How to choose the best Lens for Street Photography

How to choose the best Lens for Street Photography by stolen maps

Best Lens for Street Photography

The lens you choose greatly affects your photography. When it comes to choosing a lens for street photography, a wide range of lenses are available to choose from. Now the question is: Which lens will prove best for street photography? To find out, read till the end—

Choosing Focal Length

On the basis of focal length, two types of lenses are available—Prime lenses and Zoom lenses. Both of them are used for various purposes in photography and have their own significance. But, which of them is the better lens for street photography?

Zoom Lens

Zoom lenses have ability to shoot at different focal lengths. These lenses are convenient to work with as single lens can be used for various purposes. Unlike Prime lenses, you don’t need to carry multiple lenses or switch lens every time you need a different focal length.

Prime Lens

On the other hand, Prime lenses have only one focal length or fixed focal length. These lenses won’t allow you to zoom, you’ll have to move closer to your subject for “zooming-in”.

Which one is better?

My answer is Prime Lenses.

Prime lenses, no doubt, have some limitations, but come with many benefits. They are a bit cheaper than Zoom lenses as they don’t need moving parts inside are generally faster (in terms of aperture adjustment).

Prime lenses are simpler in designing and generally click sharper images. They are considered Optically Superior as light reaching the sensor is somehow better than that in zoom lenses.

Because of shallower depth of field in prime lenses, they are ideal lens for street portrait photography.

woman on bicycle talking on phone standing by the side of a street

Also, Many photographers prefer prime lenses for low light street photography. They produce sharp, high quality images even in low light.

With inability to zoom, prime lenses help keep perspective intact, while zooming lenses flatten it.

also read: Beginner’s Guide: Camera Settings for Street Photography

Choosing ‘Range’ for Prime Lens

Prime lenses are of many types, common ones in use are— Telephoto and Wide-angle lenses. Now the question arises: Which is the best prime lens for street photography?

Telephoto Lens

As a street Photographer, you may want to use a Telephoto lens for street photography, as it allows you to capture images from a greater distance.

Larger distance obviously helps street photographers to capture photographs without people (subjects) noticing them. This, no doubt, makes their work much easier and worry-free.

However, when you’re capturing street scenes standing far away, there is a sense of ‘detachment’ in photographs. Viewers sometimes feel that the photographer is not involved in the life being captured.

Wide-angle Lens

With a wide-angle lens for street photography, you need to go closer to your subject.

It helps get over that uneasy feeling of ‘detachment’ in photographs. It looks like the photographer is a part of the scene or has some direct involvement in the life in front of the camera.

However, going close makes it difficult to shoot without being noticed. Your subjects will react in some way as soon as they see you shooting. They might not like it and you might end up in a conflict, which is the biggest of worries for any street photographer.

also read: 17 Best Tips for Candid Street Photography

Choose ‘Medium’ lens for street photography

The simple answer for best lens for street photography is to choose between the two— telephoto and wind-angle lenses. I mean you should go for Standard Lenses.

two women and a cat in alley

Using Standard Lens for street photography makes sure you’re able to capture great photographs with ample distance to avoid being notices, and it doesn’t seem that photographer is not a part of the scene. Focal length of Standard lenses is similar to viewing area of human eyes. This is the reason that photographers looks like a part of the life captured in photographs.

This, however, is not supposed to be followed always. Analyze the scene and decide what you want to make out of it, choose your lenses and camera settings accordingly.

If you’re comfortable with a particular kind of lens, you can use them for street photography as well. The best lens is the one which creates photos you love.

diner sign on the street at night
old building with lamp and window designs

Well, there you go! That’s all I had to share. Don’t forget to drop a comment down below if this post helped you in some way or if you’d like me to write about something or maybe just to say hi!

Leave a comment

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.