Don't know if I will take my D300 or D7000, but in either case I am wondering what focal length is best for street photography. I am a landscape and macro shooter and have done nil in an urban environment.
I don't think there is one right answer to this question, as some people like to use a wide angle and get close to their subjects and others use more of a telephoto and get a more compressed look. But, looking at your profile, I'd say your 16-85 would be great for street. It's pretty wide at 16mm, and 85 gives you about as much telephoto as you'd probably want for street. If I had your equipment, that's what I'd use.
You also list a 10-24, and I could see that if you did want to go for the wide angle look, and you list a 35 f1.8, which is also a good street lens. The focal length is "normal" (but, who wants normal-looking photos?), and it is small and unobtrusive (as if any DSLR is really going to be small and unobtrusive, regardless of the lens). And of course, for lower-light situations it's great.
During the day, in an urban environment, I think you'd be very happy carrying your 16-85.
Thanks, the two I am narrowing down to is the 16-85 or the 24-120. This is a workshop experience. The instructor wants us to have only one lens and focus on the composition and the moment. After watching a video clip by Jay Maisel on street photography, I am, however, leaning toward the 24-120 now.
I agree with Randy. It depends on the street layout and the perspective you going for. Attached is a streetshot I took in Antwerp, Belgium earlier this year. I shot it with my D300 and a Tamron 70-300. It was the only lens I had on me since I had been shooting some rooftop statuary. I rounded the corner and just loved this street. Since the widest I could go was 70mm, I spent a lot of time trying to find the right spot to shoot from. The curve in the street really helps the perspective. If I had been using a wider lens, I would have shot wide and I don't feel the picture would been worth keeping.
There is a great post there about a free eBook from a street photographer. You can find that thread here.
When I think of street photography, I think of wide angle lenses,FX, that would be with anything from 20mm to 50mm. In DX I guess that would be anything from say 16mm to 35mm or so. I also think prime, but that is not to say you can't get similar results with a zoom. I also think prime because can use hyperfocal distances and the DOF scale on primes (even the limited ones I have on my prime 24, 35 and 50mm lenses). Having said that, street isn't something I shoot regularly, if fact I would say I've only shot it infrequently as a self assignment.
Way back in the early days of Nikonians, there was a member here, Al Smith (f8bthere) and he shot a lot of street photos, with a two lens kit, I believe with a manual focus (confirmed: FE2) camera and manual lenses. He liked to shoot incognito and from the hip, inconspicuously. He liked the 24mm and 85mm combo, or a 35 mm and 105mm (f/2.5 AIS...beautiful bokeh, I still want this lens! but I digress...) With the 24mm the subject to camera distance was equal to the short side of the frame, with the 35mm the camera to subject distance will fill the long side of the frame.
Sun 08-Jan-12 03:09 AM | edited Sun 08-Jan-12 03:42 AM by jerry r
Thanks Anthony, I am moving my exploration of this topic over to the PR, PJ, Street Forum. Don't know how I missed the "street" in the forum title. In so many forums you are not sure when people discuss focal length whether they are referring to a Dx or an Fx body. So I thought that if I posted here it might clarify that. Thanks for your reference to that forum.
I used my 24-120 f4 last summer for a week of steet photography in Antigua, Guatemala, and was very please with it. I also had the 12-24 f4 and 70-300 f4, but the 24-120 was my take-everywhere lens, the one I had on my D7000 when I used only one lens.
I shoot street photography regularly here in the Los Angeles area. I use a 35mm and a 50mm lens. I prefer the wide angle. Jay Maisel in New York seems to be using his 28-300mm with a D3. Just depends on what perspective you want. You might try both the wide angle and the telephoto approach and see which suits your style the best.
Did some street photography downtown Los Angeles on Sat with my new Nikon V1.
My candids ran from full frame equivalent of 80mm to 300mm. My general building and other item shots were from 27mm to about 150mm.
I only had from 27mm to 300mm full frame equivalent available.
I am going to take another run at downtown Los Angeles in early February. This time I will take along my D7000 with a 24-120 and a 10-24 in the bag. I will have the V1 with the 30-110 (80-300 full frame equivalent) along as a longer telephoto.
Although I got some nice candids, the V1 is difficult to move the AF point around in a hurry. Also can't effectively exposure bracket with it. I shot in Aperture Priority, Continuous Release, Auto ISO 100-400, Matrix or Spot meter and AF-S.
If I can learn to use Auto Area AF with face recognition effectively with either camera, I may try it for the candids. I have a hard time in my mind letting the camera decide where to focus. But will give it a try this week as a learning exercise.