Photography is all about delivering a message.  Just like a painting, the tool you chose to deliver this message could support the message and help it get in the memory of the viewer.  The picture is always asking the viewer: “Will you remember me?”  Here is where the Lensbaby Composer can help.

Get original pictures with the Lensbaby Composer

The choices you make when taking the picture are impacting the message.  Composition, framing, depth of field, exposition and so on… all of these are influencing the message.

The lens also impacts the picture taken.  In this case, I chose the Lensbaby Composer with the Double Glass optic.  I felt that Claude Monet deserves it.

The Lensbaby Composer really needs to get used to.  There are multiples controls to understand and master:

  • Focusing is manual.  Looking through the viewfinder, you turn a control ring on the lens to manually focus.
  • You control aperture manually by inserting an aperture ring, from wide open f2 (no ring) to f22.  A magnetic tool enables you  to change the aperture.
  • By tightening a mechanism using an extra control ring, near the camera body, you control the tilting the lens.
  • There is no electronic in the lens.  Exif data will not record aperture or the lens name.

As you know, reducing the aperture increase the depth of field.  By inserting the aperture ring the light reaching the viewfinder is reduced and focusing is more difficult under low light.  Normal lens would stay wide open and will close down only when the picture is actually taken.  The Lensbaby Composer does not work that way.  When inserting the f16 ring, you lose light while composing.

This lens is somewhat sharp in the middle of the frame and is softer, if not blurry, in periphery. Setting the lens at an angle of 90 degrees to the sensor, will center the sharp zone in the frame.  Tilting the lens in any direction will change move the sharp area accordingly.

This sharp area is very small at f2 and gets larger by f8.  From f8 to f22, the sharp zone become larger but diffraction increase due to diffraction and to the very poor quality of double glass optic.

This might sounds bad but this is exactly what this lens is designed to do.  Create a variable sharp zone in the frame, sharp zone that could be controlled and placed where we want it. Sharp zone that could be reduced or enlarged by using different aperture rings.

In the above picture of “Rue Claude Monet” I wanted to create a blur that is line with the style created by Claude Monet.  Claude Monet was known for being one of the founders of the Impressionism painting. Impressionism is derived from his painting “Impression, Sunrise”

When delivering a message, the subject usually needs to be sharp and in focus, however the surrounding pictures elements could be distracting and using the Lensbaby Composer allow for more control on what will be in focus and how out of focus the rest of the picture will be.

Real Tilt Shift lens can do this also.  However they are pricier than the Lensbaby Composer.

In future articles I will review various accessories that work with the Lensbaby Composer.

The Lensbaby is in my bag with me when I go out for a shoot.  I don’t use it often, however, there is nothing like this lens when I need to isolated the subject from its surrounding elements.

Additional gear reviews.

Do you use Blur or Out of Focus to lead the eyes of the viewer on your subject?

Do you use specialty lens like the Lensbaby Composer?

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