By Brendan Keenan, Penn Camera Tysons Corner
Many Digital SLR users have made the jump to SLR photography for the increased control, and to achieve ever sharper images with their selected lenses. But if this is the only way you use your DSLR, you’re missing out on some huge fun. The creativity offered by the Lensbaby line of selective focus lenses gives any DSLR user at any experience level the ability to get truly creative with their photography, to experiment, and to have more fun shooting photographs. And the best part is, the Lensbaby line offers a lens for every shooting style, all at very affordable prices.
So what do Lensbaby do that your typical lens won’t? The answer is in the design. Lensbaby are designed to allow you to tilt, or shift the lens to create desired effects. With the lenses being shifted and tilted, the sharpest area of focus, or the “sweet spot” can be moved freely around the image area, creating blurring or vignetting effects. Traditional tilt-shift lenses are designed to correct optical distortion, while Lensbabys are the exact opposite. They create selective focus areas, along with areas of increased blur and distortion, and can be used for some amazing effects.
The optics kit allows for interchangeable optics to be switched in and out of the three Lensbaby “housings”. The main optics are the single glass, the double glass, and the plastic optic. The multi-coated double glass optic offers the sharpest images, with better contrast and the “sweet spot” of focus being the sharpest. The single glass optic has more distortion, and is noticeably softer. The plastic lens is obviously the least sharp, creating the most distinct blur and distortion of the three. On top of these choices, Lensbabies offer users special effects optics; everything from standard wide-angle and telephoto adapters, to even more creative sets of optics. There is a pinhole and zone plate combination that offers very different effects. The zone plate gives a very soft, hazy, almost dreamy effect, complete with haloing around highlights. The pinhole on the other hand gives a completely soft image. These looks can create the effect of older, plastic cameras (nostalgia alert!), while still giving photographers all the control of their DSLR. Add the new fisheye optic, and you can only imagine the creative possibilities. The beauty is, the only limit with Lensbabies is your imagination.
So who is the Lensbaby system for? The answer is any photographer who likes to get creative, experiment, and try new things. These lenses offer an inexpensive, and simple way to take your everyday photography to a new creative level. Instead of always aiming for the sharpest, clearest shot of everything, try a different approach. You might be surprised what happens when you take chances in your photography. The Lensbabies offer just that, chances. For the photographer who loves photography, and wants to try new things without spending a small fortune, your prayers have been answered. So go ahead, take a chance, and get creative.