Low-cost Lensbaby sparks selective focus


Now you can shoot tilt-shift-style photos without first paying a high price: Lensbaby is offering a low-cost plastic version of its selective focus lenses.

It’s just the body that’s plastic: The $80 Spark has a glass 50mm f/5.6 lens, compatible with Canon and Nikon SLRs. The body’s front element can be squeezed toward the camera to focus, and tilted to customize the location of the in-focus area within the frame. This creates a sweet spot of focus surrounded by gradually increasing blur.

More information is here.

Lensbaby adds lens cleaning accessories

Lensbaby cleaning accessories

Lensbaby, Portland, Ore., released two accessories: Lensbaby Lens Cloth and the Lensbaby Lenspen Pro. The new products join existing accessories including the Lensbaby System Bag, Creative Aperture Kit 2, Macro Converters and others.

The $15 Lensbaby Lens Cloth is a sizable 14-by-14-inch bag, in a Lensbaby-orange hue, made of a deluxe silky-style microfiber material. The company said cloth’s size will allow photographers to protect their Lensbaby lens by swaddling and stowing it away in a camera bag compartment.

The $10 Lensbaby Lenspen Pro is sized at 5-inches long with two different types of cleaning ends that gives photographers two ways to safely remove dust, particles or other contaminants found on their optics.  One end is a chamois tip containing a non-liquid cleaning compound covered with a cap that replenishes the cleaning compound and keeps the tip protected between usages. The other end features a slider on the top of the pen extends and retracts a soft cleaning brush.

Lensbaby selective focus provides tilt shift imaging

Lensbaby claims its new Edge 80 Optic “allows photographers to create images with quality that is on-par with some of the best lenses…” The lens can work “like a great lens mounted on a view camera bellows,” to make ‘straight’ photos, or, for “a different look altogether, fluidly tilt the lens to create a razor sharp slice of selective focus through your image.”

Tilting the Edge 80 allows photographers to create vertical, horizontal and diagonal slices of focus through the image. Objects in both the foreground and the background can be in focus within that slice. Photographers can control the size of the slice of focus by changing the 12-blade aperture.

The $300 optic is the latest addition to the company’s Optic Swap system and is compatible with its Composer Pro, Composer, Muse, Scout and Control Freak bodies. It will “transform any of these bending lens bodies into a tilt lens that delivers a selective slice of sharp focus through an image.” Photographers can change the aperture from f2.8 through f22 by rotating the dial on the front of the optic.

The company has a cool simulation of the effects here.

The Imaging Resource has a review here.


Lensbaby macro converters open close-focus options

The two separate lenses also work in conjunction.

New macro photography accessories create close-up, dreamy and artistic photos while blurring out distracting elements, Lensbaby says.

The Macro Converters for the company’s lenses bodies and optics “offer great close-up range, and when mixed and matched with our existing Macro Kit, provide even more options for creative Lensbaby macro photography.”

The Macro Converters are available as a set containing one 8mm converter and one 16mm converter, which can also be stacked together to make a 24mm converter.  The existing Lensbaby macro kit feature a +4 and +10 macro filter, and can also be used in conjunction with the macro converters with the double glass, single glass, plastic and soft focus optics for an even closer capture, the Portland, Oregon-based manufacturer says.

The converters are $50.
More information is here.


Lensbaby goes to the movies

“The more creative tools filmmakers have at their disposal, the more creative their footage,” says optics specialist Lensbaby, and their new kit “comes loaded with the freedom and versatility… to put a huge range of creative options at the fingertips of filmmakers.”

Lensbaby's kit for moviemakers comes with plenty of accessories.

The Lensbaby Movie Maker’s Kit  has two lenses for use on PL mount cameras: the Muse PL with Double Glass, and the Composer Pro PL with Sweet 35, as well as one Composer Pro with a Canon mount for use on Canon’s line of DSLRs that shoot video, the company says. The Sweet 35 Optic can create different quality selective focus effects, where one area of the image at a given depth of field is in focus, and other areas at the same depth of field fall away into a beautiful blur.  The Fisheye, Soft Focus, and Pinhole/Zone plate Optics allow further in-camera creativity.

The kit also includes a wide range of interchangeable optics and accessories.

The Portland, Oregon based manufacturer’s $2900 kit is packed into a rugged Pelican case.

More information is here.