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View Poll Results: Pick your favorite exposure index for street shooting...
50 0 0%
100 6 5.00%
200 11 9.17%
400 70 58.33%
800 23 19.17%
1600 7 5.83%
3200 3 2.50%
Voters: 120. You may not vote on this poll

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Best EI for street photography?
Old 04-23-2014   #1
Juan Valdenebro
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Best EI for street photography?

If you had to pick a single exposure index for all you street shooting, which one would you consider the most appropriate, and why?
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Old 04-23-2014   #2
sebastel
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auto ISO.
and don't tell me that it does not exist in film - think XP2.

;-)

but, why should i limit myself to one selection? even for the mind game, i don't accept the limitation.
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Old 04-23-2014   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastel View Post
auto ISO.
and don't tell me that it does not exist in film - think XP2.

;-)

but, why should i limit myself to one selection? even for the mind game, i don't accept the limitation.
Because absence of limits is the enemy of photography and other things?

Seriously, even though you want to see it as a mind game, and I respect your view, perhaps it's not a mind game... Sometimes reality pushes us... Sometimes I don't carry 2 bodies and several kinds of films, and if I have to shoot quickly in sun / shades with the same roll and lens, moving and still subjects, I prefer not to change rolls every 2 shots...

Cheers,
Juan
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Old 04-23-2014   #4
Tom A
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I find 400 iso or thereabouts works well for me. I don't have to meter and it is fast enough to shoot even in deep shadow and slow enough not to exceed the 1/1000s of most mechanical rangefinders.
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Old 04-23-2014   #5
Juan Valdenebro
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More than the poll results, what can be really interesting is each and every why...

Thanks Tom!
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Old 04-23-2014   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Valdenebro View Post
Because absence of limits is the enemy of photography and other things?

Seriously, even though you want to see it as a mind game, and I respect your view, perhaps it's not a mind game... Sometimes reality pushes us... Sometimes I don't carry 2 bodies and several kinds of films, and if I have to shoot quickly in sun / shades with the same roll and lens, moving and still subjects, I prefer not to change rolls every 2 shots...

Cheers,
Juan
ok, got it.
400 for me then, with an extra roll of fomapan 100 just in case.
because it has enough reserve for most situations, and because i like the film (ilford).
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Old 04-23-2014   #7
Colin Corneau
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Depends on the street, I guess. A bright one would be great for 100...not so bright, 800 or 1600.

Street photography isn't a monolithic thing, it's an approach rooted in place and of course each photographer's approach.
I remember a photographer who fashioned a hand-held pinhole camera and wandered the streets of Los Angeles -- odd, dreamlike images but way more compelling than a thousand wannabes frantically trying to imitate Winogrand or Klein.

FWIW, I use EI 800 since it's fast, allows stopped down depth of field and usually fits where I usually am, in terms of ambient light.
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Old 04-23-2014   #8
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I like 800 (in BW) because I often shoot at hyperfocal during the day, it gives me a little bit more margin in the shadows and early evening. If I did colour more often I'd vote for 400 just because I like portra so much
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Old 04-23-2014   #9
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OK...
My vote was 800 because:
-After trying 400 for some time I felt it was a bit slow for me: I wasn't used to focus quicly with a RF... Then I started using 1600 a lot, but lately I think it's kind of contrasty in general, you lose too much on direct sun, and the grain can be too present...
-Most of my shots are OK with a bit of contrast because overcast is the common thing, so 400 at 800 is a good option...
-Shooting [email protected] wouldn't allow me, in overcast light, to keep f8 on my 28 for shooting without focusing, because of low shutter speeds when light is so so... With 800 I use 1/2000 for direct sun at f/8 (yellow filter), and I can go 5 f-stops below that, down to 1/60 before I use f5.6, and that covers nearly everything. So with 800 I focus with f4 only, and that requires low light.
-Grain and tonality are fine at 800.
Cheers,
Juan
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Old 04-23-2014   #10
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Usually about 400 EI but anything labeled "street" requires knee-jerk-like reaction to what actually happens so no time for setting exposure, focus or even compose.
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Old 04-23-2014   #11
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400 is winning now... 800 had its 15 minutes of fame at the beginning...
As an exception, I can do street with ASA100 in the most relaxed and pleasant way, but only with my Konica Hexar AF, because its autofocus is totally reliable and ultrafast, and its no delay shutter is less noisy than any rangefinder... And with its great lens, the detail is there using ASA100 film... But most street photography doesn't require that, and soon it makes me miss grain, so I can't help going back to other cameras and Tri-X with the 28 prefocused...
Cheers,
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Old 04-23-2014   #12
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400. As Tom A said. Plenty of latitude if you need to push the film, but I think most importantly, it's a mid-road approach that satisfies 80+% of lighting conditions on the street with the right lens. In constant bright light, with only 400 film, I've also used an ND filter to good effect. But I've never really used anything else, so I'm partial to what I use.
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Old 04-23-2014   #13
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ISO100 for Sunny 16 street play with my classic RF cameras. Like Leica with collapsible 50mm.
1/125 -1/250 f5.6-11. DoF isn't ocean deep at 50mm, but focus tab is the deal for fast focusing.

Quick&Dirty street shots - sure, ISO 400 with aperture priority and 35mm lens.

If ISO 400 isn't fast enough at 1/125-1/60 and f.2.8 it is time to leave the street for me.
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Old 04-23-2014   #14
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I shoot almost exclusively TMY400, and pull it to 200 in the summer to try and control contrast.

as the saying goes, YMMV. I get the urge to try different emulsions and played around with ADOX this past summer, but I'm almost too lazy to try experimenting again. Stuck with Tmax since I bulk load, more out of convenience than price.

Of course, experimenting is half the fun of photography.
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Old 04-23-2014   #15
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TX400 pushed to 1000 - 1600 when shooting people while walking in daylight to get fast shutter speeds. Think of carnivals, street parades etc.

400 otherwise.

I voted for 1600...
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Old 04-23-2014   #16
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At the moment I'll say 100, because I have 500' of polypan f to eat up and that's what I'm rating it at.
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Old 04-23-2014   #17
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I start with 400 usually HP5 or Tri-x.
Both can be held back to 100 or pushed to 1600 depending on conditions .
I have often exposed 100 and 1600 on the same roll of HP5 and ended with ...not perfect but, quite usable results (usually developing with a stand method).
Such versatility is a blessing don't you think ?
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Old 04-23-2014   #18
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I voted 400. It's interesting for me using the M9: I can have a higher ISO, but I need it for digital. I'll use 800 on the the street with the M9 sometimes, but my usual film shutter speed preference for digital on the street is 1/500 rather than my habitual 1/250 preference with film, so the advantage is negated. The Monochrom is another story: 1/1000s and f5.6 and whatever ISO up to 3200 is required without much concern. A bit cheaty.
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Old 04-23-2014   #19
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400 iso, most used HP5 (years ago HP4, do you remember?), then Tri-X and recently Tmax400, the latter has less grain. But I want experiment Tmax400 at 200 iso with HC110 plus Rodinal...
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Old 04-23-2014   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
I voted 400. It's interesting for me using the M9: I can have a higher ISO, but I need it for digital. I'll use 800 on the the street with the M9 sometimes, but my usual film shutter speed preference for digital on the street is 1/500 rather than my habitual 1/250 preference with film, so the advantage is negated. The Monochrom is another story: 1/1000s and f5.6 and whatever ISO up to 3200 is required without much concern. A bit cheaty.
Cheater! :P

On the M8, I'll keep it at ISO 320.

I know what you mean though, on FF digital you sometimes end up with a much higher EI then you'd otherwise shoot with film.
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Old 04-24-2014   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
There is no such thing as "street photography".
Oh. So not 400 then?
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Old 04-24-2014   #22
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400. Fast enough, but getting the detail. I normally shoot colour which I change to mono for most shots after scanning.
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Old 04-24-2014   #23
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I mostly shoot 400 film @ 200 and pull develop. Just to get a little less contrast, scans better.
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Old 04-24-2014   #24
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EI 400 works fine for me. It offers me the best trade in terms of grain and speed.
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Old 04-24-2014   #25
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i like 200. but 400 is good too. Probably habit more than anything really. 400 is probably more suited in truth
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Old 04-24-2014   #26
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On sunny days at EI 400 I often find myself bumping up against my fastest shutter speed
and/or using an aperture smaller than I'd like.

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Old 04-24-2014   #27
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400.

Tmax 400 would be my desert island choice. It is lovely pushed to 1600, and with an ND filter I can shoot it at 100 in direct sun. But I like it best at 320.
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Old 04-24-2014   #28
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I only shoot at ISO 100. If I can't shoot at ISO 100, I go home.
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Old 04-24-2014   #29
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In my book, an f 8.0 and 1/1000-1/2000th of a sec is ideal for zone shooting, this translates to an EI 500 on a sunny day, this is why I voted for EI 800, as conditions are sometimes less than ideal. A good solution is to use Tri X with Diafine at EI 500, as it covers you easily between EI 250 and 1000 for extra flexibility. The problem actually, is that film Leicas stop at 1/1000th, so sometimes you have to stop down to f11.
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Old 04-24-2014   #30
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I voted for 800, which is what I use for Tri-X in Diafine, but I meter at 400 b/c I use a yellow filter. Works like a charm.
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Old 04-25-2014   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
There is no such thing as "street photography".
Shame, write to the publishers then.
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Old 04-25-2014   #32
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Voted for 400 iso. Shooting sunny sixteen with a street shutter speed 400 translates easily and flexibly across the f stop range, note this is UK weather
The wide availability of 400 stock means I'm never short of a film to shoot or try, the stock is flexible in developers as well.
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Old 04-26-2014   #33
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I voted 3200.

Typically I do all of my street work at night, so I need the speed. I also stick with f/2 through 3.5.
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Old 04-26-2014   #34
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[quote=Ansel;2336202]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLivsey View Post
Shame, write to the publishers then.


There was definitely no such thing as street photography when that photo was taken! The term is a recent invention and is void of an real meaning. If you had asked any of its so-called inventors about it they would have laughed.
Unfortunately for that argument the pre-existence of a category is not necessary for a work to be later assigned into it. Photo-realisim and Cubism for example were invented terms and categories after some of the original works had been produced.

You are correct that this "street" term is a relatively recent, and somewhat vague term to draw together photographs that would be difficult to otherwise categorise, and don't humans love to put things into categories.
In my opinion, and if you had prefaced your original remark with those words there would be no discussion, this is a case of where Art (note capital) and photography diverge, much as many would prefer a convergence, the equivalent in Art is probably work such as that of Banksy and indeed the production of the work physically on the street would encompass the usual "street photography" nicely but then the architectural photographers would perhaps be upset although I would be inclined to place some of Atget's studies that are purely architectural in our vague "street" slot.
It is a term that many find useful for titling books and exhibitions and whilst we can disagree where "urban landscape" stops; or does that not exist either; and "street' begins, its general acceptance and use surely precludes your all encompassing remark that there is no such thing?
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Old 04-26-2014   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
I can only repeat my assertion there is no such thing as street photography. It is a term devoid of meaning, beyond the mere descriptive "photos taken on the street". As to the correct EI for taking a photograph. It entirely depends on the light available and the subject. There is no magic bullet. I don't see how anyone can vote!
any definition is approximate and has limits. if there is not street photography, then there is not even landscape photography or portraiture etc. Just use common sense in using such definition. And if doesn't exist street photography, Vivian Maier photos doesn't exist... Or Doisneau...
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Old 04-26-2014   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
There is no such thing as "street photography".
Thanks for the heads up.
Now that you've enlightened me, I'll stop wasting my time.
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Old 04-26-2014   #37
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My favorite exposure index (film speed) for daytime street shooting is 100 ISO, all on colour slide stocks.
Works well for me most of the time.
If I'm photographing in the early evening or at night, I'll use 400 usually pushed one or even two stops.
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Old 04-26-2014   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
No, they exist all right. Its the label invented recently to describe their work that I am questioning. What exactly is it meant to mean. Please enlighten me?
What difference does it make? Street photography. It's self explanatory. What: photography. Where: streets. How is this even something to debate.

Back on topic: I shoot ASA100 almost exclusively. When it gets too dark I bring out a tripod and a cable release and keep shooting.
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Old 04-26-2014   #39
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Hi Ansel, obviously, for Winogrand the concept of street photography was one he didn't grow up with, and that's why he reacted that way, even being a pure street photographer... I think he didn't want anyone to publicly cage him into shooting in the streets exclusively...
Street photography not only exists, but will exist forever, and thousands of photographers practice it around the world and thousands of students study it around the world, and it's one of the most interesting and hard to achieve styles in photography, no doubt... It refers to a kind of human content photography (not streets or buildings or people simply passing) that can be done in lots of places, not only streets, and that is not planned, and perhaps its most important quality is how quickly the photographer has to react to capture a vanishing situation of interest. It's different to most photography, and in my opinion, it's one where lots of good photographers from other kinds of photography like portraiture, product, fashion, architecture, try hard and get no good results, because of the amount of factors you need to control well in an instant you can't make happen again. To some people, street photography is the real photography.
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Old 04-26-2014   #40
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Reaching 100 voters, 60% are shooting at 400, and 20% are shooting at 800. It seems those are the most commonly used EI's for daylight, and perhaps max. shutter speeds matter, as some forum members comment...
Cheers,
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