Lensbaby Comparison Part 3 – Velvet 56 vs Velvet 85

This is the last in my little series of posts comparing the Lensbaby Velvet 56 and Velvet 85 and it’s not a comparison as such, more of a revisit.

I was very fortunate to get my hands on the Velvet 85 a couple of weeks before it launched and I visited a couple of gardens to try it out, for this post I revisited one of those gardens with the Velvet 56 and tried to take some similar images. Of course in a few weeks a lot of things change in a garden so some images are fairly similar, some aren’t!

You can find the Velvet 85 post here and if you scroll down to the bottom of this post you can read more of my thoughts on how the two compare.

Lensbaby Velvet 56 flower & garden photography

Lensbaby Velvet 56 flower & garden photography

Lensbaby Velvet 56 flower & garden photography

Lensbaby Velvet 56 flower & garden photography

Lensbaby Velvet 56 flower & garden photography

Lensbaby Velvet 56 flower & garden photography

Lensbaby Velvet 56 flower & garden photography

Lensbaby Velvet 56 flower & garden photography

I never fail to be surprised by the images from both of the Velvet lenses when I get them on my computer. That beautiful dreamy edge blur is what makes the Velvet lenses so special for me. It’s not so obvious on a camera screen but it adds that little bit of Lensbaby magic once you see the images larger. So my number 1 tip when using the Velvets is not to shoot with the aim of cropping later, you’ll just be cropping out the magic….

Obviously the wider view of the Velvet 56 has some advantages in the indoor spaces, at times I’d struggled for the composition I wanted with the Velvet 85 but didn’t face the same problems with the 56. On the other hand there are times when the extra focal length of the Velvet 85 is a distinct advantage, the prettiest flowers never seem to be at the front of a flower bed and that fern with the best curve is never the easiest to reach!

Do I have a favourite? Well honestly, I love them both but at the moment I feel more drawn to the Velvet 85, I took it around this garden with me “just in case” and found myself swapping lenses a few times! But mostly I think it’s down to your own personal preference and shooting style, I’ve always been drawn to a narrower simplified view and lots of blur in my backgrounds so the 85 just slightly has the edge.

Would I recommend owning both? Maybe….. If you are a Velvet owner and have the Lensbaby bug and want to buy another lens you need to stop and ask yourself what you want from your next Lensbaby. If you want something that is going to give you a very different look to your current Velvet then I would suggest looking at one of the other optics/lenses. But if you want to keep that Velvet look over a wide range of focal lengths then yes, get the other one! I’m currently shooting this project using Velvet lenses so having both is a massive advantage.

If you are looking for a side by side comparison of the Velvet 56 and Velvet 85 head over to this blog post where I explain the differences and similarities between the two.

If you are based in the north west of England and need Lensbaby help make sure you check out my Lensbaby Training Days.

 

2 Comments

  • Barbara Reply

    I’m so glad you’ve done these blogs, it’s helped me to chose the 85 (for now) and maybe the 56 later. I think I’ll have to write a letter to Santa this year, I hope he listens…

    I wonder what lensbaby you’ll get to play with next…

    • Janet Broughton Reply

      Glad they have helped! I think you should maybe write him several letters, just to be on the safe side 😉

      I think I’m running out of options for new ones!!

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