We’re big fans of Lomography’s Petzval lens for modern DSLRs, but at $600, it’s quite an expensive purchase for an erstwhile quirky tool. If you haven’t quite pulled the trigger on one, you may want to check out the Lensbaby Twist 60, the outfit’s take on the classic Petzval, which undercuts Lomography’s by over half the price.
Like the original Petzval from 1840, the lens creates a striking separation between the subject and the background – a feature that modern lenses have continually lacked. Creating a swirly bokeh effect, it gives photographers the ability to produce images that truly highlight the central area of focus, complete with a warm, vintage look.
The Lensbaby Twist 60 is a metal-bodied, non-tilting lens with a 60mm focal length and an f/2.5 maximum aperture. Consisting of four elements in three groups, it creates an effect that’s more pronounced the closer the 12-blade diaphragm comes to the maximum aperture, with a 46-mm filter thread and a minimum focus distance of 18 inches. It’s strictly for full-frame cameras, with availability in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony E lens mounts. An Optic version that’s compatible with Lensbaby’s Optic Swap System is also sold separately.