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Lee1969

Lens suggestion for night street photography

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Hi there!

I'm new to photography and have just bought a second hand XT2. I am really intrested in night time street photography and am wondering if anyone can recomend a lens they have experience with?

Many thanks in advance

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Apparently it should be max A lenses like 35mm f/1.4; 23mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.2 or some adopted fast manual focus lenses. Shooting in manual mode using zone focusing may also make sense.

Edited by mdm

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I would recommend one of the f2 lenses (23 or 35) as they focus quite fast. The 23 and 35 mm 1.4 lenses have beautiful bokeh but are heavier, more expensive and slow focusing. The 56 mm lens is great for portraits but is not a good street lens as it is also slow. You need lots of light to shoot at nighttime and the traditional point of view for street photography is 35 mm (which is 23 mm on a cropped sensor).

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Personally I prefer the f/1.4 lenses and through firmware updates they do have okay speed compared to when they were originally released, but they are slower than the f/2 models. Either way, one of the most important things you can do aside from equipment is to get used to pushing your ISO settings higher than you might normally be comfortable with, 3200 or even 6400 sometimes. Get a feel for the amount of noise that starts coming through when you process the RAW files at these high ISOs. Some people are really averse to any visible noise in their images, but some it doesn't bother some people at all. Remember that regardless of how quickly one lens focuses compared to another, the difference between f/1.4 and f/2 could mean pushing your settings from ISO 3200 up to 6400 more frequently in some situations. Get a feel for that difference first with whatever lenses you already have and then ask yourself whether slightly faster focus or more light is most important to you. I tend to be a more patient and thoughtful street shooter, finding a scene, focusing, waiting for the right moment. Other people are the opposite, constantly moving and shooting on the fly. There's nothing wrong with either approach, but those kinds of shooting preferences are what really matter in making the right choice in equipment.

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You may also like compact manual focus lens, though focusing is not as fast as with XF 23mm F2 or XF 35mm F2.

There are tons of adapted, or native mount options. I'm personally using fast perture adapted Voigtlander F1.5, Mitakon Speedmaster F0.95, and 7artisans F1.2 lens for low light shots.

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If your subject is not anything moving it's worth consider a OIS lens as well, such as 18-55  or 10-24 as you can shot in very slow shutterspeed and therefor also low ISO.

 

For example. This is shot handheld in 1/13 sec so I only had to go up to ISO 1000 

40281955484_e89b51347e_b.jpg

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