Your Choice for Shooting on the Street?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by BradleyK, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Soliciting opinions: What is your favorite (format/lens choice) combination when shooting on the street?

    Although I shoot in a variety of formats, the particular choice of camera is usually - but not always - determined by the subject matter at hand. Such is, for me, most obvious in the case of street photography, where being inconspicuous, quick and quiet are paramount. Having shot on the street with 35mm SLRs (Nikon F2s, F3s and F5s) as well as TLRs (A couple of Rolliflexes) over the years, I eventually settled on the 35mm rangefinder (loaded with HP5/Tri-X) as my preferred format for this type of shooting. A big fan of Jay Maisel (one of the primary reasons I first picked up a camera as well as the reason I was a long-time Kodachrome shooter), I am a committed adherent to Maisel's Axiom #1 (i.e. "The more you carry, the less you shoot."): my street-shooting "kit" (a Leica M6 with a 50mm Summilux ASPH) is the epitome of simplicity. Using this camera/lens combo not only allows me to concentrate fully on what unfolds around me, it also, I think, forces me to work (see) harder and become more "engaged" with my subjects. Further, in my view, I do not miss shooting opportunities when changing lenses. What about others out there in APUG-land? What is/are your preferred tools for this type of shooting?
     
  2. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    For me it is a TLR (yashica d). At first the WLF did not work for me, but now I am so comfortable at not having to put anything in my eye and just look down. :D it's quiet and people don't get "spooked" around it much.
     
  3. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    My Yashica 124G was out with me today and it was not only discrete, it was also a conversation starter. It's like the best of both worlds! It gets people's attention but it's so silent even I can't tell if I've taken a picture!
     
  4. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    A third "vote" for the TLR. I do not own any RF, and would sometimes be tempted, but in the end I doubt I'd do better with it than with my Rolleiflex.

    The WLF, quiet operation and big negatives are three advantages
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I would go for a TLR also. I use my Rolleifex.

    Jeff
     
  6. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Kiev 4a. Small, silent, sharp.
     
  7. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I don't do 'street' photography in the sense of pacing shopping districts waiting for weirdos and pretty girls to walk past. I do however take photos at organised events where people merge. In these situations I like to use wide angles, 20mm, 24mm, holding the camera below my face around about on my chest. I then go right into the action and photograph what I see. These days I only really photograph these events when family or friends are organising them as I have no use for photos of strangers (do street photographers hang these on their walls?). In one sense it's harder to be incognito amongst the familiar but in another they relax more and forget what you're up to.
     
  8. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    But what you describe *is* street photography; out of the studio portrait or documentary photography.
     
  9. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    I find it depends on the space and density of the crowd. That often dictates how close I get to people. The closer I'll be, the wider the ideal lens up to about 21mm. Or at times I go with a 100mm and try to focus on layers rather than isolation.

    I love TLRs as well but recently have been using rangefinders and folders more frequently on the street. The odder looking the folder, the more likely people will either ignore you or view you as some sort of eccentric which seems to put them slightly at ease in the same way a TLR does. I go with rangefinders because they're compact, I can take a couple of lenses in a small bag and people seem less intimidated by them than a large SLR.
     
  10. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I like to put some "push friendly" film in my Kiev4a, bringing ei up to 3200. This gives me about f22 and a high enough shutter speed to get focus free grab shots. It's a rokin combination for walking around.
     
  11. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Minox 35GT with ISO 400 film, http://www.myoldmap.com/cameras/minox35gt.html It's quiet, unobtrusive, superb 35mm f2.8 lens, aperture priority auto exposure, scale focusing, and if your subject notices what you're doing takes offence, and sticks it "where the Sun don't shine", it's so small it's potentially much less painful than a Leica :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2012
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    A Minox B would be even less uncomfortable.....

    But I digress. I like a Nikkormat FtN and 35/2, color print or fast B&W if the lighting is iffy.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Agfa Paramat 1/2 frame 35mm camera.
    Or a Minox 35GT.
    Tri-X or TMY film.
     
  14. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I like my Yashica 635 TLR for street photos, but I've had good results shooting from the hip with my F3 and a 28mm set for hyperfocal distance. My newest camera is a Yashica Lynx 5000e; I'm finding that passersby respond to either of the Yashicas in a positive way compared to the Nikon.
     
  15. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Well, I do shoot weirdos and pretty girls in shooping districts...

    Anyway, I agree with you (the OP) about packing light, though I'm never looking to engage with anyone. The Olympus compacts are nice. The XA2 and the wider XA4 if you can find/afford one. Especially wonderful with high speed film.
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    For weight and flexibility, I often use a Nikon FG+50/1.8E+100/2.8E. Coat pocket-able, good viewfinder. LED meter readout for low-ish light. Often switch over to an FE body. For MF, I use a Mamiya 645 Super+80/2.8+winder grip.Nice rig but noisy. Sometimes shoot a Bronica SQ-B but prefer it on a light tripod for max sharpness. Fast handling and very quiet.
     
  17. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    Try a Point and Shoot 35mm

    I am a fan of medium format (Rolleicord) for slow action, but for fast action or night street photography I have found that my Rollei Prego point and shoot 35mm allows for very quick shooting with accurate auto focusing. It is especially useful at night where the auto flash in effortless. Also, the lens is surprisingly sharp and variable. I feel it rivals my old Nikon SLR's in sharpness in 8 x 10's.

    Here is an example of some recent work put in a book. Many of the photos were taken with the Rollei Prego: http://www.blurb.com/books/2781221
     
  18. theoria

    theoria Member

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    Most of the time I take with me my m2 , a 35mm nokton and a 21mm skopar (plus a small, basic lightmeter). When shooting with a SLR, I use most of the time a pentax me/ me super/super-a and a 28 or 35mm lens. I like to carry my gear in the pocket of my coat, whenever I can.
    Occasionally shoot 6x6 on the street. The most convenient MF lens is the 65mm flektogon, which I pair with a kiev or pentacon.