What do you shoot with?

Discussion in 'Street' started by pstake, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. pstake

    pstake Member

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    what do seasoned street shooters use for making photographs? What's your primary street-shooting system?

    I love to use my Contax SLR with T* lenses but it's not the most inconspicuous nor quiet camera available. I've only used rangefinders a handful of times but enough to know their merits. That said, a rangefinder of the quality of my Contax system is beyond my means right now. And with a few sporadic exceptions in the past, I've only recently had the ability to go out and shoot street with any regularity. I've always admired good street photographers and the images they make. It's the purist form of photography IMHO. Documentary would be a close second.

    Please tell me what you use to shoot with and any other ancillary details are welcome as well! Also, links to images are appreciated.


    For background:
    My roots in photography are documentary. Longer-term projects following a series of subjects about their daily lives, activities, jobs ... very microscopic stuff ... Anyway, the point is: FOR MY DOCUMENTARY WORK, MY SLR WAS / IS PERFECT. At first, subjects are/were a little awkward around the camera but eventually they grow used to it and so do I.

    I've always used Contax SLRs. I love them. I love using them and I love the images they produce. If photos don't come out well it's usually because I do something retarded. When images come out right, they can be absolutely stunning even in small format. I prefer fast film. Usually Tri-x at 1600, Tmax 3200 ... have pushed Neopan 400, 800 and 1600. For detailed work, I LOVE Delta 100 in ilfotec HC. Since I rarely print larger than 8x10, this format is not a problem.

    Have only recently had the stability and resources to get back into shooting, processing, developing and printing from home. Print mostly 5x7 on a Leitz Valoy II ... process in Rodinal, D-76, and ilfotec-hc (depending on film i'm using), and print using dektol.

    I think that a bad / unengaged photographer can not make good photographs even if s/he has the best equipment, but a discerning photographer wants to have precision and quality optics with which to record moments in the most impressive way possible. With my Contax system, "F8 and Be there" works in almost every scenario.
     
  2. dehk

    dehk Member

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    I might be not as seasoned as you'd like, or own the best equipment as some would think, but I will answer your question.

    First, I Don't own a Leica. I am a budget photographer.

    It really depends on where I am at. If I want to be stealthy, my EXA black flange with WLF, also I recently converted it into M42, this camera seemed to get away with a lot of things, without people looking at you too pissed off. This I tend to shoot hyperfocal with.

    In the winter, I like to have my Olympus 35RC in my jacket. It's small, quick, complete manual override If I need, and a nice lens.

    If I feel like there's going to be good stuff, I'll bring my Rolleiflex T with WLF out.

    Recently I am doing an experiment, is an F4 with a WLF. Sadly its still too big and scaring people away, I would like to replace my MB21, with an MB 20, so it looks smaller, and less scary. With this camera right now I must use the shoot and keep walking method, don't look back.

    That's what I like to do street with, at this moment, I have tired a lot of camera and this set up works the best for me, as of right now. That doesn't mean i won't use other cameras to do street when I have to. Did street with a 650Pro with Power Grip + prism, just smile and nod, and walk away fast, haha.

    Previously I also use a Petri 1.9 for street.

    By the way, there's also a OM Infinity Stylus in the glove compartment.

    You will find a sample of my street photos at http://dehk.wordpress.com/street-photography-best-of/

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2012
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    For street shooting I prefer a .45acp and 12 gauge riot gun followed with maybe a Cetme .308 so's I can really reach out and touch someone.
    Oops, you were asking about photography.
    Um, I generally use Mamiya 6x6 TLR's and 4x5. used to shoot loads of 35mm Olympus gear, but have gotten away from miniature format schtuff.
     
  4. dehk

    dehk Member

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    You prefer bird shots or buck shots?
     
  5. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Great photos, Dehk ... thanks for sharing.

    Ever tried the charade of pointing the wide-angle lens seemingly away from people, and THEN briskly walking away. My latest technique.
     
  6. dehk

    dehk Member

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    That would probably translate to camera shake here. I just shoot now, worry later.
     
  7. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Yashica Lynx 5000e (45mm f/1.8) or Nikon F3 with 28mm f/2.8.
     
  8. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    While I own a three body (M6x2, M4P), five lens (28,35,50,75,90) Leica system for candid/street photography, I have found over the years that probably most of my street work has been shot with either the 28 or the 50. The beauty of the rangefinders is that they allow me to work in close to my subjects, unhindered and almost always unnoticed. If I am carrying a bag, I load one body with E100G and the second with one of Tri-X/HP-5 (for most of my daylight shooting) and then often switch to Ilford's Delta 3200 for existing light work (an amazing film!).
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    OO buck and slugs. Inside buildings I opt for #4 shot for max body damage and less wall penetration.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i use anything from a 4x5 graflex slr to a leica m3 ... and a penft
    im not too choosy ... :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2012
  11. pstake

    pstake Member

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    thanks

    Good to see another SLR in the mix, rthomas.

    I can't imagine trying to capture candid scenes with a 4x5 ... what's your technique there? Long lens and a lot of waiting in one place? That's my first guess.

    Bradleyk ... I also use the 28 and 50 most often.

    But now that my pancake 45 tessar is back from the shop, i'll probably put it on my 139Q and try that setup for street. Quite a bit more compact than the RTS + distagon 28 f2.8 / 50 f1.4

    The 50 1.4 is ideal for me because it's so darn fast!

    thanks everyone for the information. I love hearing about what other people use (the firearm chatter is even a bit amusing)

    Still like to hear from anyone else.

    Also, something else came to mind. Is HP5 Ilford equivalent of Tri-X?
     
  12. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I use a camera that MOST, no all, say it's close to impossible to shoot street with. They say it's too heavy, too loud, too much mirror shake, and too slow to focus, just to name a few. It has helped me make my favorite images so far.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I use a Minox 35GT and a Zeiss Contax 11 Range finder camera with a Zeiss 5cm f1.5 lens.
     
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  15. Maris

    Maris Member

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    Curiously, I have found that using a big camera on a tripod makes me "invisible" when doing street photography. I'm "part of the furniture" rather than an annoying pest that buzzes after people with a camera fixed to my face.

    I set up by prefocussing and framing on an promising spot, shop window, ticket booth, fountain, and the like, where interesting looking people may do quirky things. I watch the unfolding scene attentively but casually and I never look at anyone through the camera. Sometimes the reflection in the lens filter tells me my "target" is in the right spot. Because I fuss with the camera controls, make meter readings, occasionally press the cable release, wind the film while standing in front of the camera, no one is certain when I have made an exposure or who has been photographed; not even the small, easily bored, transient crowd that gathers to watch what I do!

    My most "conspicuous" camera is the Mamiya RB 67, a TLR is even less visible, and the 8x10 view camera may as well not be there at all. I guess the "street" psychology is that when the camera does not "chase" it's not a predator in pursuit of prey
     
  16. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Usally my Rolleiflex TLR or my Canon F-1

    Jeff
     
  17. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    I use what's probably a classic combination for street photography, a Leica M4-P or IIIf with a 35mm lens or a CV 21/4. But Maris is right. When I use my 8x10 on a tripod, most people don't know what I'm doing. I don't mind when an occasional onlooker stops and asks me about the camera, and I take some time to let them look through the groundglass. They're always impressed.
     
  18. Rep4621

    Rep4621 Member

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    Most often a Leica M3 with either a M6 or a iiif/iiic in the other pocket. Most pictures with 50, some with 35. 90 haven´t been used so far. Tri-x.
     
  19. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I shoot "Street" in terms of candids near daily for several long term book projects, one about 2 years from being done, the other 6. I also shoot it in a manner of speaking for several corporate clients, one that has seen visits from HCB in their 50+ year history...

    In the past, I used noting but Leica M. Then for reasons I don't want to get into, I challenged that choice a couple months ago by shooting either a Nikon FM3A with a 35/2 AIS or a Hasselblad 501 C/M with a 60mm 3.5 instead. It did not matter if I was in close as some like to call it or among buildings, castles or cattle, I was not being "caught" any more or less than when I used the so called ultimate street camera. The pics from the 35/2 Nikon were almost as nice as the $$$$ Leica 35/2 asph in printing Tri-X negs. But the Blad...wow, what a whole new look for me in "Street", by far my favorite for the genre.

    I sold all my Leica gear but one M3, 50/2 Zeiss and 50/2 collapsable Summicron. It lives in the same bag as they Nikon FM3 which is only a tad bigger than the M3. I use all the gear equally depending on what I am after.

    So many people shoot Leica for street and a lot of it starts to look the same. The Blad is an entirely different approach, I can't believe how invisible with that sucker I can be and the images are just gorgeous.
     
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  20. amsp

    amsp Member

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    I love using my Hasselblad for street work. I find people either don't notice you when you're looking down the WLF, or they respond positively. I also like a challenge, it makes me more thoughtful about what and how I shoot. I'd still like a nice rangefinder with a fast lens though, for low light work.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hassy501cm

    [​IMG]
     
  21. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Wonderfull image. Really love the feel of it.
     
  22. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    RZ67. Makes a photographic outing quite the social occasion, particularly when the Japanese tourists want to have their photo taken with you and the camera.

    And you can put it on a tripod, prefocus and wait with cable release in hand while completely "not looking" at your subject.
     
  23. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Congrats AMSP. You and Dan (PKM-25) have piqued my curiosity: On my next "street outing" I will forgo the Leica(s) and bring out the one of Blads with an 80mm (loaded, of course, with either Tri-x or HP-5) and give it a go.
     
  24. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Go for it, it's tons of fun :smile:
     
  25. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

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    A Nikon F100.
    After my FE2 with the split screen for focusing I find it much harder to focus.
    Especially in low light situations.
    I hope I will practice enough to never miss the focus.
     
  26. Fotophreek

    Fotophreek Member

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    My equipment isn't fancy and I'm no pro by any stretch. But, I started with a Canonet rangefinder (Sadly in disrepair). I currently use a Canon AE-1 and a Minolta Maxxum 7000 as my primary cameras and a Polaroid 600 and Land Colorpack II for fun.