Lensbaby Unveils Velvet 56 Portrait Lens

Lensbaby Unveils Velvet 56 Portrait Lens


Portland, OR—Lensbaby, maker of creative effects lenses, announced the Velvet 56 high-end, classic portrait lens. Velvet 56 is a 56mm f/1.6 DSLR and mirrorless system camera lens with 1:2 macro capabilities.

The lens is designed to deliver a “velvety, glowing, ethereal look at brighter apertures, and beautifully sharp but subtly unique images as you stop down—with gorgeous, velvety tones that give digital images a film-like, organic quality,” according to Lensbaby.

Evoking the image style and construction quality of classic portrait lenses of the mid-20th century, Velvet 56 features the heft and smooth, dampened manual focus of these early lenses. The lens is said to enable photographers to move seamlessly from shooting an environmental portrait to capturing details in a subject’s clothing or jewelry. Nature and macro photographers will appreciate its close-focus capabilities, combined with effects varying from impressionistic to just a touch of velvety smoothness.

“Utilizing a never before used singlet-doublet-singlet optical design, we have combined variable glowing highlights with tack-sharp latent details, even at the maximum f/1.6 aperture,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby cofounder and chief creative officer. “This groundbreaking design, combined with macro focusing, gives photographers one of the most versatile lenses ever made, helping them create images of any subject matter with unique heart and soul.”

The all-metal Velvet 56, which focuses from five inches to infinity, comes with a metal lens hood for mirrorless system cameras. It will be offered in traditional black as well as the Velvet SE special silver edition with a clear-anodized finish plus engraved aperture and focus markings.

Lensbaby’s Velvet 56 retails for $499.95; the Velvet SE for $599.95. It’s available in Canon, Nikon, Sony A and Pentax mounts. Mirrorless mounts, including Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Samsung NX and Fujifilm X will be available in early May. lensbaby.com