3 Prime Lenses to Consider for Street Photography: A Quick Guide
Consider for street photography

Street photography is an art form that has been around for many years.

It involves capturing candid moments in a person’s life on the streets of a city or town.

While it may seem like a simple task, there are actually many factors to consider when taking photographs out in public. One of those considerations is what perfect lens you use to take your shots with.

It is a highly debated topic. Many people believe that a prime lens is the best choice for capturing candid moments in life, while some swear by the versatility of zoom lenses.

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In this blog post, we will discuss 3 prime lenses that are great choices for street photographers and why they work so well.

What is Street Photography

Street Photography
Street photography

Street Photography is a type of photography that captures candid moments in public places.

It’s often characterized by its cinematic techniques, and the photographer usually has some degree of interaction with their subjects. Street photographers will take this approach to capture images on the street- no matter what time of day it is- as opposed to an event such as a wedding.

The goal for most famous Street Photographers is to show everyday life through different perspectives including social commentary and humor.

You can be a Street Photographer with any type of full frame camera but there are a few best lenses that will come in handy.

Street photography started in the 1920s with Henri Cartier-Bresson and his photographs of life in Paris.

Street photography is credited for capturing candid moments when staged photos weren’t so popular and people were more interested in how everyday people lived their lives.

Cartier-Bresson’s famous quote “the best camera is one that’s always ready,” sums up what street photographers are all about, which is to capture a split-second moment as it happens without being noticed or getting caught on film.

He used different types of cameras including 35mm Leicas from 1927 onwards but also had an extensive collection of pinhole and large format cameras by companies like Hasselblad, Mamiya, Sinar P he was able to use during his career.

One of the ways he was able to get undetected shots is by using a 50mm lens, which at that time was not what most photographers were using. He also used this same lens for taking street portraits and even landscape photography on occasion.

1. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - White Box (New) (Bulk Packaging)
  • Ring-type UltraSonic Motor (USM)
  • Closest focusing distance: 1 foot, The focal length is 35mm
  • f/1.4 maximum aperture
  • Inner focusing; floating system , aspherical lens , full-time manual focus

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L is a high-quality lens that will make your photos look amazing.

This best lens has an aperture of 1.4, which means you can take pictures in low light without having to worry about blurriness or graininess. It also has a focal length of 35mm, which is perfect for capturing portraits and landscapes alike. The best part? You don’t have to be a professional photographer to use it.

With this terrific lens, you’ll be able to capture the world around you with stunning clarity and detail – whether it’s your family at home or the beautiful scenery on vacation. 

It also has a subwavelength coating which helps reduce ghosting and flare, making it easier than ever to get professional-looking shots every time!

You won’t regret investing in this high-quality, reliable, and easy-to-use piece of equipment.

If you are a beginner to street photography, this lens is perfect for you — it’s compact and lightweight, which makes it easier to travel with.

If you are an experienced street photographer who travels a lot, or if your day job involves photography like fashion shoots or weddings, then the 35mm may not be the best choice for you because it does not offer zooming capabilities.

We recommend looking at one of our other prime lenses instead:  The 50mm (best pick) offers 3x optical zoom capability; the 85mm has high-quality optics that make shots in low light without blurriness even better; and when there isn’t enough natural lighting on hand, adding a Canon Speedlite can help set off those flashes from afar.


  • Small size and lightweight.
  • very fast and silent focusing.
  • Large aperture.


  • No image stabilization.

2. Sony – FE 50mm F1.8

Sony - FE 50mm F1.8 Standard Lens (SEL50F18F/2)
  • Large F1. 8 maximum aperture enables beautiful defocusing effects
  • 7-blade circular aperture creates beautiful defocused bokeh
  • Compact, lightweight design Ideal for full-frame e-mount cameras
  • Aspherical element controls spherical aberration and coma

Sony is the biggest player in the camera market and it’s no surprise that their best lenses are some of the best on the planet.

The Sony FE 50mm F/I.8 lens is a prime lens with an aperture wide enough to handle most shooting situations, but still small enough for photos taken from behind fences or other barriers.

With a large F1.8 maximum aperture, this best lens is great at getting professional quality images when shooting at low light or zooming in on the text to see every magnificent detail as an E-mount camera would do best.

Not only does this allow you to take serious shots with just your smartphone camera and use features such as Instagram filters but it also allows you to experiment more easily because of its lightweight design (compact).

This incredible Sony lens has one of the most advanced pieces of technology: a double-gauss configuration that suppresses field curvature and distortion so your images are pristine and perfect every time without editing!

You can shoot from all sorts of angles with this prime lens because it uses the Sony E mount that is compatible with most mirrorless cameras on the market today so there are no worries about compatibility issues or missed opportunities due to not owning an expensive DSLR camera.

With a compact and versatile focal length, this 50mm f1.8 lens is the perfect street photography lens.

It captures beautiful images while also giving you lots of control over depth-of-field with its wide aperture to take your creativity to new heights.

Say goodbye to shaky handheld photos because this has Optical SteadyShot which helps eliminate blur caused by camera movement for clean sharp shots even in low light conditions.


  • Crisp from edge to edge when stopped down.
  • Light and compact.
  • Minimal distortion.


  • Slow focus.

3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras, 2183, Black
  • F mount lens/DX format. Picture angle with Nikon DX format 44 degree
  • 52.5 millimeter (35-millimeter equivalent). Rear focusing; Manual focus override
  • Aperture range: F/1.8 to 22; Dimensions(approx.) 70 x 52.5 millimeter
  • Silent wave motor AF system. Accepts filter type is screw on. Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups

Need the most compact lens for your DX-format camera?

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens is typically about 2 inches long and less than an inch in diameter; it weighs under 4 ounces, too!

It will work as well outdoors as indoors without a flash because of its quality optics (it has eight pieces in six groups).

This focal length works wonderfully for street photography needs. You can also get reasonably close to your subject with this best lens which is good if you don’t like shooting from the other side of a football field!

The Nikon 35mm f/lens is the perfect choice for street photography and other types of general shooting.

Its fast aperture 【of up to】allows you to take pictures in low light without worrying about blurriness or graininess, which means it’s great when there isn’t a lot of natural lighting available.

It also has the best focal length (35 mm) that works well for portraits as well as landscapes! And best yet? The great lens doesn’t just offer high-quality photos – it can be used by anyone who wants to capture the world around them with stunning clarity and detail.

With this best lens, your family at home will look stunningly beautiful or you’ll easily explore exotic locales on vacation because it’s easy to take a close-up, medium shot, or wide-angle picture with just one lens.

A street photography lens that is equal parts professional and economic, this one will allow you to shoot with precision while easily fitting into a backpack or purse when you’re on the go! 

Affordable convenience won’t weigh down your day; Professional quality in a small package

Want more from your photos? With this prime lens, you can capture images with beautiful bokeh around the edges that are perfect for portraiture-type street photography or shooting in low-light conditions.


  • Inexpensive.
  • Compact and light.
  • Bright aperture.


  • Some barrel distortion.

Bottom Line

Street photography is a popular style of photography that many photographers are turning to.

For those who want to start street shooting, it’s important to remember the three prime lenses you should have with you at all times – wide-angle lens for capturing buildings and details in close-up; medium telephoto lens for portraits from afar or candid shots from behind bushes; and finally, your zoom lens which can help capture great detail up close while still allowing some distance between yourself and whoever is on camera. 

 As you can see, there are many considerations to make when taking street photography.

If you’re interested in adding this artistic approach to your portfolio or just want some ideas for studying the world around you, we hope that our guide has been helpful.

Remember these 3 prime lenses for best results and good luck on all of your future endeavors and street photography.

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