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Lensbaby
Lensbaby-Recommended-Gear-Phlearn
Name: Lensbaby
Essential Sale 1-10
1 = I almost never use this thing.
10 = You had better own this, like yesterday.
Essential Scale: 5

When you do nail focus with these lenses they produce stunning results. Shooting with these lenses actually caused me to look at photography in a slightly different way.

See in a New Way

Lensbaby lenses mount directly onto your SLR or mirrorless camera body. Check each specific lens for a list of compatible camera bodies. Lensbaby lenses have interchangeable optics. Each Lensbaby lens comes with an optic installed. This optic can easily be removed and replaced with any of our 7 other optics. Each Lensbaby lens gives you access to our full line of creative effects. Choose the lens that fits your shooting style.

Using the Lensbaby

Learning to use the Lensbaby system is a lot like learning to use a DSLR for the first time. You are not going to be a pro within a minute of picking it up, but after a day or so of shooting you will get the hang of it. For starters the lens is completely manual meaning there is no way to adjust the aperture from your camera settings nor will the autofocus work. If you have been shooting since the film days this won’t be a big deal for you, but if you are used to the camera and lens doing most of the work for you it will take some getting used to.

Attaching different lens elements such as the Sweet 35 Optic and the Edge 80 Optic to the Composer Pro requires that you line up matching dots, press the lens in and give it a turn then pull it back out. If someone held a gun to my head and told me that I had to get it done in under 5 seconds or I would be shot I would probably wind up dead. The good news is that once you have the optic in place it isn’t going anywhere. I suspect that you will find a combination you are happy with and stick to it.

In our test I preferred the look that the Sweet 35 Optic gave, so I wound up leaving it in for the majority of the photo shoot.

Focusing

If you are a stickler for super sharp focus you can probably guess that the Sweet 35 combined with a Composer Pro is not the lens choice for you. The entire point of these lenses is to create interesting out of focus areas in your photos.

When you do nail focus with these lenses they produce stunning results. Shooting with these lenses actually caused me to look at photography in a slightly different way.

A New Way of Shooting

I am not speaking from a technical standpoint here even though these lenses do require a change in technical process. I found that when I was shooting with the Lensbaby that I was not as concerned with things like shutter speed, ISO, or aperture. It was as though all the technical things slipped away and I became much more aware of the artistic process. I started to play around much more than I normall do during a shoot, and that was a good thing. I was opening up to shooting different lighting combinations than I normally would have. I was focusing more on emotion and posing and working with the models.

It is weird to say it, but shooting was just more fun.

Out of that fun came less pressure to create a perfect shot every time, so the creativity flowed better as well. Thinking back to many of the world’s most famous photos, a very small portion of them are even in focus. Many have crazy amounts of motion blur, and for the most part what makes the images amazing is the emotion they convey. Getting everything technical out of the way to bring emotion forward. This is something I would have never thought would result from shooting with a Lensbaby but I am glad it did.


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