After using Laowa’s 2.5-5X Ultra Macro lens for extreme moss images, I couldn’t resist to try out the new Lensbaby Velvet 28mm lens on the same subject.
People on forums discussing photography fight bitter wars about lenses as if it was about their salvation. It is certainly true that Lensbaby is making lenses on the other side of the spectrum of what many photographers expect.
These lenses are good at not being sharp. Even closed down they are a bit blurry, and show strong chromatic aberration. The idea is to shoot them wide open, of course, and enjoy how almost everything gets blurred into oblivion. The sporophytes of the moss above are impossible to get sharp with any lens, so why not make them extra blurry?
The Velvet is a 2:1 macro lens (2cm in reality become 1cm on the 35mm sensor), but the working distance is so small that it will often cast a shadow on the subject. So these pictures where taken in the morning when the sun was low.
An advantage of shooting wide open is that you can do everything handheld — just magnify what you want to shoot in the electronic viewfinder and push the button when it’s (relatively) sharp.