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08-11-2012, 04:48 PM   #1
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Recommended Lens for Street Photography

I am looking to purchase a better lens for street photography and move on from my kit lens and a manual 50mm which I find slow and cumbersome (I know I Might regret saying that).

I am on a very tight budget so have thought of three possible lenses that all cost around about 150.

1. The New tiny tiny tiny tiny "SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS"

2. The Good Old and Classy nifty "SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7"

3. The moderately new plastic fantastic "SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL"

I will be shooting mostly in daylight so low-light capabilities won't be a massive factor and I'm not that bothered about build quality either.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

08-11-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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Any of those will work, depends on what focal length you are comfortable with. For me 35mm is too short, 40mm is better but still too short. I would go with the 50mm but that's just me. Take a look at the images you like from your kit lens, check the EXIF and see what focal length they were taken at. Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7 is one of my favorites, I don't have the others.

The big advantage of the 40mm is that it is so small, so consider that as well if that is important to you.
08-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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The 35mm would be good I think, its 53mm equivalent, and as most people say, 50mm is one of the best focal lengths for street photography. The other two are quite long, I would think 35/50mm equivalent would be best.
08-11-2012, 05:45 PM - 1 Like   #4
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If low light is not an issue, then you must consider the SMC F 35-70. It's very small, it has very fast and accurate autofocus, and covers most useful focal lengths. It also has a very nice "macro" capability that comes handy sometimes. It's siblings the F 24-50 and the F 35-105 are equally as good if your focal needs ask for wider or longer.

You can probably get it for less then $50 (a bit more for the 35-105 and even more for the 24-50) and if you stop down either one to F5.6 or F8 you'll be pressed to see any differences in image quality than your best primes in everyday handheld shooting.

08-11-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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@jgredline Javier the floor is yours . . . . .
08-11-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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Another Vote For The F 35-70

I'm with Demp10, my favorite walk-around and street lens is the F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5. This tiny wonder is only slightly larger than a 50mm prime and extremely versatile. The A/F is blazingly fast at any focal length, accurate and it's sharp, especially around f/5.6-f/8.0.
Takes the (near) standard 49mm filters, has a useful "Macro" (actually close-up) function and fits in a pocket.
For USD 50.00, you can't go wrong! Check the lens reviews for other comments.
08-11-2012, 11:12 PM   #7
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Were you happy with the focal length of your manual 50mm? If yes, stick with a 50. I have in mind that the price of the new DA 50 f1.8 might go down quickly.
08-12-2012, 05:07 AM   #8
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In the end it is all a matter of personal preference. Some stick with one lens others always change it up. Personally, I like to change it up, but I like my 43 better than my 50 for everyday stuff (and I am just talking length here; I am not getting into iq). I do also like my 35, but I love having macro on it, so I would wait on that one until I could save up for the 35 limited. On your list, that puts my recommendation on the 40. It also has the advantage of being insanely small, which would be useful at time on the street.

08-12-2012, 10:33 AM   #9
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I find my FA50.1.4 far too tight (narrow) for street-use... The FA35.f2 is better but still a little on the narrow side...

I often reach for the FA28.2.8 or the 18-50 kit (people notice the Tamron 17-50 more)... If I had the cash it'd be the DA21
08-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
I find my FA50.1.4 far too tight (narrow) for street-use... The FA35.f2 is better but still a little on the narrow side...

I often reach for the FA28.2.8 or the 18-50 kit (people notice the Tamron 17-50 more)... If I had the cash it'd be the DA21
Another vote for the DA 21 Limited - if you can afford it. The idea with a lot of street shooting is to shoot a bit wide (as you want to be fast, inconspicuous and ensure you get your subject in the frame) and then crop (but not excessively) in post production. The FA 28 f/2.8 is also great if you can find one in good shape. I'd also be tempted to try that F 24-50 zoom, again if I could find one in good shape. 35, 40 and 50mm primes are a bit tight IMHO.
08-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #11
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I really like my DA 35/2.4 but agree that 28mm can be a more useful focal length for walking around. I have an old Yashica Electro 35 GS rangefinder which has a 45mm lens and really like that angle of view. 28mm on APS-C is ~43mm FOV so pretty close.
08-12-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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With 35mm film, the 35mm focal length is the classic for street use. So, for APS-C, think 24mm and wail in despair...

I have a couple of 35mm lenses that I use for 35mm film. I don't shoot digital for street.

08-12-2012, 04:02 PM   #13

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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
So, for APS-C, think 24mm and wail in despair.
Or buy a K24/2.8, within the OP's budget.

(There's an UGly A24/2.8 on KEH for USD 115 right now.)
08-12-2012, 04:07 PM   #14
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DA21 would be perfect. But with that budget youre looking at manual focus options.
08-12-2012, 04:13 PM   #15
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Try the 40mm

I suggest the 40mm. It is a wonderful lens and so tiny hat you will enjoy using it for several hours. I put it on my K20, set the app to 5.6 and let it shoot and if distance is a problem, crop the photo.

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