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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 (2243)
brandon woodford (6 days ago)
What about 50mm on a cropped sensor? I feel a 35mm is just about right on a cropped sensor
Ezekiel Vargas (11 days ago)
I love my Sony 85mm for street photography
Mark Pitsilos (12 days ago)
Bless this video for helping me discover Birocratic!
Eduardo Ángel (14 days ago)
Why you are so disrespectful? People are not your puppets.
DiBa Photo (16 days ago)
Love 50eq. for street
pitwan desu (17 days ago)
theyre using ff camera right? so i need to get wider lenses when using aps-c cam
MyKonaRC (17 days ago)
or buy the Aps-c version
sosa kun (19 days ago)
"your eyes are like two 50mm lenses"
B Lee (21 days ago)
I could not decide so I just bought 24 70 F2.8
badger0888 (22 days ago)
I just stumbled on your videos. I Love them. Catchy & informative with your amazing voice. You should consider a career in radio if you haven't already explored this.
Laddeligist (26 days ago)
Im using 35mm 90% of the time, but I actually just got myself a 21mm lens to try shooting street with. And landscapes.
Ken Konard (30 days ago)
Recently I took delivery of a Nikon Z7 and the first lens I bought was the native Nikkor 50mm f/1.8. I then got a 50mm but prefer the 35 for most shooting. Good video despite the concentration on brand X equipment. 😉
John Dunn (1 month ago)
Ha ha ha.. love the first second ... "hi'.. maybe too close lol
TheHereticAnthem20 (1 month ago)
7:23, beautiful shot!
Krystian Jimenez (1 month ago)
I have d5300, and i really want a 50mm, should i invest to 50mm 1.8g?? Need suggestions
Krystian Jimenez (28 days ago)
daveydangr thanks! Its a big help! More powers! Ill just keep in tune.
daveydangr (29 days ago)
+Krystian Jimenez Yes, 35mm on a d5300 would be 52mm ish focal length on full frame. Nikon 35mm 1.8dx is cheap and its a great lens.
Krystian Jimenez (30 days ago)
daveydangr ohh crap, i already bought the 50mm 1.8g. So I literally got the focal length of 75mm?
daveydangr (1 month ago)
35mm 1.8 dx
Mike Navarro (1 month ago)
Cam De Pete (1 month ago)
Decided after watching your videos to go into my home town and do a bit of street with my new 50mm was quite happy . But got to wondering what settings you used ? Used manual . Right about the 50 being tight . So I'll use me 35 next time see how that goes . Great vids very funny .
Gustavo Ibarra (1 month ago)
3:28, wondering how he like his Sony 🤔😏😁
RupePhoto (1 month ago)
17mm with fill in flash is the way I do street photography
Jimmy a Geek (1 month ago)
First Street You need 12mm!
Venous (1 month ago)
8:37 guy looks pissed
Ahmed Tech (2 months ago)
Is the Canon 4000D camera good for beginners? I hope you can reply quickly to your brother from Egypt
insomnia (2 months ago)
This guy just totally defeats the purpose of the various focal lengths. As you use various wide focal lengths, instead of taking advantage of the focal length which he says, by capturing more of the background, he just goes further close to the subject and takes pictures which essential can be done with any focal length lens. He zooms with his feet which totally is against his point of demonstrating the differences in focal length. I know he loves street photography, but to show which he explains as the difference in focal length, he has to show how much each focal length covers in terms of background and not just zoom in closer to subject. Viewers are getting the same image/background with all of his pictures, either it is 28, 35 or 50mm. So what is the point of this video? Haha
Aria Wiyanto (2 months ago)
James R (2 months ago)
I like 35mm and 45mm 1.8 lens. I dropped 50mm as soon as I started using 85mm, which is better for headshots anyway. Also I like the compression on the 85mm if I cant get to close to a subject. If I was going to carry just 2 primes with me in the street; my 35mm and 85mm covers a lot. If I was using crop Nikon body I would use the 17-55mm 2.8 and call it good. There isn't anything written in stone though, so go with what feels most comfortable.
Juan Carlos Lopez (2 months ago)
WHat is the main difference between the 50mm prime and a Sigma 17-70 using a 50mm setting?
Carlitox b (2 months ago)
I tried to make street photograhy with a 28mm, I got punched in the face
Edler Herren Club (2 months ago)
did we all see the canon guy at 5:26 ?
Geran Simpson (2 months ago)
Now you got people walking around with their 50mm on a crop camera thinking wtf is this so tight XD
Dan Rosemon (2 months ago)
It stresses me out seeing you consistently not use a camera strap....
Gweilo mo lo (3 months ago)
Unpopular opinion: 85mm is the best focal length for street photography
Andreas Luft (3 months ago)
43mm on FF (28mm on APS-C) is my fav. focal lenght
chenxing meng (3 months ago)
PRK (3 months ago)
5:26 that dude in a Canon jacket 😂
norm carpet (3 months ago)
best street lens definitely spacetek 7000mm f.01 - 1.8 million.
Nicolò Frascà (3 months ago)
the best is the 40mm pancake. that's it.
William Su (4 months ago)
Is that a portrait of Ayami Shunka @ 2:02 lol?
Sean Mckinnley (4 months ago)
I know this is from a while back so Kai will probably not see this, but I had a question/comment about the whole 50mm vs 35mm thing. It appears that Kai using a crop sensor camera where the other person is using a full frame camera. So it seems logical that Kai is feeling like the 35mm is more comfortable and the other person is feeling like the 50mm is more comfortable. Once you account for the crop value of the camera you're both using about the same focal length.
Lukas Kastovsky (4 months ago)
Hey, why dont you use any belt?? You are already too rich right?!??!?
Blackboard (4 months ago)
Just planning a video on Street Photography - love the subjects. Hong Kong is a pretty good city to shoot streets and people. Kai rocks
Duttkopf (4 months ago)
So a 18-55mm is good? Cuz it haves all of these 3. I dont get y u would buy 3 seperade mm if u can have it all in one? Im an amateur photographer, so dont mind my questions please :)
R J (16 days ago)
yes its so worth it great piece of ass
Eli Durham (4 months ago)
God I want a 35mm for my dslr
Nate (5 months ago)
3:29 wheeeeze
Nikola Keranović (5 months ago)
Canon Jacket in 5:26 :)
Zaki Wasik (5 months 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 (5 months 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 months 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.
Alderman Fred C. Davis (5 months ago)
"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 (5 months ago)
wow that guts shot is awesome! :)
Praepes (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
24 1.4
rustysuperbike (5 months ago)
Doesn't it feel strange getting up close to people to take photos?
dimitri azevedo (5 months ago)
great cameras great lenses..shit photos..
Inspir3d (5 months ago)
Can u do a best landscape lens video
Operation Mindfuck (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months 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 (5 months ago)
"The 28 is like the 35 but a bit wider." Well said.
Craft Cookiez (5 months ago)
It’s a personal opinion but i think 35mm is my preference.
roro (6 months ago)
If you are Chinese I have not heard you speak, can you speak?
Essy Chilcutte (6 months 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 (6 months ago)
For me is 50 -35 mm
Matthew Wells (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months 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 (6 months ago)
Sorry, what lens do you recomend to me, for newborn? thanks
Paris Khouri (6 months ago)
How about a 40mm pancake lens? Similar to 35mm only more compact and cheaper.
Raul R (7 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 (7 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 (7 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 (7 months ago)
I'm not sure about my 50mm. I also have a 35mm.
blekfut (7 months ago)
Is there anything more you photograph than asian people? Your photographs are soooo boring...
user0123456789 10111213 (7 months ago)
Patrick Wu (7 months ago)
Who knows what the model of Kai's Ray-Ban model is?
ooltimu (7 months ago)
35 is more close to my real fov. Felt it from the first time I tried the focal length.
Princess Lemmy (7 months ago)
I've got a 1500mm f/12 It's a great street lens.
Toni Fiedler (7 months ago)
35mm on fullframe is for me the best. It captures what I see. 50mm is just to narrow.
Jake77 (7 months ago)
every lens is his favourite lens
volim volim (7 months ago)
the pics with 50 look best and no annoying unnecessary surrounding crap and no distortions
Me Mony (7 months ago)
U so British xoxo... lol Anyway i enjoy u vidio
JP Dayrit (7 months ago)
Hey Kai how about a 55mm?
Debajyoti Biswas (7 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. (7 months ago)
"But I'm not in the business of making people look good!" 😄😄😄
jon louis (7 months ago)
A lot of Canon, and a lot of pork products! Well done.
Jay Christianson (7 months ago)
Omg ! Canon .. not Nikon.. Kai... what r u thinking!
Alberto Crescini (8 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 (8 months ago)
24mm on crop censor camera. You can crop the photo in your computer later anyway.
Lauri Suurmaa (7 months ago)
+Debajyoti Biswas 24mm lens on crop sensor camera gives you ca 35mm on full frame.
Debajyoti Biswas (7 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 (8 months ago)
nah, tight is fine. i enjoy the 85mm
This is Life (8 months ago)
ups, for street 35mm is pretty awesome
pmay222 (8 months ago)
U need fold out back screen, People totally ignore you when ya looking down, I dont hav ta tell YOU that 😉
Escaparrac (8 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 (8 months ago)
i shoot with two cameras to have always a 28mm or a 50mm XD
Debajyoti Biswas (7 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 (8 months ago)
Mike Pulido (8 months ago)
love your videos, will a 85mm work
just discovered this video.. thank you for the good entertainmen t
The Lukay (9 months ago)
And I am just sitting here with a 17-70 zoom lens D:
R J (16 days ago)
are you jerking off naked too
Sean Carter (9 months ago)
Sorry, the wider 28mm is more versatile for street.
Till Pera (9 months ago)
I am not even into photography but i watch your videos regularly :D
Willi Kampmann (9 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 (9 months ago)
why not buy all of them😎😎
plamondon jean-louis (9 months ago)
all the photos in this video where bad
zoheb saikia (9 months ago)
Excellent Video...n very informative

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