The Sweet 22 - A Lens With a Few Sweet Surprises

The Sweet 22 - A Lens With a Few Sweet Surprises

 

I was a Beta Tester for the new Sweet 22 Lens. I am primarily a landscape/ nature photographer and tend to shoot wide angle and I also own a Sweet 35 so I thought I knew what to expect with the Sweet 22, I was wrong!

When I first received the lens I took it to a few local spots and tested it out on some wide-angle landscapes. The lens behaved like I expected, a nice slice of focus in the center surrounded by dreamy bokeh used to draw the eye to your subject. The fixed 3.5 aperture lets in plenty of light so shooting during the day I found I did not need a tripod. The spot of focus is smaller compared to the Sweet 35 with a more dramatic bokeh effect and vignette, this was helpful for isolating the subject but creates a shallow depth of field.

 



 

After some experimentation I decided to try the Sweet 22 on some floral photography and was delighted to find that the minimum focusing distance of this lens allows for very close almost macro-like work. One of my favorite Lensbaby lenses is the Velvet 28 for its beautiful soft glow effect and wide angle range but also the fact that I can turn the dial and flip it into macro mode. The Sweet 22 reminded me of the Velvet and provided another great surprise! I was able to capture crisp details of flowers surrounded by stunning vibrant bokeh. I was also able to reverse free-lens using the Sweet 22, it took a bit more practice but was possible. I did notice due to the 22mm focal range pictures taken with a “macro” focus often needed to be cropped in post



Tree in Tree, F 3.5, 1/25 sec, ISO 320

During the holiday season the Sweet 22 was such a joy to experiment with the holiday lights. I found I did need a tripod due to the fixed 3.5 aperture but the shallow depth of field made the most amazing out of focus balls of light with a wild sense of movement. I am not a portrait photographer but I can see a case for the Sweet 22 being a great portrait lens. I enjoyed shooting through close sets of lights to furthers trees and other decorations to catch different bokeh and texture patterns with this lens. This will be a great option to get both scenic outdoor holiday displays and tiny details of ornaments on trees, poinsettias or food photography.

Another great surprise of this lens is its size, its a pancake lens and hands down the smallest and lightest lens I own, Lensbaby or otherwise. It makes a great little walk-about lens due to its size and weight for hikes and exploring cityscapes. The Sweet 22 surprised me with its versatility. Have fun experimenting!

 

 

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Angie Purcell

Angie Purcell is a Pennsylvania native with a BA in Graphic Design and Photography from York College of PA. She is an avid Nature and Landscape Photographer with a passion for travel, exploration and conservation of America’s National Parks. She has been published in several books relating to nature and travel.

You will often find her chasing sunsets, experimenting with long exposure photography through cloud movement, star trails and waterfalls and after sunset chasing the Milky Way. Closer to home she enjoys macro photography in her own back yard and wildlife photography when the opportunity presents itself.

 

 
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