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50mm vs 35mm vs 28mm - Best Street Photography Lens

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Which focal length should you get for street photography - 28mm, 35mm or 50mm? Is the 50mm classic for a reason? Is the 28mm too wide? Or is the 35mm the perfect street lens? Canon 50mm f/1.2L: https://www.adorama.com/ca5012afu.html?kbid=913736 Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM: https://www.adorama.com/ca5018afu.html?kbid=913736 Canon 35mm f/2.0 IS USM: https://www.adorama.com/ca352isu.html?kbid=913736 Canon 28mm f/2.8 IS USM: https://www.adorama.com/ca2828.html?kbid=913736 Canon 5D Mark IV: https://www.adorama.com/ica5dm4.html?kbid=913736 Music: Birocratic - Orientation https://soundcloud.com/birocratic Follow Me On ✩ Twitter: http://twitter.com/kaimanwong ✩ Facebook: http://facebook.com/kaimanwong/ ✩ Instagram: http://instagram.com/kaimanwong/ ✩ Snapchat: kaimanwong Theodoric Wong Instagram: http://instagram.com/theodoricwong/ Jonathan Lau Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jonathanlausc/
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Text Comments (2187)
Nate (1 day ago)
3:29 wheeeeze
Nikola Keranović (2 days ago)
Canon Jacket in 5:26 :)
Zaki Wasik (3 days ago)
Maybe try throwing a 28mm and 50mm in the bag next time. With the resolution of modern cameras you can always crop the 28mm down to the equivalent of 35mm and the distortion is not that much noticeable if you're not right in the face of your subject.
KBee795 (4 days ago)
The lens that's always on my camera is ... the 35mm. But if you want to not be in to the subject for the shot, use the 50mm and it will avoid deformation in portraits. The 28mm is really for distant shots or real estate shots and is handy for interiors but distorts too much for people shots. But the 35mm is King but remember to put portraits in the center of the frame if you get very close. Most shots with the 35mm are very forgiving focus wise and it's a very light package to carry around. This lens performs indoors and you won't be hugging the wall to get the shot as often as with the 50mm. Also the 35mm allows you to straighten and recrop your shots and still be okay.
Tyler Wood (5 days ago)
My street prime lenses are a 50mm and 28mm. They work well as a combo. Sometimes I'm in tight spaces like old alleys and the 28mm is better, but if I have room to breath then I prefer the 50mm for sure.
"Street" photography is not my thing, however, on the rare occasions when I have done it, my favorite focal length, by far, is 28mm. I like something wide enough to take in the environment surrounding the subject. I have about 5 cameras and about 10 lenses...………………..not a 50mm (or its equivalent, in the bunch). For whatever reasons, I was never a fan of the 50mm focal length.
Matt Helps (6 days ago)
wow that guts shot is awesome! :)
Praepes (10 days ago)
For canon, I would certainly go with the 40mm f2.8 pancake lens, which has my favorite focal length, blending perfectly the subject separation of the 50mm and the width of the 35. Not to mention the Canon 40mm F2.8 is the sharpest inexpensive canon lens available!
dipro001 (18 days ago)
24 1.4
rustysuperbike (19 days ago)
Doesn't it feel strange getting up close to people to take photos?
dimitri azevedo (20 days ago)
great cameras great lenses..shit photos..
Inspir3d (22 days ago)
Can u do a best landscape lens video
Operation Mindfuck (26 days ago)
The difference a camera makes. If you just went around pointing and laughing at people you think look weird you would get your head punched in pretty quick, especially in Wales, but because you have the camera it's all ok.
Gotham Seoul (26 days ago)
In NYC if I got that close to someone I would be chased down the street.....How does he do this...are there outtakes of trolly ladies chasing him?
jackson pine (27 days ago)
I  use a 20mm on the D300m(30 mm equivalent) a 28 on the Nikkormat and a 24 on the F5. Works for me.
nyc mubi photography (29 days ago)
"The 28 is like the 35 but a bit wider." Well said.
Bryce Oxley (30 days ago)
It’s a personal opinion but i think 35mm is my preference.
roro (1 month ago)
If you are Chinese I have not heard you speak, can you speak?
Essy Chilcutte (1 month ago)
I am using a 28 film lease on a D5 mark2 it's great for trails etc where you want a lot of the surroundings I saw a lot of videos shot on this from Amazing places in Russia And I was like hang on I have that camera and lense So yeah not an original concept But coming along nicely Been doing some photos of some local youtube creators It's kinda funny as you meet these people you think they will have heR and their like I shoot and edit on my phone. One guy is doing Backflips and shit using like an S5
Angelo Cella (1 month ago)
For me is 50 -35 mm
Matthew Wells (1 month ago)
This is one of my favorite videos fro you. I just love the three lenses shooting (mostly) simultaneously, and the different perspectives in each shot. It's a great question to ask, and I like your answer: pick which one you want! Or none. Or all three. Do what you want! Plus it makes me miss Hong Kong like crazy...
lukpac (1 month ago)
Something worth noting: perspective isn't a function of focal length, but rather distance. If you take a series of photos of the same subject from the same location using different focal lengths, the amount around the subject will change, as will the size of the subject in the frame, but the relationship between the subject and its surroundings won't change. If you take the same photo with a 28mm lens and a 200mm lens and crop the 28mm shot to match, the depth of field and bokeh may be different (and you'll lose resolution from all of that cropping), but the perspective will be the same. Now, if you *move* so that your subject fills the same amount of the frame, the perspective will definitely change. A headshot at 28mm (taken at close range) will yield a very "3D" face and a very expansive background, while the same shot at 200mm (taken from some distance) will flatten the face and yield a tight background. But again, that's due to distance from the subject, not focal length. Also, "what the human eye sees" is something of a complex subject. In a sense, it's impossible to reproduce what the eye sees, unless the captured image literally surrounds you. The reason 50mm is considered "standard" is because that field of vision roughly equates to our normal field of main vision, although of course our peripheral vision is *far* greater than that. And even that isn't completely accurate. Mostly, 50mm lenses are considered "normal" simply because at some level, they *feel* normal to us. As an aside, I recently found my dad's old 24mm lens that I had forgotten about, and it's become a very welcome addition. Not the best lens to use if you want to get in people's faces (although it's great for selfies), but I find it a lot more interesting than a 35mm, which often just feels like a 50mm, but not quite as intimate.
Quinten Oorschot (1 month ago)
Do you take the crop factor of a camera in account when chosing your focal length? My camera has a crop factor of 2 and im doubting chosing between the 35 or 50mm
kate Calfo (1 month ago)
Sorry, what lens do you recomend to me, for newborn? thanks
Paris Khouri (1 month ago)
How about a 40mm pancake lens? Similar to 35mm only more compact and cheaper.
Raul R (2 months ago)
I think it depends on the place. For example a 35 mm is pretty good for the streets of Hong Kong, however when I do street photography in Zurich, there aren’t that many tight spaces, so I use the 50mm.
neil piper (2 months ago)
Press photographers prefer to use the 24mm over a 28mm for contextual shots. Less distortion Particularly at the edges. The 28mm is a stretched 35mm design.
neil piper (2 months ago)
40mm is the best on 24x36mm. I use a Cosmic Symbol, small, light and unobtrusive. It has a f4 lens which I zone focus.
dolinick (2 months ago)
I'm not sure about my 50mm. I also have a 35mm.
blekfut (2 months ago)
Is there anything more you photograph than asian people? Your photographs are soooo boring...
user0123456789 10111213 (2 months ago)
Patrick Wu (2 months ago)
Who knows what the model of Kai's Ray-Ban model is?
ooltimu (2 months ago)
35 is more close to my real fov. Felt it from the first time I tried the focal length.
Princess Lemmy (2 months ago)
I've got a 1500mm f/12 It's a great street lens.
Toni Fiedler (2 months ago)
35mm on fullframe is for me the best. It captures what I see. 50mm is just to narrow.
Jake77 (2 months ago)
every lens is his favourite lens
volim volim (2 months ago)
the pics with 50 look best and no annoying unnecessary surrounding crap and no distortions
Me Mony (2 months ago)
U so British xoxo... lol Anyway i enjoy u vidio
JP Dayrit (2 months ago)
Hey Kai how about a 55mm?
Debajyoti Biswas (2 months ago)
Street or Travel photography people usually use 30 or 35mm below f2,8 lenses.  24mm is wide lens generally used for landscape photography and 50 mm is to close. but it's your choice and priority. I use 30mm f1.4 for street photography. Watch my YouTube if you have time.
Davis T. (2 months ago)
"But I'm not in the business of making people look good!" 😄😄😄
jon louis (2 months ago)
A lot of Canon, and a lot of pork products! Well done.
Jay Christianson (2 months ago)
Omg ! Canon .. not Nikon.. Kai... what r u thinking!
Alberto Crescini (3 months ago)
5:26 As if he hadn't said too many times "Canon", here you have it guys! A man with Canon shirt!
Lauri Suurmaa (3 months ago)
24mm on crop censor camera. You can crop the photo in your computer later anyway.
Lauri Suurmaa (2 months ago)
+Debajyoti Biswas 24mm lens on crop sensor camera gives you ca 35mm on full frame.
Debajyoti Biswas (2 months ago)
Street or Travel photography people usually use 30 or 35mm below f2,8 lenses.  24mm is wide lens generally used for landscape photography and 50 mm is to close. but it's your choice and priority. I use 30mm f1.4 for street photography. Watch my YouTube if you have time.
This is Life (3 months ago)
nah, tight is fine. i enjoy the 85mm
This is Life (3 months ago)
ups, for street 35mm is pretty awesome
pmay222 (3 months ago)
U need fold out back screen, People totally ignore you when ya looking down, I dont hav ta tell YOU that 😉
Escaparrac (3 months ago)
I dare you to make pics that close in Spain. You will lose your camera, some teeth and if it's a good day you will be able to keep your wallet.
Eduardo Ortiz (3 months ago)
i shoot with two cameras to have always a 28mm or a 50mm XD
Debajyoti Biswas (2 months ago)
There is no right and wrong lens for street photograpy. It's your choice and priority. Street or Travel photography people usually use 30 or 35mm below f2,8 lenses.  24mm is wide lens generally used for landscape photography and 50 mm is to close. but it's your choice and priority. I use 30mm f1.4 for street photography. Watch my YouTube if you have time.
Li Zen (3 months ago)
Mike Pulido (3 months ago)
love your videos, will a 85mm work
just discovered this video.. thank you for the good entertainmen t
The Lukay (4 months ago)
And I am just sitting here with a 17-70 zoom lens D:
Sean Carter (4 months ago)
Sorry, the wider 28mm is more versatile for street.
Till Pera (4 months ago)
I am not even into photography but i watch your videos regularly :D
Willi Kampmann (4 months ago)
If you’re not sure whether 28mm is the right focal length lens for you – just try shooting with your smartphone for a day and see how you like it. Their lenses are typically equivalent to 28–30mm.
DehraShift (4 months ago)
why not buy all of them😎😎
plamondon jean-louis (4 months ago)
all the photos in this video where bad
zoheb saikia (4 months ago)
Excellent Video...n very informative
门策尔茉莉 (4 months ago)
Theo and Jonathan are handsome af
Kvalen Kvalheim (4 months ago)
That filter did some awesome work for the video, I never understood why you should by these really expensive filters Now I do, thanks!
phil wong (4 months ago)
Who are these people?!
Patrick Jin (4 months ago)
My preferance is a 28mm on a D850. With the extra megapixels if I wanted the equivalent of a 50mm, I'll just crop it.
Erica (5 months ago)
I'd really prefer a 45 I think. On the A7R III, there's the 35mm Distagon that is heavy and big, the 35mm Sonnar is is super light and compact but suffers a lot in image quality, and the 55mm Sonnar that is light and has better image quality than the other two. The 50mm Plannar is way too large and heavy for me.
Ade Muharram (5 months ago)
i have two body, an MFT with a 28mm equiv lens and an APS-C body with 40mm equiv lens. bringing those two set of body is more than enough for my trip or street photos.
BXT media (5 months ago)
i love to use the 28mm lens as my standard lens street photography. that and a 135mm for tele shots
Jihad Khalid (5 months ago)
What about 16mm 1.4?
benoit tos (5 months ago)
Kai, what sling strap do you use for your dslr?
Nox Vega (5 months ago)
7:23 vegetarians will love that.
kevin (5 months ago)
Thank you
bigdaddybry (5 months ago)
why no mention of full frame vs crop? big difference
Nuclear Whale (5 months ago)
Using a mirrorless camera helps a ton in street photography. I use a 17mm Olympus (i.e 34mm) on my Leica GX80 and its so much more discreet and you can also use the tilt screen so you arent looking people in the eye so it works well for candid shots as opposed to those big full frame beasts
Ramon Tiongson (5 months ago)
50mm all the way
G Graham (5 months ago)
moonlight (5 months ago)
50 or 85 Bc I like shooting subjects
Johny Smetak (5 months ago)
you're not paid by Canon? So what about that guy in 5:25 ?? :-D
Vro Techk (5 months ago)
Love your videos!
BoilingJD (5 months ago)
what camera and lens is actually used to film this ?
akikevin1 (6 months ago)
Is the 7artisans 25mm good enough? It is 37.5mm equivalent in APS-C (Sony) Thanks!
Anna Siu (6 months ago)
"Just prefer canon that's all" LOL
Brian (6 months ago)
Your best shots were with the 28 though (not counting the uber sexy bokeh shots)
Blackboard (6 months ago)
Love you Digital REV TV host :)
Dedskin Prodcer/DJ (6 months ago)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s2ayDezuC-ZRXFh7f8QjxJctgIEm0dct Man, maybe you are good at gear , but i doubt that , take a slide show of what you are showing us , and ask your self , who am i? I go out 1 day , with a 10 year old Point and shot that i had to hack just to have manual settings , and i made 200 pics last time i checked , 20 this day , and you should look at them ill linked them , that is today , in my street , it is a city , it is a street , it is a photography , but its not expensive shot of butchered animals , im not joking , something is very wrong with your understanding of photography , maybe you are good for horror movies or selling fog on You Tube, but your camera is useless to the world . Nothing can help ya, sorry , you are well in to it should have known better , there are 100 year old pictures better then yours , resolution or even color is not everything , one doesn't even need a camera , draw it , did you forget that ? Looks to me like you completely forgot what you are doing and just shuffling gear that has no purpose what so ever . If you are making a living of off it , good, artist you will never be , you are the worst photographer i have ever seen in my life , you would be better photographer if you did not have a camera at all, take out the one from your Mobile as well , no joke man, your 500k subs are complete snobs that wouldnt recognize an artist if they pointed their lens in Picasso's Drawings liek you did to that dead animal head , im not even going to look at comments , complete jokes . https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s2ayDezuC-ZRXFh7f8QjxJctgIEm0dct
Bruce (6 months ago)
Those streets ooze personality but my anxiety riddled ass wouldn't go for most of the shots you took lol
Jos Bantej (6 months ago)
At 5:26 a guy wearing a CANON jacket
Sean O’Kana (6 months ago)
What would be the best mm for cinematic films??
Kerem Go (6 months ago)
35 and 50 on a D90. Get used to these too much...
Cristi Neagu (6 months ago)
Well, for crop sensors, the nifty fifty is really good for portraits, as you would expect from an equivalent focal length of around 80mm. For the equivalent 24-35-50mm focals, look no further than the Sigma 18-35mm.
Hector Flores (6 months ago)
50 mm and 28 mm best of the best simple but you can do great job with them, in video and photos!
Vilkan Visions (6 months ago)
love the music :)
Benoit v. servant (7 months ago)
pentax fa31mm f1.8 limited+ a7ii, nuff said!!
Indra Kusuma (7 months ago)
This is exactly what I need to decide my first prime lens in the future. But first I need to gather the courage of taking random people on the street like you do. Oh, and I really love that background music btw :D
bwc1976 (7 months ago)
It took me a while to get used to 50 because I've always felt my eyes see closer to 35, and 50 felt like a short telephoto in comparison, but now that I'm trying to do street photography, 50 makes it easier to get close to people, while still being short enough to not look like a stalker. I admire Garry Winogrand's ability to get close enough to people with a 28, but that's just not for me I guess.
Susazeu (7 months ago)
I always keep a fast 28 and a 50. The 35 is an in between, good if you travel but not much more.
Bibhas Biswas (7 months ago)
Hey i was wondering if you could help me choose between 40mm pancake and a 50mm f1.8 lens for my canon 700d/t5i cropped sensor camera.please.I want to use it for everyday purpose street photography portraits more often in case you ask.
Airwane (7 months ago)
hold on 7:a4 what lens is that??
Geran Simpson (7 months ago)
40mm pancake hard to beat as a street photo lens. Low profile, not as tight as a 50, almost as wide as a 35, f2.8
max gleiberman (8 months ago)
The pig carcass pic was dope!
Robert (8 months ago)
I use a 28mm on my 650D :) (so like a 42mm on fullframe, esentially a wide 50mm ish)
Morris Francisco (8 months ago)
Hello. May I know where in Hong Kong is this? Thank you.
Primal Healing (8 months ago)
if one owns a 18-35 sigma art lens (crop lens)and a 5d mark 4, is it worth getting a full frame 35 ??? if i already have a 18-35 what full frame wide angle should i get?

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