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Best Lens - Candid Photography

DavidJHolmes 13 109 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2006 1:22AM
I've always liked the candid photography that some people on the site post up and want to try it myself. Where I live tho when taking pictures it can go both ways, you either get told not to take photos or they leave you be. So what I wanted to do was to put my camera round my neck, a coat over and have a shutter release down my arm to snap the picture! Then it would look like im not taking pictures and merily walking around having a browse! I only have two lenses at present a 17-85mm and 60mm macro (both the EF-S ones, I have a 20D), the 17-85 is good but the 60mm prime is so sharp plus its f2.8.

I wanted to get another prime, but what would work best if the camera was around my neck. Should I get a lens with f1.8 or even f1.4. The 50mm f1.4 USM looks good but wondering on the quality. I only wanted Canon but maybe there is a better option?

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Sus 13 3.2k 9 England
19 Mar 2006 1:37AM
If I want to be discrete, I always use my 50mm f1.8 and the quality is better than any of my zooms.
Snapper Plus
13 4.3k 3 United States Outlying Islands
19 Mar 2006 1:52AM
I would think the last thing you wanted would be an AF lens that might hunt to select what you actually want in focus, so would suggest you set your lens to manual. You should then select an aperture to give reasonable focus from maybe 3 metres to infinity (depending on how close you think you will be to the subject) and fire away as necessary.

I don't see the need for either a 1.8 or 1.4 since you will usually be shooting at a smaller aperture, so would suggest trying out with the lenses you have already before buying any more.
Centurion 13 1.2k England
19 Mar 2006 2:04AM
I dont see the camera/lens set on manual focus working too well in this situation. As David says the camera will be round his neck. Personally I would set it to Aperture priority and keep the camera/lens on AF.

I agree also about the use of the 50mm 1.4/1.8. As this lens has the same focal attributes as the human eye which is perfect for candid shots.

I think one of the key points in the technique your trying to pull off is to shoot like crazy and hope for some good shots. Out of a hundred shots atleast one will be a keeper.

ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
19 Mar 2006 2:16AM
if you've gota cable release, you can have your camera round your neck and the relese in your hand - doesn't look like you're taking any shots Smile

maybe not so good if you're walking in a way that makes the camera move loads and you can't actaully see what you're shooting AND you need a very fast shutter... but at last no one sees you.

bit of a problem if it's a loud shutter like the 20D though. think the 10 and 5D were a lot quieter. You could set an avalance off with the 20!!!!

still a great camera.... I'm getting one after all Smile
DavidJHolmes 13 109 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2006 2:41AM
Thanks for the replies. I was going to get another lens anyway but was umm-ing and arr-ing over which one, you can never have to many lenses eh! Wink

As to the noise, I don't think anyone will notice its usually noisy anyway! Usually a load of kids hanging around with music blasting out of the loud speaker of their mobile! I dont think walking will be too much of a problem either because I can stop and pretend to do something on my phone, look at something etc... what ever takes the moment! Just be a case of experimenting, checking results at home seeing what works well and then going out again for another try.

I think the 50mm f1.4 USM is the way to go. I'll scout for some prices!

Do you think sticking with Canon glass is a good idea or am I being to picky? I dont sell the pictures or anything its purely hobby but I do print them big when I take a good one!
Snapper Plus
13 4.3k 3 United States Outlying Islands
19 Mar 2006 2:54AM
David, just remember that the 50mm will equate to 75mm on a 20D and that may be fine for your purposes. And if you are going to use this covert shooting method where there are children then you're a braver man than me!
Centurion 13 1.2k England
19 Mar 2006 3:20AM
You could always go the sigma route. Sigma 50mm 2.8 macro

DavidJHolmes 13 109 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2006 3:26AM
Well the pictures aren't specifically of children. They would just be their in the picture I spose. Now you made it complicated Snapper! lol
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
19 Mar 2006 11:04AM
I wouldn't use a DSLR at all for this type of work. Consider getting yourself a good digital compact.
peterjones Plus
16 4.7k 1 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2006 9:50PM
As CB says you could go the compact route; I have a G3 Powershot whose screen swings out and can be turned to 90 degrees so that you are looking down at the camera rather than through the viewfinder then people are less likely to think you are taking a picture as you are not looking directly at them.

Using a 20D or whatever your pride and joy is I would go for a wide angle lens e.g.24mm or 28mm which is going to be an effective 24mm x 1.6 or 28mm x 1.6 on a 20D say and use that combination to shoot from the hip; using a wide angle will give a higher percentage of useable shots and you can crop to the size you want.

A "zigview" may we worth considering as again it attaches to a normal viewfinder in such a way that you look down at the viewfinder making yourself less obvious.Just like using an old Twin Lens Reflex!

Rgds. Peter.
iansamuel 14 271 United Kingdom
20 Mar 2006 5:02AM
Agree with CB and Peter Jones. This was taken with a Canon G2 around my neck at waist height. Looking down at the screen, not holding it up to your eye.
Centurion 13 1.2k England
20 Mar 2006 7:46AM
You can use an dlsr for this and one of those lcd screen that fits on your viewfinder. Much cheaper than buying another camera.
Ghostdog 12 55
20 Mar 2006 8:02AM
Hi, here's my twopennies worth. I do a lot of street photography and the ideal tool for me is a digital compact. It's really a non starter trying to blend in with any kind of SLR draped around your neck.

I agree shoot as many frames as you can, I average one useable image for every seventy or so shot.

My newest toy is a Kiev 4a rangefinder, will be trying it out as soon as it arrives.

For me the key to street photography is; Never ask, Get in close, use pre-focus and let the camera work out all the rest, move on as soon as you have the shot, and never, never, never shoot if there are any children any where near the subject. I have a daughter and even as a photographer, I would still accost anyone who seems like they are taking a photo of her, it's a natural instinct.

so good luck and post the results Smile

ljesmith 13 1.1k United Kingdom
20 Mar 2006 8:05AM
Just to give the opposite point of view, I allways use an SLR with a 35mm lens, most of the time I like to ask people and get to know them. This way I can get in closer to the subject and get a better success rate, which I need shooting film.

I've never had any problems with this method.

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