During the last couple of photo shoots at Lipgloss, I finally got a chance to play with my new Tokina 11-16mm lens in a nightclub environment. I love the ultra-wide angle and fast F2.8 aperture it provides (although, I almost never go down to F2.8 and usually hover around F3.5-F4 to keep things a little bit more in focus).
As most people know, nightclub photography is especially challenging due to a variety of factors that range from technical issues such as extreme low-light and constantly-changing ambiance to logistical annoyances (impenetrable crowds of drunk people, noise, spilled drinks and etc). There is no time to mess with focus or other settings – a nightclub photographer needs to be able to grab shots on the fly. It’s a battlefield out there! One advantage of the Tokina is that it’s built like a tank. And, even though it doesn’t have a silent motor and focusing is therefore not as fast or smooth as with my Canon EF-S 17-55mm lens, because of Tokina’s narrow ultra-wide range, it’s usually not a problem. The glass is pretty sharp, even if that is not always evident from my quarter-second exposures :) I do wish it had IS, but even without stabilization the lens performs quite well.
I really like the extreme wide angles you can get with ATX-116, such as this shot of former Lipgloss resident DJ Chase Dobson, who came back to play a set on August 19th:
And, even though it’s a wide lens, you can still a little bit of bokeh effect when you get really close to your subject, zoomed in to 16mm at F2.8:
Of course, vertical people shots at 11mm can look pretty distorted, in a fun way :)
At 16mm (below-right), distortion isn’t too bad:
Former Lipgloss resident DJ Chase Dobson with resident DJ/Lipgloss co-founder boyhollow (love those guys!):
James Holden & James Yardley from Double // Shadow:
Lipgloss resident DJ Option4:
Full slideshow with many more photos from 8.19.11: The Return Of Chase Dobson w/ boyhollow set:
Full slideshow from 9.2.11 LIPGLOSS vs. Double Shadow: boyhollow & option4 w/ James Holden & James Yardley set:
Would you like me to shoot your nightlife event or dance party? Contact me!