ZUIKO 12-40 2.8 for street photography...?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by 2trululu, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. 2trululu

    2trululu Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2014
    Friends, I would like your opinion on the use of ZUIKO 12-40 2.8 for street photography...
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  2. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    I would imagine that people's reactions wouldn't be as positive when they are shot with a large zoom lens compared to the 17mm 1.8. Other than that I think it could be used for streets with its near perfect focal range and image quality. The manual focus clutch is a useful tool, as you probably know since you have the 17mm 1.8. Personally I'm so shy street shooter that I haven't even thought about using the 12-40mm for that.
  3. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I have both. The O17 is on my camera more often. As Vivalo said, the 12-40mm is a large lens to be whipping around. I use the 12-40mm if I am hiking or playing tourist. Otherwise, the O17 is on my camera. Ultimately this is an unanswerable question, much like the "which, is better, zooms or primes?" question.
  4. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    I personally think the 12-40 feels too big on my un-gripped EM-5 and I personally might go for the Pana 12-35 with the camera un-gripped vs the 12-40 and have to add the grip but I am currently enjoying the small size of the Pana 14mm and Oly 25mm for street use (one lens on camera - one in pocket - no bag).
  5. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    What's wrong with the 17mm as a dedicated street lens in the first place? If it's versatility and nothing else, you might want to try one of the pancake zooms for a change - I've used the tiny Panasonic 12-32mm for street photography with good results. I wouldn't recommend that as the best answer to your question, though - because the 12-40mm is worth having anyway; I do use it for street and reportage photography often, and it performs wonderfully. It's quick, versatile and gives you great IQ - better in fact than the 17mm, though that one has a very pleasing rendering and thus is very well suited for street photography. On an E-M1, the 12-40mm will feel right at home, and it's actually not that big in absolute terms (even smaller than the quite compact Nikon DX 16-85mm I own - and the 12-40mm is a much better lens!). I, too, would keep the 17mm for the occasions you want to go light and compact - it's a very good lens for that purpose.

  6. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    Not that there's anything wrong with using a zoom lens for street photography, having used one myself for many years, these days I prefer using a 35mm or 50mm prime.

    Main reasons are:

    1. It keeps the camera small, less intrusive and less intimidating and therefore you can go unnoticed which IMO is very key to street photography.
    2. It helps to keep you more involved and aware of your surrounding once you start seeing your surroundings in a certain focal length. Once acclimated to this, you can visualize and compose/frame without necessarily having to bring your camera up to your eye.
    3. Zooming and focusing is slower overall, at least for me, rather than zooming with your feet and focusing.
    4. Having a zoom for street tends to keep you further away from the subject matter whereas with a wide to normal prime, you're forced to get closer to your subject and hence, build confidence as a street photographer.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    I shoot street a lot; My 12-40mm stays on my E-M1 all day; the 17mm f1.8 goes on after it gets dark.

    re being discreet: A lot of people notice my camera with either lens. A smaller body would probably make a difference.

    I like being able to go wider or longer on the 12-40mm; 17mm isn't always great when walking around in crowded or spacious areas.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    Works - should I say: told you so? ;) 

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