Step by Step Guide Velvet 85

Welcome to the Velvet 85 Step by Step guide. Designed to make sure you get the most out of this soulful art lens, no matter what you are trying to capture.

Velvet 85 is a 85mm f/1.8 manual focus lens. At bright apertures, Velvet 85 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 85 also features a built-in 1:2 macro capability with a minimum focus distance of 9.5 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 9.5 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 85 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 85 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.

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