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Christmas Gift Guide

Best when separated

Nice for portraits

Manual focus only

Colors

No swirl

Stop it down

Contouring

Lights

Round highlights

APS-C

APS-C

Effects on top of effects

Black and white

Fringing

More examples

The lens delivers the most intense effect when used on a full-frame camera -- I tested it with the Sony A7 II -- when there's a lot of foreground/background separation between the subject, a relatively detailed background and with the aperture wide open at f2.5.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

It's a snap to get nice background effects for portraits with the lens -- those are sequins in the background (photo is retouched and cropped).

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The one problem with manual focus is that I would have needed three hands to get the balloon to remain still while focusing.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

One of the effects of the lens is to increase contrast, which saturates colors nicely.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

When there's no detailed background, the lens still produces interesting color and contrast effects as well as vignetting.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

As you make the aperture smaller, the effect lessens significantly and becomes a lot less interesting. You still get vignetting, though.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

It posterizes some flat colors, like the sky.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The edge distortions swirl lights in interesting ways.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

When highlights appear close to the center of the image, the 12-bladed lens aperture delivers lovely round results.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

There's a lot less of an effect on an APS-C camera, like the Sony A6300 I used to shoot this -- because the combination of the long focal-length lens and smaller sensor decrease the field of view as well as increase the amount of area that's in focus. Still, it can produce nice highlights and smooth out-of-focus areas.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Another example of the effect on a smaller-sensor camera, shot at maximum aperture.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

You can add an extra layer of creativity by using an in-camera filter, such as Sony's Illustration effect, in conjunction with the lens.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Shooting monochrome with the lens is a nice way to deal with low-light situations.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The lens' chromatic aberration is one of its charms.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The rest are just some more photo samples.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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