Step by Step Guide Velvet 56

Velvet 56 is a 56mm f/1.6 manual focus lens. At bright apertures, Velvet 56 creates an ethereal glow over your entire image, from edge to edge. At darker apertures, the glow lessens and dissipates entirely by f/5.6, leaving a tack-sharp image with a film-like aesthetic and subtle softness at the edges of the frame. Velvet 56 also features a built-in 1:2 macro capability with a minimum focus distance of 5 inches from the front of the lens. This all combines to make for a very versatile, creative shooting experience.

Velvet for Macro:

Velvet makes for a great macro lens. You can focus as close as 5 inches away from the front of the lens.

  • The brighter the aperture you choose, the less depth of field you’ll have and the more glow you’ll get. It can also be a bit tough to see what’s in focus beneath the glow at brighter apertures. If you’re having trouble focusing, simply stop down to f/4 or 5.6, focus, then open your aperture back up and shoot.
  • If you’re having trouble holding focus while getting close, pull out your tripod and then you can position the camera/lens exactly where you want it without worrying.
  • Keep in mind that as you’re moving closer to your subject, depending on your light source, you may cast a shadow over it. Sometimes that’s desirable (for even lighting) sometimes it’s not. Be aware of how you are placing yourself as you’re shooting your subject.

Velvet for Portraits:

  • Velvet renders skin tones so beautifully that they often don’t need to be touched in post.
  • Try portraits at a range of apertures to determine how much or how little glow you want.

Velvet for Landscapes & Cityscapes:

  • Channel your inner Monet and use Velvet to create impressionistic landscapes and cityscapes.
  • Try stopping down to darker apertures for a more detailed, contrasty rendition.

Overall Velvet 56 Tips:

  • If you want an image with a lot of glow but are having trouble focusing, stop down to f/4, focus, then open back to your desired brighter aperture & shoot.
  • Velvet 56 is a sharp lens – even wide open with tons of glow. Look closely at an image and you’ll see tack sharp detail underneath with a layer of glow on top.
  • Don’t want glow? No problem. Stop down to f/4 and the glow goes away. At apertures darker than f/4, you’ll have tack sharp detail with film-like color and softness at the edges. Edge softness decreases at darker apertures.
  • No matter what aperture you’re shooting at and how much glow you have – the sharp area of your image will always be in the center.

Not sure how much glow you want? Simply experiment and see what looks most aesthetically pleasing to you. A lot of glow on one subject may work — and it may overwhelm another shot.

Velvet 56 is on sale for $50 off now through June 26th as part of Macro month!

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