Lensbaby enter the Petzval market for some swirley shots with the Twist 60
Petzval lenses are nothing new, but that’s kind of the point. Dating back as far as 1840, Petzval lenses offer a unique look to our images that other lenses simply can’t match, and while it may not be to everybody’s tastes, one can certainly see the allure.
Developed by Joseph Petzval, than man after whom they were named, Petzal lenses suffer from an affliction called “coma”, or Comatic Aberration. The result of which is the swirly appearance around the edges of your image, specifically in those parts of your scene which are out of focus.
What was once simply a defect with lens design that had to be overcome by means of newer technology, coma is now one of the desirable “features” of this type lens for many photographers, particularly those who shoot portraits.
It certainly provides an interesting look, which you can see more of in the sample images below.
The biggest factor with Lensbaby’s offering seems to be the price. The Twist 60 is available for preorder now at only $280, and only $180 if you already have the Lensbaby Optica Swap System, so offers quite a substantial saving over the alternatives. Lenses are expected to ship out early May, 2016.
What do you think? Is the cost low enough for you to finally pick one up?
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.