After being introduced to Lomography through his classic black and white shots of street skate culture and no stranger with Lomography's Kino film family through the Potsdam Kino, photographer Sebastian Weissinger returns to the magazine to showcase his new angles and movements in the city through Lomography's new Atoll Ultra Wide Angle 17 mm f/2.8 Art Lens. The premiere manual ultra-wide-angle lens boasts a 103º field of view and 17 mm focal length, perfect for capturing even the littlest of details and motion. Sebastian had put the lens to the test and shared his first-time memorable experience and photographs on both digital and film cameras.
Welcome back, Sebastian! Could you tell us a little bit about the photos you shot with the Atoll Ultra-Wide Angle 17 mm f/2.8 Art Lens?
My everyday go-to lens is a 50 mm focal length, so shooting with a super-wide field of view I had to try something different (or so I thought). Looking at the pictures now, I can see that I failed miserably in this regard.
To make use of the wide field of view I tried to work a lot with leading lines instead of shapes. Also, when taking photos of people (when at the Naschmarkt Saturday flea market for example) one needs to get really really close. It’s mostly in line with my work in general. Black and white, lots of grain and contrast. I went out at night for long exposures and inside passages to work with lines, the rest of the images happened along the way.
What was the widest lens you have worked with in the past? In your opinion, what’s the best reason to shoot with wide-angle lenses?
Fisheye for shooting skateboarding and ultra-wide lenses for work. It was the first time I’ve used a lens wider than 35 mm on film. In general, I use wide-angles whenever I want or need to get real close or need to get a lot within the frame (tight spaces, overviews of venues, full view of buildings). For reportage-style shooting, I usually stick to 28 or 35 mm lenses.
How was the experience shooting with the newest Lomography Art Lens?
Good. It’s obviously big in terms of M mount lenses, but still small considering it’s a rather fast ultra-wide lens. I was surprised how well it balanced on my M2 and my Fuji X-Pro 3 as well.
What were the first things that you have noticed when using the Atoll Ultra-Wide Art Lens?
This kind of goes along with the previous answer – its size and weight are comfortable enough for the lens to balance nicely on the bodies I used it with and considering its specs I’d say it’s reasonably sized.
You also tried out the lens on your digital Fuji X camera. Are you happy with the results even considering the crop-factor? Did you have a different approach than when testing it on your rangefinder?
Definitely! The only problem is, that the native Fuji 18 mm lens is super small and a stop faster, so it’s my first choice at this focal length. But the results were good – distortion is well controlled and because of the crop vignetting is even less of an issue (actually none). But I can see this lens shine on a full-frame mirrorless body, where it can be used as an ultra-wide lens.
How does the Atoll Ultra-Wide Art Lens complement your shooting style?
I was quite skeptical, to be honest, and unsure of how I could adapt to such a lens. Especially considering I’ve been shooting at 50 mm almost exclusively lately. Interestingly it worked way better than expected, although I didn’t try to use it in situations that need such a lens, for everyday shooting instead.
More of Sebastian's work can be found in halbformat.
We are back on Kickstarter with the Atoll Ultra-Wide Angle 17 mm f/2.8 Art Lens. Embrace a whole new perspective with a lens designed for full-frame mirrorless and compatible with M-Mount cameras. Discover our new Art Lens and back up the project on Kickstarter!