Oh baby, it’s a lens

lensbaby velvet56Lensbaby has quite the following. And ya gotta love the names. Composer, Sweet 50, Edge 80, Spark. Lenses that expand your creative horizons.

Now there’s Velvet 56, a high-end 56 mm portrait lens for both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. It comes in black or the more expensive silver, boasts a maximum aperture of f/1.6, offers 1:2 macro capabilities, and is said to deliver “a velvety, glowing, ethereal look at brighter apertures, and beautifully sharp but subtly unique images as you stop down.”

The company says this “new classic” lens delivers “gorgeous, velvety tones,” giving digital images a film-like, organic quality.

The lens has an all metal body, 62 mm filter, has a singlet-doublet-singlet optical design, and focuses from 5 inches from the front element to infinity. Because of the metal construction, the lens weighs 400 g.

No Canadian pricing or availability has been announced, but you can bet it will be more than $500 for the black version. The lenses will be available in Canon, Nikon, Sony A and Pentax mounts, with mirrorless mounts for Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Samsung NX and Fuji X to follow.

Some have suggested you buy clear filters for your existing lenses and smear a little Vaseline on the filters to get the same result. Well . . . . certainly less expensive, but a whole lot messier. Mind you, an 85 mm to 105 mm focal length is more like the base portrait lens (full frame/35 mm equivalent). Nevertheless, it would be neat to try one.


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