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04-24-2010, 12:42 PM   #16
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Best lens ever for street I've found is the FA 20-35. But it's hard to find and used to be too expensive for what it offers. But lovely rendering, very sharp. F4 is a little slow, but you can shoot comfortably from wide-open and it is very small for a zoom. Covers all the useful focal lengths.

I have used the DA21 happily for street with my old DS. Yes you do need to get close to people, but the perspective is interesting and not too wide.

04-24-2010, 01:24 PM   #17
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I've just acquired the DA 21 and for me it would fit perfectly well with the DA 40 as a street kit. For me it's the F50 f1,7 instead of the DA 40 but the principle is the same. Those two lenses together would make an excellent combo.

The writer of that article seems to control your mind!
04-24-2010, 02:01 PM   #18
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I think that if you were satisfied with the 40mm prior to reading, that its your eye that needs to be pleased as opposed to some one else's opinion.

In terms of 28mm there are a lot of options priced from $1 to over $100. It might be worthwhile to acquire something inexpensive to experiment with.

pentax lens 28mm, Cameras Photo, Used. Great deals on eBay!
04-24-2010, 02:12 PM   #19

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^^good point, and good advice.

04-24-2010, 08:36 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by EsBee Quote
Zooms haven't worked out for me in this application, just can't be bothered with one more thing to adjust when you have little or no time.
Well, I wasn't suggesting using them long term- just a trial run to experiment with focal lengths. Really, you are the only person who can say what focal lengths you like - but you won't be able to do that until you try.
04-25-2010, 06:11 AM   #21
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I have the Sigma 24 2.8 small and lightweightI.. The focal length is good to pair up w/ the 40..
04-27-2010, 06:28 PM   #22
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I think the DA 40 is not that good for hyperfocal shots, on APS-C, but I usually find it too short for street shots.

If you're looking for focus to infinity type shots from up close then an old manual 28 or 24mm lens is all you need (at a fraction of the cost of a DA 21 or DA 15). If flare is not your thang, then you want something with a pentax SMC coating, but otherwise I find flares and CA quite pleasing.
04-27-2010, 06:39 PM   #23
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I agree with those who've said don't worry too much about what you read about street photography focal lengths. In saying that, there's a reason most top street photographers use/have used wider lengths.

Cartier-Bresson, many people's favourite, almost exclusively used a 50mm. Also a 35mm in the US from what I've read. 28mm and 35mm are classic focal lengths for their moderately wide angle. 50mm or 50 equivalent today would be considered reasonably long. But like others have said - it depends on what you want to shoot. If you want to do portraits, the 70mm limited might be perfect. I also think primes have big advantages, but zooms are also useful and I agree with those who said maybe try one to see what focal lengths you like to use.

I recently tossed up some options like the 40mm limited, 21mm limited, 30 f1.4 Sigma, 28mm f/2 etc. Really came down to the 40 and 21mm for their tiny size, fast AF and high IQ. I went with the 21mm, it fits in between the classic 28mm and 35mm lengths on the APS-C. To be honest, I'm surprised at how use-able it is. Have barely taken it off the camera. I would like the 40mm for a few shots, but the 21mm is a really useful focal length for me.

Last edited by CWyatt; 04-27-2010 at 06:46 PM.
04-27-2010, 07:41 PM   #24

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I've tried the following :

24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 135mm

The 24mm is nice and gives more context (ie. environment). Its easier to nail focus as well, since it goes to infinity pretty fast, and shooting at f5.6 1.5-2m, it usually needs no focusing. It does require you to be about 1-3m from your subject, so it may not be for everyone.

28mm functions about the same as the 24. Slightly more narrow but not losing context. More stand off distance from subjects as well.

35mm is nice, for the longer 3-5m stand-off distance. It still takes in enough of the environment and is not too hard to nail focus.

50mm is much tighter and the background can start to be less significant due to the more shallow DOF. Nice picture taking distance though. If you are looking for subject isolation w/o being too difficult to get focus, while still being able to take in the environment for some shots, then its a good choice.

85 and 135 tend to fall into the same category. Nice subject isolation, nice distance (I actually prefer nearer than this), but much harder to get focus. Harder to get aperture/shutter speed/DOF/sharpness into a good balance.


Don't think there will be anything wrong with 40mm. Just a matter of usage and visual preference.
04-27-2010, 08:06 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by EsBee Quote
zooms have no place on these mean streets
Umm.. why?

Each street shooter has their own length they like. Some shoot 100-200mm, some 35, 50 etc.

I would have liked to have bought a DA21, but it's too expensive and not quite as fast as I would like, which is why I went for a Tamron 17-50/2.8. The only one thing about this lens that is working against me for street is it's size. Nothing else. I get quite close, so wide is essential.

With that being said, I had a lot of fun on the streets with a Super Takumar 55/1.8 and, due to it's size, found it great for street portraits.

Last edited by fractal; 04-27-2010 at 08:19 PM.
04-27-2010, 09:45 PM   #26
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Give the DA 40m a go on the streets. You may be surprised at the results. I use the 77mm at times and either the DA 21mm or 35mm ltd at others. Some say the 24mm is the perfect length. Regardless, I'd keep the 40mm. I have used the FA 50mm f1.4 as well. I don't like zooms particularly well because they have sweet spots that I can't get to in a hurry.
04-28-2010, 02:03 AM   #27
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I have a few suggestions, but it really depends on the street (wide vs narrow) and how people react to photographers.

*For environmental shots:
21-24mm if the street is very crowded,
28-35mm if normally crowded.
35-40mm if less than normally crowded.

*Pictures of a group (3-4 persons) communicating: 28-40mm.
*Isolation of 1-2 persons, whole and half body: 35-50mm.
*Real close up of 1 person: 70-200mm

If the the people are somewhat hostile against you then keep distance by using longer focal lengths.

Kind regards
05-11-2010, 04:51 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
Cartier-Bresson, many people's favourite, almost exclusively used a 50mm.
This is on a FF camera so for a current Pentax DSLR body you'll need a 28mm up to a 35mm lens to get a comparable angle of view.

I concur with the notion that typical street photography very rarely involves lenses which aren't normal or wide. More often than not you want to involve the viewer and this is difficult with the compressed perspective one gets from long focal lengths.
05-11-2010, 06:56 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cosmo Quote
It's personal preference, I personally find a 21mm on digital a little too long, I usually use a 28mm on 35mm film, though I wouldn't mind trying a 24mm.
Factoring the 1.5x crop factor, the DA 21 is the lens that's closest in terms of angle of view to a traditional 28mm wide angle on 35mm film.
05-11-2010, 09:07 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by EsBee Quote
DA40 has been my favorite lens on the K-x. However, after reading some articles about street photography, I suddenly started to feel that the lens is a bit too long, and started looking at alternatives.

I like how you found it perfectly suited to your brand of street photography until you read some article written by someone who knows nothing about your photography style.

By all means, experiment, but don't stop doing something if it's working for you just because of an article..

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