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Author Topic: Lensbaby  (Read 4684 times)

DanielW

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Lensbaby
« on: July 10, 2012, 07:04:43 PM »
Has anyone ever tried or bought Lensbaby bodies/lenses? Are they worth it?
Thanks!

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Lensbaby
« on: July 10, 2012, 07:04:43 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 07:11:35 PM »
They make bodies now? That's a new one for me.

I've tried a their lens a couple of times, really wasn't for me at the time. It was interesting though, especially with it being manual only.
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DanielW

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 07:16:47 PM »
I might have said it the wrong way, but there's this thing for attaching the lens and then swirling it; I think they call it "lens body", but again, I might be wrong.
And yes, I like it too that it's manual! Must be fun to play with! (Not sure if I'll be able to get any usable shots, however...) :)

wickidwombat

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 07:32:41 PM »
I have the lensbaby sweet 35 in a composer pro, build is not bad metal mount the rubber on the grip ring is a bit cheap though unfortunately no AF confirm chip so no exif data or aperture info

strangly though the meter in the viewfinder seems accurate on the 5Dmk2, havent used it on the mk3 infact havent used it for a while

it has 12 circular apperture blades and the bokeh is amazing from it out of focus areas goes to mush

it nice in that the aperture control is a ring on the front rather than the silly plates of the other version
at f2.5 though its quite soft, also at this aperture there is not alot in focus it seems the depth of field is shallower than for a conventional lens at 2.5 it seems shallower than a 50 f1.4 wide open

so stopping down a bit really helps clear things up

its a fun lens to have when out to dinner with friends around a table as the 35mm on full frame is quite good and you can get some really cool shots

i think they do an 80 now as well however they are quite expensive for what they are

as for using i find the easiest way to shoot is to have the lens centered on your subject, focus then move the camera trying to keep the lens in the same spot to change your composition

i havent tried it with my brightscreen yet i was wondering how it would go since the bright screen has the focus assist elements in the center where as the lensbaby has an unusual focus system perhaps the EGs screen would work better with this lens but I'll have to have a go with the brightscreen and see

its a cool effect lens and if you love bokeh and buttery oof elements you will love this lens
i only use it wide open if i'm chasing every last scrap of light though
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DanielW

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 07:48:10 PM »
@ wickidwombat
Yeah, they are expensive indeed, but...
I'll make an effort and give it a try! :)
It must be really cool for portraits!
I was afraid it would quickly become another not-so-funny-anymore waste of money, but I see it's not.
Great feedback, thanks!

What's the difference between Lensbaby and T/S lenses? Price? AF? (Sorry if it's a dumb question)

wickidwombat

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 07:52:23 PM »
@ wickidwombat
Yeah, they are expensive indeed, but...
I'll make an effort and give it a try! :)
It must be really cool for portraits!
I was afraid it would quickly become another not-so-funny-anymore waste of money, but I see it's not.
Great feedback, thanks!

What's the difference between Lensbaby and T/S lenses? Price? AF? (Sorry if it's a dumb question)

T & S lenses are all MF too however they are the real deal the lensbaby tilt and shift is more for different composition styles and cant perfrom the functionjs that a proper T & S lens can such as infinite depth of field perspective correction etc
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crasher8

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 09:11:49 PM »
I have a Composer and I love it. In fact I have been selling quite  few 'nature on acid' prints lately. I tend to use the screen to get a 5X or 10X view for focusing and make very small adjustments to the socket and then refocus. However refocusing is not always going to work and sometimes you just go back to a centered lens position and perhaps just swap out an aperture ring for more blur.
Great on film as well especially with less saturated color films such as Portra 160.

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 09:11:49 PM »

DanielW

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 09:24:48 PM »
@ wickidwombat
I see... Definitely Lensbaby for me, then! Thanks!

@ crasher8
The composer is the "lens body", right? What lens do you use it with?
I'd love to see some of those pics you've been selling! :)

crasher8

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 09:50:34 PM »
@ wickidwombat
I see... Definitely Lensbaby for me, then! Thanks!

@ crasher8
The composer is the "lens body", right? What lens do you use it with?
I'd love to see some of those pics you've been selling! :)

The Composer is the lens.

http://lensbaby.com/lenses-composer

I use it on all my Canon EOS bodies. It is a manual focus lens which comes with a set of steel aperture rings which you swap out with a magnetic tipped tool ranging from 2.0 (no ring) to 22. The wider open, the greater blur.

Some Lensbaby shots on my Smugmug site:

http://www.barryjohnsonphotography.com/EARTH/NATURE-ON-ACID/LENSBABY/23575489_k4XNfD#!i=1907023176&k=jN7VWpT

EOBeav

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 01:18:10 AM »
A Lensbaby Muse is my one and only impulse buy for photography. I get it out and mess around with it once in awhile, but I think I would like a Composer better.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

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gn100

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 05:22:00 AM »
@ wickidwombat
I see... Definitely Lensbaby for me, then! Thanks!

@ crasher8
The composer is the "lens body", right? What lens do you use it with?
I'd love to see some of those pics you've been selling! :)

The Composer is the lens.

http://lensbaby.com/lenses-composer

I use it on all my Canon EOS bodies. It is a manual focus lens which comes with a set of steel aperture rings which you swap out with a magnetic tipped tool ranging from 2.0 (no ring) to 22. The wider open, the greater blur.

Some Lensbaby shots on my Smugmug site:

http://www.barryjohnsonphotography.com/EARTH/NATURE-ON-ACID/LENSBABY/23575489_k4XNfD#!i=1907023176&k=jN7VWpT

The lensbody (aka lens) is the Composer / Composer Pro / Muse / Contol Freak etc, then you need to have an optic eg Double Glass / Single Glass / Sweet 35 / Edge 80 etc. Many of the optics require you to use drop in aperature disks, whereas the sweet 35 and edge 80 both have aperture rings.

I have used a Muse with a double glass that I borrowed off a friend - I found it fiddly to use but the composer (pro) look much better. Overall I enjoyed using it - it certainly encouraged me to look at subjects in a different way. I haven't purchased one as I believe that the use is limited, but one day I might

DanielW

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 02:23:52 PM »
@ crasher8 and gn100
There's a kit with the composer pro and the sweet 35 optic. Is it better than buying the composer pro alone? Not sure I understand the benefit of having another optic attached if the composer pro is itself a lens.

@ crasher8
Great shots! Does it take too long to get the hang of it?

@!ex

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 06:23:18 PM »
I had a lens baby for a while, but found it a bit gimmicky after not too long.  The other thing is that the bokeh doesn't follow traditional DOF rules since it creates an often circular bokeh that is very easily replicated in photoshop.  Traditional bokeh is hard to replicate because you would have to use very precise masking to capture all the objects in a picture that are at the same distance, in the area of focus.  I'll post some examples, bokeh in the images below would be very very difficult to recreate in photoshop because the areas in focus are mixed in an out of areas of bokeh, just based on distance to camera.


depth of wire by @!ex, on Flickr


Through the Cracks… by @!ex, on Flickr

With the lens baby even things that are at the correct distance to be in focus are blurred because the lens itself is on an angle, thus the bokeh is created in a circular fashion that ignores subject distance.  Because of this, it is very easy to recreate this effect in photoshop, with a simple circular gradient mask.  There are a lot of good tutorials on the web, but I'll attach a link below.  Maybe play around with this on some shots and see if you like the effect before you drop a bunch of money on a lens baby.

http://photocreative365.com/day-30-lens-baby-effect-in-photoshop
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 08:10:42 PM by @!ex »

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 06:23:18 PM »

DanielW

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 06:58:55 PM »
@!ex
Great piece of advice! Didn't know the effect was easy to recreate in Photoshop... Will try in a few shots of mine tonight. Terrific shots, by the way!

wickidwombat

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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 07:38:23 PM »
@ crasher8 and gn100
There's a kit with the composer pro and the sweet 35 optic. Is it better than buying the composer pro alone? Not sure I understand the benefit of having another optic attached if the composer pro is itself a lens.

yes this is what i got this will be the least fiddly and best optically (I havent tried the 80)
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Re: Lensbaby
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 07:38:23 PM »