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Wednesday, March 3 Front Page >> Random Rants >> Lensbaby!

Jun 28, 2008, 2:45pm

I spent the last of my paypal holdings (very meagre, all things considered) on a Lensbaby 3g tilt correction lens for my cameras. It arrives next week.

Back in the 1990s, I got to play with a genuine tilt and shift lens for my old Nikon camera. I rented this lens, which costs an arm and a leg, for one day, and shot about six rolls of film. I was not happy with the results. Back then, you composed, used the optical viewfinder to find your focus point and effects, and snap the film shot. I tried to do all the right things, including checking depth of field, changing perspective, the works, but once I got the film developed, I just wasn't thrilled. So I gave up on it.

Then a few years ago, the Lensbaby came along. Perspective correction / distortion, creative focusing for under $70? OMG. But it was truly manual - you had to hold the lensbaby tube in place, leading to unpredictable, and often shaky results.

Lensbaby 2 came out with better optics, but the same modus operandi. But was starting to jones on the photo results I was seeing. Some were intensely creative, and got me thinking about how I could apply this device in my photography work.

About a year ago, Lensbaby 3g came along, and offered fixed positioning (with quick changing of said position), and tight focusing controls. There were also creative bokeh options with aperture disks, macro, wide angle and telephoto options. But it was bloody expensive compared to the original Lensbaby and starting to approach the cheapest of the true perspective correction lenses (well okay, still about 1/3 the price, but the oiginal lensbaby was 1/12th the price).

Then I played around with a friend's camera and his Lensbaby 3g. In a word, wow.

So one's on the way. Can't way to start getting creative soon.

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