Today Lensbaby announced the new Velvet 56mm f/1.6 lens. The A-mount lens can be preordered directly at Lensbaby (Click here). An E-mount version will be released later this year.
Our Velvet 56 classic portrait lens gives you a velvety, ethereal start with a smooth finish, from the big picture to the smallest details. Bringing modern-day simplicity to the carefully crafted build and look of Golden Era-quality portrait lenses, this 56mm f/1.6 manual portrait and macro lens evokes an experience like no other. Embrace the moment as you easily go from capturing gorgeous, radiant environments to intimate details in the same scene.
- f/1.6-16 aperture
- 1:2 Macro
- 62mm filter
- Focuses from 5” /13cm from front element to infinity
- Metal lens hood included with Velvet 56mm lenses for mirrorless cameras only
- Dimensions (DSLR) 86mm at infinity to 112mm at Macro, 71.96mm diameter
- Dimensions (Mirrorless without hood) 94mm Infinity to 120mm at Macro
- Weight ~400 grams
A full review has been posted by ePhotozine.
As far as effects lenses go, this one seems to strike a good balance between blurring details for effect, and being able to produce usably sharp images. The hazy effect itself is quite pleasant. In some ways the effect is similar to what you’d expect from a soft focus filter, but in other ways the look it produces is more complex than that. The ability to focus close enough for 1:2 magnification is a huge bonus too, although the hazy effect may not be best suited for general macro photography.
Those who enjoy using Lensbaby’s range of existing products will surely enjoy this lens and the effect it produces. Others after something different to add to their arsenal may also consider it. So long as the effect produced is accounted for, it can be a very versatile lens, although it will surely be better for photographing some subjects than others.