Five Fantastic A Little Longer Than 50mm Lenses for Portrait Photography

There are whole swarms of photographers who absolutely swear by and to the 50mm focal length, yet when it comes to portraiture, it’s easy for a lot of photographers to find the focal length a bit lacking. That’s where all of these slightly longer focal lengths have been coming from for a while now–something just a bit longer than a 50mm lens is often a fantastic option for portraits because while it isn’t as constrained as an 85mm lens, you tend to get a slightly longer field of view and therefore just enough more compression when shooting.

Here are some of our favorites.

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Review: Lensbaby Trio (Fujifilm X Mount)

Lensbaby has always had a very interesting lineup of optics; and the Lensbaby Trio is no exception. Lensbaby has never gone for the clinically perfect and sharp optics but instead sharp optics with a twist–pun not intended. Sometimes they’re super soft, sometimes they’re very sharp and you can throw the focus off in one way or another. But with the Trio, you’re getting an interesting combination. You get a set of 28mm f3.5 optics that switch out turret style. You’ve got the ability to focus but not to change the aperture setting at all.

What this results in are either your preference for one optic over the other or you wanting to have a lot of fun.

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5 Lenses That Deliver a More Unique Creative Look

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.  Continue reading…

The Sterile Look: The Problems with Camera Lenses Being Too Good

When you look at camera lenses made for photographers, we can all say that they’ve arguably become better and better. Lenses today are sharper than they’ve ever been, more contrasty, able to keep lens flare down, and able to render incredible colors. Part of this came from marketing and everyone who believes they are an expert on the internet involving lab test scores to compete for the favor of many. This ultimately translates into awards and sales. This is fine in some ways, but the problem is lenses eventually start becoming something designed too much for engineers and those who don’t necessarily know better, and less for the actual photographers themselves. If you peruse any Facebook group with the more experienced photographers, you’ll see that they bring their own creative vision to life using software and lighting in their own ways.

This is the inherent problem with photography these days. What am I talking about?

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Five Wide Angle Lenses Under $500 for Landscape Photographers

Lots of landscape photographers love shooting wide–but they also don’t like to pack too heavy. With the maturation of mirrorless cameras have also come the further development of great lenses from those companies. At the same time though, no photographer wants to spend way too much money. In all honesty, most modern optics are so good that you don’t really need to.

We’ve gone through our Reviews Index to find a few wide angle gems for the landscape photographers out there while keeping the budget to under $500.

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Review: Lensbaby Twist 60 f2.5 (Canon EF)

Additional reporting done by Chris Gampat

Lensbaby has always been a company that does things just a bit different from the rest. Such is the case with the company’s Twist 60mm f2.5 lens. It’s well built and in the right situations can deliver beautiful photos that will really make your jaw drop. At the same time though, it’s not for everyone. This lens is based off of the old Petzval schematics–and you should be willing to embrace that with this lens.

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The Lensbaby Twist 60 Lens is a Brand New Petzval Lens

Lomography isn’t the only company anymore trying to get into the Petzval world; because today Lensbaby is announcing their new Twist 60 lens. This lens is inspired by the original Petzval lenses and is designed for full frame cameras.

The Twist 60 is a 60mm f2.5 lens with gold anodized accents. Like other Petzval designs, it has swirly bokeh and the wider the aperture, the wider the bokeh will be. It’s also got 12 aperture blades (which is insane) 4 elements in three groups, a 45mm filter thread, and can focus as closely as 18 inches.

According to the press release, the Twist 60 lens retails for $279.95 and is available via pre-order beginning April 12, 2016 (shipping May 5th, 2016). Twist 60 Optic will also be sold separately for use with other Lensbaby Optic Swap System-compatible lenses. It retails for $179.95 and comes in Sony E mount, Nikon F mount and Canon EF mount.

creates powerful portraits, spotlighting subjects by freeing them from their background and surrounding them with swirly blur and enhanced vignette. The brighter the aperture, the greater the swirl and the greater the vignette.

Sample photos are after the jump.

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Lensbaby Releases New Edge 50 Optic

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lensbaby Composer Pro II review product images (9 of 9)ISO 4001-250 sec

Though it’s already been available with the Composer Pro II. Lensbaby is now retailing the Edge 50 Optic by itself. It’s a 50mm f3.5 aperture optic with 9 aperture blades. The 50 can focus as closely as 8” from the front of the lens and its design incorporates 8 multi-coated glass elements in 6 groups.

The Edge 50 Optic offers full frame 35mm coverage, so you can mount it onto a Sony FE mount camera and get full coverage of the scene. Wide open, it’s also much sharper than much of Lensbaby’s previous optics. When stopped down, it can pretty much hold its own with other modern lenses.

They’re available now for $224 when sold individually. They’re quite a bit more with the Composer Pro II. You can check out the review to see if it’s something worthwhile for you.

Sample images (from my review) are after the jump.

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