As a photographer it is common to fall into ruts with your use of lenses, preferring one focal length or lens over your others, or a certain set of lenses over others. For some nice fast prime lenses are the culprit, for others maybe they are semi-fast zoom lenses, or something else. One thing is for sure – once you get your hands on the lenses you prefer it can sometimes be hard to find a reason to use a different lens unless the situation specifically calls for it over your usual favorite.
One way to help force yourself to change up your look and experiment more with your creative photography is to invest in some unique, creative lenses that offer something more than your standard, modern, optically perfect lens. Today we wanted to highlight several good quality lenses that may help you with this agenda and expand the creative potential of your kit without breaking the bank.
Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat
Based on those old school Daguerreotype style lenses from the dawn of photography, this Lomography lens brings that old style appeal to modern systems. As with many of these lenses, this is manual focus only, but an advantage here is interchangeable aperture blades to help create some fun and interesting effects in your bokeh.
Lomography Jupiter 3+ 50mm f1.5
Many modern photographers scoff at the idea of spending money on high quality, manual focus-only lenses due to their manual limitations, but for those who can get over that and enjoy a manual focus experience then this Jupiter 3+ from Lomogrpahy is without a doubt one of our favorites. It features stunning build quality and a good image as well.
Lensbaby Twist 60 f2.5
Lensbaby is another company besides Lomography that specializes in these niche lenses specifically designed for creative effects and looks. One of their more recent additions is the Twist 60, and this is a lens we found to offer a fun and interesting look to the 60mm focal length for those who had time to slow down and setup their shots.
Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic
Another great option from Lensbaby is their new Composer II with the Edge 50 Optic. This offers a standard field of view, with that classic Lensbaby bokeh magic that made the company what it is today. Almost a unuige twist on the tilt shift lens, the Composer Pro II allows users to move their focal ‘sweet spot’ around the frame with a beautiful bokeh vignette.
Lensbaby Velvet 56
Probably the lens with the most polarizing and unique look to its images, the Velvet 56 offers a deep, hazy – almost mysterious – look to its images when shot wide open. But at the same time, it sharpens up very nicely when stopped down to something like F4 or F5.6. This lens also features some great close focusing (almost macro) capabilities. That said, we fully admit that the look it creates here, especially wide open, is not for everyone.