Have you ever noticed how using less photo gear is sometimes better than more? It can free you to shoot in the moment and can help reignite your creativity, but it can also leave you wishing you had just a little something extra in your back pocket.  Patrick Shipstad found the ideal compromise in the compact 3-in-1 Trio 28 lens – he shares his experience shooting street scenes with its three different creative effects.

I have used many Lensbaby lenses over the years, mostly for portraiture. But more recently I’ve been loving them for street photography. When it comes to run and gun shooting I’ve found my favorite experience has always been with a small fixed lens camera that challenges me to just make it work. No extra lenses, no zoom, just embracing the less is more approach, freeing myself from thinking about the gear and enjoying the process.

Enter the Lensbaby Trio 28. A 28mm, fixed f/3.5 aperture lens with a twist. Well to be more specific, a Twist, a Sweet and a Velvet all packed into a 3-in-1 lens mount. Suddenly my compromise of options just got a little sweeter without compromising the process or carrying more equipment. The ability to have three different looks without having to literally carry and swap three different lenses in the field is a gift we’ve never received from any other lens company. And how they managed to engineer three f/3.5 aperture lenses into a super lightweight mount with a shallow footprint is just amazing.

The workflow of simply twisting a rotating front element to switch between the different lenses couldn’t be simpler. Just twist the front element and you have access to their Velvet, Sweet, and Twist lens effects. That’s a couple of seconds vs the minutes it takes to swap out traditional lenses. And for the more adventurous, you can leave the lens parked halfway between any two effects, exposing the sensor to half of each lens for some crazy effects.

There is a central focus area that can’t be moved around like the traditional Composer Pro, but it’s a nice wide area, enough to get most subjects in clear focus surrounded with a beautiful edge effect. One tip I can give for quickly and accurately nailing focus is, I always have a custom key on my camera set to use focus magnification, and I use that along with manual focus peaking to help me quickly dial in focus. It’s a lifesaver or at least a photo saver!

If you like the options of having a misty, ethereal look, a dreamy edge of frame or bokeh that beautifully swirls the background, this is a must-have lens that gives a lot of bang for your buck.


All images shot with Trio 28.

You can check out more of Patrick’s work on his website and Instagram.

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