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Composer optic loose?

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Composer optic loose? posted by Waldo January 03, 2010 07:00AM reply | quote
posted by Waldo

I'm new to the world of Lensbaby and I'm having lots of fun with my Composer. The more I use it though the more I'm wondering if my copy is as it should be. Sometimes when I focus something inside the lens seems to shift and suddenly the focus is slightly different. It's as if a glass element is slightly loose and able to move a bit back and forth. This has become more apparent since I got the wide angle accessory. Now when I turn the focus ring I can see the image 'vibrate' - I suspect due to the extra weight added in front of the moving part. Specifically I'm wondering if maybe my optic isn't arrested properly but I don't have the optics swap tool so I can't check that. Do others see this as well? It's not a huge deal but if it's not normal I would wanna take care of it while I can still exchange my composer.
Thanks so much for your feedback!
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by Crabcakes January 03, 2010 08:30AM reply | quote
posted by Crabcakes

Welcome Waldo!

I've actually had the same issue with my composer. However, I have had it for some time now and did not purchase it myself so I figure I'll just deal with it for now. If you purchased your LB recently, they come with a 30-day warranty, so you should be able to return/exchange it. I have always found the LB team to be extremely helpful in this regard. I suggest you contact their "Director of Customer Happiness" Kirsten at kirsten@lensbabies.com.

Best of luck to you and Keep It Bent!

Johnny Crabcakes

"Failure is the key to success;
Each mistake teaches us something."
--Morihei Ueshiba
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by Waldo January 03, 2010 08:37AM reply | quote
posted by Waldo
Thanks Johnny for your quick feedback. It is much appreciated. So if I understand you correctly this behavior is not normal and I should get it exchanged? The reason I'm asking in the first place is because I don't want to create unnecessary work and cost just to find out they're all like that. I'm not sure what to expect since these lenses are 'intentionally' low tech and so I consider it possible to be part of the deal. But it's hard enough to focus manually as it is so anything that makes it a bit easier will be welcome. Thanks again!!!
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by Crabcakes January 03, 2010 09:14AM reply | quote
posted by Crabcakes

I am presuming that it's not normal. Truth is...don't really know...only ever had one composer...haven't heard this from other composer users, but who knows.

While they are "intentionally low-tech", I have always found the craftsmanship/build of the LB products to be solid as a rock and reliable...hence my presumption. If it's not right, they'll likely fix it and will certainly look into the issues for future production of this lens. If it's a problem for you then it's a problem for them and they are very good about taking care of such matters.

by the way--mine seems to be a problem with the machanics of the Composer itself, not the Optic or the seating of the optic in the composer (it does it with whatever optic I put in it). I beta-tested a pre-production soft-focus optic that had a loose lens and that was a different issue from what I'm experiencing with my Composer.

Anyway, as I said, contact Kirsten and I'm sure that she'll do everything she can for you.

Johnny Crabcakes

"Failure is the key to success;
Each mistake teaches us something."
--Morihei Ueshiba

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2010 09:16AM by Crabcakes.
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by Waldo January 03, 2010 12:02PM reply | quote
posted by Waldo
Thanks again Johnny. I have contacted Kirsten and will keep you posted.
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by Waldo January 03, 2010 01:39PM reply | quote
posted by Waldo
Wow, literally within less than an hour I had a reply from Kirsten, on a Sunday no less. She says my Composer doesn't sound quite right and they are going to send a replacement and a return label for the one I currently have. Wow, again, I'm very impressed by that level of customer service.
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by heidib January 05, 2010 11:26AM reply | quote
posted by heidib
This is great to read - I have wondered about the same thing myself!! I've had issues with the optic wanting to pop out of the composer when I pull the lens cover off the wide angle attachments. I will contact them to see if they have thoughts, suggestions, etc..
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by donkeytiara January 05, 2010 01:30PM reply | quote
posted by donkeytiara

ok....rookie here.....what's the "optic"? I just got a composer for xmas (have been making feeble attempts at using a 3g, but found i needed another hand and frontal lobe) and don't quite know what the "optic" is.....anyone willing to enlighten a beginner? thx!

"don't be an adolph quitler!!" ~ the tick
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by marknpb January 05, 2010 01:49PM reply | quote
posted by marknpb

The optic itself didn't come loose? When I used the wide ange or telephoto with my composer, the threads on those two accessories were a bit more stubborn than the optic itself. Several times when unscrewing the closeup or telephoto accessories, the entire accessory/optic assembly came out instead. I didn't screw it in that tight either, the close up and telephoto just screw in by hand, and I did not crank down on them when screwing them in. :)
I've learned since to put those two accessories in VERY lightly, now I have the irrational fear they will fall off onto the pavement, even though it takes 4 or 5 turns to remove them. :)
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by Keithnc January 06, 2010 01:23AM reply | quote
posted by Keithnc


The "optic" is the lens part of your composer. The composer comes with the "double glass" optic already installed. There are several other "optics" that you can purchase to create different effects. Click on GALLERY above, then OPTIC COMPARISON. That tool gives you an idea of each.
The 3G you mention is the older stye LB and they did not have the swappable optics, it was a fixed double glass lens.
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by michaelpatrickryan February 02, 2010 01:23PM reply | quote
posted by michaelpatrickryan
I am planning to purchase a Composer this weekend, and while reading up on the lens one last time I found this on lensrentals.com (for the Canon and Sony versions, the Nikon and 4/3 versions don't have this disclaimer):

"High Risk Lens: The Lensbaby Composer lens has a higher failure rate than most lenses in our lineup.

* How high? The Composer lens has a problem rate of 5% of rentals, despite being checked out thoroughly before it leaves us.
* Why? The tiny screws that Lensbaby uses to hold the lens together are apparently too small for the job: they fall out with great regularity during use and we have been unable to find replacements that small. So basically it comes apart in your hands.
* What’s the point? We’re letting you know on the front end make sure you order this lens in time to check it out before you leave for vacation or schedule your big shoot. We can send a replacement if it has a problem, but we can’t send a replacement Friday night to get to you you Saturday morning.
* Type of problem: Structurally comes apart at the base."

Is this related to Waldo's problem? Is anyone else having these problems? Mind you, I'm still planning on buying one, I just want to find out how close I should keep my jeweler screwdriver set.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2010 01:24PM by michaelpatrickryan.
Re: Composer optic loose? posted by Waldo February 02, 2010 06:33PM reply | quote
posted by Waldo
I don't think the problem I had was related. At the time I had actually read that same statement on the lens rentals site and checked the screws. They were all there. I don't think I tried to tighten them though.

BTW the replacement for my problematic baby arrived very quickly (within 2 or 3 days) and it works fine. There is still a little bit of play or movement visible once in a while, more often with the wide angle lens attached. However it is more subtle and doesn't seem to have any negative impact. Most importantly, the new one is noticeably easier to focus and a joy to use.

After experiencing such excellent service I'm confident even if there were a problem with screws coming loose Lensbaby would take care of it. I wouldn't worry about it.

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