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Thread: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

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    Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    One of things I like to do is street photography, and especially what I call "indoor atmosphere/mood". Naturally, I want not to be intrusive about it.

    So far I have used EP2 with CV 25/.95 for that but not to my full satisfaction. .95 is fast but rendering at .95 combined with high ISO makes me want for more. Also manual focus at .95 means I need more time to focus which in turns mean longer amount of time to end up intrusive.

    So I have been contemplating changing approach to it.

    One path I have been thinking of is using my NEX5 with future CV 35/1.2 (whenever it might come). Some drop in speed of lens (not huge) should end up compensated by much better high ISO, and total size of gear in hand should be smaller than EP2+Nokton, making me even less intrusive to enviornment. Cons is loss of in-body IS, meaning need to push ISO even higher. This might improve with future NEX models.

    Other path might be going to SLT-55 with something like 50/1.4 or 35/1.8. Pros is having both in-body IS and high ISO, plus fast AF (making me less intrusive overall), and having both viewfinder (for quick and stable shots) and articulated screen. Cons is body is bigger than EP2 but overall size is not significantly bigger. Noise level it creates needs to be checked in hand as not having mirror slap might make it as quiet as EP2 and NEX5 are.

    What are your thoughts and advices?

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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Pentax K-5 and 21mm + 70mm pancakes.
    Here are examples of street images taken with these lenses on a K-10D (the K-5 didn't exist back then and it's extremely quiet by comparison), these lenses protrude so little they don't get noticed:

    http://www.pbase.com/m3photo/florence
    http://www.pbase.com/m3photo/capri
    http://www.pbase.com/m3photo/rome
    http://www.pbase.com/m3photo/malta
    http://www.pbase.com/m3photo/tunis

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Thanks, but I am focusing on small / close quarters / "intimate" indoor placeswhere bigger cameras with mirror are very intrusive. Think small coffee shops for example.

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    May be Ricoh GXR + 28mm module? Snap Mode is VERY useful for street...

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by sagar View Post
    May be Ricoh GXR + 28mm module? Snap Mode is VERY useful for street...
    I have been thinking about Ricoh but at this moment I am passing on it.

    Any thoughts on paths I have in my mind?

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    I have been thinking about Ricoh but at this moment I am passing on it.

    Any thoughts on paths I have in my mind?
    I think you're missing a bet on the Ricoh. Forget ultra fast bulky lenses, f2.8 is fast enough. You need the dof and snap focus.

    I shoot in cafes, etc, all the time with SLRs .. Just got the GXR. Both do well but the GXR is liberating as it is very quiet and small = unintimidating.

    Have to say I'd prefer a slightly longer lens: the A12 28mm is a little too wide. I look forward to the M module and a 25-28 mm (37-42 mm EFL) lens.

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I think you're missing a bet on the Ricoh.
    I likely am but at the moment I have my reasons. They might change in the future but they are here now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I shoot in cafes, etc, all the time with SLRs .. Just got the GXR. Both do well but the GXR is liberating as it is very quiet and small = unintimidating.
    Do you, based on your experience, feel SLT-55 has a good chance of not being found intrusive? I don't know how loud shutter on it really is (I will try it in store) but at least mirror slap is gone and size in hand seems reasonable on photos:




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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    What about the X100 or X1
    As quiet as they come, excellent high iso

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    What about the X100 or X1
    As quiet as they come, excellent high iso
    I am looking for 50-ish mm EFL, preferrably with interchangeable lens.

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    I likely am but at the moment I have my reasons. They might change in the future but they are here now.


    Do you, based on your experience, feel SLT-55 has a good chance of not being found intrusive? I don't know how loud shutter on it really is (I will try it in store) but at least mirror slap is gone and size in hand seems reasonable on photos:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony...es/inhand2.jpg

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony...es/inhand1.jpg
    SLT-55: I have zero experience with them. Should be nice and quiet. Looks just a hair less bulky than the Oly E-1, which has a super quiet shutter/mirror for an SLR. Sony has some very good lenses.

    What are your reasons for not considering the GXR? It's MUCH smaller than the SLT-55. The only negative on the GXR for me at the moment is the wait for the M lens camera module ... Once that arrives, the lens versatility will be great.

    However, being non-intrusive is a state of mind and a manner of behavior, not a camera. I've been able to shoot with the E-5 in an unobtrusive manner, even in very quiet circumstances, and that's a beefy pro-grade SLR. Similarly, I've seen people with a teensy little compact be about as intrusive as you can get.

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    I use all kinds of cameras and lenses for street photography, anything from from 14 to 750mm EFL. Although a fast lens and/or IS might come in handy sometimes, the most important thing is the photographer. If I blend in, few people notice or care if or when I take their photo. If I want a smile, I smile. If I want people to continue what they're doing, I wait... 5 minutes, 15 minutes, order lunch, half an hour...

    The only thing I wouldn't use is a white lens, which is one of the reasons I don't own a Canon. White lenses spell "Professional", and that changes people's attitude. At the moment, I use a GH1 with an assortment of manual focus lenses, mostly 28, 50 and 85mm, but sometimes the Panasonic 7-14. The flip-out screen is nice for low or high angles, and I would prefer not to buy cameras without that feature anymore.

    So my recommendation would be a GH2 with 2-3 lenses. Pana 14 and 20 plus Voigtlander 50/1.1 wouldn't be too far off.

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    However, being non-intrusive is a state of mind and a manner of behavior, not a camera. I've been able to shoot with the E-5 in an unobtrusive manner, even in very quiet circumstances, and that's a beefy pro-grade SLR. Similarly, I've seen people with a teensy little compact be about as intrusive as you can get.
    Two photographers, one thought... lol

    We should get out, being non-intrusive together once. That would make us invisible

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    What are your reasons for not considering the GXR?
    It is tough for me to consider buying "sealed to end user" design that I have seen people say does end up having dust on sensor and thus might need to be sent regularly to manufacturer for cleaning.

    Thank you for your help!

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Two photographers, one thought... lol

    We should get out, being non-intrusive together once. That would make us invisible ...
    I'd love to. You're almost half a world away however, and when I go traveling later this year I'll be going east and north, not west and south!

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I use all kinds of cameras and lenses for street photography, anything from from 14 to 750mm EFL. Although a fast lens and/or IS might come in handy sometimes, the most important thing is the photographer. If I blend in, few people notice or care if or when I take their photo. If I want a smile, I smile. If I want people to continue what they're doing, I wait... 5 minutes, 15 minutes, order lunch, half an hour...
    Please notice you and I live and shoot in two different cultural environments, not all are equally welcoming

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    The Nex 5/3 shutter is loud for such otherwise stealthy camera. The A33/55 is less loud but bigger, of course. However, intrusiveness has much to do with one's behavior than what camera one uses. If you got to have silent, then put up with the high ISO noise with compacts such as LX5, TL500, XZ1 etc...If you want an ultimate non intrusive camera, get a camera phone like, say, the N8. IMO the camera rarely change much, if at all.

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    It is tough for me to consider buying "sealed to end user" design that I have seen people say does end up having dust on sensor and thus might need to be sent regularly to manufacturer for cleaning.

    Thank you for your help!
    I haven't seen anyone complaining about dust in the camera modules, but then I've hardly seen more than a dozen GXR users total and that's only in the past week or so. Who are these people?

    If you want ultimate dust protection on an interchangeable lens camera, you want an Olympus E-5 with HG or SHG lenses. Weather and dust proofed, the best dust buster in the business.

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    One path I have been thinking of is using my NEX5 with future CV 35/1.2 (whenever it might come). Some drop in speed of lens (not huge) should end up compensated by much better high ISO, and total size of gear in hand should be smaller than EP2+Nokton, making me even less intrusive to enviornment. Cons is loss of in-body IS, meaning need to push ISO even higher. This might improve with future NEX models.

    Other path might be going to SLT-55 with something like 50/1.4 or 35/1.8. Pros is having both in-body IS and high ISO, plus fast AF (making me less intrusive overall), and having both viewfinder (for quick and stable shots) and articulated screen. Cons is body is bigger than EP2 but overall size is not significantly bigger. Noise level it creates needs to be checked in hand as not having mirror slap might make it as quiet as EP2 and NEX5 are.

    What are your thoughts and advices?


    There's no perfect camera. You have to compromise somewhere. Make a list, set your priorities and set a budget. If you really think the camera is such a difference maker, then by all means, find one, get it. AFAIK no mirrorless has very fast AF. DSLRs are too bulky, big. The Fuji X100 might have a fast AF (i don't know) but no IBIS and fixed lens. MF with legacy lenses on the NEX or m43 will be slower than their AF lenses unless you prefocused. Now, if you are going to prefocus then you might as well as prefocused with their lenses as well, so I don't buy MF is always faster than AF. It can be less of a hassle, sure.

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Hmmm...how do I block quote on this site?

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    Re: SLT55

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    Thanks, but I am focusing on small / close quarters / "intimate" indoor placeswhere bigger cameras with mirror are very intrusive. Think small coffee shops for example.
    Hmm, I see you've been considering the SLT55; I'd take a look at the comparison:
    http://www.dpreview.com/products/com...ts=sony_slta55
    and remember the K-5 is said to be quieter ...

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    Re: Experienced Street Shooters: Your Gear Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I haven't seen anyone complaining about dust in the camera modules, but then I've hardly seen more than a dozen GXR users total and that's only in the past week or so. Who are these people?
    Just various posts I came across.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    If you want ultimate dust protection on an interchangeable lens camera, you want an Olympus E-5 with HG or SHG lenses. Weather and dust proofed, the best dust buster in the business.
    Not looking for something dust proof, but not liking something where I can not clean the dust once it gets in.

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    Re: SLT55

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    Hmm, I see you've been considering the SLT55; I'd take a look at the comparison:
    http://www.dpreview.com/products/com...ts=sony_slta55
    and remember the K-5 is said to be quieter ...
    Thank you, but size/weight of SLT55 is where I am drawing the line.

    If K5 with mirror slap is said to be quieter than SLT55 with fixed mirror then I have to first check SLT55 in person before continuing to consider it.

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