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06-21-2016, 03:16 PM   #1
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Upcoming street photography course

G'day everyone, how's it going? I have a street photography course coming up this weekend and was wondering if anyone has any tips (i thought I'd come here first ) . What lens should I take? I don't have a 50mm prime but I do have my sigma mini wide 28mm f2.8 prime so I'm definitely taking that one. Is there much opportunity for telephoto shots with street photography? I have an old Paragon 135mm f2.8 as well that gives good colours. Does that sound like a good combination? Will the lenses be fast enough?
Thanks!!

06-21-2016, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #2
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On APS-C I would have said something around the 24 - 28mm mark would be ideal... Many here, myself included, like the DA21's field of view even though it's a bit wider, while others prefer a 35mm on APS-C (actually, I quite like the DA35 f/2.4 for the limited street photography I've tried). Primes tend to be favoured over zooms, partly because they are less conspicuous and quicker to work with. For a great deal of street photography, reasonably wide angle lenses tend to be used stopped down to f/8 or so, which results in quite a sizeable depth of field and therefore doesn't require precise focusing for acceptably sharp images - you can just approximately pre-focus for where the action is likely to be, and you'll be safe in the knowledge that a reasonable distance in front of and behind that point will still be sharp enough. I would say that 50mm and above is probably too long for street photography, as a general rule... Personally I'd stick with 35mm or below... That said, rules are made to be broken
06-21-2016, 03:46 PM   #3
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DA21 Ltd
06-21-2016, 04:32 PM   #4
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Everything I have ever seen on YouTube (yeah, I know, not exactly the voice of authority) suggests that street is a game for normal or wider-than-normal field of view. I have, admittedly, taken a 135mm SMC-M/3.5 with me as a walkaround lens, but only as a backup to its 40mm stablemate on a Pentax film body if I wanted to pick out a distant stationary object or isolate a particular subject; never as a primary 'wander about snapping this and that' lens.

My limited experience suggests that ON AN APS-C CAMERA, the DA21 is perfect, a 28 is a very good, widely available and inexpensive second choice, and 40mm is about as tight as you want to go. Yes, I did try the DA15; far too wide to give individual human subjects appropriate prominence - but very good in tight alleyways and sidestreets when trying to capture a broad canvas of the human condition.

06-21-2016, 04:45 PM   #5
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I've been thinking about adding a good street prime to my kit. With a K-5II, I'm thinking either a 24mm Sigma Super-Wide II AF, Pentax F 28mm, or a 30mm Sigma EX (or HSM, still can't figure out if the K-mount version has any differences between these two lenses).

Then I remember I already own an 18-135 which is pretty solid at those distances and forget about it.
06-21-2016, 05:54 PM - 1 Like   #6
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You want a street lens to be unobtrusive, and an 18-135 is not that.
06-21-2016, 08:12 PM - 1 Like   #7
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There are a lot of different viewpoints on "street photography", including wide views of city streets with crowds of people (your 28mm or even an 18mm kit lens) to street portraits that isolate one person (your 135mm is good for that).

You don't need a fast lens for daytime street photos, so consider bringing something versatile like an 18-50. That lets you practice different focal lengths, and at the wide end works well for hyperfocal or zone focusing if that's part of the class. Most kit lenses don't have depth of field markings, though, so there's some guesswork with it. Bring your 28mm lens because it has those dof markings if they prove important during class, plus the 135mm if you have bag space.

Last edited by DeadJohn; 06-21-2016 at 08:17 PM.
06-21-2016, 08:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
You want a street lens to be unobtrusive, and an 18-135 is not that.
Oh, I completely agree. I just can't rationalize another lens purchase right now. Out of all of the lenses I listed, the 30 interests me the most; depth of field and light grabbing power of an f1.4 max aperture, not-too-large physical size, and a good focal length / field of view for the job.

06-21-2016, 08:56 PM   #9
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Thanks for the response guys! Sounds like my 28mms Sigma is the way to go... It equals 40mm right?

---------- Post added 06-21-16 at 08:57 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
You want a street lens to be unobtrusive, and an 18-135 is not that.
My old 135 mm looks like my 18-55mm kit lens length wise... My "secret telephoto" haha

---------- Post added 06-21-16 at 09:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
DA21 Ltd
Saving that one for my next upgrade
06-21-2016, 10:54 PM   #10
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28mm on apsc has about the same field of view as a 42 mm on full frame. .
06-21-2016, 11:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
28mm on apsc has about the same field of view as a 42 mm on full frame. .
I see. Just wider than a 50 but not as wide as a 35 then. Sounds like a good lens to take

---------- Post added 06-22-16 at 12:14 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
There are a lot of different viewpoints on "street photography", including wide views of city streets with crowds of people (your 28mm or even an 18mm kit lens) to street portraits that isolate one person (your 135mm is good for that).

You don't need a fast lens for daytime street photos, so consider bringing something versatile like an 18-50. That lets you practice different focal lengths, and at the wide end works well for hyperfocal or zone focusing if that's part of the class. Most kit lenses don't have depth of field markings, though, so there's some guesswork with it. Bring your 28mm lens because it has those dof markings if they prove important during class, plus the 135mm if you have bag space.
That sounds like a good idea. I've never been a fan of my kit lens though- it's a sigma 18-50. Still, sounds like the best option for this course. Thanks for the tip
06-22-2016, 03:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bessa-66 Quote
My old 135 mm looks like my 18-55mm kit lens length wise... My "secret telephoto" haha
Sounds like it's about the same size as the good old Pentax M 135/3.5, then. I thought I was looking at a 3X teleconverter (of which I have one already) until the guy took it off the high shelf and put it in my hand. One look through the viewfinder of my ME and I knew it had to be mine!

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Bring your 28mm lens because it has those dof markings if they prove important during class, plus the 135mm if you have bag space.
Agree absolutely with both - I should think use of the DOF scale will be part and parcel of such a course; and with a 135mm as small as you're intimating yours is, OP, it'd almost be a shame not to take it. They may even give you some hints for using it more effectively in your context.
06-22-2016, 03:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Bring your 28mm lens because it has those dof markings if they prove important during class
QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I should think use of the DOF scale will be part and parcel of such a course
Unfortunately, there's a problem with this - the DOF scales on those older lenses will be relevant to 35mm film / FF digital, but not APS-C, so you can't use them for hyperfocal / zone focusing on an APS-C camera. You can use the DOF scale on DA lenses (such as the Limited range) as they're designed for the APS-C sensor.
06-22-2016, 12:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Unfortunately, there's a problem with this - the DOF scales on those older lenses will be relevant to 35mm film / FF digital, but not APS-C, so you can't use them for hyperfocal / zone focusing on an APS-C camera. You can use the DOF scale on DA lenses (such as the Limited range) as they're designed for the APS-C sensor.
Don't have any limited range ones .... Yet! Was going to practice with them Anyhow
06-22-2016, 01:01 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Maybe I have a different definition of street photography than y'all, but I regularly shoot with my 43 (previously my 40) and 77 for the subject.
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