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Lensbaby Velvet 56 for Canon EF
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- Versatile portrait lens with macro capabilities
- 56mm f/1.6-16 with 1:2 Macro, focuses from 5"
- All-metal lens body
- Creates velvety, glowing images at brighter apertures
- Delivers sharp but subtly unique images at darker apertures
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Calumet||SDC Photo||PHOTOTECH||Photo Savings||SalesGig||TheImagingWorld|
|Compatible Mountings||Canon EF, Canon EF-S||—||Canon EF, Canon EF-S||Canon EF||Canon EF||—|
|Item Dimensions||1.97 x 1.97 x 1.97 in||3 x 3 x 3 in||1.97 x 1.97 x 1.97 in||2.52 x 2.52 x 3.11 in||69.85 x 2.75 x 76.2 in||2.76 x 2.52 x 2.76 in|
|Item Weight||0.88 lb||—||0.88 lb||0.62 lb||0.66 lb||0.61 lb|
|Lens Type||Fixed||Interchangeable||Fixed||Fixed||Fisheye lens||Prime lens|
|Maximum Aperture||1.6 in||f/5.6||1.6 in||f/2.5||f/3.5||22|
|Maximum Focal Length||56||50 millimeters||56||35||5.8||80 millimeters|
|Minimum Aperture||1.6 in||f/5.6||1.6 in||f/35||22||22|
|Minimum Focal Length||56||50 millimeters||56||35||5.8||80 millimeters|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||62 millimeters||37 millimeters||—||46 millimeters||0 millimeters||46 millimeters|
Velvet 56 is a 56mm f/1.6 with 1:2 macro capabilities for SLR cameras from Lensbaby. Inspired by classic portrait lenses from the mid-20th century, this manual focus portrait lens delivers a soft, glowing effect at brighter apertures and beautifully sharp yet subtly unique images as you stop down. The gorgeous, velvety- tones give your digital images a film-like, organic quality. This incredibly versatile lens enables photographers to move seamlessly from shooting an environmental portrait, to capturing the finest details with focus as close as 5” from the front of the lens. Velvet 56 features a black all-metal body and smooth, dampened manual focus.
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I just got this lens yesterday and haven't had a chance to give it a full workout, but I wanted to clarify some incorrect information from other reviews I've seen here and elsewhere.
First, really quickly, about my background... 30 years as a professional photographer, using both film and digital cameras of all sizes.
Now, about the lens -- People used to using manual lenses will have no problem at all. It's exactly like all of the other manual lenses that we've always used, in terms of handling. If you're used to auto-focus and lenses that talk to bodies, there will be a learning curve.
Here's the clarification -- I've seen it said (by some people with great credentials) that the only spot usable for focus is the center and that if you want your subject to be off-center, you have to first shoot them centered and then crop the image. This is *almost* true, but not quite. Like any other lens, you can focus anywhere in the viewfinder. However, if you pre-focus in the center and then shift your subject off-center before hitting the shutter, your subject will be out of focus. Where it gets a little tricky is here -- even though you can focus anywhere, the lens' halation increases as you move away from the center. If, for instance, your focus is in the upper right third of the frame, it will still have more halation than the center spot does. The subject will be in-focus but with halation while the center will be out-of-focus with less halation. So, what that boils down to is this -- you can do it, but you won't want to. It won't look right. I've attached two images (quick test shots -- don't judge) that will show what I mean. The difference is slight but, to me, noticeable.
Other than that, the lens does exactly what everybody has said that it does. Whether it's worth the cost depends on what else is in your bag. I'm finding that it does little that my 85mm 1.2 L or 24-70mm 2.8 L won't do. It's smaller, so that's a plus, but it feels a little redundant, so I'm not sure I'll be keeping it. If I didn't already have those, I'd be thrilled with it, especially for the price.
Update Jan 24 2016 --
I've had more time to play and have decided that this lens is not redundant to the other two. It fills a niche all its own and does it with a lot less in weight and cost. The image quality is gorgeous, straight out of the camera. Keeping in mind that these are only down-and-dirty test shots, take a look at the purple votive candle and the crystal lotus paperweight.
I'm definitely hanging on to this one.
Why get this lens: This lens creates "velvety" and magical bokeh unlike you have experienced at f2 and f2.8. It is therefore one of my favorite lenses for occasions where I want magical velvety bokeh particularly for the Holiday season with reflective decorations and sparkly lights. At f1.6, it creates "dreamy" bokeh that is essentially special effect and not appropriate for most photo occasions. In addition, it is also an excellent macro lens.
About the lens: It is a compact top quality metal lens (not plastic). It is fully manual/mechanical without any electronic components.
Conclusion: The best bokeh (thus the name "velvet") lens I have ever tried. It is however only recommended for professionals or advanced enthusiasts as it is a fully manual lens. I highly recommend it. This is an excellent lens. You will have a lot of fun with it.