Any Petzval/Lensbaby Twist 60 lens fans?

Here’s something from this morning taken with a Lensbaby Twist 60, wide open at f2.5 and using a 12mm extension tube on a Nikon D3s. The swirly bokeh effect isn’t very pronounced but still noticable IMO.


Thank you!
Whenever I hear Petzval, I start to think of old brass tubes;
I never gave a thought that a Lensbaby Twist 60 was built according
to the same principle.

A few years ago, I was tempted to buy some Lensbaby kits, but
something else evidently was more tempting… I just took a look at
today’s range, and gulp, Lensbabies have become expensive!?!

Do you have more Lensbaby lenses/kits?
How do you like them?

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

I have a couple of the lensbaby ‘sweet’ lenses and am addicted to the effect, though I’m still struggling with manual focusing and accurate placement of the ‘sweet spot’. I do like the look of the twist effect but trying to avoid purchasing any new toys for now!

If you want to try it out without too much outlay, the lensbaby spark is a fun little toy lens that I’ve taken some very nice photos with and is pretty cheap. It’s even more of a pain to focus though so you have to take lots of shots for a few keepers.

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@Claes Here’s one from the fall of a weed/flower that grew up past the withered hedges underneath. Nothing great but it shows the swirly bokeh effect more. It seems that the greater distance between the subject and background is what makes the effect more pronounced? This is the Twist 60, wide open, on a Nikon D3s, no extension tube.

Thank you, @sls141,
I faintly remember having seen a formula (or at least a table)
describing the optimum distance between lens, object, and background
in order to get the nicest bokeh. Lens - girl - swirl, in other words.
Presumably it was a review of a Tessar, or a Helios, or similar… I’ll have a look.

@Claes “Lens - girl - swirl” sounds like a great formula to me! BTW, I also have the Lensbaby Edge 80 that gives a “tilt/shift” effect, well, tilt but no shift really. Haven’t used it much yet but it’s interesting to look at Flickr galleries.

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Oh yes, utterly difficult to try to make it focus where you want it.
I have never managed with my DIY version.

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I don’t have a Twist 60, but I do have a Helios 44-2.


@chaimav The swirly effect is nice. The water (fountain, I assume) adds a nice touch as well. Great shot!

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Believe it or not, that is a natural geyser.

@chaimav I’d have to guess that this wouldn’t be far from the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Beautiful venue in a beautiful region. I was there a couple times for Furthur Festivals back in the late 90’s. Not super far from home in Northeast Pennsylvania.

@sls141 I found the link where they talked about proper swirl forming distance :slight_smile:

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

@sls141 Would you believe that there really is a flickr group discussing this???

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

@Claes Thanks for the link! Did you notice this one with the “soap bubble” bokeh?

No, I did not … I just discovered that group, so I have not had the time to leaf through it yet.

Just did – did you notice what lens he was using?
An ALDIS 5 C.M. F/3 projection lens :slight_smile:

Looks as if many of the groupies prefer Sony ILCE camera bodies.

[If we go on like this, we will soon have a link to Herr Hinnerker’s ingenious Vnex system. ]