If you want to get the best street photography photos you need to blend in to the background (i.e. be discreet), move quickly and efficiently (i.e. adopt a run and gun approach) and be ninja like. The best street photos are those of people going about their normal daily lives, and the best way to capture this is to take discreet photos with no fuss. If a person is aware they have a lens pointed at them they either play up to the camera or shy away from the camera, neither of which will produce natural photos.
If you are looking for a street photography lens that will not only improve your street photography shots, but will take them to the next level you need to check out the following lenses:-
CANON EF-S 24MM F2.8
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- N/A/ 88.4mm/ Aperture:- 2.8 - 22/ Min focus:- 6.3"/ Dimensions:- 2.69" x 0.9"/ Weight:- 4.4oz/ Image stabilization:- No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£GBP:- $150.00/£125.00
Focal lengths of 35mm – 50mm are perfect for street photography and the Canon EF-S 24mm f2.8 lens, with its effective 38.4mm focal length sits right in the middle of this range. This lens is ideal for getting a frame filling shot of the subject and some of the environment to provide some context and tell a story.
At 2.69” x 0.9” and weighing a meagre 4.4oz this lens is tiny, and as small as they come. If you want a discreet lens that doesn’t attract any attention this is the lens to use, and this is another reason it makes such a great street photography lens.
The image quality of this lens is superb and photos are sharp, crisp and colourful. This lens is sharp wide open but if you stop it down a stop it becomes ultra-sharp. The overall image quality of this lens is better than lenses costing several times more and I am stunned that Canon can make a lens with this image quality and sell it at such a low price.
All things considered the build quality of this lens is great. It is far better than the 50mm f1.8, and while it still feels very plastic it is man enough for the job at hand. I have had my EF-S 24mm lens for several months now, I have used and abused it and I can confirm it is still going strong.
This lens is low on price but high in performance and it is an excellent street photography lens if you shoot a Canon camera with an APS-C sensor.
Buy the Canon EF-S 24mm f2.8 lens from Amazon.com (US citizens) or buy from Amazon.co.uk (UK citizens).
CANON EF 35MM F2 IS
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 35mm/ 56mm/ Aperture:- 2 - 22/ Min focus:- 9.4"/ Dimensions:- 3.07" x 2.46"/ Weight:- 11.8oz/ Image stabilization:- Yes/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:-$550.00/£445.00
With a 35mm focal length on a full frame camera this lens is the ideal focal length of street photography, however with an effective focal length of 56mm on an APS-C camera it may be a little on the long side for some. This lens isn’t as small as the EF-S 24mm f2.8 or the 40mm f2.8 lenses but it is still quite compact and discreet, making it a great tool for street photography.
The build quality of this lens is very good, and even though it is not an L series lens, and made out of the best materials and components, it is a tough and durable lens. I have had my 35mm f2 IS lens for several months now and I have (unintentionally) given it some abuse and it is still going strong. Sure, it is a bit scratched, battered and bruised but it still works as it should.
The image quality of this lens is superb. Photos are sharp from the centre of the frame to the edges, even used wide open, colourful and full of contrast. The image quality of this lens is better than some lenses costing several times more.
This lens has image stabilisation, which is why it is pretty heavy for a prime lens of these dimensions, which is useful in low light but not really necessary when shooting in bright daylight.
This mid-priced lens is a great street photography lens and suitable for full frame and APS-C cameras (although some people may find the 56mm effective focal length a little long) and it is one I highly recommend.
Buy the Canon 35mm f2 IS lens from Amazon.com (US citizens) or buy from Amazon.co.uk (UK citizens).
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.