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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 (2202)
Edler Herren Club (1 day ago)
did we all see the canon guy at 5:26 ?
Geran Simpson (2 days ago)
Now you got people walking around with their 50mm on a crop camera thinking wtf is this so tight XD
Dan Rosemon (2 days ago)
It stresses me out seeing you consistently not use a camera strap....
boostftw123 (4 days ago)
Unpopular opinion: 85mm is the best focal length for street photography
Andreas Luft (9 days ago)
43mm on FF (28mm on APS-C) is my fav. focal lenght
chenxing meng (13 days ago)
PRK (16 days ago)
5:26 that dude in a Canon jacket 😂
norm carpet (23 days ago)
best street lens definitely spacetek 7000mm f.01 - 1.8 million.
Nicolò Frascà (24 days ago)
the best is the 40mm pancake. that's it.
William Su (1 month ago)
Is that a portrait of Ayami Shunka @ 2:02 lol?
Sean Mckinnley (1 month 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 (1 month ago)
Hey, why dont you use any belt?? You are already too rich right?!??!?
Blackboard (1 month 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 (1 month 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 :)
Tip Tard (1 month ago)
God I want a 35mm for my dslr
Nate (2 months ago)
3:29 wheeeeze
Nikola Keranović (2 months ago)
Canon Jacket in 5:26 :)
Zaki Wasik (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 months ago)
wow that guts shot is awesome! :)
Praepes (2 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 (2 months ago)
24 1.4
rustysuperbike (2 months ago)
Doesn't it feel strange getting up close to people to take photos?
dimitri azevedo (2 months ago)
great cameras great lenses..shit photos..
Inspir3d (2 months ago)
Can u do a best landscape lens video
Operation Mindfuck (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (3 months ago)
"The 28 is like the 35 but a bit wider." Well said.
Craft Cookiez (3 months ago)
It’s a personal opinion but i think 35mm is my preference.
roro (3 months ago)
If you are Chinese I have not heard you speak, can you speak?
Essy Chilcutte (3 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 (3 months ago)
For me is 50 -35 mm
Matthew Wells (3 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 (3 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 (3 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 (3 months ago)
Sorry, what lens do you recomend to me, for newborn? thanks
Paris Khouri (3 months ago)
How about a 40mm pancake lens? Similar to 35mm only more compact and cheaper.
Raul R (4 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 (4 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 (4 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 (4 months ago)
I'm not sure about my 50mm. I also have a 35mm.
blekfut (4 months ago)
Is there anything more you photograph than asian people? Your photographs are soooo boring...
user0123456789 10111213 (4 months ago)
Patrick Wu (4 months ago)
Who knows what the model of Kai's Ray-Ban model is?
ooltimu (4 months ago)
35 is more close to my real fov. Felt it from the first time I tried the focal length.
Princess Lemmy (4 months ago)
I've got a 1500mm f/12 It's a great street lens.
Toni Fiedler (4 months ago)
35mm on fullframe is for me the best. It captures what I see. 50mm is just to narrow.
Jake77 (4 months ago)
every lens is his favourite lens
volim volim (4 months ago)
the pics with 50 look best and no annoying unnecessary surrounding crap and no distortions
Me Mony (4 months ago)
U so British xoxo... lol Anyway i enjoy u vidio
JP Dayrit (5 months ago)
Hey Kai how about a 55mm?
Debajyoti Biswas (4 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. (5 months ago)
"But I'm not in the business of making people look good!" 😄😄😄
jon louis (5 months ago)
A lot of Canon, and a lot of pork products! Well done.
Jay Christianson (5 months ago)
Omg ! Canon .. not Nikon.. Kai... what r u thinking!
Alberto Crescini (5 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 (5 months ago)
24mm on crop censor camera. You can crop the photo in your computer later anyway.
Lauri Suurmaa (4 months ago)
+Debajyoti Biswas 24mm lens on crop sensor camera gives you ca 35mm on full frame.
Debajyoti Biswas (4 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 (5 months ago)
nah, tight is fine. i enjoy the 85mm
This is Life (5 months ago)
ups, for street 35mm is pretty awesome
pmay222 (5 months ago)
U need fold out back screen, People totally ignore you when ya looking down, I dont hav ta tell YOU that 😉
Escaparrac (5 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 (5 months ago)
i shoot with two cameras to have always a 28mm or a 50mm XD
Debajyoti Biswas (4 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 (5 months ago)
Mike Pulido (5 months ago)
love your videos, will a 85mm work
just discovered this video.. thank you for the good entertainmen t
The Lukay (6 months ago)
And I am just sitting here with a 17-70 zoom lens D:
Sean Carter (6 months ago)
Sorry, the wider 28mm is more versatile for street.
Till Pera (6 months ago)
I am not even into photography but i watch your videos regularly :D
Willi Kampmann (6 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 (6 months ago)
why not buy all of them😎😎
plamondon jean-louis (6 months ago)
all the photos in this video where bad
zoheb saikia (6 months ago)
Excellent Video...n very informative
门策尔茉莉 (6 months ago)
Theo and Jonathan are handsome af
Kvalen Kvalheim (6 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 (6 months ago)
Who are these people?!
Patrick Jin (7 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 (7 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.
Muharram (7 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 (7 months ago)
i love to use the 28mm lens as my standard lens street photography. that and a 135mm for tele shots
Jihad Khalid (7 months ago)
What about 16mm 1.4?
benoit tos (7 months ago)
Kai, what sling strap do you use for your dslr?
Nox Vega (7 months ago)
7:23 vegetarians will love that.
kevin (7 months ago)
Thank you
bigdaddybry (7 months ago)
why no mention of full frame vs crop? big difference
Nuclear Whale (7 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 (7 months ago)
50mm all the way
G Graham (7 months ago)
moonlight (7 months ago)
50 or 85 Bc I like shooting subjects
Johny Smetak (7 months ago)
you're not paid by Canon? So what about that guy in 5:25 ?? :-D
Vro Techk (7 months ago)
Love your videos!
BoilingJD (7 months ago)
what camera and lens is actually used to film this ?
akikevin1 (8 months ago)
Is the 7artisans 25mm good enough? It is 37.5mm equivalent in APS-C (Sony) Thanks!
Anna Siu (8 months ago)
"Just prefer canon that's all" LOL
Brian (8 months ago)
Your best shots were with the 28 though (not counting the uber sexy bokeh shots)
Blackboard (8 months ago)
Love you Digital REV TV host :)
Dedskin Prodcer/DJ (8 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 (8 months ago)
Those streets ooze personality but my anxiety riddled ass wouldn't go for most of the shots you took lol
Jos Bantej (8 months ago)
At 5:26 a guy wearing a CANON jacket
Sean O’Kana (8 months ago)
What would be the best mm for cinematic films??

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