Recently I asked my Instagram followers what their favorite thing is about Lensbaby. I should not have been surprised that many responses mentioned the magic that Lensbaby adds to an ordinary photo (#shootextraordinary). My favorite comment was from @chelsea_d_f, “I love how Lensababy can transform a simple photograph into a WOW photograph.” I feel the same way, Chelsea!
Reflecting on the comments, I started thinking about my experience with the Double Glass II. While beta-testing this optic, I created some of my favorite photos to date because of the magic quality of the Double Glass II.
At first, when I unboxed the Double Glass II, I was unsure if I would like the drop-in disks. As I played with the optic and tested out the disks, I soon learned that the ability to add aperture disks elevates the versatility of the Double Glass II over the Sweet 50. The fun shapes create opportunities for some amazing bokeh and textures. Depending on the shape, the textures can make a photo look like a painting, imitate intentional camera movement (ICM), or diffuse the texture making the image appear smoother.
"The star bokeh flickered and danced like magic as I filmed the flowers, fountains, and spinning hanging baskets. At that point, it became my disk of choice."
Without aperture disks, photos from the Double Glass II look like the Sweet 50. I particularly love it when the background is smooth, and the sweet spot is more subtle. The Double Glass II does an amazing job at this. Something else it is amazing at is capturing lens flare! I know this effect is not for everyone, but for me, it adds a pop of magic.
When I started playing with the disks, I was surprised when the star became my favorite. I was anticipating a love for the birds and the whirlpool shapes, but that changed when I took the optic to a flower conservatory. The star bokeh flickered and danced like magic as I filmed the flowers, fountains, and spinning hanging baskets. At that point, it became my disk of choice.
I have noticed that the bigger, more open shapes, like the star and the heart, add a smooth texture to the background of the photos. They are not always as obvious, but they still help the subject in the sweet spot pop. On the other hand, the smaller shapes like the bird, the slots, and the whirlpool seem to add movement to the photo's background. I have even noticed a painterly feel in various photos taken with the more detailed disks.
Before receiving the Double Glass II optic, my optics of choice were any of the Edges. When kept straight on like a prime lens, I cannot get enough of the smooth bokeh, a slice of focus, or stunning details. In fact, I preferred the Edges so much that I did not own the Sweet 35, and I hardly reached for the Sweets. The Double Glass II convinced me that I do love a sweet spot focus, and I even purchased the Sweet 35 as a result (and I really like it!). The Double Glass II will always have a place in my regular lens rotation because of its versatility. The ability to go from a typical sweet spot optic to playing with the shapes of the bokeh and background texture is a W in my book! The endless creative potential is what earned this optic a spot as a go-to lens for me.
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