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07-06-2018, 11:17 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Best Street Photography/walk around lens. Emphasis on Bokeh capability

Hey All,

What do you use as your walk around lens for street photography. The idea is you leave the bag at home and make do with only one lens while out walking around taking photos.

The reason I posted the emphasis on bokeh was to steer the conversation in that direction. I know any zoom lens would be great like the 18-135, but I am more interested in near focus bokeh background shots. Which requires a large aperture. After searching around I really don't see a good lens to suit that need aside from the 31mm f/1.8 but that's above my budget and probably most people sitting at $1k new.

With the crop sensor K-3ii the 35mm prime is good but a bit narrow with the conversion pushing it above 50mm equivalent on FF. Which has me looking around 31mm and below. I was interested in the 30mm sigma's but everything I read says the purple fringing is just unbearable to work with. The pentax 21mm would be nice but that f/3.2 would make bokeh shots difficult.

So currently I am using the 35mm f/2.4 or my 24mm f/1.4 samyang. The samyang is rather large to be used as my walk around but it does give me some wonderful photos. I dont mind the manual focus but I do enjoy the on camera aperture settings. Most of the shots I am looking for require manual focus anyway.

So what is everyone's experience with street photography? What lens do you gravitate toward. I am pretty satisfied with the Samyang 24mm but its a bit large for walking around in crowds. In that sense I love the 35mm f/2.4 but its a bit narrow at times. Does anyone use the 30mm Sigma lenses and have good experiences with them?

I attached a few photos of mine to show the type of photography I am referring to (all taken with the 24mm). But I am interested in anyone's experiences with street photography.

Attached Images
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K-3 II  Photo 
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K-3 II  Photo 
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K-3 II  Photo 
07-06-2018, 11:29 AM   #2
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I really enjoy using my Sigma 24mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical Macro for street photography.
It produces really nice smooth bokeh (rounded blades) with extremely close focusing 1:2 macro shots.
Plus, for street photography (for me anyway), I really like that it reaches infinity focus at 1m to get everything focused really quick and easily.
07-06-2018, 11:41 AM   #3
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On my K-5 II, I like my Kiron 28 f2.0 for the fast max aperture, manageable size, and relative IQ at f2. This is an awesome low-light lens and I think sharpness improves in lower light situations. I wish it had AF. I also like my Sigma 28 f1.8 EX but it's not small and the AF with my K-5 II isn't always so accurate. It also only seems to work properly with center point AF and not multi. Again, in my situation, I've been told by others that the thing auto-focuses very well for them.

I would like to try an F or FA 28 f2.8 or the Sigma Super-Wide II AF f2.8. The DA 21 seems a bit too wide and too slow for me to get that excited about. The FA*24 seems very interesting but they're expensive on the used market and they're not small. FA 31 is too "tight" and not cheap at all. Sigma 30's might be cool but too many AF horror stories for me to want to spend my money for one.

Last edited by pres589; 07-06-2018 at 11:46 AM.
07-06-2018, 11:44 AM   #4
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or a Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG?









07-06-2018, 11:53 AM   #5
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For bokeh, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM Art, though it is on the larger side, but still not as others that were mentioned. I have not had the Pentax 31mm Limited but can't complain at all about the sharpness and bokeh of the Sigma. It does have a bit of CA wide open but at f1.6 or f1.8 it's great I think.
07-06-2018, 11:58 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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No one said the obvious.. 31 1.8 ltd. After all. Of all the comparisons done of the forum, and there have been a few, no lens Sigma or otherwise has ever matched the smoothness of its bokeh. I don't own this lens, but because it's what everyone compares their lenses to, often making a crazy claim that what they use is better, (only to have folks explain to them why it isn't) I've seen lots of head to head examples. The difference can be minor, but in the end, it's without equal. Others may be close, if what you want is close for cheaper if what you want is close and cheaper.

---------- Post added 07-06-18 at 03:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
For bokeh, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM Art, though it is on the larger side, but still not as others that were mentioned.
There was actually a head to head comparison with the Sigma, 30 ƒ1.4 art and the 31 ltd. I would have gone with the 31, myself. Sometimes bigger is better, sometimes it's just bigger.

Last edited by normhead; 07-06-2018 at 01:03 PM.
07-06-2018, 12:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Justin.APR Quote
Best Street Photography/walk around lens. Emphasis on Bokeh capability
Street photography and emphasis on bokeh in same set of requirements.

For 35mm film, I shoot the Soviet-made Jupiter-12 35/2.8 on one of an assortment of rangefinder cameras. Sometimes I use my FA 35/2 on a compact SLR. For both, the lens is preset at f/8 and 3m. Honorable mention goes to my Olympus XA. 28mm is too wide except in close quarters.

On APS-C digital, I shoot either a Tamron 24/2.5 (01BB), again with focus and aperture pre-set, or my old DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 because it is fairly unobtrussive, although getting the shot is no guarantee with AF.

My Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye has been used for both film and APS-C and works well. The Rokinon 8mm Fisheye is somewhat less effective.

None of the above has pleasing bokeh. All of the above, save the Rokinon, is unobtrusive.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-06-2018 at 12:19 PM.
07-06-2018, 12:35 PM   #8
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It seems like the older sigma's are a good option as well. I hadn't seem those come up in my searches. I would say the 31mm limited is probably the king in this realm but its not a budget option. If I was going to spend that much I would rather get a K-1 and just use my 50mm as a walk around and be done with it haha.

I know there are two versions of the 30mm Sigma and the HSM has a lot of reports of color fringing. Does anyone have experience with the older variation and what the fringing is with that one? I really want to like the 30mm Sigma but I really don't want to have to edit that fringing out. Although its possible I won't see it as much with the type of shots I want it for. It seems like the fringing is particularly bad in day light and more noticeable with landscape shots.

That Kiron 28 f2.0 seems like a quality walk around lens as well. I used to have an old pentax 28mm f/2.8. But that was when I was just starting out and I didn't know how to use it well so I sold it.

07-06-2018, 12:44 PM   #9
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Usually the "standard 3 FF primes" for street photography is either a 28mm, 35mm, or 50mm.
Since you're using a K3II, the options would be a 18mm, 24mm, or 35mm.
If you want a fast zoom, there's the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8
07-06-2018, 12:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Street photography and emphasis on bokeh in same set of requirements.

Steve
haha well unfortunately there aren't a lot of newer options for the Pentax K mount like we see on other brands to fill this void. But I like the weather sealing and ergonomics of the Pentax bodies way too much to switch brands. Plus I like being the underdog

I tried out a friends Sony A7Rii. I felt like it was going to drop it at any moment or just break from setting it down. I have had a lot of people hold my camera to be wow'd by the ergonomics compared to their cameras. Yet its still a hard sell to people being an brand with little recognition in the overall camera community. But I digress haha
07-06-2018, 01:06 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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I wouldn't really call your samples street photography, Justin. No people involved with the depth of field requirements to get them in focus.

For your style of static subjects on APS-C, I have the Samyang 24mm, Sigma 24mm f1.8 and FA31.

On the K-1 for that sort of stuff I have the mighty Sigma 35mm 1.4, but it's very big and the FA31 is easier for out and about shooting and is such a classy lens of its own accord.
07-06-2018, 01:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Justin.APR Quote
haha well unfortunately there aren't a lot of newer options for the Pentax K mount like we see on other brands to fill this void. But I like the weather sealing and ergonomics of the Pentax bodies way too much to switch brands. Plus I like being the underdog
When you're competing with your own 31 ltd. there's not a lot of incentive to create something spectacular in the 28-35 range, although I'm guessing the new "big fat wide angle" will do just that.
07-06-2018, 01:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by disconnekt Quote
Usually the "standard 3 FF primes" for street photography is either a 28mm, 35mm, or 50mm.
Since you're using a K3II, the options would be a 18mm, 24mm, or 35mm.
If you want a fast zoom, there's the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8
Yeah the Sigma 18-35 would be great I would deal with the weight with that range/aperture. That price though haha.

I do use the 35mm f/2.4 a bit. But sometimes I am stuck trying to backup when I can't. I like the 24mm a lot. The Samyang is just a large lens to walk around with. Sometimes I just want to throw on a wrist strap and leave the shoulder strap at home. But carrying the 2 lbs Samyang can get tiring after a hour or so.
07-06-2018, 01:19 PM   #14
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Street or travel, a wide-ish fast-ish compact prime fits the bill so I lean towards the DA21mm Limited.

I prefer the flexibility of zooms though so for my own kit I got back and forth between the 20-40 limited and the sigma 10-20 f3.5. I sold my 21 to help pay for the 20-40 and while I donít regret it I do occasionally wish I had it back. Great little lens that one...
07-06-2018, 01:21 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I wouldn't really call your samples street photography, Justin. No people involved with the depth of field requirements to get them in focus.

For your style of static subjects on APS-C, I have the Samyang 24mm, Sigma 24mm f1.8 and FA31.

On the K-1 for that sort of stuff I have the mighty Sigma 35mm 1.4, but it's very big and the FA31 is easier for out and about shooting and is such a classy lens of its own accord.
Yeah I guess I considered it street photography in the sense that I am walking around downtown streets taking photos when something catches my eye. Would it be more walkaround photography? I guess it could be considered night photography. Sometimes I catch people in the photos but they are rarely the subject in the photo. More like blurred silhouettes to give it some character.

I do really like the Samyang 24mm IQ. Its just large. I would love to have the 31 limited. Eventually I probably will unless Pentax picks up the pace with its new lenses. Or possibly a new crop sensor camera to go along with them.

Its kind of crazy that the Pentax lens that fills that slot was made so long ago.
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