Marius Græsby 9:06pm, 27 April 2009
I guess every photographer has their own reasons and quirks about choosing equipment, but I would love to hear what you use and why. Personally I have landed on using leica. Not very original I guess, but the relatively small size and the silent shutter feels very comfortable in the streets. For a long time I have been using the M3 with a 50mm summicron lens, recently I have obtained a iiif and M4. I think the M4 will be my user from now on. Using 50mm also feels very natural for me. Any wider angle and I feel the distant to the motive gets to big. I guess that partly has to do with not being completely comfortable sticking my camera into other peoples faces.

So, let's hear from you guys. What kind of equipment do you use?
~amaia~ [deleted] 8 years ago
Hi Marius, I use an Eos 350D, since this is not a full frame I find the 50mm lense doesn't get me close enough (although I still use it!) so at the moment I'm using a 20mm fixed and 10-22mm, the only problem is the size when trying to get closer to people!! A great prop for me is listening to music while taking the photos, it kind of helps me overcome the fear a great bit!! Occasionally I still use a minolta dynax 40 (film) with 28-100mm.
Best regards
SixWingAngel PRO 8 years ago
Hi, Marius.

I am also a Leica M user. I used to play with EOS 400D, but at that time i was not really intereted in photography. And when I happened to get a Minolta Himatic 7s from my grandfather, I found myself addicted to rangefinders, and photography. So I decided to get a Leica MP, Summarit 35, Summarit 90. I then got a current version Summicron 50, but found it not my taste, and replaced it with my favorite, Zeiss C Sonnar 50. I also got myself a Summilux 35 pre ASPH, a classic vintage lens, last December as my Xmas gift, love it love it love it, and a M6 TTL a few weeks ago. Now my GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) has stopped, so I focus on photo books (my fovorite photographer is Elliott Erwitt) and practice my street photography skills.

I used to be a 35mm man, but found out just as what you said, I am too shy to shoot people within the distance a 35mm can get a powerful image, so I now turn to 50mm when I try to shoot people on the street. I have to admit that I am still a lousy street shooter, but I am working on it and hope that I can come out with some good enough photos to contribute to this group soon.

Looking foward to see amazing BW street shots from you guys^^

sombral 8 years ago
Hi Marius and every one,

I use a Leica Vlux1. Because it is quite light,
I travelled a lot, for my pleasure (and for business), so i used to carry my laptop in my bag too!
I needed a high performance, light and complet digital Leica.

Maybe next year, i will get a Leica Digilux 3, but for the moment, my bridge is good enought for me.

I have heard that Digilux 3 is nearly to be stopped produced ?

Michal Jerzy 8 years ago
I am a Canon 35mm format user considering the purchase of Leica M7 or Zeiss Ikon next year.
Marius Græsby 8 years ago
Listening to music I guess is a smart thing when doing street photography. I will try it.

SixWingAngel. I have looked at the Zeiss sonnar 50mm, but isn't it incredible expensive? The reason I was checking it out was a rumour I heard about Henri Cartier-Bresson often using that lens on his leicas. What do like about it?
I agree Elliot Erwitt is great. It's hard to find so much comedy and poetry on the street. A true source of inspiration.

I have no experience with vlux or digilux sombral, but they look interesting. One day I dream of getting a M8, but the prices on that camera are ridiculous, I think. Have any of you guys any experience with it?
SixWingAngel PRO 8 years ago
Hi, Marius.

The lens HCB used was the original Sonnar 1,5/50, and as you said, it's pricey and not easy to find one in good condition now.

What I have is the new ZM line Sonnar redesigned by Zeiss and the production is outsourced to Cosina, Zeiss named it C Sonnar 1,5/50 ZM. According to Zeiss, the letter "C" means "compact"and "classic". It truly is compact even compared with other 50/2 lenses, and it does have the classic Sonnar look. A little bit soft wide open, but good for portraits and aesthetic purposes; pretty sharp when stopped down and 3D pop-up effect; typical Zeiss colors, and super creamy bokeh.

I personally love it. I first thought of getting a Summilux 50 ASPH or pre ASPH to replace the summicron, but fell in love with the lens when I saw it. Sonnar design does have a different signature from double gauss design. I cannot compare it with the original Sonnar since I don't have one, but there are many experienced Sonnar fans on RFF and I think they can give you lots of information. There's also a "ZM C Sonnar 50mm" group on flickr dedicated to it. You can give it a look if you are intersted :)
spencewine 8 years ago
My primary weapon of mass photography is a Canonet G3 QL17 that I found for cheap at a second-hand store. It's a wonderful little camera and I carry it pretty much at all times. I am taking a B&W film photography glass with a Minolta SRT101. It too is a beautiful camera, but it will not be for street as the thing sounds like a shotgun going off when I hit the release. I'm having Leica M3 dreams as of late though.....of course they're just dreams. My hope is that I"ll find one at a garage sale that someone mistook for junk : )
Marius Græsby 8 years ago
Why is the M3 only a dream Spence? I know they are expensive (ridiculously expensive if they are in good condition), but what about looking at another leica m? If you keep your eyes open at ebay I think you can find a camera for good price. And it doesn't have to be mint to be a user. Leicas are ment to be out there, shooting. If you don't mind the tricky film-loading, a leica like the iiic or iiif are also great cameras. Often I have problems telling what photos I have taken with my M3 and what I have taken with the iiif.
Linc ~ 8 years ago
I am new to Leica. I bought a M8 recently. It was almost 40% off when I bought mine during Christmas(the 2.8 just came out in HK).

Before the Leica, I shot with a Nikon D50 with a 70-300mm lens. I am used to shoot my subjects from the distance. It took me while to adjust to my Leica. I was crazy enough to shoot with my Canon 50mm F0.95 M-mount lens. I took it out for bokeh shooting, but ended up using it for street photography. Now, I sitched back & fore with my Leica and Nikon.
Marc Gommans 8 years ago
Hi first of thx for the invite!
My tools are various Olympus dslr's and a stealthy Ricoh gx100, i would like to have a leica m8 but that's not within my budget, lol. Happy shooting, Marc
Angelos Viskadourakis Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Angelos Viskadourakis (member) 8 years ago
for street photography i use only leica,CLux 1,D Lux 4,Digilux 2, M8 ,
CM, MP and sometimes ,Bronica RF rangefider 6x4,5 and Canon FD
for their compact size.I never go in the streets with Canon 5d as the camera and the big lenses attract to much attention and people either get annoyed or they pose and ruin the moment.
i forgot the best film street camera RICOH GR 1v,small ,autofocus and sharp lens for enlargements.
matthansonphotography 8 years ago
right now I'm using a canon 5d, but I'm seriously considering buying a panasonic g1(micro 4/3) specifically for daytime street photography.
drasticgroove 8 years ago
For general street use, I use mostly a Leica M3 and Canon 50/1.8. As others have said, the compact size and quiet shutter of the Leica are a great asset. I occassionally throw on a CV Skopar 35/2.5 and a Canon VF if I'm shooting a crowded place like a street festival.

On the other hand, I've recently started experimenting with street shooting using a Nikon SLR. My thinking is that because of the larger size, louder shutter (not to mention mirror slap) and more "professional" look, at least to the untrained eye, you are forced to be noticeable and become more fearless about getting the right shot. Sort of the equivalent of warming up in baseball by swinging two bats!
Ian Bramham 8 years ago
I'm a beginner at street photography so I'm still trying to find out which lens suits me best.

The last time out I used my Nikon D40 with a 50mm f1.4 prime lens which was a great experience. Okay it's not a Leica :-) but the D40 has a really quiet shutter for a DSLR and I enjoyed the experience of using a prime instead of a zoom.

The lens that is normally on my camera is a 16-85VR zoom which isn't much bigger than the prime but quite a bit's more useful than the prime for urban/architectural shots.

Bogdan I. Stanciu PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Bogdan I. Stanciu (member) 8 years ago
Hi Marius, pals,

Currently using a Canon 40D with a 50 mm 1.4 lens. Unfortunately i came to understand that a DSLR is not the right tool for such a task. Too big, too noisy, it attracts people and destroy their mood.

I plan to get a serious compact like the new Panasonic DMC-LX3, which has an amazing 2-2.8 lens with 24-60mm equivalent. I find it ideal for street photos.

I would like to recommend you boys and girls a great resource for street photographers who intend to go serious:

'Street photography for the purist'.
This 160 page long photography ebook was compiled by Chris Weeks, a professional photographer living and working in Los Angeles.

Just google it for downloading.

[PS: Marius - where are you from? Your christian name is very familiar in Romania.]
Marius Græsby 8 years ago
Hello Bogdan! I am from Norway. I don't know what you meen by my christian name. I have allways thought Marius is more roman and has to do with the sea - mare.

I'm suprised how many of you guys use dslr's. I have an Olympus E-410 myself, but I have never used it on the street. Somehow it feels wrong, although it's among the smallest dslr. It all has to do with what feel comfortable I guess. Modern dslr have several advantages compared to old leicas and such, but personally I like the idea of doing it the old style. Knowing you only have 36 frames on the film also helps your critical sense I think, at least mine.

Fatcatmatt. --- I was also considering the Panasonic G1, since it's possible to use leica-lenses on it. When I tested it in a photostore I discovered that the viewfinder consists of a little digital screen that makes manual focus quite tricky I think. Unfortunately I didn't have an adapter to test it. If anyone has experience with the G1 I would be interested to hear what you have to say about it.
Hej Marius, ja sakhert ar du ifran norge...Som du kanske vet prata jag svenska ach dafor, on man vill kann jag ocksa forstar norska.

Anyway to gear. I started out years ago with a Nikon F2 then an Olympus OM1. The Olympus fit hand in glove and recent;y, a photog gave me one again.

Later I started again and used some low quality Nikon cameras, and then tried digital because everybody seemed to be doing the same. I had strayed from photography for a long time and thought it would be simpler.

But i found myself shooting 500 images to get ten i liked and became disenchanted, not only with my own sloth-like attitude but also the fact digital seems to impose this "sharpness and clarity above all else" aspect on you. It is as if the camera shoots and you just point.

I went back to film, more seriously again and now wonder why I ever bothered with digital. (sorry to anybody who disagrees, and; no offense intended)

I now use an FM2n, F3 and the OM1. But the cameras that have seen the most use the last couple of years are the M6, M7 and MP.

I think the M3 and M4 I tried had absolutely wonderful feel to them and the butter-shutter was exceptional. But for a few hundred dollars more than the M4 I managed to get a new MP and have not looked back since.

The 50mm is a wonderful focal length. But I think in our minds, we have seen so many of the "classic" photogs and their work in 50mm we may unconsciously evaluate images in that focal length as somehow better. Just a thought.

When i put on the 35mm Summicron I keep it on for weeks. Then I think "oh, I will try the 50mm 'Cron again for one or two films" and that, too stays on a few weeks. And I shoot a lot of film so that means between the 35 and the 50 I need not feel a preference and, at the same time in a way they are almost interchangeable.

I say almost. Take a few steps back, or forward and you can just about use either. Even the cityscapes I take I often find the 50mm just fine.

I would not bother with the M8 unless you really have the cash to spare. I have been tempted by one many times but always felt in I have a Leica in my hands, it has to be film.

I have also enjoyed the Rolleiflex and now the Hasselblad 503 CX and think both are under-rated as cameras to use on the street. Of course they cannot be concealed (in the same way) as can a Leica, or other such rangefinder camera but, using them cleverly can make them less visible than many fear.

Any photog who finds a camera he or she feels good with and feels it belongs in their hands is worth getting to know well.

It seems many people are looking for the perfect camera and forget we need to master what we have.

That having been said, I am guilty of having too many cameras myself. But the Leica is the one that seems to have a special relationship with me.

Good luck to all...
hcchien 8 years ago
I use Leica and Summilux50 for streetshots.
Though lots of Leica users love the 35mm. But 50mm makes me have a better distance.
I love Leica for the quiet property. Then I can make the photos quickly and quiet.
My favorite street kit is a Leica M4-2, usually with a Voigtlander 35/f2.5 classic and Kodak C41 B&W film. However, I'm a camera nut, and also use my little rangefinders (Canonet GIII, Olympus RC or SP, etc.).

I have also had a lot of fun doing street shooting with a twin lens reflex (TLR). My favorite is Rolleiflex. That big negative is really nice, and people don't seem to react to the waist-level shooting as they to do an SLR, or to a lesser extent a rangefinder.

In the way of digital, for street I really like my Panasonic DMC-LX2 with Leica lens. I set it on B&W, iso 400 (a little noisy, but then so is Tri-x!), f5.6, and use manual range focus to get everything from a few feet to infinity in focus. Because AF is off, it has essentially zero shutter lag. However, I always shoot raw, and this takes some time to write to the card.

Again, though, the old film Leica's my favorite for the street.

mookio 阿默 8 years ago
hi, all

I'm new in photography !
Very glad meet everyone & your great work !

Have a nice day !

Ron Greer Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Ron Greer (member) 8 years ago
For the last several years I have been using a Mamiya 6 with a 50mm lens. Not as quiet as my Leica M4 but I prefer the square image size and the quality can't be beat. I really love this camera.

I started off, back in '89 , using a Plaubel Makina W67 but the shutter was too loud and I had too many problems with the film advance.

Until about 5 years ago I used my trusty Hasselblad 500CM and 50mm lens. With the mirror pre-released it was very quiet but of course the view finder was useless, and if one forgot to release the mirror it was quite loud. The Mamiya 6 is perfect; expect that its no longer made!
F.N. Kinney II 8 years ago
Anybody have any idea why my comments have disappeared? Should I take that personally?
Marius Græsby 8 years ago
Did you wrote more than one comment F.N.Kinney II? I saw that you wrote the same comment in both this discussion and in the discussion about "hunting techniques", and since your comment obviously relates to technique I removed it from this discussion. You are more than welcome to write about your equipment:)
benny ng PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by benny ng (member) 8 years ago
I'm not really a street photographer...

Most of my earlier work was centered around travel, then macro. During those days, SLR was quite a convenient tool to acheive what I needed.

A recent foray into rangefinders after giving up photography for about 2 years change the shooting style a bit. I'm still experimenting, so I don't really have a set of gear that I can honestly say that I use. Basically, I'll use anything I can lay my hands on.
spencewine 8 years ago
well, you are looking at a proud owner of a leica m4-2 w/ Voigtlander color-skopar 50mm f2.5. I found a very good deal on one here in Chicago and the previous owner sold it to me over another guy willing to pay more because he knew I would use it, rather than turn around and sell it again.....I've had it for 24 hours and managed to knock the rangefinder out of alignment already. I'm running a roll through it right now. I'm going to take it in for a CLA tomorrow. Regardless, I'm extremely excited.
Peter IH PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Peter IH (member) 8 years ago
Hello, Marius
First of all thank you for inviting my pictures to this wonderfull group. I hope to post a couple of interesting streetshots in the near future.
As of equipment: I am a long time Leica-M user, although I have a Leica-R set and Hasselblad set gathering dust in my attic as well.
Interesting discussion about the use of wide angle lenses. As you mentioned you need to get (much) closer to get the shot. But the big advantage of getting closer is the changing perspective. More dynamic I would say and I personally like that.
Last year I bought an M8 (after years with my M3 and M6TTL). On that camera I use the 21mm Asph practically as my standard lens. Effective it is like 28 mm on the M3 and it gives me just the angle I like (beside the incredible performance of this lens). For real wide angle work on the M8 I use the Voigtländer Cosina 15mm Super wide Heliar asph (20mm eff). A real bargain and a terrific lens. Beside that I use the Elmarit-M 90mm and the VC Nokton 1,5/50mm. My Summicron 35mm sees only sporadic action I am affraid. I don't like that angle on the M8. (It is an old one wth the goggles for the M3). A great lens on the M3 with wonderfull bokeh, but just not to my taste on the M8.
One word of warning about the 1,5 Zeiss C Sonnar: Sean Reid had an extensive test of this lens on his site. In terms of sharpness and contrast it leaves a lot to be desired at the larger f-stops. Before deciding to buy such a lens: have a look at his site. Tip: Take a look at the VC f/1,5 50mm Noktar asph. A great lens for next to nothing: $365,- I have one myself and it is absolutely in the same league as the Leitz glass of nearly ten times the price.

Vincent DiPietro PRO 8 years ago
Currently I use the Konica Hexar AF w/its 35mm f2 lens for street. I also use the Contax Aria or RX w/ either the 45mm Tessar or the 50 1.7 CZ. I'm used to SLRs for street work. I do own a Bessa R w/ the Jupiter 8 lens but I am not so adept at speedily seting everything for a quick shot. I idealy like to get close up to the subjects so I like the 35mm lens. Zooms are good for hard to reach places but not so much for street since they tend to flatten the subject and there is a loss of something in the final result.
Geoff A Roberts 8 years ago
I mainly use a Leica MP and 4th version 2/35 Summicron. Fantastic lens, small, light, quiet, rugged, quick to use, and great in low light. It's a very discreet camera, very few give me a second look around Sydney, though it draw a lot attention when I was in Hong Kong a few months ago, clearly Leicas are still popular there! Hardly original, but it works for me, as it has for many others for many years.
sanditico 8 years ago
I'm in love with my Leica M3... Now i've start to use a Leica M6 TTL but ist not mine... too expensive for me right now... maybe in a couple of years... SLR are to big I think... they are good for event, studio or so, but not for street photography...
Using a Panasonic Lumix dmc-lx3! usually at 24mm + manual focus at 1-2mt. 400iso, 2.8F and AV. Obiusly RAW ;)

Then the game is to be near enough! :D
Marcelo Colmenero PRO 8 years ago
I love going for night or afternoon walks listening to some music and shooting. I usually take my M6 with a 50mm 1.5 Voigtlander Nokton, which... well, it's the only lens I currently posess! This week, hopefully, I'll get a 15mm 4.5 Heliar and buy a Canon 7 with the legendary 50mm f0.95. Until march, I did not have the Leica and had my Ricoh Caplio GX100 in my pocket all the time, it's a truly loving camera. I have a Lumix LX3 with me nowadays but sadly I did not get much excitement out of it as I did with the GX100. IQ is better and lens is faster, but the handling is just pure crap!
Drained & Depleted [deleted] 8 years ago
Hello Marius & everyone. I am new to Range Finder photography, havent touched a camera for the last ten over years until i got myself a Leica m8 last year. (i used to own a canon EOS 500) Am still trying hard to learn more abt RF. Currently shooting mostly on 28mm elmarit.
Acoustic Company [deleted] 8 years ago
I like finding out about everyones different approaches. It gives one new ideas, like trying out a TLR on the street, which I've never done.

I usually carry around my Leica M6 + Elmarit 28mm f2.8, but recently have been enjoying using my Rollei 35 and Olympus PEN EE-2 out on the streets. I have a Ricoh 35s rangefinder (which is even quieter than the M6) that I intend to get out with soon.

I started with a Canon EOS40D which I still like, but am liking film out on the streets much better. I just have to get out there more...
The Mirror Man [deleted] 8 years ago
Nikon D40 with the kit lens. Sometimes the 50mm AF. I'd like to start using an FM2.
For me the Ricoh GR-D II has been a revelation. 28mm fixed lens with a small sensor gives you tremendous DOF. Shoots RAW files. Zone focus around 1-2M at f/4.5 and you are done. Nothing left to think about except looking for your next frame. Small and silent and draws almost no attention.

Before that I used a Nikon FG body (smallest SLR Nikon made) with the 35 f/2. I don't know if I could go back to the large and loud cameras now.

Street photography is one area where small sensor cameras have a big advantage because of their size and DOF
I do not own any Leicas, the experts say the M2 is the best of the "M" series.
I might get a Fed5 for $50.00 this week.
I try to always have my Rollei 35SE with me whenever I roam the streets in Mexico, at least as a back-up and for a quick shot.
.jerome.the.analog. 8 years ago
For most of my street shots I now use a CV Bessa R3M with a 50mm lens. Sure, it's no Leica, but it's still way ahead of my Nikon D200 in terms of discretion and portability. The D200 is for general purpose stuff, mostly events and portraits.
I also have an F100 which I use for landscape and architecture. The 20mm on that is amazing.
William George [deleted] 8 years ago
I use a Pentax MX because it was cheap (You'll notice a theme soon) and the lenses are easy to find. It gives me the best balance between nice-image and easy-to-use.

I use a Mamiya c220f because I found someone selling one online with two lenses included for cheap. I enjoy using it for the whole genteel, take your time, nature of it.

I use an Olympus Pen EE2 because it was cheap, and half frame makes for really fun composition.

I use a Holga 120WPC and 135 because Holgas make for interesting images. And on the scale of things, Holgas are cheap, they are not as cheap as they should be for what is basically a plastic box.

I used to own a Canon 30d because I used to think bigger was better and everyone around me in Korea had a pricey DSLR... I sold it last year.

And I use whatever camera and lens seemed good to me before I left the house.
Kenneth Armstrong [deleted] 8 years ago
Leica M5 with 35mm f/2 Zeiss Biogon is my weapon of choice.
laffingstock Posted 7 years ago. Edited by laffingstock (member) 7 years ago
for years i used the MamiyaSuper with mostly the 55mm lens , 120macro, or 50mmPC, the latter is cumbersome, but great for architecture and in narrow streets - less often the 35mm, 150mma and 210mm - more recently i mostly use the FujiGA645Zi autofocus, 55-90 zoom - a wonderful street shooter and probably no heavier than a Leica - very occasionally i venture forth with a 1930s model GraflexD with "automatic" aperture setting 190mm lens: a sneaky camera for the street because hardly anybody thinks it is a camera - it looks like a car battery and when you deploy the hood you get really puzzled looks - finally the canon30d digital - if i could sell the mamiya outfit for a decent price i would upgrade to a canon 7D
cosygreeneyes PRO 7 years ago
A 10 year old Olympus C2500L for grainy shots. A very well built camera with a top shutter speed of 1/10,000 and an infinity setting to capture instant high contrast images.
victorsez [deleted] Posted 7 years ago. Edited by victorsez (member) 7 years ago
I use a Leica M3 with a 50mm Summicron. I have owned an M2 and also an M6 but prefer the 0.94 viewfinder of the M3. That said, if I had disposable income (I don't) I would also have an MP and either a 35mm Summicron or CV 40mm 1.4 Nokton. The Leicas are small, robust, lightweight, quiet and unobtrusive. With the M3 on my chest, I look like a middle-aged tourist and therefore not very intimidating. And speaking of light, quiet and unobtrusive, I just bought an Olympus Trip 35 ($25 on eBay) which I believe has great street potential.
r_o_n_n_i PRO 5 years ago
I'm using Contax G with 45/2 Planar now. Is still keep M4P and M8 with 35mm lens.
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