The Lensbaby Velvet 56 is a versatile lens. When you shoot wide open(aperture of f/1.6) the images have a wonderful glow. However, your focus needs to be spot on when shooting wide open. Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure that the image is in focus when shooting wide open:
- Adjust your camera diopter to your vision. Some people recommend setting the diopter with a lens other than the Velvet 56, which is not always convenient. If you own a mirrorless camera with an EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), take a picture of a landscape with the focus set on infinity at an aperture with an f-stop value of f/5.6 or greater. Review the image in your EVF, and adjust the diopter until you see a sharp image.
- When want to take a picture using a large aperture, change the aperture to f/5.6 and focus the image. Then without taking your eye from the viewfinder, turn the aperture ring counterclockwise and count the number of detents. There are four detents from f/5.6 to f/1.6—f/4.0, f/2.8,f/2.0,f/1.6.
The second technique takes a bit of practice. After a bit of experience with the lens, you’ll be able to access the focus and aperture rings by feel. The focus ring has enough friction to hold focus when you change the aperture. Just make sure you don’t accidentally bump the focus ring after your subject is in focus.