This morning, Lensbaby announced a new lens, the Twist 60. But how will it perform? I can tell you. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Twist 60 last week and give it a run thru.
First off, straight to the point . . . . it works well with Infrared, as is the case with all the Lensbaby lenses I’ve tested so far.
Now, what is it?
It’s a metal-bodied 60mm f/2.5 lens with gold anodized accents that creates powerful portraits, spotlighting subjects by freeing them from their background and surrounding them with swirly blur and enhanced vignette. The brighter the aperture, the greater the swirl and the greater the vignette.
Here’s how Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer explained it.
“Twist 60 embodies our love of old lenses and their unique ways of helping photographers discover creative possibilities. True to an 1840 design by Joseph Petzval, this lens reveals striking separation between subjects and their background, a quality that modern lens designs lack.”
Here’s the specs on the Twist 60
- 12 blade f/2.5-22 aperture
- 60mm focal length
- Twisty, swirly blur
- Recommended for use on full frame cameras
- Available in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony E mounts
- 4 elements in 3 groups
- Filter threads: 46mm
- Black anodized body with gold anodized aperture ring
- Minimum focus distance – 18”
This is an art lens. It is manual focus lens, which gives you total control of your images.
I said I got the Twist 60t last Friday, …..night. It then proceeded to rain most of the weekend. So, I’ve only had minimal shooting time with the lens, but I wanted to pass on my observations.
I have become accustomed to shooting with manual focus lenses, so that aspect of the Twist 60 was not a challenge. If you haven’t shot with a manual focus lens, the first thing you need to do is make certain the diopter is set correctly. All you do is put on an autofocus lens, have the lens focus on an object and then check to see if your diopter is set right. Then you are good to go.
The Twist 60 is suggested for full frame cameras. I was using two Canon 7DMKIIs; one Super Color converted, and one regular color, which are a C crop sensor, so I knew my swirl bokeh would be less than the Twist 60 produces on a full frame camera.
First up, a Flower image.
This was shot at 2.5, which is what I shot everything at.
The area in focus is very sharp and bokeh does have a cool swirl to it, almost a motion blur feel.
Here is one in color
The lens is not difficult to use and the area in focus is very easy to see when you are composing the image.
I shot a downward angle on this one and the swirl effect to the bokeh is more noticeable.
Now, let’s point the Twist 60 at a human.
I called on a model, Rylie to sit,… err…. stand in.
Once again, it preforms well in both color and Infrared
The twist 60 makes a great portrait lens. It gives a very sharp center and puts a separation between the subject and the background.
In the end, I think I liked this one best, as it really shows the swirl that is the Twist 60.
Now, when can you get the Twist 60?
The Twist 60 lens retails for $279.95 and is available via pre-order beginning April 12, 2016 (shipping May 5th, 2016). Twist 60 Optic will also be sold separately for use with other Lensbaby Optic Swap System-compatible lenses. It retails for $179.95. For best results, when using it in a tilting Lensbaby such as the Composer Pro, photographers should shoot with Twist 60 pointed straight ahead.
So, time will tell if the Twist 60 becomes the new Gold standard for art lenses.
I’d like to thanks Lensbaby for affording me the opportunity to shoot with Twist 60 before it was available. That was a first for me.
To see more on the Lensbaby Twist 60, click here
To check out the other Lensbaby products, click here