My experience of street photography is to make oneself looks as insignificant and unprofessional as possible – which comes rather too naturally to me, TBH! :-)Kit should be small, light and ideally somewhat battered looking – a “distressed” look that most of my kit usually acquires after a few weeks’ service. No expensive-looking kit and certainly no flashy branded bags.
I generally have one or two small lightweight “pancake” lenses with me
- Lumix 12-32mm (24-64mm 135 equiv.) usually has adequate zoominess for most urban situations.
- Lumix 20mm (40mm 135 equiv).) f1.7 prime – which is particularly useful in low light.
- I do occasionally bring one or more vintage lenses. But only when I’m within a few metres or so of the car and my wife is with me to “watch my back”. If I’m going walkabouts, then it’s one or both of the above lightweight Lumix lenses only.
Whichever Lumix lens I’m not using stays in my pocket in a small, unassuming zip-top plastic bag. I also use a generic rubber lens hood. ANd an old plastic carrier bag over the camera if it is raining. These days I put a 37mm or 46mm (depending on lens) to suitable-diameter step-up ring, so both lenses can share the same accessories. Ether lens + step-up ring fits comfortably in my beaten up leather camera case. I generally have another plastic bag with a couple of freshly-charged DMW-BLG10 batteries. Sometimes I also carry a small USB charger that will run off the car’s USB socket.
Alternatively I can charge the camera batteries from my ruggedised phone’s built-in 10.3 amp-hour battery. The phone also has a ½ terabyte microSD that I can use to back-up the camera’s SD card, if the images are particularly important.
Lumix 20mm f1.7 “pancake” prime
Anyway, here are few snaps I took in Southsea one rainy Sunday afternoon in January. I mostly used the 20mm f1.7 prime with its aperture wide-open because it was particularly dark for a while. IIRC, the calculated cloud-base was about 150 metres and the cloud cover was an estimated 3km thick. I.e. dark enough to trigger the street-lights more than an hour early…
Lumix 12mm – 32mm Vario “pancake” zoom
Of course there are occasions where one doesn’t need low light performance. Instead, needs to take a variety of images, at various zoom levels whilst standing on virtually the same spot. This was the 2023 Nurses Strike, outside Southampton General Hospital, taken on a bright sunny day. There were a lot of people wandering around, not to mention a lot of traffic in and around the hospital entrance. In this situation my real limitation was lack of room to move safely.
In these images, I am using my Lumix 12-32mm “Vario” lens. It’s small, compact and has sufficient zoominess for street photography such as this.