We declared NAB 2017 "The Year of the Lens," with new offerings from Cooke, Leica, Samyang, Zeiss, and more. Missing from the lineup was Lensbaby, but now the company is back with the Velvet 85, a follow-up to its popular Velvet 56.

Lensbaby, known for creative effects lenses that push the boundaries of what you can shoot with DSLRs, keeps up the tradition with this lens that is inspired by classic portrait lenses of the mid-20th century.

The Velvet 85 is an 85mm f/1.8 lens for SLR and mirrorless cameras, boasting 1:2 macro capabilities. According to a promo video from Lensbaby, it gives an "impressionistic glow at brighter apertures and beautifully sharp images with subtle edge falloff as you stop down."

Velvet 85Lensbaby's Velvet 85

Not sure which arty Lensbaby product you'd like to experiment with? The company's online shop offers a handy comparison feature to weigh options.

The Velvet 85 is currently available for pre-order at $499.95 and will begin shipping July 11th. 

Tech Specs:

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Aperture: F/1.8
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 9.5"
  • Format Compatibility: Aps-c And Full Frame
  • Focus Type: Manual
  • Filter Threads: 68mm
  • Diaphragm Blades: 12
  • Elements/ Groups: 4 Elements/ 3 Groups
  • Dimensions: 3.5" (8.9cm) High X 3" (7.6cm) Wide
  • Weight: 18.7oz

Featured image shot on Velvet 85 by Ute Reckhorn.