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Lens focus The place to talk about your camera's glassware.

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  #16  
Old 4th February 2015
Crazy Dave Crazy Dave is offline
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

Hi Ralph, just catching up on this thread. People will advise about which focal length lens is best but really it's about you. One can use practically any combination of lens and camera, my advice would be to use what is familiar and don't worry whether you kit looks serious or professional. I Think that that your E-M1 and 12-50 would be fine. I used a Nikon D300 with an 28-300 (35mm equivalent) which was not a small piece of kit for Street Photography for years and got results I still like.

These days I use a 12-35 on an EM-5, this gives me widish angle for street scenes and is suitable for portraits on the street. It took quite a long timeto get used to this focal range when moving from the much longer zoom, hence my suggestion that you use what you already have. Basically, I'm with Chris about approaching people, most characters will agree to having their photo taken providing you have a valid and understandable reason PLUS, a cheerful greeting. There is a guy on Flickr called ROJ Whitelock who get fantastic results using an EM-1 and 12-40, candid and posed.
I hope that you enjoy the day, street is challenging but oh so rewarding. One last thing, two cameras is probably one too many especially if different makes.
David
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  #17  
Old 4th February 2015
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

I have been thinking about getting the 17mm f1.8 to use on my EPL5 for street photography. I think that the 25mm f1.8 is too narrow for this type of thing but I guess that the 45mm f1.8 would give a bit of separation, which has already been mentioned.
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  #18  
Old 4th February 2015
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

The 17 f1.8 is a good default lens for general walk about. On the street, however, I think you need the strength of character to get that extra bit closer, otherwise the street shots lack impact.

I also booked the Liverpool street course as I hope to gain some self confidence to get that bit closer.
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  #19  
Old 12th February 2015
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Ralph Harwood Ralph Harwood is offline
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

Hi there Everyone!

Thank you all for your responses - the general consensus is that I will have to gain some courage rather than some more kit! I have however decided to buy a second hand XZ-1 to take with me as well for if the E-M1 is getting too much attention - hopefully it should be a little more discreet, even though it is white! Otherwise I shall use the E-M1 and 12-50, and possibly my old OM 50mm f1.8 on an adapter if I really need a thin DOF.

Cheers,

Ralph.
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  #20  
Old 12th February 2015
maccabeej maccabeej is offline
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

Hi Ralph. Have you sourced a XZ-1 yet, if not I have one I no longer use and was considering selling, with spare battery and a case. Have not thought about price etc. PM me if interested (also have a17 f2.8 hanging around doing nothing if you ever go down that path).
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  #21  
Old 12th February 2015
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

Hi there Jim!

Thanks for your reply - unfortunately I have already bought one from that auction site, I should really have thought and asked around on here first! I will bear your offer in mind however if there is a problem with the sale, and if the magic money fairies leave me something at the end of the month I might take you up on the 17mm f2.8 if you still have it then.

Cheers,

Ralph.
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  #22  
Old 20th February 2015
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

Ralph,
Just a week and a day until the Liverpool street walk. I see you've sorted your lens problem. However, I came across the following web site http://www.in-public.com/picofthemonth and like me you may be wondering what camera or camera settings do I need to enable the spontaneous shots, examples of which are shown in the iN-PUBLIC web site. A street photographer needs a camera and a lens combination that are instantly ready, much like a primed RealRaw manual camera (credit Ken Rockwell for the phrase). Are digital cameras with electronic viewfinders up to the challenge, or do we need to rush out and get ourselves an M6, an M9 or M240. Well speaking personally, it's beyond my means, so I'll adjust the camera so it never sleeps, and have a 17 f1.8 set to manual with hyperfocal distance / f number.
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  #23  
Old 20th February 2015
maccabeej maccabeej is offline
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

Hi Steve
If you don't allow the camera to turn off make sure you carry spare batteries, my experience is they run out quickly. The other thing you can do is set up your camera (ISO, WB etc.) then switch off the eye sensor (Menu-Gear-Built in EVF-EVF Auto Switch). This disables the LCD on the back of the camera but means no delay when you put it up to your eye. Try it out first as it needs getting used too. Hope that helps, or a least doesn't hinder.
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  #24  
Old 20th February 2015
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

Hi Jim, thanks for the tip. I'll try it out. I have three batteries for the GX7 and up to four for the Oly's EM5 or EP5.
I think the EP5 is a no no, and although I have the VF4, the combo is too bulky for the street. I'm thinking along the lines of the GX7, due to its slightly smaller form factor, but there's still time to change my mind. Either way, I'll follow your suggestion. That's unless someone wants to donate a Leica outfit.
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  #25  
Old 2nd March 2015
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

I do a fair bit of street photography and I travel about with Panasonic Lumix G5 & G6 using my 14mm 2.5 prime and 14-42mm pancake zoom. A truly fast lens is not a requisite, given that so much can be accomplished with ISO manipulation. Olympus has a 14-42mm compact lens which can work quite nicely.

Some other suggestions:

1, turn off all beeps and sounds on your camera
2, silence the shutter by using the "electronic shutter" option
3, set the camera to Aperture Priority
4, most olympus and panasonic micro 4/3 bodies are small enough to be unobtrusive

please feel free to visit my facebook page to see my photos in and around London: I am David Blumenstein on there



Please do visit the Beetles & Huxley gallery on Swallow Street in London. They are currently hosting an exhibition of Henri Cartier Bresson's work. He was/is the king of street photography, and his photos can be a great inspiration
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  #26  
Old 2nd March 2015
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

Hi there David!

Thanks for your reply. In the end I borrowed a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 from the Panasonic team who were there on that day - the course tutor had told us to use it wide open to give the maximum seperation of the subject from the back-ground, which I found really worked.

The side effect of using the lens wide open is that I was able to keep the iso down to 800 or even 400 at times and still get reasonably fast shutter speeds - the tutor suggested over 1/250th at all times.

I agree that the G5 & G6 are small enough bodies to remain inconspicuous, but in some way's I think that most people look at the size of the lens and decide whether someone is a "Pro" or not - my problem now is that I have only one fast short prime - a sigma 30mm f1.4 which is certainly fast enough but looks HUGE on the E-M1 and stops it being a pocketable camera. Looks like I need to buy a small fast pancake prime!

Cheers,

Ralph.

Last edited by Ralph Harwood; 2nd March 2015 at 10:48 PM. Reason: typing!
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  #27  
Old 2nd March 2015
davidavdavid davidavdavid is offline
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

I do a fair bit of street photography with my Lumix and I would say to you that the Panasonic 14-42mm pancake zoom is my lens of choice for candid street photography. The lens is unobtrusive. As for ISO, 1600 is the new 400. Shooting at 1600 with the slower pancake zoom works rather nicely.

I shoot regularly with my G5 & G6 and have done so with the Panasonic kit 14-42mm zoom with great success.

Your tutor on the day is erring on the side of ...

As for your sigma 30mm, it functions as a 60mm which i find too long a lens for street photography.

Lastly, people on the street are not so sensitive as you might believe. Set your camera to silent operation. Take advantage of your viewfinder and SHOOT!!
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  #28  
Old 3rd March 2015
byegad byegad is offline
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

I tend to use my EPL5, although have used my Panny G6 and Olympus E M10 c/w grip. The size of these cameras is small enough for you not to stand out. As for lenses I've used lenses from 7.5mm FE to 60mm with success. Accept that the lens you have on the camera is the one that dictates your shot and don't change lenses too often. (I carry spare lenses on most of my days of street photography, usually in an nondescript bag.) I usually swap lenses while having a coffee or taking a meal break.
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  #29  
Old 3rd March 2015
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Iansky Iansky is offline
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

I agree with many that a small fast prime is the way to go, if I am shooting with the EPL5 then it is the superb Pany 20mm but if I am using the EM1 then my favourite street lens is the PanaLeica 52mm f1.4, it is super fast and delivers incredible quality images.

I prefer the "standard" focal length as it closely resembles the what we see without distorting perspective, it also allows enough separation between subject and shooter so you are not in their space yet cloase enough to get a good sized image.

Street is very much an individual thing and many will prefer wide angle and zooms, having loved many of Cartier Bressons street images (even the out of focus ones) where he used solely 50mm lenses in the days of slow films shows it is a great and challenging form of photography that captures real life.

Very much a horses for courses choice.
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  #30  
Old 3rd March 2015
snerkler snerkler is offline
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Re: Which lens for Street Photography

I'm very self conscious when it comes to doing real gritty street stuff, but on the occasions I've tried I've used the 20mm f1.7 and used zone focussing, shooting from the hip. I found this video very interesting

http://www.slrlounge.com/renowned-st...ists-struggle/


Also, fast forward this to about 5.52 to see the issues with using a small focal length lens lol.
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