View Full Version : Lensbaby usefulness and image quality

17-05-2010, 9:43pm
I'm interested in canvassing other people's opinions on Lensbaby lenses and additional optics when used on a full frame camera. They've recently added a 12mm (160 degrees) fisheye optic. I've never used any of their products and would like to hear comments regarding their image quality and ease of use for indulging my creative urges.

17-05-2010, 9:50pm
I have a lensbaby II. It is fun, quirky and interesting. Do I use it much..Nup! I probably should experiment with it more, but it is really a novelty, though you can get some really unusual and interesting results from it.

17-05-2010, 10:50pm
Hi Babu,
I have a Lensbaby muse. I have used it a bit but. I agree with what Rick said, it is a novelty lens and you can get some great effects. Buying again I would go for the composer, control freak would be better, but probably not worth the extra $. The muse you have to push, pull and contort with your finger tips while shooting, so is a bit harder to use than the composer. I have the glass lens and the pinhole lens for it. I haven't used the fish eye. I hope this helps.

18-05-2010, 11:03am
I bought a Composer about 9 months ago. I used it a bit when I first got it but haven't used it much since. I quite like the concept but found that the focal length (around 50mm ?) was a bit long for me on a crop body (D300). I've been intending to get one of the wide angle attachments but just haven't got around to it. Can't comment on use on a full frame body. (If it was soft in the corners would that be a good or a bad thing? :) ).

To use the Composer you just bend the lens with your hand. You don't need to hold it in position (like I think you need to with the "Muse") but it doesn't have the fine control you are likely to get with the "Control Freak" (For me that level of control isn't necessary for this type of photography). The setting can be locked in place if desired. Focus is manual, and aperture is set by inserting disks with varying size holes into the lens. I think the ability to meter would depend on your camera model.

I only have the "double glass" optic (although I had planned to also get some of the others). From my limited use I found that if the 'sweet spot' is close to the centre of the image you can get reasonable sharpness at the sweet spot...


But as you try to move the sweet spot towards the edge of the frame it becomes harder to get part of the image in focus. Here I wanted the ladder in focus but this was the best I could do...


Although the Lensbaby is considered a bit of a novelty lens I think it would be possible to get some great "arty" type images with it. The real challenge is creating images where the viewers first reaction is "great shot" rather than "oh...Lensbaby...". As with most things in life use in moderation is probably the key.

I assume you've already had a look at the website / forum, but if not here's a link (http://lensbaby.com.au/forum/).


18-05-2010, 8:39pm
Thanks for your responses,blokes.
You've confirmed what I've gathered from reading reviews. It's good to get unbiased feedback.
I liked your description, Rick...."fun, quirky and interesting".
I agree, Craig. I was favouring the Composer option - partlly for its ease of use (as you said) and partly because one review I read said you can see the Control Freak knobs in the edges of the image when using the wide angle and fisheye optics.
I very much appreciate your advice, Phil. The two pics you've posted demonstrate your thoughts on the sweet spot well.
It seems that, if I purchase a Lensbaby, I should not take it too seriously..... throw it in the kit bag and play with it when an opportunity arises.
Is this a fair assessment?

18-05-2010, 8:44pm
Yep fair assessment. It is fun to use, and the results can be something that you could not get with any other lens. I would never say do not buy one, but go into it realising that it is a fun, quirky, sometime exciting and novelty. It can allow you to get some great photos, but in all likelihood, you will find it only gets irregular use.