What lens to use for street photography?


Aug 20, 2011
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#1
Good day fellow clubsnappers!

I am very interested in street photography and I love capturing moments be it in the streets, crowded places, markets etc. I am using Nikon D3100 with 35mm DX lens. Any of you guys have a suggestion on what lens should I invest, and why?

I am still very new to the world of dslr! I love exploring around so I hope you guys can help me out! Layman terms are greatly appreciated. Have a good day!
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#2
You can stick to that lens, or use your kit lens, or buy a long telephoto lens, etc. All depends on your style, the only limit is you.

FYI, please search before you post. This is a very commonly asked topic
 

Aug 20, 2011
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#4
I see.. thanks alot! I guess its no harm posting here again? Its been awhile since I visited this page :D
 

photoart

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Feb 21, 2009
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#5
it depends on the the kinds of results that you'll like to achieve. different people have different preferences; from fisheye/ultra-wide to tele-zooms.

some people like to go near their subjects while others like to zoom in from far

to me, I like the 35mm-50mm range for my street shots. Occasional, I like to use a wide-angle lens to take in the whole scene
 

Aug 20, 2011
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#6
Thank you for the prompt reply guys!! Really appreciate it. I'm more of taking up close on the subject, capturing the emotions.
 

Edwin Francis

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Mar 24, 2006
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#7
Thank you for the prompt reply guys!! Really appreciate it. I'm more of taking up close on the subject, capturing the emotions.
If you like up close street photography, then what you have works quite well. The equivalent of a 50mm on FF, it's what Cartier-Bresson used for most of his famous street photos. If you want to go a little wider, a 35mm (or equiv 24mm on APS-C bodies), is great, but a fast 24mm is pricey. The 18-55 kit lens works pretty well (yes, it's slow, but I like it anyway)
 

Oct 7, 2004
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#9
If u are comfortable shooting strangers & not afraid of stare then go for a wide angle or 50mm. On the contrary, if you're timid then
a zoom lens may be a better choice. It also depends on what lens u shoot with more frequently, so no right or wrong!
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#10
35mm on aps-c works pretty well imo.

Different FL lens, different approach to using it, usually different compression and isolation too.
No right or wrong, depends on your visual and usage preferences.
 

denniskee

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Oct 26, 2003
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#11
If u are comfortable shooting strangers & not afraid of stare then go for a wide angle or 50mm. On the contrary, if you're timid then
a zoom lens may be a better choice. It also depends on what lens u shoot with more frequently, so no right or wrong!
i totally agree. it is not so much as to what lens or focal length, but it is more of how comfortable shooting up close n personal with the subject.

35mm may be to close for comfort for a photographer so maybe a 50mm or 85mm is just nice for isolation n shallow DOF. But this range may not be good for another photographer who likes to interact with the subject, include some environment. Some may prefer 35mm at f1.4 can shoot at lower shutter speed.
 

Last edited:

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
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#12
Like to shoot from far - 85mm, 105mm, 135mm etc.

Like to shoot close: 24mm, 28mm, 35mm

These are just simple suggestions. You can still shoot close with a 85mm if you like, for example. Or get a zoom.
 

Mar 14, 2013
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#13
get a 24-70 f2.8 zoom. for a crop sensor it would cover (roughly) ur 35,50,85 and maybe even 105 =D
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#15
use whatever you have now,
just go out and shoot,
after you have develop your own style, you will know what is most suitable for you.
i concur with Uncle Catchlights.

you use what you love to use, not what others love to use.

after all, they are your photographs, not others.

others can view it, but if you're not comfortable with the focal length, you won't get a good shot either.

and as for me, i use prime lenses of 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm focal lengths (before applying the 1.5x crop factor).

that's my style and i'll stick with it.

but as for anyone who's reading this, what works for you might not work for others.

so to TS, stick with your 35mm lens first, and see whether you like getting up close, or standing far away.

if you prefer to stand away from the action, then you would need a longer focal length. it'll be easier to capture people from afar without drawing their attention, but in crowded areas you might miss the shot because people can walk in front of your lens.

but as i see it, a shorter focal length challenges you to get closer without being detected, where you might interfere with the "natural" scene if you can't move like a ninja.
 

ed9119

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Mar 11, 2002
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#16
Good day fellow clubsnappers!

I am very interested in street photography and I love capturing moments be it in the streets, crowded places, markets etc. I am using Nikon D3100 with 35mm DX lens. Any of you guys have a suggestion on what lens should I invest, and why?

I am still very new to the world of dslr! I love exploring around so I hope you guys can help me out! Layman terms are greatly appreciated. Have a good day!
almost a month now since you last posted.... how did it go ? :)
 

lewissac

New Member
Sep 20, 2011
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#19
35/1.8 is my day-to-day use lens ever since I upgraded to D7100. The FOV is just nice (for me) for a street shots. Sometimes I will bring out 50/1.8 (equiv. to 75mm FF) for closer shot and 85/1.8 (equiv to 127mm FF) for the portraits (shot from far away of course).
 

TheoDR

New Member
Oct 19, 2006
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#20
There's no "best lens", I suppose, just what you like to use or feel comfy using. Personally, I love to use my 70-300mm lens. :)
 

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