Hip lens maker Lensbaby has announced the release of its latest manual focus Velvet lens, the Velvet 85. At 85mm f/1.8, it’s a follow-up from the company’s popular Velvet 56, known for producing lustrous skin tones and a pleasantly crisp, film-like aesthetic – but this time with the added compression and smooth bokeh expected of 85mm portrait lenses.
Like it’s older sibling, the Velvet 85 has an all-metal construction, this time adding a 12-blade aperture design, 1:2 magnification for close up and macro shots, a minimum focus distance of 9.5″, and a weight of about 530 grams.
To celebrate the launch, Lensbaby put the lens in the hands of photographer Kevin Kubota, who had this to say:
“The Velvet 85 gives me the versatility of having a very sharp lens with a film-like color palette, and a beautifully soft portrait lens, all in one. The focal length is ideal for portraits and the glow is optically unique — something that is hard to replicate with software effects. Butter doesn’t quite describe it, it’s more like…Velvet.”
Kubota has prepared some workshops on the company’s education hub ‘Lensbaby University‘.
The Lensbaby Velvet 85 will be available to buy on July 11th at lensbaby.com, for $499.95. Some sample shots taken with the lens are below.