Sunday, April 30, 2017

Velvet 56 Love


Late last fall, I purchased the Lensbaby Velvet 56. Lensbaby was having a pre-Christmas sale on some of their lens. I have always been intrigued by them, but wasn't sure if I was ready to be that brave and different. The sale was too good to resist (Merry Christmas to me), so I clicked "purchase", and waited for my new lens to arrive.

The demo video that sold me on it, showed beautiful, shallow depth of field portraits of people, hmm... self portraits? My daughter? and of dogs...Findley?

As soon as it arrived via UPS, I sliced open the box and put it on my Canon 6D. Findley...where was Findley? What I wasn't prepared for, was the manual focusing, and I total skipped over the fact that I had to manually set the aperture. Let me say, manually focusing on an energetic puppy, well...the photo says it all.

I slid the Velvet 56 into an empty lens slot in my camera bag, and returned to my 35mm auto-focus lens. The Velvet 56 would stay in the camera bag until this month.


April, a new season, and new subjects to photograph. I dug the Velvet 56 out of the camera bag. I did not go looking for Findley, instead I went to the garden center.

I do get frustrated with not being able to do something well, but rarely do I give up, so I watched some Lensbaby videos and actually learned what to do with the Velvet 56, there was that bit about manually setting the aperture.


A successful outing at the garden center, and I was ready to try the Velvet 56 on a trip. I was tagging along with my husband on a business trip to my favorite part of northern Michigan. A good place to try the lens, on things I know and love, and have photographed many, many times. I was looking for a different approach to these places.


The Velvet 56 stayed on my camera the whole time we were gone. This time the 35mm stayed in the camera bag.


I still have more to learn, more videos to watch, and more practice is needed, but I love the look I am achieving. The Velvet 56 sees the world the way I do - one spot of sharp focus and blurry around the edges.

My husband and I are leaving for vacation in a couple of weeks. We are going through upstate New York, to Boston and to a photography conference in another part of Massachusetts. I have a feeling the Velvet 56 will be getting a lot of use.

14 comments:

  1. Lovely to see what that new lens can do, Sarah. The results are beautiful! One has to get used to new lenses and how they function before we find their 'sweet spots'! Your perseverance has paid off!
    Looking forward to the Scene and Story blog link-up next Sunday!

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  2. I'd say mastery of the Velvet 56 has happened . .
    I enjoy traveling around to places and sites with you and your talent.
    Mullein Pink
    Rose Campion

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  3. I have the sweet 35 and the double optic Lensbabies. Getting the idea of manual focus and locating the sweet spot are hard. It takes practice! I think I want the Velvet 56 now. I love my Lensbaby.

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  4. Nice and interesting writing this morning, friend. I must pull out the Lensbaby Velvet and attempt it again. Your images encourage me to give it another try. Findley is looking adorable, as usual. Thank you for the inspiration, xo.

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  5. Thanks for your insight, I'm now looking for a camera and I didn't know that there are ones that you set manually. Great photos, love that dog. :)

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  6. This is such an amazing (and so much fun!) lens, Sarah. I am glad you have it on your camera, and are enjoying it. With a small enough aperture, it behaves pretty much like a "normal" 50mm. It also takes some wonderful macros too. Have fun with it, and enjoy your trip!

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  7. Looks as if you are getting the hang of this lens baby. I have one too and it is a very interesting addition to photography. I am hardly using mine, but you are inspiring me to get it out again! Sounds as if your upcoming trip is going to be fun! We are going soon too, starting at Macinac island and they up and around lake superior. Can hardly wait!

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  8. I've heard of lens baby lenses, but know nothing about them. Well, now I know they are a manual focus and you need to set the aperture, ha! It will be interesting to see what more you learn about it and if you like it. Sounds like a fun thing to explore.

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  9. I am intrigued. This lens has never even been on my radar, but I love your photos!

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  10. I have had the Composer Pro now for a few years. It has the drop-in aperture discs, a bit of a pain. I haven't used it in a while. Your images have me thinking I need to give it another try. I have been eyeing a few photography workshop/retreats, but haven't found one that seems right for me. I hope you enjoy your photography conference, and let us know how it goes. :)

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  11. It seems to me that you conquered your new lens! I love the sharp focus and blurry edges. Can't wait to see your pictures from the workshop! Enjoy!!

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  12. I have to admit that I'm puzzled by the appeal of these lenses, but I do like the results you've gotten here.

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  13. Wonderful photos. Not sure what the lens you are talking about is. But I must say that 3rd shot down with the red building and the sea is awesome.

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  14. I love the pots in your previous post. These lens babies have intrigued me and I will be interested to see what you think. I have a 7d and sadly, have had to use a cell phone because of the weight. I feel like I can achieve the blurred look with a photoshop filter and fine tune it better...I'm really slow with manual focus. Your photos are beautiful....you'll get the hang of it quickly!

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)