In my street photography, I basically have two lenses to choose from: the DA 21mm Limited and the DA 35mm Limited. A lot of people seems to think that the main difference between a 21mm lens and a 35mm lens is that you get a longer reach with the 35mm, and therefore don´t need to move as close to your subject to get the same image.
Well, looking through my images I have noticed something else: The images I make have a very different character depending on which lens I use.
The 21mm let me, no, force me to get close to the action to get the right working distance. I have been shooting with this lens for several years now and know the preferred distance by heart, so anytime I spot an interesting scene I move in, shot from the hip or whatever is necessary to get the shot. I just love those fast, chaotic images this kind of shooting gives me. I usually set this baby to hyper focal which means I´m ready to shot instantly. Shooting with this lens, I´m prepared for the unexpected.
This often gets me into trouble when I have the 35mm on the camera, since I usually find myself to close to the action. It feels like a god damn tele lens and I can´t use that in a crowd, so whats happening is that the 35mm slows me down. It forces me to shoot images that in many cases are the opposite of those of the 21mm. Strict compositions with well controlled subjects. Shooting with this lens, I need a plan.
I think it´s interesting to realize that the choice of lens actually have this much impact on how my images comes out. Before this, I would not have taken this in consideration if I was in the mood for a new lens. I would have thought it just was a matter of field of view and reach, but it seems that if also affects how and what I shoot to a greater extent than I imagined.
Now, let´s see if you could pick the lens on the images below (should be pretty easy :). And if you have similar findings – or the opposite – drop me a line!
Note: I´m using a aps-c camera which means a cropfactor of x1.5. The 21mm the equals 31 mm on a full frame sensor.