I shoot mainly Street Fashion and need something with fast focus, large aperture and small to carry with me. I've narrowed down my options to 35L vs 50L.

I am wondering since the 50L can be used easily on a full frame for both scenarios (portraits and full body shots), if it's a better candidate and might replace my 35mm needs. The 35L though, has faster autofocus and it's a great walkaround lens. I am also somewhat afraid in regards the shift-backfocusing issues on the 50L.

Which one would you pick if you could only get one?

Here's a few samples of what Focal Point - Style I am looking for:






  • \$\begingroup\$ Full Frame - 5dmk2 \$\endgroup\$
    – polyglot
    Nov 9, 2013 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


I don't know how you expect for us to decide for you. These are all excellent lenses. They will all do what you are wanting to do. Of course 35mm is very different from 85mm. Only you will know which focal length suits your shooting style.

We already have some questions that would be useful to review here:

I would also review:

My Suggestion

I would scrap this entire idea. Street photography encourages small kits, with small lenses that manually focus easily. I would MUCH prefer a Fujifilm X100S to any of the lenses you mentioned for example. Small, light, fixed lens, quiet operation, unimposing. Grabbing a Canon 5D MkIII with a 50mm f/1.2 is anything but unimposing in my opinion. A small Leica M clone is what I would want for street photography, not a beast of an SLR. If money is no object, just go buy the Leica M, Sony A7, or the deal of the Fujifilm X Pro1. Full frame DSLR's are not a street photographers best friend.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is Street Fashion mainly true street photography of "unsuspecting" subjects or is it more about shooting fashion with preselected models in public spaces? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 9, 2013 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark - I believe "The Sartorialist" is the best example of such a photographer. On that blog I see examples of both types of photography, and since a big DSLR rig is not going to work that well to be "hidden", I advise something like the Fuji X100S which would work great in both situations. If we are assuming that it is preselected subjects, the first post I linked to would be the post to mark this a duplicate of anyways. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Nov 9, 2013 at 19:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ michael: I was wondering the same. I interpret it as something different than candid street. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2013 at 19:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited my question, added a few shots matching the style-focal point I'm looking for. \$\endgroup\$
    – polyglot
    Nov 9, 2013 at 19:54

I don't think you can get away with not getting a 85mm for this. There is plenty of space and 85mm just beautifies everything and has the creamiest bokeh when you need to get rid of too much background clutter and separate the subject. You can use it for full body shots as well.

However, I'd like to suggest a manual lens, Samyang/Rokinon 85mm 1.4. It gets a lot of great reviews, and is often tested for street photography. They even compare it to Canon 1.2L, rather than the 85mm 1.8 that the price tag is close to. Both in sharpness and in creamy bokeh and CA.



And then you can pair it with a Sigma 50mm 1.4 if you need to shoot at small groups in an alley. Or get a 135mm for head shots.

(*My interpretation is that you shoot with fullframe)


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