Season 1 Episode 3: Lensbaby Composer Pro & Velvet (for Pentax K)


Hello guys, with us Ha De Video Production This is my friend, Norman, with me Hendrik Hendrik: Continuing our discussion from last week Last week, we are talking about Pentax KP and it’s (DA) limited lenses. This time around, we are going to discuss on Lensbaby Velvet 85mm Norman: and Lensbaby Composer Pro 50mm Hendrik: This is our first impression using these lenses, not just me …. Norman: along with me Hendrik: We tested these lenses last week Norman: At Gelora Bung Karno (GBK), right? Norman: With our model Olivia Hendrik: Our impression of using this lens and how we use it Norman: Its not easy using these lenses There are certain trick to use these lenses This Velvet 85mm is unlike other portrait lenses Norman: As with this Composer Pro 50mm You can tilt this lens. Its requires skill to use this lens Norman: To keep in mind, both of these are manual focus lenses. Hendrik: My eyes hurts because we have to carefully focus the lens with viewfinder, and chimping with LCD. Hendrik: Let’s go straight to the result: You haven’t seen the photos, right Man? Hendrik: IMO, the bokeh is crazy This is the result using Composer (Pro) I have never seen bokeh that looked like this before Norman: The bokeh of normal 50mm never looks like this Hendrik: Considering this is taken at f/2.8 Norman: at f/2.8 guys Norman: what is the widest aperture for this lens? Hendrik: The widest is at f/2.5 Hendrik: Stop down to f/2.8 Norman: The result is a OK Norman: It is quite sharp Norman: Bokeh is unique Hendrik: I have used 50mm while using Nikon even though it’s f/1.8 it can never reproduce something like this Normal: Because you tilted this lens Seems like the bokeh is a bit distorted/stretched Norman: The unique part of this lens is you can tilt it. We can tilt this the the left or right Norman: and next sample shot: Norman: We can see the flowers (at the foreground) is stretched Norman: it has painterly look to it. The model looks sharp Norman: This lens is tricky to use Hendrik: The first time of holding this lens, i was over anxious i tilted the lens let’s open the cap first i tilt it way to the extreme i think that is not the ideal way for working with composer pro Norman: It’s not the ideal way to use it like that for portrait work But if you want to work outside portrait, it’s ok to try using it (to the extreme) Norman:This lens is not for people who’s looking for extreme sharpness Norman: More for creative looks, when we are testing out creative (by composition) Norman: When working (portrait) with models, just tilt it a little bit Hendrik: When we tilt it to the extremes it’s harder to find the focus Norman: Yea, i had the same issue Hendrik: the depth of field is super thin Hendrik: When we think about it, Man this is not full frame body this is APS-C Hendrik: (The DOF) extremely thin, i am having a hard time focusing Norman: I bet, Its even worse for full frame bodies, guys Norman: When i’m using this lens and taking 1 posed shot it took me several shots. From 3 to 4 shots to get it right Luckily our model is quite patient with us 😀 Hendrik: Just like this sample shot, when you get it right at the (special/decisive) moment like this one Norman: Like shots like this the bokeh is out of this world when compared to other lenses Hendrik: One of the trick of using this lens, i used burst shots Norman: You guys can utilize the high burst rate from your camera from 8-10 fps is enough, i think Hendrik: Don’t have to, 5 fps is enough The main point is, continuous burst shot. While pressing the shutter button, you twist the focus ring little by little to attain and maintain focus (for moving subjects) Norman: you have to use your feeling because this is manual focus lens Hendrik: There is other thing there is no focus confirmation in the optical viewfinder Norman: Right! Once we nod our head a bit, we lost the focus. We have to refocus many times we have to be patient when using Composer Pro Hendrik: Yea, patience is the key The comparison is when we use native lens, like Canon lens with Canon bodies (or Nikon lens with Nikon bodies) there is focus confirmation (usually an focus LED lit inside the viewfinder) when we focus manually Meanwhile, while using these Lensbaby, there is none. We have to rely on our eyes peeking through the viewfinder. Norman: If you guys, have myopia (near sightedness) Don’t forget to calibrate the diopter inside the viewfinder to your eye condition, in order to ensure focus Hendrik: I have tried to use Live View from LCD, it’s no use You have to peek through the viewfinder Norman: When using this lens, i have to carefully focus and compose the shot slowly to get the shot But once you get it, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, guys It feels different from using other portrait lens (50mm or 85mm) IMO, if you want to create something different with your portrait work, you can try using this lens Hendrik: Now we are going to look at Norman’s shot now Because we are using 1 body for this test we have to take turns I’m using the Lensbaby at morning, while Norman takes his turn at evening and this is Norman’s shot When i use this setup, its not easy guys Its very hard to nail the focus at Model’s face I think i got this one either the fourth nor the fifth shot of trying I failed at the first and second shot Hendrik: Did you tilt the lens to extreme corner at first? Norman: Yea Until i realize, for portrait shot we don’t need extreme tilt (to its fullest) What you guys need is tilt the lens a little bit, and see the image somewhat focused in viewfinder you can start hit the shutter Hendrik: This one is also special The bokeh is stretched Norman: If you’re using normal lens, her feet wouldn’t look like that Maybe her feet is going to be sharp (in focus, as it is in the same plane as her face) Hendrik: If we are not using Lensbaby, her face and her feet will be in focus Because it is on the same plane of focus Norman: and the gate and trees behind her will become blurred out But still, the bokeh will not be the same as the one taken by this lensbaby This is why Composer Pro is unique Hendrik: This one is awesome Norman: I saw this gate and i think it’s quite interesting if i try and take it from this angle Hendrik: What did you do to her? Looks like you’re scaring her out j/k LOL Norman: I deliberately posed her like this Hendrik: Looks awesome, the silhouette Norman: The mood was right on this one and i alter to black and white. The result was in color, but i edited it to black and white I think when using this lens, you have to look for the right mood (or moment) You can not just taking snap shot to get good result for this lens You can take (model’s) portrait with this Composer Pro lens, but, IMO, it’s better that we set the mood of the shot first Because this is not a normal prime lens That’s how unique the lens is Hendrik: Another photo from Norman Norman: I tried to take the shot at night, cityscape Because this lens can tilt, the effect looks like toys I shot this from the bridge at Senayan Hendrik: Looks like you’re shooting toys (miniature) Norman: This lens is not to be mistaken with Tilt Shift lens. This lens can only tilt, can’t be shifted Different from TS lens (from Canon) or PC (from Nikon) The tilt is done for unique effect only (not for fixing perspective) Hendrik: This is the one that i really like, especially the lighting (street lights) and its bokeh Norman: The bokeh is unique Norman: The bokeh is elliptical, right Hendrik: I think the bokeh can be achieved only when you tilt the lens and this one also Awesome Norman: I can’t believe the result would be like this after i press the shutter this is so unique I tried tilt and shift lens once, and its result can never looked like this This shot looks like diorama (miniature) effect, like taking picture of toys The condition was dark, the lights from incoming cars looks just right Hendrik: We are done with Composer Pro Next one is the Velvet 85mm The widest aperture for this lens is f/1.8 I mostly use this lens somewhere around f/2 up to f/2.8. Depending on how far i stand from my subject/model Norman: Is it hard to use at f/1.8? Hendrik: The photo i took at f/1.8 has glows hmmm, how can i describe it It’s very hard to describe Somehow there’s a light glowing (around the subject) Norman: Like gloomy effects, when you edit your photo (portrait) in photoshop Hendrik: (Correcting Norman) glowing effect Automatically applied to your shot when using this lens Norman: Especially at it’s widest aperture f/1.8 If you guys stop this lens down to f/2.8 or f/5.6 Hendrik: When i tried it at f/5.6 the result is sharp Norman: Sharp like any 85mm lens Hendrik: For testing, i used it at f/2 up to f/2.8 just for the effect Norman: When i tried this lens, i don’t get the feel for it Maybe i’m used to normal portrait (sharp subject with bokeh). For me the gloomy Hendrik: (Correcting Norman) glowing Norman: Glowing (is a bit off for my taste) But I think i can get the feel of it for the Composer Pro Composer Pro is like my new toy This one (Velvet) is tricky Hendrik: Honestly, i lend you this set to try around evening as the light goes down, it’s harder to manually focus these lenses Norman: You’re right Hendrik: Harder to manually spot focus the lens as it’s become dark Norman: Ideally, you shoot outdoor at noon with these lenses at least before sunset Hendrik: At that time, when i used this lens It was at noon Norman: Even then, it was tricky to use My eyes just hurts trying to focus these lenses Hendrik: This is the result from Velvet 85mm Never seen blur/ bokeh like this Norman: Yea, i agree with you. and it glows Hendrik: You can see the glow on her shoulder Norman: And the detail? Hendrik: When we zoom in, we can still see her eyelashes And the detail of her dress is still there Hendrik: When you say it’s soft, i mean not really. Norman: We are talking about the effect of this lens Hendrik: Next sample is a bit toned down Norman: What is the setting of this one? Hendrik: This is around f/2.8 Norman: So, this is at f/2.8 guys Hendrik: Not too extreme, effect is still ok Norman: Acceptable IMO, its unique If we use this for pre-wedding shots Hendrik: yea, i agree with you Norman: or beauty shots, it will be more interesting. We are more accustomed with how normal lens looks It can get quite boring sometimes Hendrik: Normal lens can only give sharp and bokeh, sharp and bokeh Norman: yea, just sharp and bokeh. If friends out there want to take more creative shot, i can recommend this lens Hendrik: For taking portraits, pre-weddings Norman: Beauty shoots Hendrik: The character is like this After we take a look of the results, close up ones This time we are going for slightly wider angle Taken at evening Looks a OK Norman: Luckily we have good lighting on this one, around golden time Hendrik: (correcting Norman) Golden Hour and this is the vertical shot Norman: The effect looks awesome IMO even when I’m accustomed to seeing how normal lens behaves, sharp photos I guess most people would take this as blurry shot But i think this is awesome Hendrik: Quite unique Norman: I guess the lighting also helps Hendrik: As i have mentioned before we start this video shoot, this lens can also take macro shot It can extend this long Norman: The Macro is 1:2 Hendrik: Macro 1:2, i have taken some sample macro shots of wrist watch I will display it in the screen (ed: i didn’t prepare the image during this video shoot) Hendrik: When i shoot my wrist watch using this lens, i use it at f/5.6 It is tack sharp at f/5.6 Hendrik: It is crisp / sharp at f/8 Like normal lenses behaves Hendrik: So it has two functions, glowing effect and macro Double combo Norman: You can also take product shots with this lens You can also take product shot with glowing effect by playing with its aperture openings The range is from f/1.8 to 2.8? Hendrik: Around f/2.8 for product shots Norman: I guess using it wider than f/2.8 will have super shallow depth of field HendrikL the the glow a bit too much at wider aperture (f/1.8) Norman: you might not got the detail (because of the glow) But as for portraits with model and pre-wedding you can use wider aperture Hendrik: the benefit of using wider aperture is softer skin Norman: As we have seen from all sample photos The Composer Pro is quite OK The sharpness is also good This one is recommended Hendrik: If you are looking for something new You can try this Lensbaby Velvet or Composer Pro, for different kind of result Norman: Each has different unique characteristic also has different tricks at its sleeve You have to learn by doing Hendrik: New experiences for our view in photography So, we learn that there are so many lenses out there Norman: There are certain lenses that can create different looks The glowing one is the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm The Composer Pro doesn’t produce glows Hendrik: it has stretched bokeh (ed: and unique play on depth of field) Norman: When tilting the lens for model shoot, you have to be patient (slow down) Try to attain the focus using viewfinder and determines which side is sharp and which one is blur After you get the right composition, you can press the shutter Depend on your taste (ed: which lens is more suitable for you) Hendrik: I think that’s all for today. Truth is these two are the lenses that we have There are more Velvet lens, 56mm 85mm and 56mm (Velvet) Hendrik: I bought this lens because i’m looking for telephoto 85mm with macro function for my Pentax Double Combo Norman: This Composer Pro is 50mm Hendrik: If you have any questions regarding these lenses or if you have something to comment on how we present the video You can write us comments below Norman: in comment section Don’t forget to like our video Hendrik: or thumbs down if you don’t like it Norman: Cmon guys, don’t do that to us 😀 Thumbs up for us , guys Hendrik: Or if you fall in love with us, you guys can subscribe to Ha De Video Production See you guys next time, Bye