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11-01-2010, 02:42 PM   #16
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I own the DA21, DA35 (macro) various 50's etc...
I think there are several different approaches suggested in this thread. If you are the type to photograph what is close to you or shoot at chest height letting auto do the work then I prefer the 21. However this does not always work and takes practice to not look through the viewfinder. The 35 gets you a bit more distance as does 40 or 50.
I think starting with the kit lens 18-50 or a 17-70 will let you get familiar with what focal length you like best.

After reading about some techniques online i have found a few photographers who shoot from chest height and estimate the angle. I tried this and found the best success with the DA21. I set the aperture to F8 or 11 on a bright day and let the shutter and ISO go auto.
Sometimes I simply shoot manual and guesstimate the metering depending on the scene. Sometimes I am walking and just stay as steady as I can. It is a tough one and I would do better with a cleaner ISO and I continue to practice this style of street photography.
.....The DA21 has a larger depth of field that my other lenses so it lends itself well to this purpose. But if you want to keep some distance it may indeed be too wide.

You may however prefer a more deliberate style so perhaps a longer Focal Length is better. Honestly the new DA35 f2.4L does look like a bargain and the results so far look great!

I usually check out online galleries to see what shots have the look I like and see what FL was used. It might surprise you.

Cheers
Roger

11-01-2010, 09:11 PM   #17
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Yeah, start with the kit lens and log which FL's you actually use. Then think about faster / better glass in those neighborhoods.

But not all streets are created equal. When I walk through a nearby Mother Lode / Gold Rush town in daylight, I use the Tokina 21/3.8 stopped down to f/11 and prefocused to 2m for DOF of 1m to infinity. That would be right for Panajachel and Chichicastenango and Antigua Guatemala, too. Around San Francisco's Union Square and Chinatown in late afternoon and evening, I use some 50-55/1.4-1.8 or the Nikkor 85/2 -- but during daylight I'll sit in a park with the 170-500 and snipe passersby. In the vertical mazes of Bisbee Arizona and Taxco Guerrero Mexico, the Zenitar 16/2.8 is just right, unless I'm sucking limonada con soda on a small balcony overlooking Taxco's little plaza central across from of the incredible parrochia, in which case the 18-250 is called for.

Another street, another lens...
11-01-2010, 10:39 PM   #18
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It's all about personal preference. I think the 15 is way too wide and prefer a 28mm lens for street photography. With a 28 I think it is long enough so that you can isolate a person as the target subject and on the other hand it can also encompass enough of the environment to make that the target subject.

But as others have said it all really depends on what you like/prefer and I would highly suggest what RioRico suggested, take your kit lens, set it to a specific focal length and shoot that all day and after a few focal lengths you will get a good idea what suits you best.
11-01-2010, 11:12 PM   #19
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A standard 28mm or 24mm prime will do you well.

11-02-2010, 01:12 AM   #20
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15mm vs 21mm for street photography

Many thanks to everyone for your responses! I still can't decide which lens to get. The 15mm sounds awesome, but it may be too wide. I read the longest thread ever about the 15mm, & it sounds really cool, but as some of you pointed out, it seems to be more useful for landscapes than street photography. I wish there's a camera store here where I can just rent the lenses, but none of them sell any Pentax equipment I tried looking at the Photos in this forum for these lenses but couldn't find any street photography of people. Mostly beautiful landscapes, flowers and animals. If you know any links to street photographs in this forum, pls. let me know. Thanks again, and hope y'all got some treats this Halloween!
11-02-2010, 04:42 AM   #21
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It really depend on your style and preferences. Like others have pointed out, isolating subjects with the 15 will be hard, slightly easier with the 21.

My PERSONNAL choice is to use the 21 and F50 as a street/low light combo. It works marvelously well, for me. 15 seems too wide most of the time, the widest I have is the Sigma 17-70 and 17 is very wide for many applications.
11-02-2010, 02:37 PM   #22
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bdery, is your 21 mm really sharp (even wide open), fast, etc? what is its sweet spot--5.6 or 8? seems like the 15 mm got all the love, and the 21 isn't as highly rated as the 15. I agree with you, 21 is the better FL. thanks!
11-02-2010, 02:42 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by dahlia Quote
bdery, is your 21 mm really sharp (even wide open), fast, etc? what is its sweet spot--5.6 or 8? seems like the 15 mm got all the love, and the 21 isn't as highly rated as the 15. I agree with you, 21 is the better FL. thanks!
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11-02-2010, 11:05 PM   #24
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With the 15mm, filling half the frame with a subject requires standing too close for me. Like 3 feet away close. I do appreciate longer focal lengths for this type of shooting.
11-03-2010, 01:41 AM   #25
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I am well into street photography of the candid nature. I find the wider the better. You can always crop. It's about capturing the moment. A lot of peeps aren't natural when a camera is pointed at them. With a real wide angle they don't even think you are capturing them.

I've loads of lenses. My best street shots come from my 10-17mm. I just shot blind in the general direction of interest or even slightly off target. becuase it's so wide and the DOF is wide there's no need for accurate AF.


Of course if you can stand there and compose then a smaller DOF lens is better, but for hit and run street shots you can't beat a 10-17 piece of glass.
11-03-2010, 02:46 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by dahlia Quote
If you know any links to street photographs in this forum, pls. let me know.
Plenty of shots to be found here..

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/43981...-style%3D.html

If you are just starting out as a street shooter, i'd advise not to go with a wide prime like the DA15mm. How comfortable are you getting (very) close to people? As others have stated, it's it comes down to your personal preference what focal length suits you best.

I first used a DA18-250mm, then a Tamron 17-50mm and now the fast Sigma 30mm. All took fine pictures, although I like my dof shallow and that's why I went with the Sigma.
11-03-2010, 08:23 AM   #27
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QuoteQuote:
bdery, is your 21 mm really sharp (even wide open), fast, etc? what is its sweet spot--5.6 or 8? seems like the 15 mm got all the love, and the 21 isn't as highly rated as the 15.
It's amazingly sharp, I'd say. On the same level as my FA 50 macro, probably. Plus it has that "special something" that many people have called the "3D effect" what really pops out of the frame. It's a great lens, one that continues to amaze me.

If I'm not mistaken, the MTF-priority mode of my K20D (designed to use the lens at its sharpest setting if possible) tends to select f3.8, showing that the lens is made to be sharp wide open. My own informal tests suggest that when you close down near f11 it gets less sharp. It really is designed for wide apertures.

I cannot compare with the 15, and I'm sure that one is a great lens too.

Regarding AF speed, the 21 is again at the top of the class, about as fast as my fastest focusing lens, the F50 f1,7.

I'm not saying you should absolutely get that one, as I cannot compare it with the 15. I can only say that I love mine and will keep it in my bag at all times.
11-03-2010, 02:07 PM   #28
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I love the DA 15 for streets and buildings, where particular people are not the subjects. However, for "street" shooting of people, the DA21 is much preferred. I can shoot from the waist if necessary and the FOV seems just right most of the time. I like to slip a DA40 in my pocket along with the DA21, which gives me a closer FOV if I need it. If I had a compact version, I could probably use a 24mm and go with one lens--like the 35mm which is standard on many pocket film cameras.
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