Street photography, portraits, filmmaking, and fine art photography are some of the domains New Jersey-based photographer Chrystofer Davis tapped into. But beyond his work, Chrystofer hosts seminars and lectures to share his experience after 11 years behind a camera. Jumping from one urban street corner to another, from one editorial shoot to a portrait session, he is always on-the-go. Chrystofer is one of the first to try our new and widest angles to date, the Lomography Atoll Ultra-Wide 2.8/17 Art Lens, and Chrystofer tests it to tell a whole story in only one frame.
With experience in documentary photography, Chrystofer is no stranger to some of the challenges that photographers encounter when they try to be a fly on the wall: a lens too heavy, not enough space to capture a whole scene, or the focus ring not smooth enough.
"This lens can be great for shooting from the hip if you don’t want to interfere with that particular scene or moment [...] this where the [Atoll] 17 mm shines, you’re able to tell more a story just with such a large angle.”
Instead of only taking a picture with his eyes, Chrystofer likes to get his entire body involved before pressing the shutter. Shooting from the hip is the best way to capture scenes without drawing too much attention to the photographer and disturbing a scene. "Sometimes you have your camera up to your eye, and people are intimidated and ask 'hey are you using this?'" explains Chrystofer. "Whenever I’m shooting candids I want that particular moment to be organic, I don’t want to pose. So grabbing some candid shots, getting closer, and capturing that scene, I feel that this lens can accomplish that."
"Going in and taking a portrait wouldn't disturb the person," he says. "This lens will keep these subjects at ease, or whoever you’re shooting." Shooting the Atoll Lens on an M mount camera, Chrystopher had a very light camera set up with the lens for an easy and portable setup.
"This lens has a very good built quality, similar to a lot of lenses I’ve used, it has a style as well, I like the way the hood looks, and even with the feel of the aperture dial, it’s nice and smooth. It’s definitely a beautiful lens."
With the sharpness of the glass, the sturdiness of the lens, and the aperture preview, it became easier to set your camera and shoot, without thinking too much about the settings. The smooth aperture ring makes for a flawless change in light if needed, especially for videographers who have to alter some settings while filming.
Getting into tight spaces with a shorter focal length can be hard — even with a lens as wide as 24 mm — and a wider lens can have a distortion effect. But the Atoll Lens is the perfect fit for a demonstration or party or just any kind of celebration, gathered with people. "I would definitely use it; whether you’re at a concert, or a small get-together this lens would be great," explains Chrystofer. "Especially going down to 2.8, it’s definitely working a favor. If you’re in a low light situation it’s going to gather all the light that it can, and it’s going to perform very well."
"My experience with shooting with this particular lens has been amazing. I feel like it works with me. I don’t feel like it’s complicated, with the way I shoot, it compliments my workflow. It’s beautiful, it has everything that you need as far as the aperture which is very smooth. It works really nice for me."
Catch Chrystofer Davis’ detailed interview as he shares his first impressions with the Atoll Ultra-Wide 2.8/17 Art Lens upon use.