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Best all around focal length for new york city
  
 
BokehBeauty
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Best all around focal length for new york city


Jeffrey wrote:
I love these questions. There is NO ANSWER. Take what you have and use it. You can make a good image in NYC or any city with any focal length if you know how to. Only YOU know your shooting preferences and styles.


This is what I experienced. I was multiple times in NYC on business trips, and I checked the focal length of my LR likes and the majority were Zeiss 50mm F2 on Canon 5D Mk II and 35mm F1.4 on Fuji. I would have guessed a completely unsuited focal length for NYC. NYC has so many shooting opportunities, it's the love to a lens, which makes the photos. Surprisingly I had few likes with the Zeiss 21mm; it's me not feeling so familiar with it.



Dec 24, 2017 at 06:05 PM
Jeffrey
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Best all around focal length for new york city


BokehBeauty wrote:
This is what I experienced. I was multiple times in NYC on business trips, and I checked the focal length of my LR likes and the majority were Zeiss 50mm F2 on Canon 5D Mk II and 35mm F1.4 on Fuji. I would have guessed a completely unsuited focal length for NYC. NYC has so many shooting opportunities, it's the love to a lens, which makes the photos. Surprisingly I had few likes with the Zeiss 21mm; it's me not feeling so familiar with it.


Are you talking about 'likes' like on facebook? And you're judging your image focal length popularity by how many likes an image receives? Don't you realize that is totally useless information?



Dec 24, 2017 at 06:35 PM
taemo
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Best all around focal length for new york city


Steve Wan wrote:
Would you be able to show me some of those nyc shots?

Havent updated/curated my flickr album in a while but some of my shots are here
https://www.flickr.com/photos/itaemo/albums/72157627074736338
First time in NYC was with a rebel xt + 18-55
Next was with 5d mark ii + 17-40 and 135L, M6 with 40mm
Then Leica M9 + 35, 90 and xpan
Last time was with Ricoh GR and Rolleiflex 2.8E

Conclusion, theres no lens that will capture everything for you. Just use what you have and work with the limitations.
Never i wished i brought a different lens with me other than the DSLR kit, they are heavy and i ditched then for the x100 and xpro1 before going M9



Dec 24, 2017 at 06:39 PM
Emile Gregoire
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Best all around focal length for new york city


Jeffrey wrote:
Really? A specific focal length is boring to you? Never heard that one before. Are you talking about your own images only? Maybe when you advance as a photographer you will make better images at every focal length and then you won't have to avoid your boring wide angle. You might even get to like it.


Then again, you could have just asked what I meant instead of making a lot of assumptions and forming them into a somewhat condescending ad hominem reply. We might even have gotten an insightful discussion out of it!

Ah well. Happy holidays!



Dec 25, 2017 at 02:00 AM
ocaiden
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Best all around focal length for new york city


I was there last Thanksgiving and had just upgraded to an XT-1. Took the 35mm 1.4 that it came with and the XC 16-50mm that I already had in my kit, a few photos from the trip here.


Dec 25, 2017 at 03:20 AM
Jeffrey
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Best all around focal length for new york city


Emile Gregoire wrote:
Then again, you could have just asked what I meant instead of making a lot of assumptions and forming them into a somewhat condescending ad hominem reply. We might even have gotten an insightful discussion out of it!

Ah well. Happy holidays!


Emile, all I can respond to is what you wrote. If you meant something other than what I read, I had no way of knowing it. I meant no offense. It all seemed rather clear, language can be a funny and interpretative thing.



Dec 25, 2017 at 03:41 AM
Emile Gregoire
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Best all around focal length for new york city


Jeffrey wrote:
Emile, all I can respond to is what you wrote. If you meant something other than what I read, I had no way of knowing it. I meant no offense. It all seemed rather clear, language can be a funny and interpretative thing.


Thanks for replying, Jeffrey. I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your words. They did seem a bit condescending to someone who's been in photography for 25 years of which roughly half as a full-time working pro.

I think I said I prefer 35mm (FF-equiv) on the question raised by the OP: what's your *favorite* focal length for casual shots in NYC. Then I said, literally: "A wide angle zoom would be nice too but I personally find wide-angle shots to get boring rather quickly.". I didn't say all wide angle shots are boring per se. They aren't. And I don't avoid them. They are part of the photographers' toolkit.

What I meant to say is to be seen in the light of the original question: what focal length would you use casually. On this question, concerning NYC or any other big city, I'm not going to advocate a wide angle - or ultra-wide angle - solely. I think it's just not versatile enough. 35mm (FF equiv) *for me* is the sweet spot. 200 images at 16mm (FF equiv) of NYC: unless you're the greatest photographer around, they'd probably make a somewhat boring series. Again: YMMV. I prefer a more natural look, which is hard to get in a densely populated vertical city like NYC with a wide angle. Again: it's all about taste.

The correct answer might be: bring all your lenses, from fisheye to 600mm. I tried to answer just the question posed by the OP. Obviously, there's so much nuance to be missed.

Happy holidays!



Dec 25, 2017 at 04:46 AM
BokehBeauty
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Best all around focal length for new york city


Jeffrey wrote:
Are you talking about 'likes' like on facebook? And you're judging your image focal length popularity by how many likes an image receives? Don't you realize that is totally useless information?


I should have said my LR picks instead of ‘likes’. This is my primary way to rate images in LR and hence very valid information for me. And even if it would have been public likes, it would be helpful as I shoot photos for my liking and other people liking.



Dec 25, 2017 at 04:54 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Best all around focal length for new york city


Going back to the preference issue for a moment...

I'm currently in New York City. (It is very cold and windy today!) I have been using my XPro2 with the 27mm f/2.8 (equivalent to about 40mm on full frame) — I generally prefer to have a small and inconspicuous setup. I brought four other lenses, though: 14mm, 23mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4, and 60mm f/2.4. The other lenses have remained in the hotel room safe so far, but I'll carry the 14mm and 60mm today, along with the 27mm. And for night street photography I switch out all of those and go with just the two f/1.4 lenses.

Both of my sons live here (live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan) and the older son almost always carries a small camera and does street photography. (He's partial to old Leicas, and we have fun, good-natured film versus digital "discussions.") Last night we were talking a bit about this sort of photography, and he said his preference generally is for 35mm on his Leica. But this is also about preference, since when he photographs street subjects he wants to include more surroundings of his primary subject. I'm often the opposite, tending to want to reduce the other elements —which perhaps explains why I like the 27mm (40mm equiv) and 35mm (52mm equiv) lenses.

So, again, you have to essentially "pick your poison" if you go with a single prime. A single focal length will not be perfect for all shots an all subjects, so you trade the immediacy and simplicity of the single-lens option for the expectation that it will be photographically less-than-ideal in some cases. (One mitigating factor is that you may be they type who learns to "see with the lens that is on the camera" — I do.)

So... unless you already know yourself well when it comes to photographing in urban areas, it is difficult to know what single focal length will be right. If you have photographed in NYC or other major urban areas, just think about your previous photography and go from there — what works in one place likely works in others that are similar.

If you don't know... perhaps take the excellent little 18-55mm zoom. You can shoot it at any of these focal lengths, it isn't that large, and by shooting it you will start to better understand your own focal length preferences in locations like this.



Dec 25, 2017 at 03:30 PM
mdude85
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Best all around focal length for new york city


For doing street photography I would recommend a wider focal length such as 23mm.

An ultrawide such as the 10-24 is good if you want to capture the skyscrapers or if a lot is going on in a single scene, but the distortion makes the subjects seem farther away and so there's not that 'intimacy' of a more normal focal length.

The longer length lenses (say, above 56mm) have their place as well but on the street level they are not as useful.

My go-to would be the 18-55, and then a fast prime such as the 23 f2 or 35 f1.4 if you need to capture low light or get some subject isolation.



Dec 26, 2017 at 03:49 PM
 

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Padre
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Best all around focal length for new york city


ocaiden wrote:
I was there last Thanksgiving and had just upgraded to an XT-1. Took the 35mm 1.4 that it came with and the XC 16-50mm that I already had in my kit, a few photos from the trip here.


Nice photographs!



Jan 02, 2018 at 08:33 PM
SiggiChurchill
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Best all around focal length for new york city


On my last trip to NYC, I brought the X-T1 w/ 35mm/1.4 and the X100S. Except for a handful of instances, the X100S stayed in my bag. The 35mm may not have been the best choice for every shot, but I enjoyed myself and came away happy with what I'd achieved. Ultimately, I'll take that satisfaction over being perfectly prepared for every shot.

Here's a couple, because sharing.

Untitled by James, on Flickr

Untitled by James, on Flickr

Edited on Jan 03, 2018 at 09:36 PM · View previous versions



Jan 03, 2018 at 04:05 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Best all around focal length for new york city


Last week (very cold!) I went out and about a lot in Manhattan, using the XPro2 and (mostly) the 27mm f/2.8. (I also used the 23mm f/1.4 and the 14mm f/2.8. I carried by never used my 35mm f/1.4 and my 60mm f/2.4.)

Here are a couple. First with the 27mm and second with the 23mm.














Jan 03, 2018 at 04:45 PM
David_Taylor
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Best all around focal length for new york city


I shot mostly the equivalent of 28mm on the little X30's zoom. Seemed right. When I go again I'll take the XE2S and 18mm f2.


Jan 03, 2018 at 08:17 PM
liggy
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Best all around focal length for new york city


jecottrell wrote:
Yup, 10-24 spends the most time on my camera when I travel.


On my next trip to NYC the first lens in the bag will be the 10-24. 35 1.4 next for nighttime. Everything else depends upon the specifics of the trip. Have fun!



Jan 04, 2018 at 03:44 AM
radeon9
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Best all around focal length for new york city


The 16mm or 35mm F1.4 worked well for me for cityscape, architecture and street shots.

Both are fast lens so it helps for night time shooting.



Jan 04, 2018 at 07:45 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Best all around focal length for new york city


radeon9 wrote:
The 16mm or 35mm F1.4 worked well for me for cityscape, architecture and street shots.

Both are fast lens so it helps for night time shooting.


That would be a great combo (for folks who don't feel an affinity to the 35mm-like 23mm focal length) for night street photography.

Dan



Jan 04, 2018 at 04:44 PM
dp13
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Best all around focal length for new york city


I do like the 35mm focal length for all around (f2 version for street/f1.4 version for challenging light), but for NYC I'd go with the 27mm for views and buildings and bring the 18/2. It's very small on my X-E3 and would also be indiscreet. The 16/1.4 is good but too heavy and too wide for all-around IMO. Personally, I couldn't go without the 10-24mm.


Jan 08, 2018 at 03:08 AM
misternikko
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Best all around focal length for new york city


I travelled there a couple years ago. Used the 35 (50mm) the most with occasional 14mm for selfies with my wife.

Also had an original x100 that I shot along side the XT1+35mm.


http://www.nikkoazan.com/new-york



Jan 11, 2018 at 09:12 PM
rstoddard11
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Best all around focal length for new york city


I live in NYC

95% of the time, I take a 40mm, sling it low profile and just walk and shoot. It is my favorite focal length here. I also love the Ricoh GR for carrying in the pocket when you don't want to carry a camera while going out to dinner or something.

With all that said, the action is fast and the light is low this time of year. I would consider renting or borrowing a 35mm 1.4 and set it and forget it.

One key thing to think about is you are going to be running into a lot of other humans. Traveling light is the key. In the crowds, you want to be mobile and nimble to move around. Carrying a big lens is prohibitive.

On bad snow days when nobody is around on the streets, I really like getting architecture in the snow with something wide like 16-35. Some of my best shots are in the 40-50mm range on my standard zoom, a 24-70.



Jan 11, 2018 at 10:11 PM
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