Lensbaby has announced the Twist 60, a new lens for creative photography. From what we can see, the Twist 60 is all about bokeh. The 12 aperture blades and a maximum aperture of F2. Specifically the twisty, swirly bokeh.
Lensbaby claims the lens is modeled after Joseph Petzval's Classic 19th-century design, giving photographers the ability to introduce and control that distinctive circular bokeh that is unique to Petzval-type lenses. We are interested to see how this lens performs, as it is almost half the price of similar lenses recently announced and it is available via the Lensbaby Optic Swap System in a wide variety of mounts. The Twist 60 is available for pre-order starting April 12, and is currently offered in Canon, Nikon, and Sony E mounts.
Twist 60 helps creative photographers find their visual voice by seeing the world differently. The brighter the aperture, the greater the swirl and the greater the vignette. Twist 60 Optic will also be sold separately for use with other Lensbaby Optic Swap System-compatible lenses.
For best results, when using it in a tilting Lensbaby such as the Composer Pro, photographers should shoot with Twist 60 pointed straight ahead. Lensbaby products are available at lensbaby. Lensbaby makes award-winning creative effects lenses, optics and accessories that follow this philosophy, including the Velvet 56, a versatile portrait and macro lens; their unique Optic Swap System, which lets photographers swap their optic and tilt their lens for limitless effects; and mobile lenses that transform everyday smartphone photography.
Lensbaby products are sold and distributed worldwide. For more information, visit www. If you like the effect, it's a major bargain compared to the Lomo and Meyer lenses. Very nice looking gallery! I kind of like the look of it enough to would like to play with, but unfortunately not enough to pay the asking price. But looking at the comments it seems I should be able to replicate this with older lens. Can anyone suggest which I could look into for achieve the same effect on a Nikon D?
Thank you both for the suggestion. I did look at the Helios but I can only find it as expensive as the lensbaby so it is a bit pointless. Hey, if Lomography can sell big pseudo-old-style lenses, Lensbaby can make a modern lens allowing you to play with the same effects for less.
Good for Lensbaby. Can you do this cheaper with certain old lenses? Yeah, pretty much. So what? I'm sure you'll know the answer to this: can't you simulate this effect by just cutting out a cardboard cutout of a smaller aperture and stick it behind in front? No, the swirly effect is because of the optical design. Rishi: swirly bokeh are a combination of defects, mostly internal vignetting, but also field curvature, etc.Editor's note: Stuck at home in April with nothing to do?
Click here to learn more. Thanks for reading, Andrew. When I made the change from Canon to Fujifilm it gave me chance to begin again in terms of setting up a lens collection. The fewer lenses there are to choose from the simpler the decision making process. So far I have bought four Fujinon lenses, a Lensbaby and two older manual focus lenses that I use with an adapter. All are primes. This is the first Fujinon lens that I purchased.
It came as a kit with the X-Pro 1. There is not a lot to say about this lens other than that it has become my favorite very quickly. This is against expectation — I expected the normal focal length to be nice to use but not as interesting as wider and longer focal lengths.
In the event it has turned out to be an excellent walk around lens I used it a lot during recent trips to China and Spain. It also focuses reasonably close to the subject and is useful for close-up photography. It can be used at f1. Above: Photo taken with Fujinon 35mm f1. The lens is small and light, has a maximum aperture of f1. It matches the Fujifilm X-T1 camera perfectly and I can walk around with it all day. I could never go back to a full-frame dSLR after using this combination.
I bought this lens to partner the 35mm f1. The 18mm pancake lens is light and easy to carry. It weighs so little you can add it to your camera bag without even thinking about it. It served me well on that trip whenever I needed a wide-angle lens. It has a slightly wider aperture and is another superb portrait lens and general short telephoto. I use this lens with my Fujifilm X-T1 camera along with the portrait grip.
This gives a relatively lightweight setup that is perfect for portraits. However, take the portrait grip off and the camera feels a bit front heavy as the lens is nearly as heavy as the camera body.
Above: Photo of a Mandrill taken with Fujinon 56mm f1. I took this photo in a zoo, shooting through glass. This lens has a wider angle of view than the 18mm pancake lens and is useful for landscape photos where a wider angle of view is required. The more I use this lens the more I like it. There is something just right about the angle of view of this lens when it comes to landscape photography, plus it is smaller and lighter than the Fujinon 16mm f1.
Buying this lens was an experiment to see if I can work in the landscape with prime lenses rather than the convenience of a wide-angle zoom.If you're a fan of photographer Mathieu Sternthen it's probably because he has introduced you to the wonderful world of weird lenses. That's not weird enough for you? However, the swirly bokeh that this thing produces is absolutely astounding.
You'll have to just see for yourself. Stern modified the Kipronar mm projector lens with a DIY adapter that allowed him to use it on his mirrorless full-frame camera.
But that bokeh, tho. Set against that swirly bokeh, the impressively sharp images look like they're popping out from the frame. I mean, all the trouble you'd have to go through to even get this lens in focus seems worth it if this kind of look was waiting for you at the end. Doesn't impress me much. No idea why you say that. It's terribly soft in the corners, but with a lens like this you don't want to have your subject on the sides, ever.
And the center is extremely sharp. It's a specialty lens, so I don't use it much, but it's definitely one of my favorite lenses. Skip to main content.
No Film School. May 31, If you love bokeh, especially really weird bokeh, then you really need to see this. Mathieu Stern. Leave this field blank. Reply Share Share this answer:. Samuel H Yeah, the bokeh is more extreme but the IQ is mehhhh.
I prefer the look of the projector lens. Alex Alva You can buy a 30 dollar c-mount lens off Amazon with an adapter and get the same swirly bokeh. Batutta Telegram Me. I have played with photography a little bit since I was a boy, first with an old Olympus 35mm film point-and-shoot, then with a GameBoy camera and later a pretty terrible mobile phone.
Creating Swirly Bokeh with the Helios 44-2 lens
At age 18 I got my first DSLR and instantly fell in love with out-of-focus backgrounds, and now almost 10 years later I still have a passion for bokeh. Most new lenses aim to have bokeh that is very smooth. Some people really like this, and in most lens comparisons and reviews, the smoother bokeh is considered the winner. And while I do like the smoother bokeh from some lenses, sometimes I find it can be a bit boring to me. An example of this is the Sigma Art 35mm f1.
This is not a complete list but should get you started nicely. Keep in mind that with most of these lenses, the content of the background and the distance of focus will make a big difference to the overall look.
Starting with my absolute favourite lens, the Voigtlander 35mm f1. For those on a budget, Helios have a selection of 50mm and 58mm lenses which produce very nice results. Some can be found very cheap on ebay. Note: Their strange names are not their focal lengths. Here is the radioactive Olympus OM 55mm f1. This was my first large aperture lens, chosen purely for its f1. Not very special looking, but it sure can produce some beautiful bokeh with the right background and distance.
The Samyang 35mm f1. This is a nice lens from brand Meyer-Optik, the Trioplan mm f2.Swirly Bokeh - Helios 44 and Leica Summitar - And A Helios Hack!
Not one I would personally purchase, but certainly special looking. I hope you enjoyed this article. Nitsan Simantov is photographer and Youtube video creator. The Minolta Rokkor X 45mm f2 has an amazing textured bokeh! I also love the Jupiter 37A mm f3. I constantly seek lenses that have more of a textured bokeh even though I have a rather nice set of sigma primes, a canon L f2. My old manual lenses I have acquired lately produce such amazing results I hardly touch my newer lenses.
Oh yeah? I was wondering if there was a super fast mm. Hard to find photos from that, and also seems rare to purchase. My husband is obsessed no, really, he needs professional help. To be fair he uses every single one for a shoot now and then so they do pay for themselves, but still. Paid pounds for it, but to be fair it was as new in box, full papers etc.
Daamn the Samyang 35mm and the Helios 77m-4 variant have beautiful bokeh. What you suggest? The Samyang 35 or 50mm 77m-4? I have an aps-c sensor, alright the image is cropped of 1,5x nikon dYou'll find digital and film camera reviews for the gear heads, editing and design tutorials for the image makers, and marketing inspiration and business advice for the careerists.
The build construction is substantial: solid metal and steel. Note that the adapter you use will likely feel cheap and plastic-y in comparison to the Helios ! The aperture ring holds firmly in place, and the focus ring is nice and smooth. Shooting with the Helios I invited some friends out to Central Park in the late afternoon so I could get some test shots on my Fuji X-pro2.
After taking a single test shot on a nearby pigeon — and successfully nailing the focus — I felt confident enough to start shooting my friends as we walked through Central Park. While I missed critical focus on a good amount of shots, I noticed something.
But all the same, I fell in love. Not sharp enough for you? Funnily enough, this optical quality was also considered an engineering defect: newer versions of the Helios lens phased it out. The Heliosbeing one of the earliest models, exhibits some of the most dramatic swirly bokeh.
A sunny forest is ideal for this, but the options are limitless: a glimmering body of water, the pattern of windows on a skyscraper, or even blades of grass can create stunning swirls. Check out the grass in the lower corners. For my shooting style, the distinct characteristics of this lens are much better suited for portraiture. With that said, you can certainly use the Helios for other types of photography, like street, travel, or architecture. The effective 87mm focal length is an unusual choice for these types of shots, but that unique perspective can be fun to play around with.
The Creative Photographer
Notice the quality of the flaring. Stopping down, you can decrease the amount of flaring and washing out even further. But price points are a very real barrier to many talented photographers. About the Author Latest Posts. Visit author's website. You may also like April 8, April 8, April 3, Image by Markus Spiske.
Due to their optical nature, Helios lenses can produce wonderfully swirly bokeh and backgrounds when shot at wide apertures. The charm of the Helios lens comes from separating the subject from the background with style. This means that just like any other time you want to blur out a background, the further you can place your subject from the objects behind it the more blurred the background will become.
Look for images with isolated subjects that can be easily separated from the background. Not only do swirly backgrounds complement images like these more so than others, but having easily identifiable borders between your subject and the background will make things much easier on you during the processing. You will use the Spin Blur Filter to give you that dreamy understated swirly bokeh background for which Helios lenses are so favored.
This is how you will control the amount of simulated blur in your image. Think of the blur angle as the control for the degree of swirl in the background. Before you decide on how much blur you want to introduce to your image you first need to decide where you want the blur effect to be applied. Do this by adjusting the size and shape of the blur filter itself. You can click and drag the outside of the filter to control its size and shape.
How close the blur comes to the edges of the filter is controlled by the four larger dots shown here:. Think of these dots as the way you dictate the feathering of the spin blur effect as it approaches the edges of the filter. Drag the filter out to just past each corner of the frame and then adjust the feathering accordingly.
Feel free to experiment with placing the center point of the filter at different locations within your image. Keep in mind that the true swirly bokeh from the Helios lens is generally subtle so keep the background blur in your simulated images somewhat subdued. Keep in mind that the final determination of the amount of blur will be decided just a little later in the process by using the layer opacity.
Also, keep in mind that you can also increase or decrease the amount of blur angle using the control wheel located at the very center of the filter. NOTE: If you convert the layer into a Smart Object before applying the Spin Blur filter, the settings can be adjusted at any time as it will be a non-destructive edit. Adjust the opacity of the spin blur layer by using the layer opacity slider until the effect reaches the desired amount you like for your particular image.
To do this, add a layer mask to the spin blur layer. And viola! Your freshly minted Helios swirly bokeh simulation is complete!
Acquiring an actual Helios lens is a surprisingly easy and budget-friendly method for adding a little uniqueness to your photography. Still, if you choose not to get a lens of your own, you can simulate the look of that classic Helios swirl by using the methods shown in this article.
Simulating the swirly blurred backgrounds of the Helios is easy and quick in Photoshop using the spin blur filter. Here are a few more examples of images which have been given the Helios effect using the techniques shown here.A recent thread about the Helios got me thinking about old lenses that uniquely render background blur.
The Helios is very nice but kind of hard to find. Can anyone recommended any other lenses that produce a similar result? They are very good at what they do but none of them produce that swirly bokeh. LoL, check the Photozone Test from this Lens.
This Lens is ultra Soft in the Corners. If have seen some old Zeiss Lenses there Produces similar swirls Results. Not so the other Lenses. So it would be very Difficult to find a Lens with the same Characteristics. When i remind me exactly, there are Petzval Lensestry Your Luck. Not switly but the only other lens I can think of a Zeiss 35mm with Rollei mount with 3 blades, the bokeh is rendered into small triangles, you would think it ugly but its so unusual you cannot help but look.
They adapt the mount for use on Canon bodies. I vaguely remember too that there is a technique for swirly bokeh, something about the COC of a lens and using a piece of card. Sorry I cannot help more. There was an article - on DP as I recall on this lens with lots of photos.
Helios 44-4 Lens Review: A Swirly Bokeh Portrait Lens for $30
I've got to be serious about the look before I pull the trigger. At times I want the effect of magical swirly background. I use old lens with an adapter to a NEX. Konica 57mm f1. The color rendition and blur of the f1. You can cut your own aperture to get the effect you want!