Lens Choice?

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by mark4583|1, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. When shooting street photography what type lens do you like to take,, Zoom? if so what range or fixed Prime, what mm?
  2. Mostly fixed primes these days. 27mm Fuji (40mm equiv), 14mm Panasonic (28mm), 50mm Nikkor (75mm). I bought all three because they inexpensive and only recently started using them more because of the low weight and small package. Today, the 50mm Nikkor for its superior AF on the Nikon D300.
  3. SCL


    Always fixed, never zoom. I'm from the old zoom with your feet school.
    denny_rane and ruslan like this.
  4. Today...30mm because that's what's on my iPhone.

    Years ago, shooting with my dSLR, it was a 35mm f/1.4. A nice lens for snagging enough environmental context when making street portraits. And not having to sweat (too much) subject perspective distortion.
  5. The 'Street Photography' category - like most other photography categories - is very broad. It includes both pre-planned (location, perspective, focal length, focal point, exposure, etc) shot, completely unexpected, spontaneous, 'in the moment' shots and everything in between. 'To some extent you can 'prepare for the unexpected' by presetting focal length (using zoom and especially primes lenses!), focus range, exposure settings, etc.

    Personally, I like the flexibility of zoom lens and I use two almost exclusively: a 24-70mm (my 'walkabout' lens') and a 70-200mm telelens which I usually take along in my bag.

    For street photography, where I'm reasonably close to the type of shots I want to take (the most interesting shots!) , I like the flexibility of my 24-70mm lens so that I can very quickly 'frame' what it is that interests me. I may be wrong but my gut feeling is that using a prime lens and my feet would mean that trhe moment of 'what interests me' would have long passed and may never re-occur.

    Sometimes, I want to zoom up close on the expressions of a person or small group. Again, I like the flexibility of the 70-20mm lens that enables me to quickly frame what it is that interests me. And again, my gut feeling is that 'using a prime lens and my feet' would take too long - the moment would have passed.

    I do have a couple of prime lenses (70mm macro, f/1.8 50mm, 400mm) but I consider these to be 'special purpose' lenses that I occasionally use as the need arises. The same applies to extenders.

    I should add that I deliberately bought two good quality zoom lenses, both with a fixed apertureat all focal lengths (maximum f/2.8) and with a limited zoom range. I don't know much about lenses but I tried to buy zoom lenses that were the best trade-off between flexibility and image quality.

    PS. I use my phone a lot too.
  6. My 'favorite' street lens is still my Nikkor-P 105mm f/2.5.

    However, these days the mid-range zooms (20-something to 100 something) are so good that their versatility makes up for whatever, if any, loss of IQ.
    Henricvs likes this.
  7. I tend to like the fixed primes over zooms unless the situation calls for a zoom for me that would be sports or moving wild life, But I haven't really done any Street Photography even though its has always interested me, Ive always love the look in B&W,, so I have my eye on the Nikon 24mm 1.8G, was thinking about a 35mm but I feel that's a little close to my 50mm, this way I have a little wider option. just recently got the Nikon 55mm 1.4G off E-Bay for a $100 in mint condition, just couldn't pass that up.
  8. vdp


    When using my Fuji Cameras I shoot with the 23.27. or 35mm lens. When Shooting with my film cameras I use the 35, 45. 50mm Lens.
  9. The 28-100 (equivalent) on my RX100 is excellent for the quick, unplanned street shots I like to take - it’s almost always in my pocket. I usually keep a Sony 18-200 on my a6500 when it’s around my neck and a Sony 16 pancake 2.8 on my nex3c when carrying it. But the RX is so good that the nex is now pure backup.
  10. Another what lens thread...ok, for me usually 35mm equivalent, but sometimes other.
  11. I prefer 50-58 mm for full frame or 40 mm for a APS camera. I use 40 mm pancake on APS camera.
    In my area (region) the streets are very wide so 35 equvalent is too wide for my place and my taste.
  12. IMG_1752.JPG When i use my iPhone Xr, all I have is 28 equivalent and that seems to work fine by me. When I use my Fuji X-Pro1, either the 18-55, or the 24mm lenscap lens...which is fixed focus and plastic. In the best quality setting on the dial, works just fine.
  13. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    35/1.4 on Canon 'full frame' DSLR (or - 24 to 105/4 IS, only when travelling on holidays)
    28/2 on Fuji APS-C Mirrorless
    35/0.95 on Canon APS-C Mirrorless

    I have a bias toward fast Primes, I like using those.

  14. I'm an old zoomie, so I primarily use a zoom.
    I would use either a 14-42 (compact) or 12-60 zoom on my micro 4/3 camera.
    An Olympus EM10 + 14-42EZ is smaller than my brother's P&S.

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