My main point about lenses for me is an aesthetic one since I am generally 'not' trying to engage with my subjects so. I talk quite a lot about this in my posts on the psychology behind my own street photography.
The aesthetic is what requires me to shoot close an wide because it is the perspective afforded by moderately wide lenses like the 35mm which is so appealing. The perspective is very close to what the human eye would see and so you feel like you are standing there, and, of course you are! Longer lenses crunch up perspective in a totally different way and depth of field becomes minuscule. Its just a different look. Its a look that for me suits portraiture very well but I personally would find it less engaging for wider scenes because it would look unnatural due to that perspective.
Clearly in this instance you were shooting a funeral so your use of a long lens was totally understandable in my opinion.
Point taken, Mark. I had previously read your blog and found it quite interesting; thanks.
One issue I have, since I travel by dirt bike, is weight and bulk. I've found I have to leave a lot of gear at home and carry maybe two lenses: a 24-105 & 70-300. These cover a range for everything from landscapes to wildlife. I hate to leave my 100 macro behind, but tough choices must be made. Regarding 35 vs 50 vs 24-105 zoom, do you feel it would be worth the stretch to add a 35 or 50 to the mix, in addition to the 24-105, and if so, which focal length would be your hands-down favorite?
I'm returning to your neck of the woods for 3 months (Nov - Jan in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Viet Nam) and want to spend more time off my bike and on the street with camera in-hand. If you advise that a fast, short prime is a must, I might be able to find a nook or cranny to squeeze it in.Intresting thread here. I don't know if it was this site who featured Markus Hartel. He does a lot of SP either using a 5D series body and an 28 prime lens attached to it. He also did a project on The Americans 2010. Revisiting Robert Frank's track. In this project he did a lot by using a Leica range finder, the same way Frank worked back in the 50s.
Thanks for the link, pedro. Good stuff!
Weight is an important consideration for me. While Im travelling I find opportunities to shoot documentary stuff all the time and do so. I find I really miss my 24-70 for this and since the Canon new 24-70 is such and amazing lens.
...I really missed it on this trip. its lighter and just an all round better lens than the old one.
I can however get by the the 35 and 50 if I had to. Next time Ill probably ditch the 50 and take the 35 and 24-70 just to keep weight down and flexibility high. For street work I think the size of a 24-70 would spook too many people so it is 35mm f2 all the way.
I would definitely squeeze a 35mm f2 into your kit. The psychological aspects of shooting with such a small lens are not to be understated and its really small and light. It also shoots at f2 which can get you out of a few low-light scrapes....