To be honest there is no “best” lens for street photography. It is totally subjective and depends on the way you would like to capture the subject/moment.

Interestingly there are a lot of talented street photographers use phone cameras and compact cameras. They are doing a great job at it. But using a DSLR or mirrorless body with a good lens gives you more advantage while doing street photography. We will discuss about that in this article.

Prime Lens

Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, you can not zoom, instead you have to get closer or further way to adjust your frame for composition.

Prime lenses are generally sharper and optically superior than other lenses. Lights gets to the sensor with less degradation.

Prime lenses are fast and allows you to choose wide aperture (sometimes as far as f/0.95). Benefit of this is a much shallower depth of field than you would get with zoom lenses. The shallow depth of field isolates the subject.

Another best thing about prime lenses is that you can shoot handheld in low light without increasing the ISO that would result lower image quality with noise.

Prime lenses are very sharp and able to produce high quality image in almost any weather and light situation.

So What Are The Best Street Photography Lenses?

24mm: Some still thinks 24mm is the best for taking street photographs. Below are some best of the best 24mm lenses you can get.

Canon – EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Nikon – AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED

35mm: This is arguably the most used focal length by street photographers. Below are some best 35mm lenses:

Canon – EF 35mm f/2 IS USM
Fujifilm – FUJINON XF 35mm f/2 R WR

50mm: Also known as the nifty fifty. We think 50mm is the ideal for street photography. If you have to buy one lens only then buy 50mm depending on your camera body. The 50mm is just feels right.

Canon – EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Nikon – AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
Fujifilm – Fujinon XF50mm F2 R WR

Let’s take a look at some street photography captured by most popular prime lenses:

Stolen smile