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12-08-2011, 11:34 AM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I'd prefer a compact 24mm, but the DA21 and DA40 are my most used street lenses. They are so inconspicuous, especially on a K-x. I have also used the DA21 on mf a lot. It saves a missed point of focus on a quick street shot.
Endorsing those comments:
I like the M20/4 or K24/2.8
as light, compact, discreet lenses
for walk-around/street duty on a K-x.

Apart from its extra stop of speed,
the K24 has the advantage
that its distortion doesn't need correcting
as often as the M20's does.

Either lens turns the K-x
into a "poor man's X100/X1,"
fitting in a bridge camera waist pack.
The DA21 would do the same,
but since I have the M20,
I never bothered with the DA21.

01-12-2015, 04:44 PM   #92
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The famous photographer Cartier-Bresson used a 50mm 3.5 at first and then a 2.0. The equivalent on Pentax would be the 31 Limited or a 35. Try and find one of the SMC-A 35mm f2.0. Don't worry about no auto focus. Learn to "zone focus" That is what the classic street photographers did.
01-12-2015, 06:06 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Thank you all for the replies. There's probably no single lens that can perfectly do everything I want. I'm learning a lot in the process.

Where's my $500 high-IQ pancake f1.4 18-300 zoom?
Here it is... just ignore the asking price
https://www.keh.com/242024/pentax-400mm-f-2-8-smc-a-ed-if-k-mount-manual-focus-lens-drop-in-49
01-12-2015, 09:05 PM   #94
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Thread necromancy up above! My original question was asked in 2011. I've since moved on to a Ricoh GR for street photography while DSLRs get used for other things.

01-12-2015, 09:08 PM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Thread necromancy up above! My original question was asked in 2011. I've since moved on to a Ricoh GR for street photography while DSLRs get used for other things.
What's 4 years amongst friends?
01-12-2015, 11:35 PM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I've been dabbling with street photography with my K-R. Using the 18-55 zoomed to 21mm and 40mm as a basis for comparison to Pentax' DA Limited pancakes, I find I prefer 40mm.

The DA40 seems like a near-perfect lens but I'm unsure about nighttime street work. I expect to do most of my shooting in Manhattan. Is there enough ambient light in a big city to get away with f2.8 without cranking ISO too high?

Other lens options compared to the DA40:
  • FA43: Maybe. That goes to f1.9, just over one full stop better than the DA40. The FA43 lens is a bit larger (but still compact), cost $200 extra, and reportedly slower to autofocus.
  • Sigma 30 1.4: 30 is a sufficient focal length. The huge piece of glass in front, though, screams "LOOK AT MY CAMERA!" during the day. Questionable IQ, too.
  • DA35: Nope. f2.4 isn't a real improvement over 2.8.
  • Voigtlander Ultron 40 2.0: Nope. No autofocus limits shooting from the hip.
  • Various 50mm choices: There are a few 50 choices with wide apertures, but I haven't seen anything that approaches a pancake's compactness. I also think that 50 * 1.5 crop factor is a bit long for street photography.
I'm sort of undecided between the DA40 and FA43. I'd hate to spend an extra $200 starting with the FA43, though, and find that it's still not quite fast enough for night.

I'll probably start with the DA40 because it's so ideal for daytime street photography. I'll play with ISO at night, and if I'm unhappy I can use the $200 I "saved" by not getting the FA43 towards a 2-stop improvement in a Sigma 30 1.4 or a Pentax 50 1.4.

Comments appreciated. I'll probably commit at the end of January.
Back in the days of film, tons of people were engaged in night street photography.

At that time the most common option was a 50/1.4.

I used to go out with my KX loaded with black and white 400 ISO film, pushed 3 stops to 3200 ISO. I would process and print myself, push processing B&W film was easy, I seem to recall the only real issue was stretching the processing time out from the typical 5-6 minutes at 20C to about 20-25 minutes.

Here is a typical shot, likely wide open at 1/30


Today, I would be inclined to go out with a good 35mm, likely either my SMC-tak 35/2 or M35/2, although I also had a lot of fun with my samyang 14/2.8 on my PZ-1 in NYC at night. Again, I like the look of pushed film for night shooting, but with the high ISO capabilites of today's cameras you can do pretty well with shooting at 3200 ISO and convert to B&W afterwards
01-13-2015, 03:06 AM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Thread necromancy up above! My original question was asked in 2011. I've since moved on to a Ricoh GR for street photography while DSLRs get used for other things.
Nothing wrong with a dead thread. They have as much useful information as living ones.
01-13-2015, 07:24 AM   #98
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Sigma 30/1.4 or FA35 or FA31

02-12-2015, 11:07 PM   #99
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While the request was for a prime, I just wanted to mention I picked up an F 35-70mm zoom with my K-3, and it may as well be considered a prime due to its size. Its probably the smallest lens I own outside my fast 50's, and definitely the lightest.

If I were to get into street shooting, I couldn't think of a better lens out of what I have than this thing. Its small, unobtrusive, lightweight (its basically all plastic), and has a macro function for use in a pinch. Its also stupidly (and I mean stupidly) sharp for a zoom, probably due to its small size.

Here's its PF user review listing.

SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
02-14-2015, 09:56 PM   #100
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I use a 35-40mm for street photography--on film. Otherwise I am more likely to shoot streets with the DA21 a vintage 28mm or a "normal" zoom at 24mm. I could use a compact 24mm prime.
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