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Frequently Asked Questions - Lensbaby

The Lensbaby is a simple, single element lens mounted in a flexible housing which allows it not only to be focused, but tilted as well. The aperture can be varied from f2.8 to f8 via the use of a series of fixed aperture stops. You change stops by removing a rubber retaining ring, changing the stop (which looks like a washer) and replacing the rubber-retaining ring.

No. The Lensbaby is a lens that mounts onto your SLR camera like your other lenses.

You will need a camera that enables the use of interchangeable lenses.

The Lensbaby creates artistic photographs by capturing images with a sweet spot of focus in one part of the image that gradually goes out of focus at the edge of the frame. The photographer has full control over how large the sweet spot is and where it appears in the final image.

You have to compress the lens to focus it, and apply tilt if you want an extra "effect" and that's most easily done by holding the camera body in both hands and using the two middle fingers of each hand on either side of the lens. You can then get the index finger of your right hand on the shutter release, but it can be a bit of a struggle, or at least require a little practice.

1) Composer Pro - Ultra-smooth and refined for the professional photographer and videographer.

  • It utilizes a metal ball and socket that stays in place when you tilt your lens.
  • Rotate the ultra-smooth focus ring to find your point of focus.
  • Comes with the Double Glass or the Sweet 35 Optic installed and is compatible with the full Optic Swap System.
  • Available for Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus and the following mirrorless cameras: Samsung, Sony NEX, Olympus and Panasonic cameras.

2) Composer - Ideal for a smooth and precise shooting style.

  • It utilizes a ball and socket that stays in place when you tilt your lens.
  • Rotate the focus ring to get that Sweet Spot in focus.
  • Comes with the Double Glass Optic installed and is compatible with the full Optic Swap System.
  • Available for Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony and Olympus SLR cameras.

3) Muse - Great for photographers with a fast and loose shooting style.

  • Compress the flexible tubing to find focus, and tilt the lens to move that focus.
  • Press the shutter while holding the lens in place.
  • Great for street photography, and fun shooting on the fly.
  • Comes with either the Plastic or Double Glass Optic installed and is compatible with the full Optic Swap System.
  • Available for Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony and Olympus SLR cameras.

4) Scout - Suited for Fisheye photography because your image will always be perfectly centered.

  • The first Lensbaby lens body that does not bend, which is perfect for using the Fisheye, Soft Focus and Pinhole/Zone Plate Optics.
  • Comes with the Fisheye Optic installed and is compatible with the full Optic Swap System.
  • Available for Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony and Olympus SLR cameras.

5) Composer With Tilt Transformer - You can enjoy all the creative freedom the Composer offers with the Lensbaby Optic Swap™ System, plus true tilt photography.

  • Available only for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX cameras.
  • All Lensbaby Optics and Accessories are compatible except the Fisheye Optic.
  • Composer Focus Front is removable and can be replaced with a Nikon mount lens.

6) Tilt Transformer - Tilt up to twice as far as standard tilt-shift lenses.

  • Available only for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX cameras.
  • Attach a Nikon lens to the Tilt Transformer and get a slice of focus with a graduated blur.

1) Double Glass Optic

  • Provides a tack-sharp Sweet Spot of focus with a graduated blur and minimum diffusion at all aperture settings.
  • 50mm multi-coated optical glass doublet.

2) Single Glass Optic

  • Update of the Original Lensbaby's primitive optic, ideal for fine art, portraiture, black and white images and any shot requiring a subtle, soft, dreamy effect.
  • 50mm single, non-coated glass element.

3) Plastic Optic

  • Perfect for plastic fanatics.
  • Softest optic overall, creating very ethereal photos.
  • Uncoated 50mm double convex plastic singlet.

4) Soft Focus Optic

  • Creates images with an overall soft and diffused look.
  • Use with the Scout lens body for ideal results.
  • 50mm flat field multi-coated doublet.

5) Fisheye Optic

  • Captures eye-popping fisheye views from infinity all the way down to one inch from the front of your lens.
  • Use with the Scout lens body for ideal results.
  • Ultra-wide 12mm focal length with a 160-degree field of view.

6) Pinhole/Zone Plate Optic

  • Shift easily back and forth from pinhole to zone plate mode with your digital SLR by simply sliding a toggle inside the optic cup.
  • Pinhole (f /177) and zone plate (f /19) options achieve softer focus, producing dreamy images that are equally sharp from edge to edge.
  • The surface area of the zone plate is larger than the pinhole and therefore requires less exposure time.

7) Sweet 35 Optic

  • 35mm selective focus optic with a 12-blade adjustable aperture.
  • Creates a tack sharp Sweet Spot of focus surrounded by blur.
  • Widest focal length of any selective focus Lensbaby optic.

8) Edge 80 Optic

  • 80mm f/2.8 flat field of focus optic with a 12-blade adjustable aperture.
  • When tilted, Edge 80 delivers a slice of tack sharp focus through the image, bordered by a soft blur.
  • When pointed straight ahead the Edge 80 can be used just like a high-quality straight lens.

The focal length is approximately 50mm with the Double Glass, Single Glass, and Plastic optics. The focal length with the Pinhole/Zone Plate is 55mm. The Original Lensbaby, Lensbaby 2.0, and Lensbaby 3G all have a 50mm focal length. Lensbaby Wide Angle and Telephoto accessory lenses screw onto the front of the Lensbaby, changing the focal length to 30mm and 80mm, respectively. Use of the Lensbaby 0.42x Super Wide Lens changes the focal length to 21mm. If you are shooting with a crop sensor camera, multiply your camera's crop factor by the focal length of the Lensbaby.

The Composer focuses from 45 cm to infinity. The Muse and the Control Freak, as well as the Original Lensbaby, Lensbaby 2.0, and Lensbaby 3G, when fully extended have a minimum focus distance of about around 30 cm, and the maximum distance for achieving sharp focus is infinity on all Lensbaby lenses. With the Muse and the Control Freak, as well as the Original Lensbaby, Lensbaby 2.0, and Lensbaby 3G, you can actually focus on subjects as close as 23 cm away by pushing on the focusing collar rather than pulling in on it. The Macro Kit allows the user to focus from 5 to 33 cm.

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