All the way from Romania, portrait and event photographer Stefan Alin has done a full investigation into Twist 60 for his photography gear review site, the DSLR Guide. Stefan shares some stunning portraits and offers advice on how to get the most from Twist 60.
The Twist 60 is the first lens I tested from Lensbaby, but it certainly won't be the last. This 60mm focal lens comes as a less expensive alternative to the Lomography Petzval 58mm. The Twist 60 is similar to a 19th-century Petzval lens with a detachable optical block. This twelve-aperture diaphragm design produces a pleasing, circular bokeh. The Twist 60 is built with a well-made metal body. The focus is manual, and the diaphragm is also manually selected. At the maximum diaphragm of F2.5, the highest amount of circular bokeh is obtained. Twist 60 is a lens specifically designed for full frame sensors. If you use a crop sensor, the circular bokeh effect is drastically diminished.
Twist 60 is an ideal lens for close-up portrait photography because the circular bokeh has a great impact on the composition. When used at medium to large distances, the effect is less spectacular. The minimum focus distance of 46 cm is perfect for shooting small objects and close-up portraits.
The construction of the lens body is entirely metallic and can withstand minor bumps and drops. The Twist 60 optic is made of plastic and glass and is protected by the metallic exterior. The focus ring is metallic and the diaphragm selection looks like a thick plastic.
I attached the lens to my Nikon D750 and was able to focus very easily with focus confirmation, even considering that Twist 60 does not have any electronic contact on the mount. The focus ring has a smooth motion with a 90-degree range.
The optical quality of the lens is excellent. The contrast is high and the sharpness in the center of the image is good. Gradually moving away from the center, everything becomes softer and the vignetting becomes more pronounced. Twist 60 is ideal for creative bokeh shots. At F2.5, the most dramatic bokeh appears, yet the sharp area in the center remains reasonable when the manual focus is perfect. When the diaphragm is at F5.6, the bokeh disappears and the sharp area makes its presence felt on a larger percentage of the frame.
Lensbaby's Twist 60 is an excellent lens with an amazing build quality. The image quality and the amount of bokeh offered are perfect in relation to the price. The images obtained with this lens are different and give a new perspective to the photographers. I recommend the Twist 60 for portrait photographers and creatives who want to express themselves from a different point of view.
Find more of Stefan Alin's work by visiting his website.