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07-22-2010, 08:12 PM   #1
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What's your fave street lens?

Hi Y'all,

I'm thinking of purchasing a nice wide(r) lens for street photography, but have no idea what to even start with....FA's, DA 15, 21? Sigma? Anyway, I will be primarily using this for a new "walk around" lens, so (small) size is very important.

Also, bear in mind that i am a poor broke ass mofo from a somewhat communist, but apparently polite country.

Suggestions, and image examples would be grrrrrrrrrrreatly appreciated!

07-22-2010, 08:30 PM   #2
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Any particular aspect of street photography you'll be focusing on? Architecture, people and/or night life? There's no all-rounder but your DA 21 suggestion wouldn't be far off the mark. I'd also consider the FA 31 for speed and FA 43 or DA 40 for stealth (shooting off the hip) and portraits.
07-22-2010, 08:58 PM   #3
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Prime or zoom? Are you brave enough to get close?

I'm using the Tamron 17-50/2.8 at the moment and that is serving me quite well. If you are after headshots, consider something longer than 70mm. For wide angle street, the DA21 is not quite wide enough for my liking. I prefer shallow DOF and that's why i'll be using the Sigma 30/1.4 for street. I'll probably get an ultra wide angle zoom to complement that.

17mm is pretty forgiving for shooting from the hip. This is from the Tamron at 17mm.

07-22-2010, 09:29 PM   #4
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It all depends on the street, the light, your style, and your budget. My GP lens is the DA18-250 but I'm using (cheap manual) primes much more now. The non-cheap one is a Zenitar 16/2.8 (US$175), very flexible. The cheap ones include a Lentar (Tokina) 21/3.8 (US$20), Sigma-Z 24/2.8 (US$3), Lentar-Tokina 24/3.5 (US$8; aperture is stuck open), and Pentax M28/2.8 (probably around US$50 now). For darker streets I use a Helios-44 58/2 (under US$30) and a slightly-modded Nikkor 85/2 (US$9), which sees extensive use in SF's Chinatown.

The Zenitar 16 and Lentar-Tokina 21 are my shoot-from-the-hip glass, along with the DA18-55 at 18/5.6. If you have a nice big budget, buy one or more nice new lenses. Otherwise, eBay is your friend, Craigslist maybe more so, as well as yard sales, pawn shops, etc.

07-22-2010, 09:37 PM   #5
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FA31 and SMCP-K 50 f/1.2 and sometimes the FA77
07-22-2010, 09:46 PM   #6
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for walk-around street shooting, an FA35 would be my choice. it's enough for wide coverage for far objects and sceneries and moderately long enough for close-up shooting. as for candid, a 135mm would be a handy lens to bring along.
07-23-2010, 02:35 AM   #7
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I use K 28mm F3.5 for capturing the environment or a group of people.
I use K 135mm F2.5 for single portraits or head shots. However, a 200mm is fine for this purpose.

I guess the 70-85mm will work for single portraits as well, but I prefer a little more distance when doing candid portraits.

Kind regards
07-23-2010, 05:33 AM   #8
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It really depends on where you live:

In my neck of the woods, we don't really have streets--only roads--and nobody walks anywhere.

So my fast 50 or above is what I need. If I were still up in New York, it would be wider.

07-23-2010, 09:21 AM   #9
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My faves for this niche are the DA15 and DA40. The 15 is forgiving and gives great images. It's obviously very wide and when I don't want to shoot that wide or need something faster and/or smaller I mount up the DA40. DA40 on a K-x is a killer small powerhouse. Stealthy, reasonably fast, and tack sharp. The DA40 is also the cheapest of the limiteds so it has that going for it as well.
07-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #10
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My personal favorite is the DA15 as well. The wide angle makes pictures very interesting, although you must get close which requires some practice. This is also where the Leica system starts to become interesting........

I also use 43, 77 and 135 but they each have different applications obviously. My main tip would be to stick with one single lens (prime), whichever it is. Really for some time. The angle will become familiar and you'll see more and more opportunities. More lenses are confusing.




07-23-2010, 10:28 AM   #11
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Fractal already mentioned it, but you could definitely do worse than the Sigma 30/1.4. It gets flak for being "soft" in the corners, but personally I think that talk is overblown. It's razor sharp everywhere but those corners and fast. Good bokeh, also. Great FL for street and for interiors,too. Not too pricey, either. Check out Sigma's website for some samples.
07-23-2010, 10:41 AM   #12
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If you want something cheap the Pentax SMC M or A 28 f2.8 makes for a great focal length for street photography. Stopped down they perform with excellent sharpness and have great color and contrast. They are small too.
07-23-2010, 11:41 AM   #13
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My faves currently on APS-c is the DA21 Ltd or the kit lens (DA18-55). My favorite FL for street shots is 20-24mm. I find I can even shoot from the hip at those FL if I have to click quickly. My all time favorite street cams are the better pocket film cams from the 80s with their 35mm lenses and loaded up with a faster color print film. People don't get nervous with such a tiny camera, and I can frame better shots. The K-x + DA21 pancake works almost as well.

I'm looking to try out the DA12-24mm as a street lens soon. I'm hoping its size does not cause a problem.
07-23-2010, 11:44 AM   #14
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Frankly, this is a situation where I'm as likely to prefer the 18-55 as any prime. But since I rarely carry that with me, I tend to instead walk around for a while the DA15, shoot what appeals to me at that focal length, then switch to another lens (like maybe DA70), shot with that for a while, then switch to another (M28/2.8 or DA40) and shoot with that, etc.
07-23-2010, 12:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
DA40 on a K-x is a killer small powerhouse. Stealthy, reasonably fast, and tack sharp.
Great size, but only stealthy until the shutter goes off. Also you have the issue of low control without using menus. If I'm shooting street, I want dials or buttons, controls where I don't even need to look at the camera. I think that's very important.

QuoteOriginally posted by spun Quote
Hi Y'all,

I'm thinking of purchasing a nice wide(r) lens for street photography, but have no idea what to even start with....FA's, DA 15, 21? Sigma? Anyway, I will be primarily using this for a new "walk around" lens, so (small) size is very important.
I was going to agree with some above, the limiteds or sigma primes, but then re-read this, and I think the most important point is: '...have no idea what to even start with'.

To be honest, first thing I'd recommend is stop worrying about the lens, go out and shoot street with whatever you've got, and see what you think slightly down the track.

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