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30 Days With the Lensbaby Velvet 28

  • 4 min read

30 Days with Velvet 28

Ute Reckhorn is a Los Angeles based photographer who started her photography journey in 2012. After picking up her first Lensbaby lens in 2015, she immediately fell in love with its playfulness and the ever-growing community of Lensbaby artists.

What Ive learned while limiting myself to one lens for the month...

For the month of September, I challenged myself to use only one lens, the Velvet 28, for 30 days in a row. Im surprised at how much I enjoyed the challenge and by how much I learned.

Let me start with some technical details

The Velvet 28 is a prime wide angle lens that is perfect for shooting outdoor, landscape and close-ups. If you stop the lens down to f/2.8 or below you will see the soft and dreamy effect that makes the Velvet product line so popular with Lensbaby users. You can use this lens also for macro photography - the lens has a manual focus design with a working 2” working distance.

Velvet 28– These were taken at F/4 and I love how the late morning light creates washed out looking colors


"I like how sparkly or shiny materials in the foreground of the picture turn into beautiful bokeh when I shoot at f/4 or wider..."


My personal test setup

To get the most out of my 30 day challenge, I took the lens where ever I went. From my own home to the beach to the botanical garden, Ive tried to a wide range of scenarios and was really pleased with the outcome. I also focused on trying out all kind of different lighting situations between dusk and dawn. Given the current danger of a Covid infection I unfortunately couldnt try any street photography this time around, but I think this prompted me to try a new variety of places. For more information about how the lens does out on the street I recommend reading my last blog post!

Velvet 28– Taken early in the morning at F/4

Velvet 28– Look how the light sparkles closest to the lens turned into beautiful bokeh.

Conclusion

Its not a secret that Im a huge fan of Lensbaby products. However, the Lensbaby Velvet product line was never high up on my list of favorites. I always thought I had no use for the soft look it creates, but my perspective changed completely after committing to shooting with the lens for an entire month. I actually enjoyed using this lens more than I thought I would. The manual focus is fast and accurate. I realized I spend more time thinking about the composition before I take a picture when I use a manual lens, and this often results in photos that look much more interesting. I like how sparkly or shiny materials in the foreground of the picture turn into beautiful bokeh when I shoot at f/4 or wider open. I still dont have a real use for the glowy look at f/2.8 or wider, but the lens has so much more to offer than just that. I wish the aperture ring would lock a little firmer than it does at your chosen f/stop, because I sometimes ran into the problem that the ring had changed to a different f-stop. However, I stand by my opinion that this lens is perfect for photographers who like to shoot wide, while also offering the versatility to capture closer details.

Results in pictures

Velvet 28– Portraits with slow shutter and double exposure.

Velvet 28– Portraits with slow shutter and double exposure.

Velvet 28– Here some indoor pictures taken at F/8

Velvet 28– Here some indoor pictures taken at F/8

Velvet 28– Photographed at the end of the day. F/8

Have you tried the Velvet 28 before? Did you have the same experiences as me?

I would love to hear what you guys have to say about this product! I hope you will join me on my next monthly challenge… Im planning on doing a headshot challenge next month! Check out my Instagram ( @californialover ) to stay updated on my progress throughout the month of October.


Ute Reckhorn

Ute Reckhorn, a Los Angeles based photographer. Originally documenting her own family of five, Ute blends her photographic skills with inspiration that comes from 20 years of moving around the globe. With roots all around the world and a deep love for the Californian lifestyle as her inspiration, she creates portraits and landscapes that evoke emotion and a sense of movement.


When she’s not taking pictures, she teaches photography and offers photowalks in the South Bay Area of LA.

 
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