Learn More



Discover which effect is right for you. Whether its a sweet spot of focus, a dramatic slice of focus, or a swirly bokeh, we have artistic effects for any type of photographic vision.


Get inspired by our Lensbaby Ambassadors and image galleries in our Inspiration Center. Learn everything there is to know about Lensbaby and our lens effects, from the pros who use them!

© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Something Old, Something New

  • 4 min read

I LOVE foraging through antiques and collectible stores, even if I don’t buy anything (which is rare). These days I limit myself to “smalls” and items that fall in with some of my themed collections for photography – baking, tools, sewing, dresser stuff, and anything that is unique and interesting. The NEW Lensbaby Sweet 22 fits nicely in the “small” category in terms of size, but that’s where the small ends. The possibilities it offers for capturing all kinds of subjects (large and small, old and new) are numerous and varied.

We’re talking about a wide-angle 22mm lens with a fixed aperture, lots of blur surround and no options for tilting or moving the sweet spot that fits in the palm of your hand (or in a small pocket). That’s flexibility, portability and full of potential and challenges, especially if you don’t always see the world with “big” in mind. But, wait! The Lensbaby macro filters (46mm) fit on the Sweet 22, and you can stack them, which I do often.


Shooting & Shopping in the Antique Store

For my maiden voyage with the Sweet 22, I mounted it on my Nikon Z6ii and put the macro filter set in my pocket and stepped into Granddaddy’s Antiques warehouse. With permission to meander with my camera, I started walking, shooting and shopping. I used nothing but the Sweet 22, the macro filters and my imagination. I used no other lighting tools, though at times I could have benefitted from having a small diffuser to control the interior light reflections. And, I handheld the entire time, wanting to be flexible and able to get in close to subjects and in tight quarters. This exploration lasted about four hours and cost me roughly $70 as I left with cool “props” acquired while test-driving the “22.”


As with any new lens, it takes a little time to get a feel for how a 22mm and wide blur field works on various subjects. My natural tendency is to get in close. By using the Lensbaby macro filter set (sometimes the +2, often the +4, and a few times stacking all three - +1, +2 & +4), I found my groove. Some of my shots were without filters, but in this particular environment, adding the filters helped isolate what I found most interesting. It was nice that I was able to get close to a range of subjects or scenes without the filters, too.


A Blend of Opposites that Works

Marrying the new lens with the “old stuff” was an enlightening experience. I learned to keep my fingers and strap out of the frame. I learned to work with focus that is locked in the center and to create compositions that either worked as bullseye focus or that would need some cropping for stronger visual impact. I put on my “play clothes” the moment I walked in the store and never took them off. I experimented with lots of different subjects, from typewriters to books to coffee cans, pool cues and thread. I even worked with Prince Albert in a can! A new lens with old things to photograph flexes the artistic muscles.

Beyond the antiques store, I brought the Sweet 22 to the Farmers Market, to winter gardens and have even photographed some of the “dead stuff” that I collect, like dried flowers, seeds and milkweed. A few other antique stores have been explored with the same setup. I’ve also been working with indoors at home during these “weather” days and have been having fun playing with it.


Sweet 22 Creativity and Play

Something else you can play with is the square format. This keeps your focus intentionally in the center with balanced blur, and it makes you think more about how you approach subjects in this way. When you work in a square, “bullseye” is not so unusual. This lens pushes you to see in a different way.
For me, the beauty of the Sweet 22 (similar to the Sol 45) is that it is small and easy to add to your bag or pocket. The wide angle and serious blur at f/3.5 add another layer of challenge and creativity. The bonus for me is the ability to use the macro filters to hone in on the smaller subjects or even closer to specific areas of a subject that excite me. I cannot wait to take it out into the gardens and flowers of spring and beyond!



Want your shots featured by Lensbaby?⁠
Be bold and shoot extraordinary! Make sure to tag your photos on IG with #Lensbaby, #ShootExtraordinary, and let us know what gear you’re using. 📸 ⁠


Jamie Konarski Davidson

Jamie Konarski Davidson is an award-winning freelance outdoor & nature photographer with a passion for capturing and sharing the intimate moments and beauty of the natural world on its own and as it blends with the "rest of the world." Her images range from macro and abstracts to intimate, grand and rural landscapes. She connects with all things "old" and finds a special beauty in decay and fading cultural lifestyles that resonate a life of hard work. Jamie is enamored with flowers of all kinds. In fact, if someone told her she could only photograph one subject for the rest of her life, it would be flowers. Her interpretive style reflects that "love" of the blooms along with an intentional approach. Through her company, New Life Photos, Jamie leads photo workshops, teaches and presents at conferences and other events. Her goals as an instructor are to encourage and inspire people to grow in their photography skills and discover their own visual voice.


Follow us for your daily dose of art!