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I like my lensbaby, but...

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I like my lensbaby, but... posted by scribe July 10, 2004 08:03PM reply | quote
posted by
I got my lensbaby yesterday. Went out and snapped away. Controlling the focus is hard, and in a digital camera's viewfinder and display it's often not possible to see the areas that are a bit out of focus; this means that you come home with pictures you believe are good but that turn out to still be blurry in areas you had intended to be sharp. Normally I throw away 60 to 70% of my pictures; with the lensbaby there's more trial and error, and I ended up discarding probably 90% of what I shot. I may get a bit better at controlling the lensbaby, but I know I won't use it for critical work with a subject whose time is limited. It's cool for some still lifes and assorted snapshots though, and in situations where you have plenty of time and can use the lensbaby after having pulled out and exhausted your main lenses. For under a hundred bucks, the lensbaby is a nice addition to the camera bag, and good value.

My one big head-shaking disappointment after opening the box was experiencing how bad the tool for removing the rubber washer works (the washer you have to pry out to swap aperture rings). Its sharp edges cut into your fingers, and the washer only comes out after way too much effort. Besides, do I really want to use a sharp object -- and blunt force -- mere millimeters from an actual lens? This part of the lensbaby experience is simply subpar.

Sorry, I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade. As stated, the lensbaby is a nice product and good value for money. And also on the upside, I was surprised by the nicely machined metal lenscap.

I'm posting some shots I took with my lensbaby at a playground nearby. Enjoy!
Re: I like my lensbaby, but... posted by Craig (Admin) July 11, 2004 09:55AM reply | quote
posted by Craig

Thanks for posting your thoughts.

For your first day out I'd say you are right on track. The amount of play that it takes to really get the hang of your Lensbaby is probably in the days category rather than just a few hours. You are trying a whole new way of making photographs that does become more intuitive with time.

A couple of notes regarding the tool for changing apertures:

1. Your optic is glass and the tool is plastic so there is no way you could scratch your lens with your aperture removal tool.

2. Finding an aperture that best expresses your Lensbaby photographic vision and sticking with it most of the time is my recommendation. Changing apertures also becomes easier with time. We had a choice of delivering Lensbabies with a fixed f5.6 aperture or allowing users to swap out their apertures for different effects and we chose multiple apertures. I suggest f5.6 if you want little or no diffusion and a fairly sharp center spot, f4 if a little more impressionistic is your bag of tricks.

3. Suggestions on a better tool for changing apertures are welcome.

Glad you like the lens cap.

Looking forward to seeing more images from your practice.

Have a super day.


Post Edited (07-12-04 20:21)

You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.
Heraclitus of Ephesus
Re: I like my lensbaby, but... posted by DavidF July 16, 2004 08:20AM reply | quote
posted by DavidF

I might be making this up, but it seems that there is a distance range that works well with the different aperture settings. For example, one aperture ring might focus best between 2-10 feet but is not good much closer--and never seems to be in focus looking through the eyepiece.

I've also expereinced looking through the eyepiece, snapping a shot that looking in focus, and having it not be, or more exactly, having another part of the image I wasn''t focusing on be in focus. Any thoughts here?

Regards, David.
Re: I like my lensbaby, but... posted by Craig (Admin) July 20, 2004 02:42PM reply | quote
posted by Craig


If you are finding a consistent problem with your apparent focus being different in the image than in the viewfinder, take your camera in and have the mirror alignment checked. I have had two cameras where this was the case. it will affect your manual focusing only and can cause back or front focus which, with a Lensbaby will cause your sweetspot, when off center, to move in addition to focusing in front or behind your subject.

Interesting thought on the premium f-stop for various distances. Would love to see a test done on this.

Have a super day.


You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.
Heraclitus of Ephesus

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