And I'm using so many exclamation points because that's how excited I was to get my hands on it!
But first, I want to give a quick history lesson, because as stated in my previous post, I'm a sucker for the story behind a camera and lens. Based on the Petzval lens, created in 1840 by a German-Hungarian mathematics professor and optic inventor Joseph Petzval, the Petzval lens was the first photographic portrait objective lens. In 2016, Lensbaby released their own version of the Petzval lens, also known as the Twist 60 aka, one of my favorite pieces of glass to travel with. *Insert SQUEAL* And now they're releasing a wider version of the Twist 60??? Not to mention, the widest Petzval lens to date! How stinkin' cool is that?! I had been waiting for another 35 mm Lensbaby optic for so long and the day was finally here!
Lets get into the actual shooting part of the excitement. I'm going to be totally honest and up front. There is a learning curve to this lens. There is so much to it, that it was a lot to take in when I first hooked it up to my camera.
1. There is an extra slider to add a vignette to the photos. It's on the side of the lens and is super easy to access. I left it open most of the time because I prefer to shoot wide open and get the most effect from the lens. I've attached a few photos for comparison on what it looks like with the slider fully open and fully closed.
2. Just like the Twist 60, the wider you shoot (F2.8 - F4) the more twist you'll get in the background. For the landscape shots, I love the subtle twist on the edges to give it that old school film feel, and when you move closer to an object, with the background falling out of focus, the twist is so smooth and beautiful, and really helps make the object in the front pop out of the photo. When you close the aperture down, the twist becomes more subtle and allows for more of the photo to be in focus. I've also attached a comparison of this below.
3. One thing I noticed with this lens, being it's own piece of glass and slightly larger then the composer system, the manual focus was a little slower for me to focus. The composer and the Twist 60 are smaller then the Burnside 35 so therefore I wasn't used to having to twist the focus as far. Don't get me wrong, I was ok with it being like this as it made me slow down and really focus on what I wanted to shoot, it was just different then what I'm used to. Not to mention, it was sooooo smooth with the focusing. My regular Nikkor 50 mm has dirt and grit (yes.... I need it cleaned) so being able to manual focus with no problem was amazing.
4. And lastly, my favorite part of this lens is the wider angle. I was sooooooo incredibly happy with the ability to get everything I wanted in the photo and not have to move back and forth. With the event that I attended while in Taos, there was little to no movement available due to all the people and with the Burnside 35, I could get all of the story I wanted in one shot and not have to worry about missing anything. It was everything I had been looking for in a 35 mm lens but with the added bonus of the Petzval effect and extra freedom to enhance the story of my travels.
Just a few other little details.
It is it's own lens and does not fit into the Composer System.
It has a small slider on the side for added vignette.
The optic weighs 13.20 oz.
Wide open is a 2.8 aperture.
Final thoughts: Like I stated before, I had been waiting for a 35 mm lens for my travel photography and when I got my hands on this lens, I couldn't have been more happy with the freedom it gave me. If you're like me, I want to know if it's worth having the Twist 60 and the Burnside 35, I guess it all comes down to what you're main focus is. In traveling, I want to have that option of carrying the wider angle with me to get the scenery and buildings but still have the capability of getting a portrait with the swirl. The Burnside 35 allows for this and while the Twist 60 does too, just remember that in travel photography, distance and tight spaces can sometimes be a factor and having that extra wideness between you and the subject can definitely help in getting the story you're trying to convey.
(This will be a 3 part blog to my Burnside 35 review, so check back in a few days to read Part 2 & 3!)
Taos, New Mexico
Since this is my travel blog for my trip to Taos, New Mexico I wanted to do a quick write up as well. This year, due to a rather strenuous year on my family, we wanted to get out of town for Christmas and what better place then kind of a "stay-cation" in your own state. I love New Mexico with our rich culture and history, and you'd think after living here my entire life, I would've been to more traditional events. There's so much I don't know about NM and when we got to Taos, my mom just happened to start talking to a lady about the town and she suggested we check out the Taos Pueblo Procession of the Virgin Mary. She said that people come from all over to see it, and if we'd never been, it was definitely worth going to. And. She. Was. Right. In the past, they never allowed cameras, but this year, I got lucky and they welcomed them.
I'm not going to go into much detail, but basically the pueblo is open to the public and when you walk in, there are massive piles of wood stacked all around with smells of fried bread and turquoise for people to buy. They have a huge procession around the pueblos then someone climbs up the wood towers and lights them on fire. It was incredible. And hot. We only stayed until they were all lit and then headed out because it was insanely hot and crowded, but to say we went and experienced the culture in our state is definitely something to mark off the bucketlist. If you ever get the chance to attend, I would highly recommend it. You can read more about it here.
(Make sure to click on the photos to make them larger!)
Here are a few side by side photos of the Burnside 35 with different apertures and the new vignette slider as in comparison to the Twist 60.
And just because I had so many photos from this beautiful town, here are a few other photos shot with the Lensbaby Edge 50, Edge 80, Soft Focus, & Fish Eye Optics!