Trio 28

Jim Nix Finds Freedom and Fun with Trio 28

wet city walkway path sidewalk along a river with streetlights blue hour bokeh selective focus Jim Nix Trio 28

Jim Nix Trio 28 Images & Review

Travel and street photographer Jim Nix has been capturing some phenomenal images with Trio 28. In this review, Jim explains how he broke out of auto-pilot when he discovered a more unique approach to photography. The Jim Nix Trio 28 combo is sure to provide some inspiration.

First, a quick note about why my reviewing style is not decidedly technical in nature. While I understand and can appreciate the need for that sort of detail at times, its not my thing. I just share what I like about something and why. I talk about why it matters to me-- or why not if I don't like it. I like to show pictures I have taken using said gear. So, if you want detailed bits and bytes about something, this isn't the place for you. If you want a real world review about using something and what it can do for you with plenty of sample photos... read on.

Now, onto the Lensbaby Trio 28. I can make this really simple for you - go buy this lens right now. Its very affordable and, in my opinion, the results speak for themselves. It will give you an excellent, new creative outlet. It's fun and almost whimsical. Your images will have an interesting, beautiful and unique look to them. You will experience the pure, raw joy of taking photographs again. But most importantly, it will make you think more creatively.

"The drive for perfection is a corrosive waste of time." - E. Gilbert

I have spent the better part of the last 10 years trying my hardest to capture and create my own version of perfect photos. Yes, I know perfection doesnt exist - and I knew it over the better part of the last 10 years, too - but regardless, that was generally my goal when I would travel somewhere and start shooting. I always wanted amazing images. Who doesn't? No one goes out with the goal of just capturing a so-so photo. What's the point?

So, even when it would rain on me, or the sunset was blah, I would try and make lemonade out of the lemons that nature had handed me. I was still going for a perfect photo, even when it was clearly not even remotely possible. Often, my view on the success of a trip depended heavily on the light that I got, and whether I had captured any real winners.

While I often came home with what I would consider some great shots, there were plenty of times that I did not. Some of my photos felt flat and lifeless, generally lacking any real feeling or connection. They just didnt inspire me at all.

What I didn't fully realize was that this didn't always depend on the subject matter that I was shooting, my shooting style or even on the light that the heavens provided (or didnt provide). Sometimes things just fell flat because they were just the same old thing that I always aimed the camera at and shot in the exact same manner as I had done for many years. I was taking so-so photos and didn't even realize it half the time.

And do you know why? It's because I was on auto-pilot and not thinking actively about my photos. I wasn't thinking creatively and thus wasnt getting creative shots out of my trips. I wasn't engaging creatively with my surroundings. I was going through the motions a lot of the time.

But thankfully, now, I am getting some creative and fun photos each time I take Trio 28 out for a spin.

In short order, this little thing has completely changed me. When using this lens, I feel free and thus craft images that feel lighter, more interesting and more fun. The images can be whimsical and artistic, leading some to believe that they arent serious, but they are very serious in that they are nicely captured with this fine tool. They have a different look to them, which adds a bit of curiosity to a photograph.

No, they aren't technically perfect, but if perfection is your goal, you are missing the entire point. This is a right brain lens. You are not out with it because you want a pixel-perfect photo. You are out with it because you want a beautiful, different and unique photo. You want to see a common scene in a new way. You want to look at something with fresh eyes.

When I'm using this lens, I am not thinking about trying to capture perfect photos. I'm thinking about capturing something creative and interesting and beautiful. It makes me think differently, and my previous ideas about perfection go out the window.

This is about the simple joy of taking photographs, flaws and all. My favorite subjects are street scenes and cityscapes, and this lens works incredibly well for shooting this type of scene. I generally like to photograph these scenes at blue hour or in the evening, and the fixed aperture of f/3.5 is ideal for firing some quick shots in low light. Not to mention that this is a prime lens with a 28mm focal length. I get a wide view of things-- which for me is ideal in cities-- and a focal length I would use quite a lot anyway.

There are three different optics on the lens and you just rotate to move from one to the other. The three options are Twist, Velvet and Sweet. Twist provides some swirly bokeh, Velvet is a soft focus effect, and Sweet (my favorite - and thats the setting you see on all of these photos) has a crisply focused center with bokeh emanating outwards in increasing amounts.

You can read about the lens in more detail on the Lensbaby website. Note that Trio 28 is only for mirrorless cameras, and there are a few different mount options for various camera manufacturers. I shoot the Sony A7 series.

Its fun, flexible and affordable-- something I am so glad that I came across. Its changed me for the better, and after being stuck in my ways for so many years, a change like this is refreshing, to say the least.

Technical Summary
Focal length: 28mm
Aperture: f/3.5 fixed
Format Compatibility: APS-C, Full Frame, Micro 4/3
Focus Type: Manual Focus
Filter Thread: 46mm
Dimensions: 2 high x 2.75 wide
Weight: 4.9oz

Visit Jim Nix's website, Nomadic Pursuits, to learn more.

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