Often a scene can be visually confusing, especially if there are multiple colours and objects in focus that are fighting for our viewer’s attention. This simple technique that I’m sharing here uses a single dominant coloured gel to simplify the scene visually, then we can draw the attention of our viewer with our Lensbaby Sweet 50 lens.
In the past, I’ve not really been big on the whole Lensbaby thing. But, having now tried a few of them in person, I can safely say they’re winning me over. The “Sweet” range of lenses I particularly like for their aesthetic, especially when paired up with a Composer. Now lensbaby have launched a new Sweet 80 lens for the Composer II that looks fantastic.
Also announced today is the new Creative Bokeh Optic. A simple 50mm single element design that allows you to to get some pretty cool bokeh effects. It works with the Composer series, or legacy Muse, Control Freak or Scout lens bodies.
A couple months ago, Lensbaby provided DIYP with a new Lensbaby Velvet 85mm Classic Portrait and Art Lens for review.
I happened to be on my way to Europe at the time, so I took the opportunity to try out the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm along the way.
Up until this point, I had never used a Lensbaby lens, so I was pretty excited to see what I could do with the Velvet 85mm – so much so that I left my usual 85mm (the Sigma ART f/1.4) at home in favor of the Lensbaby.
In total I spent six weeks photographing with the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm – in this review I will present my thoughts.
If you’ve ever wondered what effect a specific Lensbaby lens has or if you’ve ever wondered how that compares to other lensbaby lenses or even standard lenses then this article is for you.
I took the same image of a model using a wide variety of Lensbaby lenses as well as standard prime lenses and compared the results. All images were taken with flash with an ISO 100 at 1/125 second and all at f4. You should notice that the model stays a similar size in the frame when using a variety of focal length lenses, that was to create ‘real-life’ look to the test. I have taken the images as I would do normally regardless of focal length and they all appear here completely un-cropped.
Lensbaby has announced Velvet 85mm f/1.8, a lens inspired by classic portrait lenses from the mid-20th century. With smooth and soft glow, it’s especially aimed at portrait photography. But, it’s good noting there’s the ability to reduce the softness by stopping the lens down. With 1:2 magnification and 9.5″ working distance, this lens can also be used for close-up shots.
Constructing your own lens can seem like an impossible task. When you look at the amount of engineering in modern lenses, how can you possibly do it yourself? Well, you might not get quite the clarity of super high end lenses, but making your own is definitely doable. These days, you can even 3D print a lens, or a complete camera.
This video, though, by photographer Randy Snook, takes things down to the bare basics. Using little more than a couple of plumbing parts, a lens adapter ring, and a piece of glass, Randy builds a lens. The results really aren’t that bad, either, all things considered.
What do you think about Lensbaby? It’s kind of a odd chicken, right? On one hand, they are making $100 “cheap toy lenses”, but they they started making “object of desire”, high end $500 lenses. This change is fascinating, and definitely shows a change in how Lensbaby is perceived (by photographers, but also by itself).
We sat down with Ken Mitchell, Lensbaby president for a chat during Photokina 2016 and listened for some of his insights and his plans for Lensbaby as a company.
If you wanted to buy the Lensbaby Sweet, Twist 60 and Velvet separately, you’d be spending over $1,000. Now, you can get all three for only $279.95. At least, you can if you shoot Sony E, Fuji X or Micro Four Thirds. Lensbaby have today announced the new Lensbaby Trio 28mm f/3.5 lens which combines all three of these unique effects into a single lens.
I think one of the most important aspects of a successful photo is what happens before you ever click the shutter. Pre-visualization of what you want the photo to look like can happen quickly where you immediately envision the final photo, or it can develop over time where you build on your original concept, adding or subtracting elements, re-thinking your take on it before finally deciding on exactly what to shoot. Then after you’ve ironed out what that photo should look like, you actually then go backwards, by reverse engineering the elements of what you’ll need to pull it off.
So this is happening more and more… I’m talking with a client who wants me to shoot a creative portrait of them, and they say, “I like your blurry photos, I want that look.” My blurry photos? Most of the time that’s not something a photographer wants to hear, but I know they’re referring to the shots I’ve done over the years with the Lensbaby creative effects lenses.
I’ve been shooting studio portraits with them for a long time now and there’s nothing quite like them. It takes practice, some trial and error to learn the idiosyncrasies. And with lots of lens kits, focal options, etc., their product line now has a very comprehensive set of tools and it continues to grow (yay, more toys! err…I mean tools).