Shooting Through With the Sweet 22!

Shooting Through With the Sweet 22!

Sweet 22, R6, Velvet 56, iso 200, f/4, 1/250 sec

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever have the opportunity to beta test camera lenses. Yet I am fortunate enough to have had the privledge with lensbaby. The most recent being the Sweet 22 pancake lens. When purchasing a lens I research it for ridiculous amounts of time beforehand to make sure that it is going to do what I want/need and almost feel as though I know the lens before it arrives in my hands. When beta testing though it is the total opposite as it arrives like an exciting unexpected birthday present. There is no prior research, no images to refer to, and it is amazing to have no preconceived ideas of what it will produce. It truly is so much fun and I always feel like I have been given the gift to play and experiment just to see what can be produced and the most beneficial way of using the lens. The day this pancake lens arrived I was walking out the door to take my son apple picking. I placed it on my camera with no expectations or knowledge of what the results would be and took it with me to the orchard. I instantly noticed the fixed aperture of f/3.5 and I knew there would be creative restraints, which always spur my creativity!


Sweet 22 R6, ISO400, f/3.5, 1/250sec

Immediately the strong blur leading to the sharp central point of focus caught my eye. I was fascinated, watching how it led my eye along the rows of trees, giving them a tunnel effect, leading the eye to the center of the frame. I could see potential straight away, I could tell that
once again lensbaby had produced a really fun, creative lens that was going to push my creativity in a way that I was not anticipating!

The more I used the lens the more I started looking for textures in the foreground as leading lines that would blur or natural frames to use the abstract bokeh creating contrast with the sharp focal point. These leading lines and textures seem to add to the depth of field, making even the shallowest of areas into a tunnel of bokeh.


Sweet 22 R6 iso200, f/3.5, 1/2500

When I go to the city I usually use a lens that compliments the lines of the buildings, such as the Edge 35, however as the Sweet 22 is a pancake lens, and comes in a protective case it is easy to throw into a bag and is not bulky when walking in the city, so I broke the tradition last time I went to Chicago and used the central focal point of the sweet and ended up loving it! The strong blur not only helps bring your eye to the intended point but it can help enhance the speed of the city too.


Sweet 22 R6 iso200, f/3.5, 1/1250

As fun as it is to be finding natural frames and textured leading lines, I have found myself purposefully using tools or creating compositions to frame the subjects. I have rarely used a crystal ball to shoot through but had the urge to try with this little lens. I hoped that the wide focal length meant that the surroundings would be blurred but the crystal ball and subject would be in sharp focus, but with the limited colors linking it all together


Sweet 22 R6 iso200, f/3.5, 1/2,500

The more I have played with the lens the more fun I have had experimenting shooting through things, with varying results, I encourage you to do the same. I have tried copper pipe, omni filters, natural woodland to name a few but really the options are endless. One of the biggest surprises for me with this lens was the way in which the lens reacted in a studio setting and still lifes. Using such a wide angled lens in a studio setting is not my ideal
choice most of the time, however, once again, the bokeh makes this lens unique. Although it has a wide angle lens the focal point is narrow allowing you to get closer to the subject. By setting up a scene to enhance that play with the depth of field adds another layer of creativity to the process


Sweet 22 R6 iso200, f/3.5, 1/640

For instance setting up a row of cut glasses and shining light through them adds interest in the leading lines to the ice cream. If you are looking to add a unique compositional elements to your images no matter your genre I would highly recommend shooting with this lens. I am excited to use it during the summer months to capture the bokeh on the water, and the movement of long flowing dresses, the creative possibilities with it are endless!

Amy Ryan

Amy is an Art Historian with a true passion for photography. With an obsessive desire to photograph the world around her as creatively as possibly. Not limiting herself to any genre but constantly drawn to pockets of light, shadows and shapes. You will always find her with a camera in hand but is outside as much as possible with her family enjoying the large midwestern skies. When given the chance she will travel anywhere with a desire to learn about cultures throughout the world. Published in local and international magazines. ClickPro.




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