom.

The 18-200mm is equipped with an AF-S (Silent Wave (Ultrasound)) motor and is fully compatible with all Nikon DX digital SLRs, including entry-level models without an engine. The autofocus action is nearly silent and fast enough for a super zoom. This function helps a lot to architectural photographers to keep their focus on the object.

In addition, the lens is equipped with the latest generation of optical stabilization. Nikon claims this could be the equivalent of 4 steps. The lens offers two VR functions: “normal” mode for most situations. Static scenes, subject monitoring, and shooting with a monopod, while the second mode is enabled to compensate for stronger vibrations (for example, shooting from a moving vehicle).

It has an internal focusing system; the 72mm filter thread does not twist during use, making this lens ideal with polarized and calibrated ND filters. Focus speeds are fast enough for a super zoom, and the thin manual focus ring offers good resistance, making fine adjustments easy.

Nikon Vibration Reduction II promises to provide manual shooting up to four times slower than would otherwise be possible without this technology. For example, manual shooting at 1/20 second at 200mm is possible if the system can intervene correctly and images are taken with care.

At 18mm, sharpness is already excellent in the center of the frame at full aperture, with good sharpness around the edges of the image. Downscaling the lens to f/8 will give you superb full-frame sharpness at this focal length. The color deviation is well controlled, especially for a lens with a wide focal length range. In the worst case, CA can cover a shadow area that is more than 0.75 pixels wide.

ProsCons
Metal lens baseZooming noise
Vibration Reduction
Internal focusing system

Conclusion:

The first Nikon lens in this line proved to be extremely popular, and this new version solves the problem of changing the zoom and expansion of the lens during transport. Also welcomed is the addition of Nikon’s latest VR II Vibration Reduction, which effectively eliminates handshakes.

 

 

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm

Nikon 18-105mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED Nikkor VR AF-S SWM DX is a conventional advanced stock zoom lens. It is a base for some cameras, and it is often called ‘the whale’. It now comes with virtually all entry to mid-range Nikon DX cameras, particularly for architectural photography.

The lens began to be produced back in 2008 and is still being made today. It has almost 6x zoom and is a versatile lens due to the most popular focal lengths. However, for some architectural photographers, this is a single lens. The lens is assembled in plastic housing. On the camera, it looks more solid than the whale Nikkor 18-55mm. The bayonet is also made of plastic. The zoom ring is located in the middle of the frame and is rubberized.

Closer to the camera, a narrow plastic focusing ring is present. There is an A/M switch on the left side of the lens to switch to manual focus mode. It is located next to the on/off control of the stabilizer. The lens is internally focused, i.e., when focusing, the length of the lens does not change. When zoomed to 105mm, the lens trunk extends decently by about 6cm.

Furthermore, the lens is equipped with a petal hood HB32. Which attaches with a bayonet mount, and when transporting the lens, it can be mounted with the reverse side. Finally, the lens has an image stabilizer, as evidenced by the VR logo. A stabilizer is a valuable thing, especially for novice amateur photographers. It smooths out handshakes at long exposures, helps to avoid shaking.

This optic has a second-generation “vibration reduction” image stabilizer that can compensate for 3.5 stops of shutter speed. In terms of shutter speeds, this means that you can shoot at shutter speeds 10-12 times slower than required by a lens without a stabilizer.

Additionally, the stabilizer will only suppress vibration in the direction perpendicular to the camera’s movement. Due to the Silent Wave Motor, it focuses quietly and belongs to the ‘ AF-S ‘ type lenses (with a built-in focus motor). Therefore, it will automatically focus on any Nikon DSLR camera.

The lens is sharp enough in the center of the frame, even at wide apertures. However, sharpness drops slightly by 105 mm. Nevertheless, it handles the side, backlight well, and shows good contrast, typical of modern all-around lenses.

ProsCons
Powerful 5.8x DX-format zoomOnly for Nikon cameras
Vibration reduction
Silent ultrasonic motor

Conclusion:

A compact, affordable and powerful zoom lens. Equipped with high-quality optics designed for use with Nikon DX-format DSLRs, with 5.8x zoom support, perfect for a wide variety of shooting conditions. The lens is equipped with Nikon Vibration Reduction (VR) and a unique Silent Ultrasonic Motor (SWM). It offers excellent low-light performance with image stabilization on both the sensor and viewfinder, and its autofocus system is fast and quiet.

 

 

Final Verdict:

Architectural photography is fascinating. Give yourself time to view architecture from different angles at different times of the day, and study it long enough to understand what you want to end up with. Invest time – it can be worth it.

 

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