50mm vs 35mm Lenses: a Visual Guide for Portrait Photography

With wider angle lenses becoming better and better, photographers are bound to ask the question of 50mm vs 35mm lenses and how they relate to portraiture. For years now, it was never recommended that photographers use something like a 35mm or a 50mm lenses. In fact, the shortest focal length recommended was an 85mm–to some degree that’s still true. But in many situations, a 35mm and 50mm lens can be awesome. Photographers who perhaps come from a street background or prefer to work physically closer to their subjects may like the 50mm and 35mm lens options. So in this post, we’re going to explore why you’d choose one over the other.

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Review: Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

When the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 was put into my hands a few months ago, I was really curious about this lens. The previous one coming in at 56mm was incredibly soft. Now, that’s all part of the charm of the Velvet series–but when it’s so soft that focus peaking sometimes won’t even work, then it can be tough to get anything in focus with the lens. But the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 is different in a whole bunch of ways. It’s still soft wide open, but you can make that work for you in a number of ways: one of which is to work with a studio flash system.

With the announcement of the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 available in a number of mounts, this only makes the choice of which 85mm lens to choose for the Sony camera system even more difficult.

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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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