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Mary and Tommy's Engagement (27 of 46)ISO 100

Shooting engagement sessions is one way to start to dip your toe into eventually photographing weddings. The session typically tells some sort of story in a way that combines aspects of photojournalism and portraiture, and it’s designed to make the happy couple not only become more excited about marriage but also to be put on the wedding invitations. After you’ve spoken with and planned the session with your couple, you’ll need to get the right gear.

Here are a couple of lenses that we recommend from our reviews index.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lensbaby Fujifilm Announcement (2 of 2)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 6.3

Lensbaby has been creating lenses for DSLRs and many mirrorless camera systems for a while now, but today they’re announcing that their higher end lenses will be available for Fujifilm X series users. This includes the Composer Pro with Sweet 35 optic, Sweet 50 Optic, Circular Fisheye and Velvet 56 Portrait lens. Of all of these, we’re most excited about the portrait lens due to the fact that Fujifilm is lacking a bit there in terms of what’s available to users. Considering how soft these lenses are wide open, you’re going to want to stop them down to take full advantage of what the X Trans sensor is capable of doing.

Fujifilm cameras also have focus peaking, and that makes manually focusing with these lenses easier especially when you combine this with the APS-C sensor. At a given aperture, more will be in focus as opposed to with a full frame sensor.

Of course, the lenses won’t have AF communication chips, so it will be just like shooting an adapted lens except that you don’t need to use an adapter.

Prices for each lens will be the same, and availability is immediate at your favorite photo retailer.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lensbaby Velvet 55mm f1.6 product images (1 of 6)ISO 4001-140 sec at f - 2.0

Lensbaby’s Velvet 56mm f1.6 is a pretty new lens, and one that many of us didn’t necessarily expect. In the past couple of years, the company has been working on alternative lenses for various systems, and the first sample images look really cool in a lo-fi type of way. Indeed, Lensbaby has always been about seeing the world in a new way, and their newest lenses seem to make you do that, just in a more vintage style.

That’s not to say that these lenses have plastic optics at all, but if you’re a film lover then the Lensbaby Velvet 56mm f1.6 lens will give you quite a treat.

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Model: Erica Lourde

Model: Erica Lourde

Portrait lenses are an interesting topic due to the balance that’s needed with them. They need to be sharp, but if they’re too sharp, they can make skin look too detailed and not soft. Sure, this can be fixed in post-production but it’s often long and arduous work, and needs to be very exacting so that the images don’t look overdone or unnatural.

For that reason, we aren’t at all saying that sharp lenses aren’t good. In fact, they’re great! Many of them have won our Editor’s Choice awards. Instead, we’re saying that these lenses find a good balance between being very detailed with great image quality but not so detailed to the point where you’ll see way too much of the pores. When used in conjunction with modern image sensors, these lenses will make portrait shooting much easier.

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velvet56_bk_standing_1534

Today, Lensbaby has announced a brand new optic for their system: the Velvet 56. This 56mm lens comes with an f1.6 aperture and can focs as close as five inches. With a 62mm filter thread on the front, Lensbaby also hints that this lens was designed to give off a look akin of that of mid-20th century lenses (which basically means something like the Lomography Petzval lens).

The company is billing this lens as a high end lens and says that it delivers a velvety glow that gives digital cameras a film-like quality when using it.

The Lensbaby Velvet 56 comes in at $499.95 and is available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony DSLR mounts.

Sample images are after the jump. We’re trying to call one in for review now.

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julius motal the phoblographer lensbaby composer pro product image-1

So it was that I received a Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 50 Optic and an NEX-6 for review. It had been a while since I last handled one of Lensbaby’s creations, the Scout and Muse specifically, and this one was considerably different. It looks like a cannon had been miniaturized to fit on the NEX-6, or something that might have been affixed to the robot from Lost in Space. The Composer Pro was a quirky break from the usual spate of reviews, but it isn’t for everyone.

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