Lensbaby Unveils the Velvet 28 Lens for Photos with a ‘Radiant Glow’

Lens and accessory maker Lensbaby—known for quirky optics that focus more on character than sharpness—has just released the Velvet 28: a 28mm f/2.5 lens for both DSLR and mirrorless cameras that produces “tack-sharp detail beneath a layer of radiant glow.” Like just about all of Lensbaby’s creations, the Velvet 28 is a “creative effects lens,” […]

Lensbaby Unveils the Velvet 28 Lens for Photos with a ‘Radiant Glow’

Lens and accessory maker Lensbaby—known for quirky optics that focus more on character than sharpness—has just released the Velvet 28: a 28mm f/2.5 lens for both DSLR and mirrorless cameras that produces “tack-sharp detail beneath a layer of radiant glow.”

Like just about all of Lensbaby’s creations, the Velvet 28 is a “creative effects lens,” meaning that you won’t see any MTF charts or boasts about minimizing chromatic aberration and maximizing corner sharpness. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The Velvet 28 follows in the footsteps of the two previous Lensbaby Velvet lenses by offering a “variable glow effect” that promises to “make flat light interesting and harsh light more pleasing.” As a bonus, the lens offers a 1:2 reproduction ratio and minimum focus distance of just 2-inches if you want to dabble in macro photography.

Optically, the lens is made up of 8 “multi-coated” glass elements in 7 groups, and features a 12-blade aperture with a range of f/2.5 to f/22. At the wide end, you also get a “bonus ⅓ stop of light” if you keep turning the aperture ring until you get to the “+” sign.

As with the previous Velvet lenses, the amount of “glow effect” depends on the aperture you choose. Wide-open, the lens makes everything soft and dreamy; closed down, Lensbaby claims “corner-to-corner sharpness.” But the point isn’t to shoot this thing closed down unless you’re getting really close—the point is to produce soft, dreamy portraits and nighttime cityscapes.

Here’s a closer look at the new lens (the larger version is for mirrorless cameras, the more compact lens is for DSLRs):

And here are some sample images provided by Lensbaby (click for higher resolution):

The Lensbaby Velvet 28 is available to order starting today for $550, and comes in Canon EF, Nikon F, Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony E, Fuji X and Micro Four Thirds mounts. To learn more about the lens, head over to the Lensbaby website or order yours online here.

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US Camera Sales Dropped by 64% Last Month; Only Luggage is Doing Worse

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world economy to its knees, retail intelligence firm Stackline put together a report identifying the 100 fastest growing and 100 fastest declining industries based on e-commerce data from March. No surprise, the outlook is especially grim for cameras. According to the Stackline infographic—which compared March 2019 to March 2020 […]

US Camera Sales Dropped by 64% Last Month; Only Luggage is Doing Worse

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world economy to its knees, retail intelligence firm Stackline put together a report identifying the 100 fastest growing and 100 fastest declining industries based on e-commerce data from March. No surprise, the outlook is especially grim for cameras.

According to the Stackline infographic—which compared March 2019 to March 2020 using e-commerce sales data from across the United States—Cameras are the third fastest declining businesses in the country right now, with sales dropping a whopping 64%. Only two categories did worse: “Luggage & Suitcases” and “Briefcases,” which both saw sales drop by 77% year-over-year.

That 64% number is brutal, but unsurprising. A recent BCN report showed that mirrorless camera sales in Japan were down by 50% in March 2020 vs March 2019, and while we usually try to factor in regional differences, the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have not been confined to a single region. You can see some of the other industries called out by Stackline below, or browse the full list of 200 at this link:

These e-commerce numbers confirm what the BCN data already hinted at: not just March, but the entire rest of this year will be the most difficult yet for camera makers, who were already fighting an uphill battle against the smartphone revolution.

In mid-March, we wrote that the coronavirus pandemic would force companies to “find the floor” of the industry—that number at which sales stabilize and brands can figure out how many cameras they can reasonably expect to sell in an average year—far more quickly than they had hoped for or anticipated, and adjust accordingly:

With less R&D money to go around, companies will need to cut operating expenses more aggressively than they have in years, focus on the products that turn a profit, and shrink to fit the market that they’re actually playing in… or diversify… or get off the field entirely.

Now, as the real-world ramifications of the worldwide economic shutdown start to hit, we’re seeing just how low those numbers can really go, and holding our breath to see how fast and how far they recover when this is all over.

(via Mirrorless Rumors)

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