September 01, 2014, 11:36:16 AM

Author Topic: Which lens is better suited for street photography, prime or wide angle zoom?  (Read 3122 times)

Synomis192

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
    • Tumblr/Photoblog
I can't decide which lens to purchase

The Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 or Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

- I like the Rokinon 35mm because it's a manual lens, and my dad had an old rangefinder that had a full manual lens. I've grown attached to it manual focusing on my T1i because 1). I do a lot of videos 2). In low light, i trust my eyes better than the camera. I've played with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 but I found a lot of CA and CF when shot wide open. I have heard that the IQ this lens gives matches a really high quality lens.

- The Tamron interested me because of it's similarities to the Canon 17-55 f/2.8, but it's price range is well in my range. (BTW I'm talking about the non-VC version of the lens). A lot of people say that it's the better lens due to it's high image quality against the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8.

I'm in a film group and currently we are scouting locations for upcoming shorts. I find that we often find ourselves on the street more than indoors.

I'm looking for a lens that will get me good IQ, wide aperture, and something that won't make me have to sell my kidney


Now my question is, which lens do you guys use for street photography? and what do you recommend for someone on a low budget?
Canon 5D - Fine Art/Workhorse
Canon T1i - Modded for Video!
Canon 1DmkII - Sports/Wildlife

canon rumors FORUM


scottsdaleriots

  • Guest
i love street photography i dunno why/what exactly about it appeals to me but it just does. i'd say buiy both? depends what you want to shoot. if you wanna shoot street in general or focus on the people more. maybe go with the tamron since you can cover wide and zoom in if you see something you like in the distance

peederj

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
There's a different theory of street photography with SLR's, and that is to shoot at standoff distances with a telephoto. The rangefinders that Winogrand used were fairly silent and didn't need focusing much so they were stealth. A prime's wide aperture will serve at cross purposes in that case...you can still use one to be sure, but a zoom is just fine for the smaller apertures required to shoot hyperfocally. But shooting with a tele can get you in unawares, even though it looks even more peeping tom if you're caught.

scottsdaleriots

  • Guest
you also never said what your budget is, what's the max $$ you'd spend on a new lens? you just said you dont want to sell a kidney which im sure we can help you find a good lens to suit your lens without offering up a body part to be sold on the black market ;)

peederj

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
And most successful street photography isn't done with an SLR. Tbh I would recommend the iPhone 4S. With enough practice people will think you are texting instead of taking pictures.

Joellll

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
And most successful street photography isn't done with an SLR. Tbh I would recommend the iPhone 4S. With enough practice people will think you are texting instead of taking pictures.
I can't even tell if you're being sarcastic or not, but either way you have a pretty valid point there. :D

However, if I were to give an advice, I... honestly have no idea. I use MF lenses too. While they are pretty compact and fun to use, I like doing snapshots with my Tokina 11-16. The thing I like about it is I am used to composing without even looking at the viewfinder. I put the camera at my waist and let the shutter button do the magic.

So if you're aiming for more blur to emphasize on the subject, the Rokinon will serve you better, especially if you one day will step into the world of FF. Otherwise, the Tamron should give you more confidence on "blind shooting".

unruled

  • Guest
i have the non vc tamron, its a great lens and built very well. I use it for all my street stuff on my 40d.

canon rumors FORUM


Wideopen

  • Guest
The prime will challenge your comfort zone as well as creativity and give the viewers a sense of being there. The wide angle zoom will allow more flexibility in focal range. Id shoot with a zoom lens first to see what focal length you're comfortable with then move to a prime from there.

Tcapp

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Capp Photography
I'm a huge fan of primes. You cannot beat the quality a prime lens gives you. Not just great sharpness and color and bokeh, but there is an certain quality about them that makes them pop, even at equivalent apertures with a zoom. Plus, they generally have MUCH less distortion than their zoom counterparts (not always, but usually).

I know you like the MF lenses, but if you get a fast prime, I do recommend sticking to AF on a crop body. If you shoot wide open, the DOF will be so thin that you wont be able to see it in the viewfinder well because crop viewfinders are tiny, and you are going to miss focus a lot.

Just my two cents! I would personally go for the 50 1.4 and call it a day. But that might be too long for you on a crop body.
5DIII, 5DII, 7D, 50 1.4, 85 1.4, 70-200 2.8 IS L, 70-200 2.8 IS L II, 2x TC III, 15 Fisheye 2.8, 100 Macro 2.8, 24 1.4 L
http://www.TimothyCapp.com
Follow me on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timothy-Capp-Photography/94664798952

canon rumors FORUM