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04-10-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
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Your prefered Street Photography set-up?

There was a thread on the UK-PentaxUser site asking for advice on a particular lens for shooting street photography on digital...

I prefer to shoot strret on a 35mm-film system...

Here are my 2 prefered rigs for street:

Pentax-MG with Vivitar 19mm 3.8 and M-50mm-1.4
Pentax-MEsuper with M40-2.8 (hooded)
(I have a Program-A on the way which I plan to permenantly pair with the vivitar...)

What is your prefered set-up for a mornings/afternoons/days streetshooting adventure?

04-10-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Pentax K5 with DA-l 35mm f2.4 and Olympus XZ-1 as backup
04-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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Bigger is better - don't be shy, surprise your subjects by not being discreet; k5 with 50~135mm (one of these might have been with the 85 1.4):

04-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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It depends on the street and the light. I'll use anything in the 10-500mm range on my K20D, with a P&S in my pocket for just-in-case situations. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Suppose I'm hotelling a block off Union Square in San Francisco. I'll hit the Square in mid-day with my DA18-250, find a comfortable patch of grass, and snipe passersby. Then I go up Grant Avenue in Chinatown with the Tamron 10-24 for shooting inside shops -- but it's no good on the street. So I switch to the tiny Enna Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5 for stealthy headshots. Come evening, I'll mount the Nikkor 85/2 or FA50/1.4. But the next day around Ghirardelli Square and the Cannery and Fisherman's Wharf, nothing but the Lil'Bigma 170-500 will do.

In Santa Fe New Mexico I prefer the Tamron 10-24 in some places, the FA50/1.4 for dancers in the Plaza, the Sakar 500/8 for faces down the street, the F35-70 for path-walkers. In vertiginous Taxco Guerrero Mexico, the DA18-250 handles most of the twisty town, but delving into the incredible subterranean marketplace (8 levels deep!) requires the Zenitar 16/2.8 or Vivitar-Kiron 24/2. And here in even steeper Bisbee Arizona, I'm favoring my newly-acquired Vivitar-Cosina 19-35 in some places and the little Tele-Takumar 200/5.6 in others.

Like I said: it depends.

04-10-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Preferred: (1) Sigma Super-Wide 24mm 2.8 + DA 40mm 2.8 + either Cosina 100mm 3.5 or Takumar-F 70-200mm
But sometimes I go with (2) Super-Takumar 35mm 3.5 + SMC Takumar 55mm 2 -- because Taks are fun.
04-10-2012, 07:31 PM   #6
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I prefer film for street shots, I usually bring my K-5 along too, but end up only taking a few pictures or in some cases, not even taking it out of the bag at all...

ME Super SE with SMC Takumar 28 3.5 is my choice or Canon Demi (half-frame 35mm).
04-10-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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K20d in AV mode + takumar 28mm f3.5.
04-15-2012, 07:10 AM   #8
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do you have to have someone sign a consent form afterwards, if you just take photos of them on the street ? or is it public domain, as long as they are in a public place ? i've wondered about this .

04-15-2012, 08:40 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dh4412 Quote
do you have to have someone sign a consent form afterwards, if you just take photos of them on the street ? or is it public domain, as long as they are in a public place ? i've wondered about this .
[Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a lawyer.] Laws vary, but in USA generally, anything|anyone you shoot while YOU are in a public place, and if the subject has no expectation of privacy where they are, is fair game -- unless you use the image commercially, i.e. to sell something (other than itself).

For instance, you take a stealthy street headshot. You print it for yourself; no problem. You mount and frame and sell the print; no problem. You publish a book with a collection of images, and your headshot is the cover; no problem. If that cover image is used to advertise the book, you may get sued, but you will win.

But if you use that image (in packaging, advertising, etc) to sell other stuff -- clothes, toiletries, services, whatever -- THEN you have a problem. THEN you would have needed that model release. Then you would get sued, and you would lose.

So if you ever hope to sell an image for commercial use, get a model release.
04-15-2012, 10:02 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I like the k-5 with either da 21 ltd or fa 35 f2.

Last edited by crewl1; 04-15-2012 at 05:56 PM.
04-15-2012, 10:17 AM   #11
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I use my good manual lenses mostly for indoor work. I keep the Takumars for studio work or work very close to home in safer areas. I don't like to carry a whole lot when I'm out on the street. If I carry my K-x I take my kit and either my Tamron or my Sigma AF zoom. Most of the time though I'm actually carrying my backup SPII or a Yashica, a 50mm and a cheap zoom of some kind because if I am walking around in my town on the streets downtown with a camera in my hand it's not going to be my best one. If I lost my FX-2 and a couple of my Yashica lenses or my working Honeywell SPII etc I'd be annoyed but not nearly as much so as if I'd lost Queenie or my K-x.

It really depends upon where I am going. There are some places I can take any of my older SLR's and no one would care all that much or mess with me. There are some places I could even take my K-x though I tend to be very careful about where I take that. But the vast majority of places around here? I just don't want my K-x in sight. I don't want to get mugged over some thug wanting my DSLR. They don't really stop to read the brand name before they slug you.

People and women in particular are being attacked for their tech gear here. There have been dozens of punch and grab thefts here in the past year or so. The guy walks up to you, punches you in the face, takes your stuff and takes off. You can't have an I-phone, I-pad or laptop and use it safely in public here. At least not outside or near a door. I'm just not feeling too safe walking around with a DSLR around my neck. I will take it out where I live in my park, to hunt birds and other wildlife. I will take it to a shoot because I usually can, but mostly I use the SLR's running around town.

But regardless I like as few lenses as I can carry for outdoor work. I'm not into being a human pack mule. Usually it's two, but sometimes it's just the 28-200MM Tamron. Depends upon what I think I will be shooting.
04-15-2012, 10:56 AM   #12
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This is wot i rote in the thread Dave mentioned in the OP.


I think the culture plays a big part, and how crowded a street is. Walking in and out of Canterbury - smallish, quiet English city - I no longer even bother attempting taking photos. It would be tantamount to mugging, just you and the subject on a long, quiet, empty street. People's personal space area is huge. Once on the crowded high street though, anything goes, and I prefer 24mm or 50mm full frame equivalent.

I do agree with conventional wisdom that over 50mm equiv and you are getting away from street photography and into candid portraiture/voyeurism. I don't have a problem with that, but I think it's a different thing.

In my experience using small film cameras is by far the best option because it is a lot cooler looking, and people get that if you are pointing a small, retro camera at them you are being arty not weird. They respond totally differently. Also it stops me chimping and worrying about the exposure, (meter one setting for shade, one for sun). You can get loads of small old fixed lens rangefinder cameras for under 20 that are in the 40-50mm range, zone focus, hold them in one hand.

My favourite street camera is my Super-A with a 50mm f1.7 and 24mm f2.8, but having said that in busy cosmopolitan places like Brighton where lots of people have cameras the flexibility of the 18-55 has been great - its actually pretty small. I would never go as large as the Tamron 17-50 though.

Sorry this post turned into a bit of a guide to street photography there...


Lately I've also been using my K5 in monochrome mode with the contrast pushed up a bit and a red filter effect.
04-15-2012, 12:27 PM   #13
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To me, street photography is all about light weight, minimalist type set up and quick grab shooting. I don't do it very often but when I do (like on vacations) I carry my trusty K10D with my kit Sigma 17-70 mounted. I cherish the flexibility this type of set up allows. Of course if I know I'll be looking at things like archetectural details or sniping people, the DA* 50-135 is my choice. Then there's always the possibility of wanting the WIDE view in which case my Sigma 10-20 does the trick.
04-15-2012, 01:13 PM   #14

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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
[Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a lawyer.] Laws vary, but in USA generally, anything|anyone you shoot while YOU are in a public place, and if the subject has no expectation of privacy where they are, is fair game -- unless you use the image commercially, i.e. to sell something (other than itself).

I also am not a legal professional, but please let me add to this one - because it could spell more lawsuite than most could ever possibly afford.

Try not to include any children of any age (under eighteen) on ones photographs that one uses for any type of business purposes - even if taken in a very public area. There's no telling how any parent, guardian, or relative might take to the though of having their child photographed. One could very well have law enforcement called on them, and very well end up in lengthy investigation, followed by court action.

And not to this specific instance or example; but I have seen both casual picture takers all the way to career professionals get cited and even chaged with a version of disorderly conduct - typically a summary offense IF cooperative with all authorities and also typically in excess of a six hundred dollar fine. But even with it being summary - it might never leave a district justice/judge/magistrate in theory. But it could gravely effect ones business and ones ability to keep a job.

So, if you happen to still want to do candids where children (anyone under eighteen) make sure you have yourself well covered; ethically and legally. I personally would elect not to take the chance without alerting parents up front and first.

Also of concern if one takes items such as senior portraits; that if it is a legit business (or even a very part-time money maker); that there can also be very extensive contracts involved. Technically any minor usually can get away with the consent of just one parent; but under some circumstances - such as for publication (or for some business purposes) then one must get both parents signatures AND in some cases to add to that - additional custodial parents - say if there were a stepparent for primary residence.

Photographing chlldren can be a good line of work and quite rewarding, but legally it is a nightmare. Which is why it pays to almost want to deal with professional agencies; such as a modeling agency - which unfortunately might preclude candids.
04-15-2012, 03:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
What is your prefered set-up for a mornings/afternoons/days streetshooting adventure?
It used to be a K-5 and a fast prime, either a 35/2.0, 50/1.4 or 85/1.4, depending on how I was feeling. Now, I prefer to use the Fujifilm X-Pro1 with a 35/1.4, and sometimes, the Fujifilm X100.

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