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The Best Lens for Street Photography?

  
 
Durlacher
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


Jepser wrote:
I realy like 24-25mm around people. The Nikkor 24mm was my most used lens in my photography-formative years and I have easier to relaxe and "do my thing" around strangers with something wider than 28. I can put myself in the center of whats happening and still feel distanced.

My second choise would be a 40mm, dont know if it's that the focal lenght per se or just that the Voigtländer Ultron 40mm SLii is so much to my taste. And my Rollei 35.


Thanks Jesper, 40mm is said to be closest to what we see naturally. I concur that it’s a very pleasing focal length. However, 24mm for photographing people? That seems difficult to me, I’d expect you’d have to be quite close to the subject. Are you using 24mm for portraits or environmental documentation? The later I can appreciate, the former I’m not sure I could do preferring to keep a slight distance from those I’m photographing.



Nov 21, 2023 at 02:49 PM
j.liam
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


I think the space you're shooting should dictate matters. Narrow winding streets versus broader avenues; safe locales vs crime infested ones, suspicious natives vs inviting ones. I've used an Xpan with a 45 as often as a Monochrome and a 21 SEM, the former in LA and the latter within the maze of alleyways in Jerusalem's Old City. 28 or 35mm works pretty well in Chicago, London and New York. The 28 Summilux, while costing as much as a 2nd hand compact car, offers advantages in terms of FOV and speed that the 35 doesn't. Rented one over the summer to visit London and really loved it--the trade-off of weight for speed was worth the exercise.


Nov 21, 2023 at 04:26 PM
Jepser
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


Durlacher wrote:
Thanks Jesper, 40mm is said to be closest to what we see naturally. I concur that it’s a very pleasing focal length. However, 24mm for photographing people? That seems difficult to me, I’d expect you’d have to be quite close to the subject. Are you using 24mm for portraits or environmental documentation? The later I can appreciate, the former I’m not sure I could do preferring to keep a slight distance from those I’m photographing.



More of enviromental documentation. With a 24/25mm I can watch straight ahead while framing people of center. It gives me the feeling of greater anonymity or invisibility. Propably all in my head, the 24/2.0 was my second lens for my FM2 when I was a teen. Sometimes when I have had longer breaks from photography I put on a wideangle, walk inte a crowd and force myself to shoot people, I did it when I got my Zfc.



Nov 21, 2023 at 04:54 PM
Al Trujillo
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


RustyBug wrote:
One needs great vision to take great photos.


The tool(s) of choice are no different than a chef using a good knife or a great knife. What you do with the tool that is in under your control is up to you.

That said ... there are those attributes that enhance and attract the viewers attention. And, there are those attributes that detract the viewers attention. Your command and control of attractors / detractors as they apply to your vision is again upon you.

The reason that lenses cost what they do ... is exactly the same reason anything costs what it
...Show more

Your answer reminded me of a great college professor I listened intently to many years ago. Were you once and educator at a higher institution?



Nov 21, 2023 at 05:21 PM
ottokbre
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


I love all the old school documentation you put in there. I am a sucker for that stuff.

I love a 28mm and a 50mm because I a can estimate those perspectives before I even put a camera up to my eye. Anticipation is everything in street. If you can guess the framing on another focal length better than that is probably the best option for you.




Nov 29, 2023 at 11:34 AM
RustyBug
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


Al Trujillo wrote:
Your answer reminded me of a great college professor I listened intently to many years ago. Were you once and educator at a higher institution?


Thanks for the kind words ... but, no professor here. Just an "old salt".



Nov 30, 2023 at 06:05 AM
M_Wales
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


I think it's up to the person doing the shooting and what they like and feel comfortable with.

With my M camera 35 would be my FL of choice for street and most anything else. It just works for me and my street stuff. I have been forcing myself to use a 50 more and more, but I always come back to a 35 in the end.
If I take the Q out well we know what FL with are playing with and I don't really use that as my walk around street shooter...

Never really warmed up to 28 or wider for street, but that may be more due to me not getting close to subjects.



Nov 30, 2023 at 09:44 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


woken wrote:
“Street photography” lenses are as varied as the genre itself. Up to you and how you see.


Hey Carlos,

Does Fred know that you are back?



Nov 30, 2023 at 06:18 PM
Matt Kerby
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


Desmolicious wrote:
The garbage lenses I use for street:

Lomo Minitar 32

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53092309583_fb5a18e52e_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53092002134_6fd0e68001_c.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52771097637_1953975341_b.jpg

TTA 28 5.6:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53016724983_10775b79c5_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53017726605_02b11a2b47_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52452821715_7323f08a24_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52451865942_6df23eab21_b.jpg

Fuji Work Project 28mm P&S

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52303751742_328bbf4dd6_b.jpg

Lomo LC-W 21mm lens

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52547657428_bc1d1ff5df_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52466321651_a8a8ee77e8_b.jpg

Wtulens 17mm f16 (two 35mm lenses taken out of recycled Fuji Quicksnap disposable cameras)

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51382069050_b3ccdc1bcf_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51381714855_5e8a8b3320_b.jpg


Wow..what an awesome set, love those (stitched?, err, not sure what you call it) Lomo's. Makes me want to be in LA at the beach!




Dec 07, 2023 at 02:46 PM
 


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Matt Kerby
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


airfrogusmc wrote:
The beautiful thing about the 24 2.8 Elmarit is there isn't a lot of distortion you find in other 24s. Erwin Puts (Leica expert) said it was one of the Leica's finest. I really like mine. Alan Schaller shoots with a 24 Lux.

All 24 2.8 Elmarit asph
https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/171917246.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/171962621.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/172754106.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/172768765.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/172768767.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/172771642.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/173269349.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/173377991.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/173793039.jpg

https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/173847740.jpg




These are great! I thought you shot the 35 FLE exclusively?!




Dec 07, 2023 at 02:49 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


Thanks Matt,

I did but for some reason I have been seeing a bit wider.




Dec 07, 2023 at 03:37 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


j.liam wrote:
I think the space you're shooting should dictate matters. Narrow winding streets versus broader avenues; safe locales vs crime infested ones, suspicious natives vs inviting ones. I've used an Xpan with a 45 as often as a Monochrome and a 21 SEM, the former in LA and the latter within the maze of alleyways in Jerusalem's Old City. 28 or 35mm works pretty well in Chicago, London and New York. The 28 Summilux, while costing as much as a 2nd hand compact car, offers advantages in terms of FOV and speed that the 35 doesn't. Rented one over the summer
...Show more

In my opinion vision and the way one sees should dictate F/L.



Dec 07, 2023 at 03:39 PM
j.liam
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


airfrogusmc wrote:
In my opinion vision and the way one sees should dictate F/L.


Yes, I get that. An intrepid soul can make due with whatever is at hand. But the environment imposes certain constraints. Not going to walk about Antarctica with a 135mm all the time or a 50 cemented to the body in a narrow, winding Marrakech alleyway.



Dec 07, 2023 at 06:33 PM
Desmolicious
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


Matt Kerby wrote:
Wow..what an awesome set, love those (stitched?, err, not sure what you call it) Lomo's. Makes me want to be in LA at the beach!



Thanks! Those Lomo shots are continuous overlapping exposures done intentionally in camera. It's a very fun feature and the reason I have it.



Dec 07, 2023 at 09:08 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


j.liam wrote:
Yes, I get that. An intrepid soul can make due with whatever is at hand. But the environment imposes certain constraints. Not going to walk about Antarctica with a 135mm all the time or a 50 cemented to the body in a narrow, winding Marrakech alleyway.


It should never be about making due. It's should always be about matching vision to equipment. Once that is realized and then achieved there is really no need for a lot of other stuff.



Dec 08, 2023 at 08:16 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?


Another good piece.





Dec 15, 2023 at 10:10 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · The Best Lens for Street Photography?




Durlacher wrote:
Greetings again fellow forum members,

Something a little different this time, an unintentional acquisition having made a low auction bid on a Canon New FD 28mm F2.8, and winning a lens I really had no need for.

However, on initial review I was pleasantly surprised by the rendering – not the sharpest at 2.8, but more than sufficient when stopped down for documentary style and street photography.

Which begged the question – does one really need an expensive lens to take great photos?

Time as such to create another video and I am delighted to share my research and findings with you:

https://youtu.be/lzBxLWAWvgI?si=PBSPZBxdZXblPr8i

The New
...Show more

I have several excellent older lenses basically <$50 or so that perform. No, you don't have to be interested in some goofy defect to use them can be excellent. Many need f/8, but if you are OK with that, can be excellent

OM Zuiko 50/3.5, 65-200/4, 75-150/4 come to mind. The last 2 zooms seem better than the Zuiko 135mm primes, maybe even much better



Dec 15, 2023 at 11:19 PM
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