Recently, while at a photo mixer, I was introduced to the Lensbaby line of products. I was immediately impressed by their selective focus capabilities. But it’s not ordinary selective focus.
Their lenses are a blend of soft focus, tilt shift, selective focus, shallow depth-of-field, and the fun unpredictability of a Polaroid. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to shift the lens and you can go for depth-of-field if you want to. There are probably hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different creative and spontaneous combinations that you can choose from. All for a reasonable price, I should add.
Lensbaby’s motto is “See in a new way” and this is spot on. I bought the Composer Pro with the Sweet 35mm optic for a Sony a7 and I have to say it’s pretty rad. It has reinvigorated my photography and encouraged me to bring intuition back into my shooting.
Above you’ll see my first two photos with it, shot at Nick’s Coney Island in Portland (great soup there, by the way). The first is a shallow-depth shot and straight on. The second is the same aperture and shutter speed, but vertical and with the lens shifted. The big difference, as you can see, is the “Beer Me Now” double vision, which I think is both very cool and a bit cheeky given the subject matter.
Another nice thing about Lensbaby is they’re located nearby in Portland, OR. Earlier this week I went to their office to pick up my new lens (I ordered the wrong mount initially) and they were very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend giving them a try.