Control lens blur and softness with your camera

Lensabove-illustrationLensbaby 2 is a coated doublet, soft-focus, 50mm f:2 lens that breaks our preoccupation with image sharpness and introduces us to a world of controlled blur and softness. It’s great fun whether you use it for traditional soft-focus portraiture or to explore a world of ethereal landscapes and dreamlike imagery.

Lensbaby is small, weighing only 3.5 oz, but it’s solidly designed with flexible tubing connecting the front and back of the lens. By twisting the flexible tubing with your hands, you selectively focus on one “sweet spot” area of sharpness while the rest of the scene transitions to soft focus. The bellows can be compressed, extended, and twisted up, down, right, or left. When compressed, the Lensbaby focuses at infinity; when fully extended, it focuses on objects about a foot away. The front of the lens has a 37mm thread for adding two optional macro filters sold by Lensbabies for $29, which allow you to focus from 2–13″. To control the size of the sweet spot, Lensbaby is packaged with a set of four interchangeable aperture rings (f:2.8, f:4, f:5.6, and f:8) that are cleverly held in place by tiny magnets.

Lensbaby is lots of fun to use but don’t let its apparent simplicity allow you to become cavalier. Placing your fingers around the lens and becoming comfortable manipulating the bellows for the desired effects requires practice. For best exposure results, I found the combination of a digital SLR using the aperture priority mode and feedback from a histogram and LCD very practical for getting it right.

PRICE: $150
FROM: Lensbabies LLC
PHONE: 877-536-7222

HOT Creative; just plain fun to use
NOT Unable to play “Lady of Spain”