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A Comparison Between Lensbaby Velvet 56 and the 105mm Macro Lens

When it comes to photography, choosing the right lens is similar to selecting the perfect paintbrush for an artist. Each lens offers a unique perspective and the ability to capture the world in its distinct way. In the world of lens choices for closeup photography two options often find themselves in the spotlight. Let's do a comparison between Lensbaby Velvet 56 and the 105mm Macro Lens. Both have their own set of pros and cons, and deciding between them can be a challenging task. In this journal article, we'll explore these two lenses and compare their features to help you decide which one deserves a spot in your camera bag.

Lensbaby Velvet 56: Embracing the Art of Soft Focus


  1. Velvet-Like Softness: The Lensbaby Velvet 56 is renowned for its ability to create dreamy, soft-focus images that add an ethereal quality and glow to your shots. This feature makes it perfect for capturing the essence of romantic scenes, portraits, and still life.

  2. Versatile Focal Length: With its 56mm focal length, this lens offers a versatile range suitable for both portrait and macro photography. It allows you to get up close to your subjects while also being capable of wider shots.

  3. Built for Creativity: Lensbaby lenses are famous for encouraging creativity. The Velvet 56 is no exception, with its manual focus and aperture control ring, allowing photographers to experiment and create unique effects.

  4. Solid Build Quality: The Velvet 56 is crafted with precision and durability in mind. Its all-metal construction ensures it can withstand the rigors of daily use.


  1. Manual Focus: While manual focus is a pro for creative control, it can be a challenge for beginners or in fast-paced situations where autofocus is preferred.

  2. Price: The Velvet 56 is an investment, and its price tag may deter some photographers on a budget.

LB Velvet 56 Capture
LB Velvet 56 Capture
105mm Macro Capture
105mm Macro Capture

105mm Macro Lens: Capturing the Tiniest Details

Nikon and Sigma both have macro options at the 105mm focal length.


  1. Superb Macro Capability: The 105mm Macro lens excels in capturing the tiniest of details. Whether you're shooting insects, flowers, or intricate textures, this lens brings out the smallest subjects beautifully.

  2. Excellent Sharpness: This lens is renowned for its tack-sharp images, making it a favorite among macro enthusiasts. Every detail is crisp and clear unless you're using a shallow depth of field and want that beautiful blur.

  3. Autofocus Convenience: The autofocus feature of the 105mm Macro lens simplifies capturing those fleeting moments or subjects that require quick adjustments.

  4. Ideal for Wildlife: The longer focal length of the 105mm lens provides more working distance when shooting insects, like bees and butterflies, or possibly closer birds ensuring you don't disturb your subjects.


  1. Specialized Use: While exceptional for macro photography, the 105mm Macro lens may feel limited in versatility compared to other lenses.

  2. Heavier and Bulkier: Due to its longer focal length and specialized design, this lens is heavier and bulkier, making it less portable for everyday shooting.

LB Velvet 56 Capture
LB Velvet 56 Capture
105mm Macro Capture
105mm Macro Capture

Comparing the Two Lenses:

Let's compare the Lensbaby Velvet 56 and the 105mm Macro lens side by side.

Up Close Floral Images:

Lensbaby Velvet 56: When capturing up close floral images with the Velvet 56, the soft focus creates a dreamy and artistic effect. The petals appear almost painterly, evoking a sense of nostalgia and romance. It excels in portraying the beauty and delicacy of flowers in a unique way.

105mm Macro Lens: On the other hand, the 105mm Macro lens unveils a different world when photographing flowers. It brings out the intricate details, revealing the fine texture of petals, the delicate veins, and even the tiniest pollen grains. The images are sharp and showcase the scientific beauty of nature.

Larger Expanded Views:

Lensbaby Velvet 56: When you step back and aim the Velvet 56 at a larger scene, it still retains a soft, dreamy quality. It imparts a sense of nostalgia to landscapes and cityscapes, adding an artistic touch to wide-angle shots.

105mm Macro Lens: While primarily designed for close-ups, the 105mm Macro lens can also be used for larger expanded views. However, it may lack the dramatic softness of the Velvet 56 and instead offers a clean, high-resolution image.

Which Lens Should You Choose?

The decision ultimately depends on your photography style, preferences, and intended use.

Choose the Lensbaby Velvet 56 if:

  1. Creativity is Your Focus: If you prioritize creative expression and enjoy experimenting with soft focus, unique bokeh, and artistic effects, the Velvet 56 is your go-to choice.

  2. Portrait and Still Life Photography: The Velvet 56 shines in portrait and still life photography, adding a timeless, romantic quality to your images.

  3. Versatility Matters: You want a lens that can handle both macro and wider shots, allowing you to explore a range of subjects without switching lenses constantly.

Choose the 105mm Macro Lens if:

  1. Macro is Your Passion: If you are passionate about capturing the intricate details of small subjects like insects, flowers, or textures, the 105mm Macro lens is a must-have.

  2. Sharpness is Essential: You demand crisp, sharp images, and want a lens that excels in clarity and precision, especially for macro photography.

  3. Autofocus is a Priority: In situations where speed and convenience are crucial, such as wildlife or fast-moving subjects, the autofocus feature of the 105mm Macro lens is a significant advantage.

Both the Lensbaby Velvet 56 and the 105mm Macro lens are exceptional tools for photographers, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. If budget and space permit, having both in your camera bag can provide a well-rounded set of creative options. However, if you must choose only one, let your passion and photographic style guide your decision. Whether you're chasing the dreamy softness of the Lensbaby Velvet 56 or diving into the microscopic world with the 105mm Macro lens, you're sure to capture stunning images that reflect your unique perspective on the world. Happy shooting!

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