Question for "street shooters"

Started Sep 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,734
35mm 1.4

Very few of the well known street shooters work with a lens as long as the 50mm on 35mm film or a full frame. While it's "normal" focal length, it isolates the subject from the environment more than you'd think of with the word "street" (the context is the subject), but doesn't let you isolate enough for a portrait (like the 85mm.)

When I shoot street in the daytime, I usually work with the 24-70 2.8, and when I look at the EXIF data from a number of shoots (I've been shooting some long term projects - 8 years so far on one of them) I'm usually at 24mm to 30mm, or at 70mm, almost never in the middle. The fast primes I use for shooting at night kind of reflect the same thing - I've got a lot shot with a 35mm 1.4 (originally with the manual focus AIS lens, now the new one), some with the 20mm 2.8 (but it's a bit too short for me and too slow...), some with the 85mm 1.4 or now 85mm 1.8. And even though I've always got the 50mm 1.4 or 50mm 1.2, I use it less than a couple percent of the shots.

Based on my ongoing monitoring of EXIF data on shots I like, I've added the 24mm 1.4 recently, I think I'll use it a lot and it'll let me leave the 20mm behind.

Don't guess - look at your EXIF data in Lightroom and see what focal lengths you actually used and how much. Then look only at images you rated 5 stars and see if the answer changes. That's what got me to leave my 50mm in my bag - a few years ago while I'd used it some, no image made it into my 5 star selects.

Your answer may differ of course, but as much as great glass costs, it makes sense to base decisions on data.

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