Playing with Light

The LensBaby Composer Pro 2 with Sweet 50 Optic.

I’ve recently aquired a LENSBABY!  It’s the LensBaby Composer Pro 2 lens with Sweet 50 optic.  Basically a LensBaby is just a lens with a ball-joint, so that the lens can be bent!  Attached to the front of the lens is a removable optic, in my case a 50mm attachment, with a sweet-spot.  That’s an area that is in focus, while the rest of the image is blurred. (Bokeh)  Ok, it’s easier to show you than explain in words…

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So that’s a LensBaby!  What does it do that other lenses don’t do?  Well. the LensBaby is no ordinary lens.  It’s manual focus for a start, and the idea is to getcreative with blur!  LensBaby’s website boldly proclaims its objective, “‘Photography is a dance; the aim of photography isn’t precision or perfection, it is WONDER.”

So here’s my very first attempt.

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It’s the Clematis in my back garden!  The LensBaby allows the photographer to select one flower (for example) and keep that point in focus, while blurring the rest of the image, and it all done optically, – in the camera.

How does it work?  The Photographer has to think about what he/she wants to keep in focus, and whereabouts in the frame he wants that to be sited.  A wee bit of composition then!  The LensBaby tilts from left to right, up and down, until the right composition is attained, (Its tricky at frst.  We’re all used to selecting our focus subject and then moving the camera.  On the LensBaby if you focus then move you’ve shifted the sweet spot!)  So get the subject into the sweet spot, and focus the lens.

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The amount of blur is controlled by the aperture.  f/2.8 will give a lot of Bokeh around the sweet spot, while a smaller aperture, say around f/16 will produce a more subtle bokeh.  For starters it’s probably best to experiment around f/5.6 to f/8.  It’s much easier to find the focus with a smaller aperture.

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Finally, the Sweet 50 Optic can be removed from the lens, so presumably, it can be replaced with one of the other available optics, the 35 or 80mm.

Images on this page all made with the Fujifilm X-T2.

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