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10-31-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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15mm vs 21mm for street photography

Hello everyone,
Which lens would you use for street photography primarily, and why? How would you rate each lens on sharpness (wide open & at other f stops, center and edges), AF (fast or not so fast), contrast, color, 3D quality, and bokeh.

Thanks all for your invaluable info!

10-31-2010, 05:27 PM   #2
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Da35/2.4.
10-31-2010, 05:37 PM   #3
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DA 40 Limited!
10-31-2010, 06:49 PM   #4
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How do you define street photography?

10-31-2010, 07:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
How do you define street photography?
FA 31 Limited perhaps?

JP
10-31-2010, 08:54 PM   #6
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I'm interested too. My thoughts on what I've gathered so far:

DA15 will give you very dramatic street shots depicting people in a large environment... but I think it would be hard to make a person the focus with such a wide focal length. The environment is the focus.

DA 21 will give you a dramatic shot of people interacting with their environment, because you will be able to get close enough to really center in on an individual. The interaction between people and environment is shown here.

DA 40/35 will allow you to really focus in on an individual within an environment... the scene is simply a background, and the person becomes the focus.

Perhaps a massive over-generalization... but this is my impression?
11-01-2010, 01:11 AM   #7
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I'd get the da21. It's like a slow aps-c fa31 equivalent. Several hundred cheaper than the fa/a 20mm 2.8. Also the da21 is so much cuter.
11-01-2010, 01:27 AM   #8
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There's a coupla threads about street shooting in Pentax forums, i suggest you do a search for those threads and pick up on the lenses that folks are using. From a thread like this, you won't get much of an idea of who actually is doing street shooting and who is merely recommending their favorite lens.

I don't have the DA-15 but i do have the DA 21 and other primes. I find that the DA-21 is wide enough and fast enough focusing, that i can shoot it from my chest or waist single handed while shooting peopple on the street, and without looking thru the view finder. I used it recently shooting while walking thru a crowded craft fair and it worked perfectly in that regard. I would think that the DA-15 is just too wide for this application.

But i can't hold a candle to the real street shooters who do it a lot so i recommend reading their threads on street shooting and pay attention to their equipment comments. I can't recall a single one of them using the DA-15 for shooting people, perhaps for shooting street scenes, but not people as subjects. IMO

11-01-2010, 02:52 AM   #9
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Both are far too wide in my opinion...unless you are right up on your subjects. I wouldn't use anything less than a 35mm, but perhaps more toward a 50.

Jason
11-01-2010, 03:30 AM   #10
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If you go ultra wide as in 10mm, you can get great close ups without people ever suspecting that they are in the frame.
11-01-2010, 08:50 AM   #11
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there are so many definitions, you can't really use Street Photography as a subject without some defintion.

If you are talkint archetectural, I think between the two lenses you have listed, the 15 is better but still lacking. I use a sigma 10-20, because 15 is not always wide enough for my taste.

It is just a little wider than a 24mm would have been on film, and that did not cut it,

If you are talking about a general wide angle lens, the 21mm may be better.

If you are talking aboput candid shots of people, I would not use either but go for a 50-85mm lens to get some separation from the subject.
11-01-2010, 09:40 AM   #12
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I use the 40mm, but that is mostly not wide enough. The 21mm on the other hand is already wide, so the new 35mm would maybe even be better. Don't handled the 15mm ever, but have the 14mm and that is wide, but you can make great streetphoto's

Street urinoir in Amsterdam:


11-01-2010, 10:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dahlia Quote
Hello everyone,
Which lens would you use for street photography primarily, and why? How would you rate each lens on sharpness (wide open & at other f stops, center and edges), AF (fast or not so fast), contrast, color, 3D quality, and bokeh.

Thanks all for your invaluable info!
I'd consider both of those as too wide for people on the street shots. You'd need to get pretty close to the people to fill the frame, or you end up with a lot of junk in the frame. Though I have had fun using my 10-20 for candid shots of people walking by.

I'd go with something like a 17-70 if you wanted to use one lens. It's a good range for getting in close, and for a short distance away from people.

I do like using my 55-300 if I want to isolate people with DoF. You can be 30-40 feet away from them and still get sharp pictures.

Really though, it doesn't matter what lens you use as long as you are able to get the shots that you want and like to get. If you are in a place with lots of people (especially tourists), most people won't think twice about you shooting with a camera, and unless you point a camera at someone for long enough for them to be uncomfortable, they probably won't even notice.
11-01-2010, 10:40 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
I'd consider both of those as too wide for people on the street shots. You'd need to get pretty close to the people to fill the frame, or you end up with a lot of junk in the frame. Though I have had fun using my 10-20 for candid shots of people walking by.

I'd go with something like a 17-70 if you wanted to use one lens. It's a good range for getting in close, and for a short distance away from people.

I do like using my 55-300 if I want to isolate people with DoF. You can be 30-40 feet away from them and still get sharp pictures.

Really though, it doesn't matter what lens you use as long as you are able to get the shots that you want and like to get. If you are in a place with lots of people (especially tourists), most people won't think twice about you shooting with a camera, and unless you point a camera at someone for long enough for them to be uncomfortable, they probably won't even notice.
that's right. UW lenses somehow defeats the purpose of street photography as it's too short for people shots or objects of interests other than architectures and landscapes.
11-01-2010, 12:53 PM   #15
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My walkabout 'street' lens: DA18-250 (AF)
For "bright streets": Tokina 21/3.8 (M42)
-- (badged as Vivitar, Soligor, Lentar, etc)
For wider streets: F35-70 or Tamron 28-70 (AF)
For faraway streets: Lil'Bigma 170-500 (AF)
For darker streets: FA50/1.4 (AF), Nikkor 85/2

It all depends on the streets involved.
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