What is a Lensbaby?
If you ever see me out photographing, you may see some funny looking lens attached to my camera. These are Lensbabies. Lensbaby lenses are manual focus artistic lenses. What does that mean? Well, they don't come equipt with an autofocus feature and they are built to create different effects in-camera. My journey with Lensbaby began on August 18, 2018, when I purchased my first lens.
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The Twist 60
The lens I was most drawn to was the Twist 60, I was captivated by the mesmerizing swirling bokeh it was capable of creating. This completely metal lens when used wide open at f/2.5, makes your subject pop off its background surrounding it in twisty bokeh with a subtle vignette. What's unique about this lens is that the design of the lens is based on an 1840 design by Joseph Petzval. I use this primarily for portrait sessions!
Composer Pro II with Edge 80 Optic
The Composer series of lenses are simply tiltable housings on a ball and socket mechanism that mounts directly to your camera. Paired with the 80mm Edge Optic, you achieve a slice of focus surrounded by blur. These two paired together really achieve a tilt-shift look and feel. This is possibly my favorite lens to take to concerts with me, especially for on stage detail shots! This lens stops down to an aperture of f/2.8 which allows for more light to come in and hit the camera sensor, which is really key for shooting in dark concert venues.
The Creative Bokeh Optic
This one is really neat, it's a 50mm, f/2.5 – f/22 optic with interchangeable shaped aperture discs that control the shape of your bokeh. Bokeh is that beautiful background blur you get when you shoot at a lower aperture. This can make for some fun and artistic images. I have found this particularly magical for the holiday season with lights in the background. It comes with 9 shaped discs and 2 blank discs that you could customize to make your own.
Why I use Lensbabies
What I love about the Lensbaby series of lenses is that they make you slow down and think about the photo you're about to take. Because they are all manual focus lenses you have to make sure you have to take extra time to make sure your subject in focus. Autofocus lenses are really incredible, don't get me wrong, but we are often spoiled by their accuracy and ability to focus so quickly (especially the newer models). With the Lensbaby line, you're almost taken back in time to the days of film. The possibilities are endless with these and any of the other Lensbaby lenses, for they allow you to create magical photographs in a variety of ways.