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lensbaby

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It’s been a while since Lensbaby announced anything new; but now it seems like they’re going for the extreme end of things–and by that we mean extremely wide. The company announced a brand new 5.8mm f3.5 fisheye lens for APS-C Canon and Nikon DSLRs. However, it can be used on full frame DSLRs too. In terms of design, the lens looks like an old Nikon optic. The 5.8mm f3.5 has a fully manual aperture ring, manual focus, and something totally different too! This lens isn’t compatible with the Optic Swap system–and that sort of makes sense. The Optic Swap system is supposed to allow users to swap optics on their camera and tilt-shift their lenses. But the benefits of tilt-shift is some glorious bokeh. Unfortunately, you can’t really get any bokeh with something this wide.

We’re in the process of calling one in for review, but in the meantime you can pick one up from Adorama for $299.95.

lensbaby-for-iphone

Lensbaby, creator of selective focus optics such as the Sweet 35, turns to Kickstarter with a crowdfunding campaign for an accessory sweet spot lens for the iPhone. If the campaign is successful, this would be the first lens of its kind specifically made for smartphones. And finally Lensbaby fans all over the world will be able to achieve the company’s signature look with their smartphones.

What the sweet spot lens does in similar fashion to the Sweet 35 mentioned above, is to create lots and lots of blur around a center spot that is in focus. While effects like this can also be achieved through image manipulation after the captur–Instagram has an option, for example–the results never really look as good as with a dedicated lens. In order to further expand your creativity, the lens will feature a magnetic mount at the front which allows the use of addition converters for wide-angle, telephoto, macro etc.

If Lensbaby is able to raise the $20,000 in funding that they are seeking, the lens will hit the market at a retail price of $70 later this year. If you’d like to secure your own copy of the Lensbaby for iPhone, a pledge of $50 will get you one of the first lenses to be shipped. For more details about the sweet spot iPhone lens, head over to the Kickstarter campaign page.

Via PetaPixel

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer SLRMagic Bokehmorphic samples at night (12 of 12)

There are some optics that just weren’t designed to be evaluated by DxOMark or other places. Instead, they’re all about creativity. These alternatives let you look at the world in a whole new way and also open your creativity up to new possibilities. Many of them are also designed to be used with mirrorless cameras since the natural design of these cameras makes it much easier to create something for.

If you’re looking to expand your horizons a bit, check out this list of alternative lenses.

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IbarionexPerelloPhoblographer5Street-6

With street photography, the optimal word when it comes to lenses is “primes”. Fixed focal lengths are the better choice for this particular genre of photography, and not just for their better image quality. Yes, zoom lenses provide you the flexibility of several focal lengths within one lens, but that’s not necessarily an advantage when working on the street.  Those critical moments that happen in front of the camera are often so fleeting that they can be easily lost while turning the zoom ring to the appropriate focal length. A fixed focal length eliminates that. You know exactly what you have to work with as soon as you attach the lens to the camera. At that point it becomes all about composition. Prime lenses are also faster or offer a wider aperture (f1.4, f1.8 or f2) than most zoom lenses. This can be particularly important when you are shooting under low light conditions. That not only impacts your exposure options, but it also improves the effectiveness of the camera’s autofocus system when working under dim conditions. Though some people may start off street photography using “discrete” telephoto zooms, the best photographs involve proximity to the subject and the moment. So, it’s often focal lengths of 50mm and wider that make up the heart of a street photographer’s kit. Here are the focal lengths that I believe should be in a street photographer’s camera bag.

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Lensbaby Scout

It’s been a busy month since I gave my first impression of the Lensbaby Scout with Fisheye Optic, but I’ve managed to get some quality with it to offer up a full review. As stated in the initial post, the Scout is Lensbaby’s sole fixed lens, but it retains the ability to change optics (as it is part of the Optic Swap system) as well as the suite of aperture disks. The fisheye field of view is a niche one, but it makes for some fun photography in and around New York City. Here is the review.

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liz-6

Lensbabies when used correctly can create some really beautiful images. Using their tilt-shift effect that is natural to their design, many photographers also know that they’re not simple to use and take dedication. Gretchen Robinette, a photographer local to Brooklyn, NY has released a couple of very cool images shot with the Lensbaby Composer Pro Double Optic with Sweet 35, and Canon 5D Mk II. It goes to show that in the hands of the right creative, they can do much more than just shoot landscapes.

Check out more of her photos and what Gretchen had to say about using the items  after the jump. This is much different than her other portraiture. Also check out her website.

 

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