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Latest Baby: Lensbaby Velvet 56, The Most Versatile Portrait Lens Ever Made

Posted on Apr 14, 2015 in News: Camera Accessories, Lensbaby


“Excited was an understatement. When the box arrived, I ripped it open… 5 minutes later I ran down into the studio shooting test shots…. Result? LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is going to be a huge hit. “  Sal Cincotta, photographer, educator, founder of ShutterFest, and publisher of Shutter Magazine



Lensbaby, provider of creative effects lenses to photographers that ignite their creativity and expand their unique visions of the world, recently announced the arrival of Velvet 56, a new high-end classic portrait lens.

Velvet 56 is a 56mm f/1.6 lens with 1:2 macro capabilities for SLR and Mirrorless Camera. This “new classic" portrait lens delivers a velvety, glowing, ethereal look at brighter apertures, and beautifully sharp but subtly unique images as you stop down – gorgeous, velvety tones that give digital images a film-like, organic quality. Incredibly versatile, Velvet 56 enables photographers to move seamlessly from shooting an environmental portrait, to capturing details in a subject's clothing or jewelry. Nature and macro photographers will find its close-focus capabilities, combined with effects varying from impressionistic to just a touch of velvety smoothness, provide a set of visual tools that will expand their vision of the world.

Evoking the image style and construction quality of classic portrait lenses of the mid-20th century, Velvet 56 features the heft and smooth, dampened manual focus of these early lenses. With an all metal body, it is available in two colors: traditional black and a silver edition - Velvet 56 SE, which features a beautiful clear-anodized finish, along with engraved aperture and focus markings.


"I am IN LOVE with this lens! The thing that makes me most excited, and the reason I never want to take it off my camera, is the way it jumps from macro to far away shooting. I adore it! It is the perfect lens for a portrait or lifestyle session because you never have to take the lens off." – Caroline Jensen, portrait photographer & educator.

“I don't know what it is about this lens that makes me so emotional, but when I opened this photo up on my desktop it made me cry... have never experienced that before, it's like this lens sees like I do...It's like coming home..." Kathleen Clemons, nature photographer & educator.

“Velvet 56 is the result of our tireless efforts to offer a brand new lens design that combines the best qualities of classic lenses while eliminating the negative aspects of classic lenses,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer. “Utilizing a never before used singlet-doublet-singlet optical design, we have combined a variable glowing highlights with tack sharp latent details even at the maximum, f/1.6, aperture. This groundbreaking design, combined with macro focusing, gives photographers one of the most versatile lenses ever made, helping them create images of any subject matter with unique heart and soul. Portrait photographers can now add a new must-have lens to their bag of most-loved equipment. Nature and macro photographers will appreciate the subtle variable, buttery-smooth aesthetic.”



Velvet 56 allows direct access to the creative process of making beautiful and compelling images. This lens is a fluid extension to the photographic experience  the touch of the flawless metal, the tactile feel of minute details etched into its surface, the sensation of smooth, dampened manual focus. Photographers can effortlessly evoke classic appeal and transition from distant subjects to macro easily, capturing a variety of details in any given scene.

Above Left: Velvet 56 SE                                 Above Right: Velvet 56


How do you use the Velvet 56? Watch the video below to find out more. 




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