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07-25-2010, 01:04 AM   #46
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I can't say I have a favourite street shoot lens but I'd say 100mm is the maximum workable focus length for me if I want to avoid having too many folk walking into the path of my pics.
It's also kind of funny how in some areas folk are more accepting/tolerant of street photography then others.

07-25-2010, 09:28 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This is so true. I am surprised that Javier (jgredline) has not weighed in on this thread. He generally shoots a 28mm on 35mm film and shorter on digital. A few weeks back he decided to give the "long" view a try with a 135mm (can't remember if it was on film or digital). Wow! What a difference! His work had an entirely different face. The long stuff was entirely blah and somewhat voyeuristic. His short lens stuff, in comparison, is usually pretty intimate and often enough shows the subject interacting/reacting with/to the camera.

So I guess it depends on what you are wanting to shoot and how safe you want to be.


Steve
Is it possible to give some links to posts? I am very interested to see this myself.

Regarding size, perhaps this is more the insecurity of the photographer rather then the actual response of the people being photographed. A K7 and a Leica M are not that far off to make a huge difference size wise. What I do think is important is sound. My K10 is very loud and this does make a real difference in certain situations.
07-25-2010, 11:07 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by schneider Quote
Is it possible to give some links to posts? I am very interested to see this myself.

Regarding size, perhaps this is more the insecurity of the photographer rather then the actual response of the people being photographed. A K7 and a Leica M are not that far off to make a huge difference size wise. What I do think is important is sound. My K10 is very loud and this does make a real difference in certain situations.
the insecurity occurs because the photographer is also concerned on the response of the people being photographed. this happens to most photographers as part of ethical consideration. I for my part do select when I shoot without impunity, when not to, and when to go voyeur.

I had been approached already in one situation where a person assumed that I was taking pictures of him because my camera was pointed in his direction. I was kinda pissed on the manner on how he said not to take pictures of him, but instead calmed myself and showed him the previews of his non-existing self on my memory card. lucky for him I was not that too vocal that time. otherwise I would had said, "why would I take pictures of you? you are not interesting enough to be a subject?"
07-25-2010, 11:38 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
the insecurity occurs because the photographer is also concerned on the response of the people being photographed. this happens to most photographers as part of ethical consideration.
Now we can threadjack this to: What is the most ethical lens for street shooting? Now we can argue the morals of shooting near vs far vs midway, based on focal length. But practicality and prudence are still factors. For instance, to shoot a Mafiya funeral, I'll probably want to use a 500mm mirror from far away.

QuoteQuote:
"why would I take pictures of you? you are not interesting enough to be a subject?"
At Grand Canyon NP recently, I stood atop a low wall and swiveled for overlapping shots for a pano stitch-up. A fellow walking by below me in the same direction stopped and asked, "Are you photographing me?" As if he was worthy... which he wasn't... So I said honestly, "I'm shooting a panorama and you just happened to be there," and turned away. End of incident.

It sometimes helps that I stand 1.8m / 76" tall and sometimes wear a machete. People don't hassle me too much.

07-25-2010, 01:37 PM   #50
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How would you say a Tamron/Sigma 18-200mm would be for street photography? Anyone have experience with either? Im looking for an all purpose lens and am very interested in street photography
07-25-2010, 01:51 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by froggertwenty Quote
How would you say a Tamron/Sigma 18-200mm would be for street photography? ... Im looking for an all purpose lens...
In daytime, my main street lens is still the DA18-250. It has greater reach, and more usable reach, than most contenders. It's a general-purpose zoom that lets me quickly nail a wide range of shots. Yes, my Zenitar 16/2.8 is better in smaller spaces; yes, my FA50/1.4 and Nikkor 85/2 are better in darker spaces (and I'd like an f/2 in the 24-35 range); but the 18-250 handles most situations. It's still the most-used of my 75-odd Pentax-mountable lenses.
07-25-2010, 02:09 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by froggertwenty Quote
How would you say a Tamron/Sigma 18-200mm would be for street photography? Anyone have experience with either? Im looking for an all purpose lens and am very interested in street photography
All zoom lenses make compromises to achieve the ability to change focal lengths, but 'superzooms' make rather large compromises: physically large, slow maximum apertures, slow autofocus, low (or lower) image quality etc. Some people also argue that the focal range makes you lazy.

Top street shooters usually prefer fast wide to standard length primes. However, a lens is a lens - you can still go street shooting with it.
07-27-2010, 03:30 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
All zoom lenses make compromises to achieve the ability to change focal lengths, but 'superzooms' make rather large compromises: physically large, slow maximum apertures, slow autofocus, low (or lower) image quality etc. Some people also argue that the focal range makes you lazy.

Top street shooters usually prefer fast wide to standard length primes. However, a lens is a lens - you can still go street shooting with it.
What exactly makes them a top street shooter? A published fast wide shooter?

It would appear the advice we are giving is for someone who is new to the field. 99% of my street shooting done in China in 2008-2009 was accomplished with the DA 18-250 and I have plenty of keepers, see for yourself. Lazy shmazy, although some people care how you get there, it's the image -the final result- that matters.

07-27-2010, 03:30 PM - 1 Like   #54
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Thanks for the Invite Steve. What a great discussion and I will address a few things later when I get home. In the meantime, I have somewhat addressed this in my website that I am working on and have not yet launched it officially.
Here is what I have written so far....

These are my opinions regarding my technique and hence I can only share what works for �me�. These tips should not be considered Gospel.



I would say that the most important thing to have when shooting strangers, a candid or scenes that define a moment is not equipment, but confidence. For some it comes easy and for others it is a struggle. As for me, I do not have a problem with confidence, but still I do get into ruts and when I do, I call it a day and try again another day.



Go to the same places over and over again as being familiar with certain places will boost your confidence. The locals will get to know you and not even notice you after a while. The scenes are always different because people are always different. Blend in. Be a Chameleon. Look like you belong. Take special attention to detail. If youre in an upper scale area, dress the part. If youre at the beach, dress the part. If youre in a poor area, dress the part. Dont stand out.. When looking for shots, if I come back with �one� good capture, I am happy as a clam.



When I come back with a few and by a few I mean 4 or 5, I have had a very good day. There are many times when I go out and come back with nothing worth keeping. I am in the club that deletes 90% of my digital images, with the majority of my keepers being film. Go figure. I am also not a machine gun shooter. I dont use burst mode. (Personal preference). I try and get the shot the first time. I suppose if I used burst mode, I would have more keepers, but that is simply not my style.. It is easy to get away with one single shot. Point, shoot, click and youre done. Shooting 2 or 3 will bring you unwanted attention, but that can also work to your advantage.

Things that I do and dont do.

Dont think to much, just shoot. If you think to much, you will likely miss the moment and or chicken out. Dont hide, but be obvious. If you hide, you will let out creepy vibes and peoples senses will be directed at you, be friendly and smile allot. Talk to people. The most common thing I hear when taking folks pictures is, �Sorry, I got in your shot�. I just smile and chuckle. I have found that when people ask me why did I take their picture, I am honest with my reason. Lying does not work well for me as I am a lousy liar. I always get caught so I avoid it. Do not hide who you are. I carry a personal card with my name, email address and blog address on it and I am quick to offer it up when approached or feel a tense situation arising. You would be amazed at how quickly this calms things down.



Most people are happy to have their picture taken, They just dont know it. There are times when I will ask a stranger if I can take their picture, though not often. I prefer the true candid. When I shoot street performers, I try and catch them candidly, but I pay them after wards. They are out to make a living and I can appreciate that. When I shoot people that are down on their luck, I will not walk away and leave them empty handed. This of course is me� All in all be friendly and your state of dress is also important. I avoid wearing hats when I can unless I am in a place where most people are wearing them. I never wear sun glasses. Sun glasses tend to let out creepy vibes. I always carry minimal gear. I dont use telephoto lenses as they are simply to big, heavy and bulky and scream �look at me�. This of course is a personal preference, but each person has to decide what he/she is more comfortable with. Telephoto lenses will also let out the creepy vibes that must be avoided at all times�Never stand around. Always keep moving. Standing around will bring you unwanted attention. I dont hang around a spot longer than a minute. Look for interesting back grounds as well and try and time things. Be mindful of what you want. L@@K for interesting folks and scenes.

There are times when you will want to purposely carry much gear to look like a pro�I do this for events such as protest, marches, or movie premiers etc.

Another question I get asked often is; what equipment do I use? I get asked this allot and have also read about this a lot. It seems that people can get real dogmatic about this�Well, I to have my opinions and can only share what works for me. One of the biggest things that comes up is film VS digital. I would say to use what ever it is that makes you more comfortable. Comfort is king when shooting in the street.



One of the best things I ever did was, I started to do my street shooting with a film camera. I did this for the better part of a year. I would go out (and still do) with a 28, 35, 40 or 50mm prime lens. My personal favorite was and is the 40mm lens on a 35mm SLR. By shooting with film and a prime, It forced me to get up close and personal and really picking my shot. My keeper rate with film is in the 80% range.



When shooting with a DSLR, I still fall back on some old bad habits. It is too easy to shoot 50 or even 100 images in a few hours and most end up being junk. On a DSLR with a 1.5 crop factor, I use a 21, 24, or 28mm prime lenses 90% of the time, the 24 being my most favorite. When using zooms, I use the 10-20mm or 17-35 zoom.



I myself use a variety of tools. My personal favorite tool for street shooting is my Pentax ME SUPER with a 40F/2.8 lens . (In fact, they are cheap enough that I have three of them all set up slightly different) I love this combo because it is a really small and light SLR that has a quiet shutter. With its fast 1/2000 shutter, I can take advantage of ASA 400-800 speed films at F/8 to F16..This is important to me because I use hyper focal or zone focusing, making it a true point and shoot with exceptional sharpness from 5 feet to about 25 feet.

My personal favorite DSLR is my K20D with a 24mm prime�Excellent High ISO performance, weather resistant body and can take a beating.

My personal favorite point and shoot is my Canon G9 set up at hyperfocal.

Having said this, the equipment really does not matter. What matters is getting the shot and expensive fancy equipment will not make that happen. You have to make that happen. Remember to have fun and enjoy it. I have found street shooting to be VERY challenging. Have fun.

If you have some questions, please email them to me and I will post the questions and answers here giving you the credit if you like. It will help to build up this page.

Thanks for reading, Javier

Link is here.
street_shooting_tips
07-27-2010, 03:59 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
A P&S would be nice option, but most have a shutter lag that gets in the way.
I had a Ricoh GX100. It was a brilliant street shooter. Full manual controls, hyperfocal focus, RAW, 24mm wide, 19 with adapter. When set up properly - manual and hyperfocal - there was no shutter lag at all. The deep DOF of a small sensor even helps in street shooting.

I miss that camera...



But to answer the OP's q, DA21 for people on the street, DA40 for street portraits, DA70 from across the street. Stop it down and push the ISO and enjoy!
07-27-2010, 04:56 PM   #56
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Da70

I went on the Scott Kelby Photowalk last saturday.
I used the DA70 for most of it.

eh, it isn't just my favorite street lens, it is my favorite lens.
07-30-2010, 11:24 PM   #57
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My favorite focal length, unfortunately, falls on my DA 18-55mm, which is why I'm looking to switch to a DA* 16-50, just so I don't hesitate to use the focal length I want because I'm wary of the lens. Unless I'm specifically shooting people, I like the short zoom lengths. If I'm going for people in particular, I'll go with my DA* 50-135. I'm obviously not a prime user, so I can't speak for that. I like to have a little range without swapping lenses, and I find the DA* zoom lenses offer superb image quality.

However, since you're looking for small size, a pancake prime may be what you're looking for. I'd have to recommend one in the 28-44 range. When I do city shooting with my 18-55, I rarely go toward 55, I'm generally closer to 18. But, again, it depends on your subject matter. A shorter length would give you the ability to capture more of the city, which you'll probably want from time to time.
07-31-2010, 10:29 AM   #58
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Ah, the answers are all over the place, depending on styles, preferences, obsessions of the respondents. This is as it should be -- many different fotogs on many different streets need / want various glass. Depending on time, place, personality, pragmatism, the ideal street lens (on an APS-C cam) could range from 10-1000mm. If not my 18-250, I'm likely to wander various towns with a 16/2.8 or 21/3.8 or 24-28-35/2.8 or 50/1.4 or 85/2 or 200/5.6 or 500/8 glass; or maybe a 28M/2.8 or 50M/4 or 90M/2.8 macro.

As to where and how to shoot: Sometimes it's good to jostle the crowds. Unfortunately in the USA, crowds are too often confined to urban centers, shopping malls, and events -- and those malls and some events may have NO CAMERA policies, requiring some subversion. I especially love shooting in Latin America, where much of life is still lived on town streets, not in remote subdivisions and compounds. There's no street life in my rural neighborhood, so I make do at fairs and festivals etc. At gatherings where cameras abound, it's easy to be unremarkable.

At some construction and school and play sites, when a camera is seen, poses are struck -- it's like shooting fish in a barrel, eh? I never dress dress sloppy-casual and I may dictate notes into a small recorder, so I'm sometimes mistaken for a reporter. In some places it's best to be on a balcony, shooting the passers-by below. Whatever.
07-31-2010, 05:19 PM   #59
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Get the FA 35mm f2. Nice, compact, fast and not too expensive.
08-01-2010, 11:58 AM   #60
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It sounds to me like the kit zoom might be the best lens to start with until you decide whether you prefer the wider end or the longer end. For a small budget there are the older Pentax lenses like the A 24mm f/2.8 that I find works well for me. It's small, light, and very sharp. When you decide which way to go you can search out all the reputable internet vendors to find the best value. Just my .
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