Let me share some thoughts. For most of the year, my city has plenty of light. And good light, too. This is fortunate for a number of reasons but, in particular, it allows me to use lower ISO film for street photography. Good resolution and plenty of flexibility.
ADOX Silvermax is a fantastic film for shooting in my everyday conditions and is quite easily available in Europe. It has a high silver content which supposedly will give a high tonal range and great sharpness. I find that it works best with lots of light and high tonal range, but in darker settings and with larger appertures it holds quite well. Please check the images to see what I mean.
The frames in this post were shot with my usual Leica M7 but using a less known lens, the Nikkor-P.C 10.5 cm f/2.5 in Leica thread mount with an adequate adapter. Since the Leica does not have 105 mm frame lines, the 135 mm ones were selected. I just considered the frame to be a little larger and it was OK. The lens is beautiful, very solid, really responsive, easy to focus but a little heavy. This is not a cheap lens but much less expensive than similar Leica.
Although some might consider it a collector’s item, I use it on the street in great results. From time to time, you can find a good one on eBay. I am not at all a lens expert. I only care for the results and the pleasure given by shooting a fantastic piece of photo gear.
There is a lot of debate on what is the best lens focal distance for street photography. Some claim for 35mm, there are 50mm radicals, 28mm is also an option. In my opinion, every focal distance is useful depending on what you are trying to get.
You may want to include in the picture more or less of the surrounding, you may want to isolate the subject, you may need or want to shoot more close or from afar. A lens should offer you the possibility to do what you want and if you want different things you may need to use different lenses.
That is what I do. I use several focal distances in street photography. Just a comment, don’t like zooms for this kind of work. All this argument is driven by what I want you to appreciate. Please look at these pictures shot with a less known film and with an unusual but fantastic lens. Enjoy.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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