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11-07-2010, 02:05 PM   #1
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I've seen the light--35mm for street shooting

I'm going to be posting images I took today with my Super-Tak 35mm F2 in the Takumar Club--but if you don't own an old Tak and never go to the Takumar Club, you have my sympathies.

Anyway...

The question is often asked from newbies as to which focal length is better for this or that. I could never provide an answer about street photography, even though my ignorance about a subject never prevented me from offering an opinion.

However, I really experienced an epiphany today:

Everyone's streets are different, but today, I went to a local Farmer's Market with my S-Tak 35 2. Although I had longer stuff in the bag, and thought I would switch to it, I didn't--for this simple reason:

In crowded environments, and with people walking to and fro, you have to step CLOSER to get your shot and fit everything in, and not BACK, or people will walk between you and your subject.

I would normally have shot this day with a 50 or 55, but man--shooting with the wider 35 really made a difference.

I just learned this today because I live in a part of Florida where I never have to shoot under these crowded conditions (it sucks here for this but our weather kicks ass), but this experience taught me a lot.

It's a simple concept that I never realized before:

It's easier to walk closer, but if you have to step back, people get in your way and screw up the shot.

11-07-2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to the club, Ira.
11-07-2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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Hi Ira,
I'm not privileged to own a Tak, but I'm fully on your side with wanting to use a wide (relatively) lens for street photography. Myself, I use a K10 with a Tamy 17-50 f2.8 for my walk-around lens and I rarely take it off. I've got an FA-50 f1.4, and a DA 50-200 and a Tamy 70-200 f2.8, plus the standard DA 18-55, but my favorite is my Tamy 17-50. I can take it anywhere and it works for me. I couldn't exist without my wide end. Occasionally, I might want to put my tele-zoom on, but my wide lens is my fallback.
11-07-2010, 06:25 PM   #4
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I know what you mean Ira, I prefer mostly a 24mm for street shots, that works great for me though sometimes I'll use a long zoom for a different perspective

11-08-2010, 03:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pablom Quote
I know what you mean Ira, I prefer mostly a 24mm for street shots, that works great for me though sometimes I'll use a long zoom for a different perspective
The next time I'm in an environment like, I'll try even wider. I only have Vivitars in 28 and 24, but my 24 is pretty good.

Here are some of my 35 2 S-Tak shots:

I was able to get real close to her and keep people from getting in the shot:



I love the wider perspective on this, getting within a foot or so of his head:



He just walked by at the perfect time for the 35:



Again, no one getting between me and the shot:



I hate foo-foo dogs like this, but other people's kids are cute:



Your typical overweight American:



I never taught MY sons to shop for fruit when they were this young:
11-08-2010, 07:04 AM   #6
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Lovely shots Ira, I think you will apreciate a wider perspective
11-08-2010, 10:38 AM   #7
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35mm has always been my fave focal length for street photography.
11-08-2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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on crop sensors?

11-08-2010, 08:18 PM   #9
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I just won a 35/3.5 SMC tak which I'm pretty excited about. I can't wait to try it out although it will be several weeks until all of my stuff can be shipped from the states.
11-08-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
The question is often asked from newbies as to which focal length is better for this or that. I could never provide an answer about street photography, even though my ignorance about a subject never prevented me from offering an opinion.

However, I really experienced an epiphany today:

Everyone's streets are different, but today, I went to a local Farmer's Market with my S-Tak 35 2. Although I had longer stuff in the bag, and thought I would switch to it, I didn't--for this simple reason:

In crowded environments, and with people walking to and fro, you have to step CLOSER to get your shot and fit everything in, and not BACK, or people will walk between you and your subject.

I would normally have shot this day with a 50 or 55, but man--shooting with the wider 35 really made a difference.

I just learned this today because I live in a part of Florida where I never have to shoot under these crowded conditions (it sucks here for this but our weather kicks ass), but this experience taught me a lot.

It's a simple concept that I never realized before:

It's easier to walk closer, but if you have to step back, people get in your way and screw up the shot.
Thanks for sharing. For a moment there I was wondering whether you meant 35mm on film or digital, which has different FOVs - then I saw that you took the pictures with a K-X. Agree that 35mm on digital (or 50mm on film) is a good focal length for crowded areas like marketplaces. I would venture to say that slightly wider would be better to capture the context together the subject. Personally, I use a Ricoh GRD III (fixed focal length about 28mm) for snaps at marketplaces - its small and unobstrusive, and has great IQ.

I was brought up on film, so I still follow the film FOVs in my head.
11-09-2010, 06:05 AM   #11
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Nice shots. Isn't the 35mm on the K-x the equivalent of a 50mm on old film SLRs? If so, there is a reason that the 50mm was the default lens for most makers for many years. I've been experimenting with the M28/2.8 that my sister gave me and am finding it more "normal" as a lens than the 50. No crowds yet but I am certain that either the 18-55 DAL or the M28 will be on my camera for those situations.
11-09-2010, 08:01 AM   #12
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isn't 35mm on crop too "narrow" for street-photo?
11-09-2010, 08:47 AM   #13
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While I don't own the 35mm Tak, I concur with going wide for street/crowd scenes. I shoot at motorcycle and car shows often and backing up isn't an option. Often, even a 35 will be too long. I'm seriously considering the DA15 or the DA 12-24 at the moment because I've been shooting at a lot of these events.
11-09-2010, 09:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I shoot at motorcycle and car shows often and backing up isn't an option. Often, even a 35 will be too long. I'm seriously considering the DA15 or the DA 12-24 at the moment because I've been shooting at a lot of these events.
I use the 12-24 for shows. It is a very versatile range, and has the benefit Ira mentions.
11-09-2010, 02:39 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by greymda Quote
isn't 35mm on crop too "narrow" for street-photo?
it's not really too narrow, it's just right. although having said that, a 28mm would be more ideal.
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