28 July 2013

Enjoying The Past

Photography hasn't always been like it is today. In the beginning cameras didn't have lenses but just a very small pinhole to grab the light. As an enhancement the zoneplate got invented. Today you can enjoy the glowing effects of this ancient technology by putting the Lensbaby Zoneplate Optic into your lens body of choice. As there's no sweet spot with the zoneplate optic you may use pretty much any body, but using the non-lockable bodies like the Muse, or the Control Freak needs a lot of light to prevent from motion blur at f/45. 

How dark is f/45?

16 July 2013

Clicking Moms - Breakout Sessions: Lensbaby Love | The Basics and Beyond

Clickin Moms will have a dedicated Lensbaby learning experience with photographers Jen Foster, Katie Clay and Caroline Jensen. You can attend the session between July 16th - July 31st and it costs 50 dollars. For more info visit the Clickin Moms University.

CMpro Breakout Sessions are a unique and affordable opportunity to learn digital photography, processing, business and more directly from amazing professional photographers and highly skilled artists. A cross between a webinar and a workshop, each Breakout Session includes a downloadable set of materials (such as PDFs, videos, and/or actions or presets) as well as access to an interactive online forum to share and discuss the Breakout topic with other registered students.

14 July 2013

Why should I spend on a broken lens?

The only one to decide on this is you. If you love to create pictures like everybody else can you sure have no need for a lensbaby. If you think your current gear is either too heavy, or too expensive, or delivers only rather ordinary views, you may consider bending your sight some. I'll provide you with five reasons why you may want to have lensbabies in your camera bag. 

Lensbaby Double Glass Optic

Reason #1: carrying lensbabies means traveling light.

Lensbaby Hangout #2

Earlier this week, the second Lensbaby Hangout with Lensbaby CEO Craig Strong, Lensbaby Directos of Customer Happiness Kirsten Hunter and Lensbaby photographers Kathleen Clemons and

07 July 2013

Taming the Sweet Spot on a Composer

Lensbaby optics became famous for their 'sweet spot', a circular focal area which can be moved around the frame. Ideally, the photographer aligns the sweet spot with the subject, pulls focus accordingly and gets a perfectly sharp subject surrounded by gorgeous silky soft blur. So much for the theory.
In practice, it's really hard for beginners to master the sweet spot. Either it's not on the subject, or it's backfocused, which causes a ring of sharpness around the blurred center, or it's not focused very well. 

Of course you have to adjust your viewfinder to your eyesight to get acceptable results, but there are still some more issues dealing with the sweet spot properly. Today you'll learn a neat trick which works with pretty much all Nikon bodies I'm aware of. The optics used was the Sweet35 which I think is the hardest challenge whatsoever. The same principles can be used with Double Glass, Single Glass and Plastic Optic. These four are the Lensbaby optics which feature that circular sweet spot. 

Shift the focus field to the center of the blurred sweet spot and lock it

Let's get dirty

06 July 2013

Comparing Lensbabies

If you consider buying a lensbaby you sure would like to get a clue as how the various optics perform. A good starting point would be the Compare Lensbaby optics online where you can sort images by optic and accessories used. However, this isn't exactly a helpful comparison, as lensbaby optics vary a lot with different lighting and subjects. 

To help this, I took my lensbaby optics for a shootout under strictly non scientific conditions. My goal was to give a good comparison between the various optics at different apertures. I set up the board to the specs of the USAF 1951 Chart as given by Jim Doty.  but I also put in some variation.

Board as shot with my Nikkor AF 50/1.8 @ f/8 

Only half of the board was used to hold USAF 1951 charts. I think it is rather pointless to look for sharpness in every corner when it's just about the same blur everywhere.

What's a Creative Lens?

While regular lenses are referred to as lenses, the less contrasty, less sharp, and less well corrected glass one puts in front of a camera is most often called a creative lens. Admittedly, creative sounds a lot better than crooked or broken or awkward, but how do optics fit the claim to be creative?

Double Glass Optics
In fact, it is you, the photographer, who has to be creative to get the best out of your new lens (-baby). Some think it's way more demanding to shoot a creative lens than a regular one. There is pretty much nothing left to