Wide angle prime lenses are fantastic, but can they be used successfully for street photography?
Many photographers will tell you that the ideal prime lenses for street photography are 35mm lenses, 40mm lenses, and the trusty 50mm lens. These three lenses are considered to be perfect for street photography because they closely replicate what the human eye sees naturally. Usually you’ll find that anything longer than 50mm just won’t capture enough of a scene to tell a story, while anything wider than 35mm can create images that lack intimacy. Recently photographer and YouTuber Pierre. T Lambert decided to try 24mm prime lenses for street photography. After the jump you can watch the video and can see what he found out.
We all know that any lens can be used to create images for any genre of photography; if we embrace it. Yes, some lenses are obviously better than others for specific types of work, but going outside the box, and using lenses for purposes that they’re not really intended for can really make a photographer channel their creative side, and this is exactly what Pierre found out. Pierre discovered that using wide angle prime lenses forced him to get in close and interact more with his subjects, which in turn had dramatic effects on his images.
During the video Pierre. T Lambert used the new Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master (which we recently reviewed), and he found that his whole style of photography had to change to make the lens work. This is no bad thing though as it made him overcome fears about approaching others, and that it gave a sense of place to the viewer which can be harder to do with longer focal lengths.
After the initial interactions had been made with his subjects he found that the images he was able to create were much more intimate and inviting, and that he was able to be a part of the story himself which isn’t possible when you shoot with longer lenses. The only cons were having to overcome fears about approaching people, and extra walking as your feet do more talking with wide angle prime lenses. I really don’t think these can be considered cons though as they are both encouraging personal growth, and that’s a win on any day of the week. There’s really nothing wrong with making yourself overcome personal fears.
Do you agree with Pierre and his findings? Do you use a 24mm prime lens for this genre? Have you found that you have been able to create more compelling street photography images? We would love to hear your stories, and about interactions you’ve had with people while out practicing street photography with wide angle prime lenses. Post in the comment section below and let us, and everyone else hear your stories.