5 reasons I love to shoot with the Lensbaby Twist 60

5 reasons I love to shoot with the Lensbaby Twist 60

  • photo of a girl holding a flower taken with the Lensbaby Twist 60 by Carolina Gonzalez

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,

– Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer

The Twist 60 is Lensbaby’s newest addition to their versatile selection of specialty lenses and optics. The Twist 60 delights users with a twisty, swirly blur vignette. This lens is the perfect introduction into Lensbaby’s offerings as well as an excellent and versatile addition for those familiar with the Lensbaby lineup. I fell in love with Lensbaby in the company’s infancy when I purchased the Lensbaby 2.0 in the mid 2000s. Lensbaby has rightfully garnered a position on the forefront of professional lenses and high end photographer’s tools. As a Lensbaby lover for the past decade with extensive experience using their lenses and optics, it is no surprise to me that the Twist 60 continues to impress and capture the attention of professional and aspiring photographers worldwide.

As an artistic choice, I am drawn to create imagery where the subject is isolated from the background and I love how the Twist 60 renders the depth.

I wanted to share with you a few reasons why I love shooting with the Twist 60.

1. Aesthetics and build

The lens build and quality is top of the line and consistent in quality with Lensbaby’s most recent releases such as the Velvet 56, Composer Pro II, and Edge 50. The Twist 60 also boasts the benefit of being sturdy yet very light, making it a perfect walk around lens. I used it for an entire day on my full frame Canon 5D Mark III and it truly felt as if I was only carrying my camera body. If you, like many, are accustomed to heavy lenses, the overall portability of the Twist 60 will be a welcome difference.

portait of young girl in front of green grass by Carolina Gonzalez

2. The twisty, swirly blur, vignette and bokeh

The hallmark and signature of the Twist 60 is the gorgeous, swirly vignette it produces. The beautiful effect effortlessly accentuates your subject while enveloping them in movement and bokeh. This lens provides excellent separation between the subject and background enhancing your image with depth and the ability to easily layer elements within your image. As an artistic choice, I am drawn to create imagery where the subject is isolated from the background and I love how the Twist 60 renders the depth in this separation.

nature photo of red and yellow flowers by Carolina Gonzalez

3. Ease of use

Like other Lensbaby lenses, the Twist 60 is a manual focus lens. The lens features a versatile aperture range from f/2.5 to f/22. If you are just delving into manual focus, beginning with a smaller aperture will provide you great results in achieving sharp imagery. However, I found that with just a little practice, sharp images could easily be captured at wide apertures. Of course, sharp imagery may not always be your desire with the Twist 60, and if so you are in luck because the Twist 60 also excels at intentionally soft or intentionally out of focus imagery. I enjoyed exploring the razor sharp capabilities of the lens as well as the creative effects of using it to produce images with no clear plane of focus to convey movement and emotion. As far as aperture, I found my personal sweet spot with the Twist 60 to be between f/2.5 and f/2.8. The barrel of the lens glides easily while still providing you with enough control to feel confident in your selected area of focus.

black and white portrait with the Lensbaby Twist 60 by Carolina Gonzalez

4. Versatility and effects

This lens can be used to produce stunning portraits and detail shots. The Twist 60’s signature twisty and swirly vignette can be intentionally subtle or exceptionally prominent in the images you create. By separating the subject at least 6-8 feet from the background you will dramatically increase the blur within your vignette. This can also be achieved by shooting at a wider aperture. However, if you would like the twisty vignette to just add a subtle effect to your portraits or images, you could shoot at a higher aperture or bring the subject and background closer together. Additionally, if you photograph using this lens at an angle, you will quickly realize that you can also experiment with how the twisty vignette can be emphasized more on one side than on the other as desired. This lens can be used to produce stunning portraits and detail shots.

picture of a girl holding a flower by Carolina Gonzalez

5. Image quality

The Twist 60 creates exceptionally high-quality imagery. This lens would be perfect in the hands of an experienced or emerging portrait, nature, or fine art photographer. This lens excels in producing unique and visually compelling imagery of professional caliber.

For new Lensbaby users and veterans, the Twist 60 is the perfect lens to add to your repertoire for a technical and creative push.

green nature photo with the Lensbaby Twist 60 by Carolina Gonzalez

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About the Author:

Carolina Gonzalez is a South Florida based artist specializing in lifestyle and fine art portraiture. Her style has been described as authentic, emotive, and soulful. She believes in capturing moments, fleeting but beautiful and strives to genuinely capture emotion and connection. Visit Carolina Gonzalez online.
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One Comment

  1. Sianna Jacobus December 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    I had to choose between the Composer II with Sweet 50 Optic and the Twist 60 and ended up choosing this one! I am so excited to try it out when it arrives! I liked that the build of the lens is based on one that Joseph Petzval designed to really separate the subject from the background. Beautiful captures.

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