Best Focal Length for Street Photography

What is the best focal length for street photography. There is already a lot written on this subject. And it all depends.

Shooting with long focal lengths (more then 70mm) can for sure do the job, but it starts to lose intimacy. With short(er) focal lengths you are dragged into the scene as if you are part of it. Longer focal lengths makes it flat and more distant. You are more looking at a kind of postcard.

Quoting the famous street photographer Robert Capa – “If your photos aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. So get close!

I lean more and more towards the 35mm full frame equivalent. I shoot with a Olympus M4/3 so for me that is the 17mm, f/1.8. A great lens. But, that means that you need to get close, what about the creepiness?

Well, true, you need to go close. On this I like and subscribe to the statement of Eric Kim on this: “Creepiness is proportional to focal length.”. And that just says it all. Shooting from far with long focal length is to me just more creepy then shooting close.

Some good resource for further reading:


Hans Winterink

Blogging, blogging, really. Hans is a senior professional in the areas of security, software development, project, program ad portfolio management. He likes photography. This blog just reflects my personal opinions. Nothing more.

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