Cheap lens for street photography?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by ultrakomm, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. ultrakomm

    ultrakomm New to TalkEmount

    Nov 4, 2013

    I'm looking for a cheap lens for street photography. What are some good alternatives? I'm looking to spend $20-40. My camera is a NEX-5R.

    Thanks in advance
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    That's a tough one. There are certainly no Sony APS-C lenses to be had for that kind of money. And given the fact that you're going to be spending a minimum of ~$20 for an adapter for some sort of legacy manual focus lens, that will only leave you $20 for the lens itself. You may find something like that at a garage sale, if you're lucky. Or someone may give you an old lens. But I don't think you'll find anything like that (worth using) for sale on eBay or elsewhere online. So... :hmmm:
  3. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ

    The cheapest E-Mounts are gonna be the 19 and 30mm Sigmas and the 16mm. With patience they can often be found for around $100.00.

    As mentioned, in the MF realm, you will need an adapter for any lens you get, usually running $10-20.00. There are $20-40.00 lenses out there, but you really want to spend at least $50.00 for a good lens.
  4. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    Since you posted this in adapted lenses I am going to assume you want an adapted lens. Like anything else in life, quality costs money. The lens is the single most important part of making a photograph after your skill as a photographer. So skimping on glass is not recommended as you will get what you pay for. Having said that, great skill can overcome limitations in your equipment. Here are some suggestions.

    The appropriate adapters will run usually between 5 and 20 bucks. So some combination here should get you around your price point and should be able to give you some decent images depending on your skill level.

    Most of these are 28mm lenses which on your NEX will effectively be a 42mm lens. Some might say that is not wide enough for street photography but dont listen to them. Henri Cartier Bresson shot almost all his street photography with a 50mm lens and the man is a god, his photography untouchable. And anyway, if you try to drop lower then 28mm the price of lenses skyrockets dramatically.

    Check your local craigslist, bargains are always to be had there. Go to the photo section for your city and try searches under things like "vintage, Canon fd, Minolta, film, 35mm, Nikon, Pentax, M42, screwmount". Some of those you might have to weed thru for the old glass (like Nikon) and some should only bring up old cameras. If you do a search for "Yashica" and find anything interesting dont buy it. Horrible old glass, you dont want it. Just forward the link to me. :)
  5. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
  6. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    Any of the relatively sharp 24/2.8 would probably work for you - cheap and some like the Canon FD SSC version are very good wide open.
  7. ultrakomm

    ultrakomm New to TalkEmount

    Nov 4, 2013
    Thanks for all the tips! :) I appreciate it a lot. How would a Konica Hexanon AR 40mm f1.8 stack up? I've found one for very cheap ($10).

    How does one calculate this?
  8. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    28mm lens x 1.5 crop factor = 42mm full frame equivalent field of view
  9. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    Konica 40mm is a great lens for 10$. Make sure there are no issues with it. It's a little soft and glow-y wide open but very nice at 2.8.

    The only issue I see is it is probably too long for street photography. It's actually closer to a 42-43mm lens really so on APS-C you are looking at a little over 60mm. Might be a little tight for street photography as you'd probably have to stop it down a lot to get the DOF you need. I guess it depends on your style and how much background you want to include.

  10. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    How about Minolta 35-70/3.5? Most 24mm lenses are much more expensive than 40 USD now but 28mm ones can still be had cheaply.
  11. Synomis192

    Synomis192 TalkEmount Regular

    May 26, 2013
    Go for some Minolta Celtics. I have an use a Minolta Celtic 28mm and I used it when I go out on the streets for LA/Beverly Hills. Its discrete yet it performs very well.

    I know this is currently out of your range but consider a Lens Turbo adapter, it will amaze you. Before you do that, I would suggest collecting a decent collection for a specific mount first

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