A few months ago I was given the opportunity to beta test Lensbaby's upcoming lens, the Velvet 85. I had always been curious about their Velvet 56 lens, though I was concerned that the velvet effects would not suit my shooting style. Because of this, it was the one Lensbaby lens that I had never acquired.
After loading my first test shoot images into Lightroom, I knew immediately that all of my previous concern was completely unfounded. This lens is the most versatile lens I have ever used. By shooting at the widest aperture of 1.8, your images are imparted with a glowing, velvety texture throughout the frame reminiscent of old Hollywood style. Once you start closing up the aperture, more focus begins to emerge starting from the center of the frame and grows outwards the more you stop down. This lens quickly becomes one of the sharpest lenses I have ever shot with starting at f4. In one lens, you can produce a range of effects. I personally loved it at f2.8 where you get the best of both worlds, sharp center and creamy velvety goodness around the edges.
Enough with the technicalities, I will let the photographs speak for themselves. I have many more Velvet 85 photographs to share, but for now, some from my favorite session with my daughters to date. An enchanted clearing, high on a hill in the middle of a moss laden pine forest with an absolutely enchanting lens. The Velvet 85 can be preordered and will be shipping July 11th.