Developing my M43 street photography setup (..and kind of an intro)

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ranter, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Ranter

    Ranter Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 29, 2016
    i have alway been into photography in one way or another ..when i was about 8 or 9 my first camera was a polaroid.. 2 years after that i convinced my parents i needed an upgrade so they got me a polaroid with the built in high school i purchased a camera from home shopping network .. with full manual settings.. i had no idea what i was doing always way under exposed..i remember thinking back then that the higher the number (iso) the bettter the quality of the filmm. ;) . but lets remember this was back before you could just google things so easily

    almost 18 years later when i first started my journey into photography as an adult it was with a canon t4i after watching a documentary on street photography . but i soon learned .. that i needed full frame if i was going to be any good .. because bigger is better
    so then natrually a canon 5d3 followed ,, which i still own, got a 24-70mkii.. because thats what i thought was the safe thing .. it was the mandatory . Soon after dropping $2200 i realized that while the 24-70 was an awesome lens .. very sharp.. it was rather boring ? ( and i dont mean this as a put down.. i love my 5d3 and intend on using it till it dies ,, a FF Dslr will always have a place with me)
    so anyway that setup was rather large and heavy and i actually found my self taking the camera out less then when all i had was the t4i and 18-55 kit
    i thien started researching , because my approach to street photography needed to change for the simple fact that i wasnt going out nearly as much .. i wanted something minimal .. light , discreet...
    tried the sony a6000 .. did not like it at all

    then came the gx8 , and the spark has re ignited , the camera just seems so perfect for street photography.. from the minute i picked up the demo camera at BandH photo. i knew it would be mine
    so with this M43 journey of mine i'm try to do things a little different .. lets not play it safe
    i got it with a used 14-42 version 1 ..for 90 bucks just to get a feel for this camera ..
    didnt take too long to realize that even tho the lens wasnt great , i loved the camera and i just needed better glass..

    my first reaction was i needed the 12-35 2.8 ,, because thats the safe FF 24-70 equivalent..then i punched my self in the face( in my head i did) and thought i already have my safe setup (5d3/24-70 combo) .. so i got the pana/leica 15mm 1.7.. no regrets .. absolutly love the lens .. picture quality , color rendition its just great !!

    i'm getting a 2nd Gx8,,, and am trying to decide on the second lens.. its between the 42.5 f1.2 or the 35-100 2.8

    my first reaction was to say to myself ,, there you go again getting the safe lens,,
    but with pictures like this

    Showcase - Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8

    and many more in that thread have really impressed me, i ask myself am i being safe or am i being logical? what is more likely to get me the shot i need out in the street?

    the 42.5 is an awesome lens , i'm basing that on the sample photos here , flickr and multiple youtube reviews...thats 2 more stops of light .. dof the 35-100 cant give me ..

    one thing i've noticed with using primes now for street work is that it forces me to get up in there to get the shot , especially with M43 as you can only crop so much

    i fear the 35-100 will only feed my shyness

    anyway.. if you've read this far ,, thanks..
    any input / suggestions would be appreciated
  2. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    why not try your 15 for awhile? it's small and unobtrusive. The large zooms will get you noticed quick, and that isn't a good thing usually in street photography. Once you become proficient in it's use, the focal length you are comfortable at may become more apparent. I usually use a 17.5 - a 15 is a bit wider but still useable. Or get a cheap zoom to learn and decide what you need.
  3. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    It all depends on what you and your subjects are comfortable with. At an event, where there are crowds and people taking photos everywhere, I like to get really close with a moderate wide angle like the PL15 to get some context. Sometimes even the 9-18 or 7.5FE come out (not that close though, too much distortion). When the crowds get a bit thin though, I end up using the PL25 and O45 much more. I just don't feel comfortable singling people out with a wide lens in their face. A 42.5 plus your PL15 would be a good combination. The 42.5 is also much more discrete on the street than the 35-100, FWIW.

    BTW, cropping a wider focal length doesn't really work even if you've got resolution to spare. For minor framing adjustment it's fine but if you crop heavily it will still be obvious that you were far away from the subject to start with due to the fixed perspective from being a certain distance away. To get that wide angle 'you were there' look you really do have to be there up close.
  4. Ranter

    Ranter Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 29, 2016
    i've been shooting for a couple of years now with the 24-70 on an aps c and FF ,, also with a 50mm
    although many claim the 50 to be the best for street , which is why i went out and got the 50mm.. i find 35 ish to be where i usually shoot at and at the long end of the 24-70
    so while its the first time im actually going out and shooting with a prime ,, i'm for the most part already figured out that 35 ish is where where i'm comfrotable at the wide end..
    however often a little subject isolation is nice .. and so thats where i think the 35-100 or 42.5 will come in
  5. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 21, 2015
    Portsmouth, VA
    I'm not a street shooter so my comments are more in line with general use.

    I have the GX8, PL15 and was planning on saving up for the PL42.5 1.2, but just got the 35-100 2.8 instead (especially since Adorama has it with a free $150 gift card right now and B&H matched the deal). I have a few adapted lenses including an MC Rokkor 58mm 1.4 which can deliver some dreamy images. Also have a Tamron 90mm 2.5 macro. While shooting the manual lenses, I realized I needed the extra reach the 35-100 provides. It zooms internally, so I don't believe it calls attention to itself and I don't think it is is a big lens. The PL42.5 1.2 would likely call more attention due to the bigger glass (compare the filter sizes of both lenses).

    I still plan on getting the PL42.5 1.2.
  6. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    I second the Samy 7.5 FE - it is great for Street shooting especially if you are fighting a bit of shyness as you can shoot people without them knowing they are in the frame because of the wide angle.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  7. If you have been shooting street for a long time, you should already know what focal lengths you "see" at... which focal lengths (FOV) you like to work. Stick to it... don't change what is already working for you for the past decade(s). The focal length/len/camera that the rest of us recommend is irrelevant. If you have an extensive library of street photos in a digital library, take a look at the most common focal lengths you tend to shoot.

    The only times my 12-35 + 35-100 f/2.8 see use is with my kids....
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    If you like the 42.5 focal length, then consider the Olympus 45. It's much cheaper than the 42.5 and TBH the difference in background blur isn't that big. I've had the 45 for years (can't image any m43 shooter's bag being without one!) and then bought the 42.5 f1.2. After a week or so, I realised that the extra size, weight and cost just wasn't worth it. The 45 is a great lens.
  9. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Prefer PanaLeica 25mm F1.4 since 50mm on FF is always my favourite focal length especially for street photography.
    • Like Like x 1
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