The Most Innovative Pinhole Yet. Lensbaby Obscura Review

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It’s an intriguing concept that Lensbaby deserves multitudes of praise for. A tilt-shift pinhole optic? Indeed, the Lensbaby Obscura is truly a first of a kind. When our team was first pitched about the idea of a pinhole, we were told that it would work with the Lensbaby Composer Pro II system. That’s where I raised my eyebrows. The idea is cool, and there is also a version that’s a straight plate for your camera. But if you know anything about pinhole photography, that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Pinhole photography is shot at super narrow apertures. In fact, the aperture for the pinhole is f161. And though the Obscura can do a few other apertures beyond this, they’re honestly pretty useless.

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The Anatomy of a Portrait with a Lensbaby Edge 35

If you’re a portrait photographer looking for something new, consider a Lensbaby Edge 35.

I often preach about how sterile every lens is on the market. But Lensbaby optics have a character that should be appreciated. Their standard lenses and their Omni kits are fun, but the most tantalizing product they have is their Edge optics. These are tougher to use as they integrate with the Composer Pro system, but if you slow down and have a patient model, you’ll have a lot of fun. More importantly, you’ll create an image that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

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Review: Lensbaby Trio (Fujifilm X Mount)

Lensbaby has always had a very interesting lineup of optics; and the Lensbaby Trio is no exception. Lensbaby has never gone for the clinically perfect and sharp optics but instead sharp optics with a twist–pun not intended. Sometimes they’re super soft, sometimes they’re very sharp and you can throw the focus off in one way or another. But with the Trio, you’re getting an interesting combination. You get a set of 28mm f3.5 optics that switch out turret style. You’ve got the ability to focus but not to change the aperture setting at all.

What this results in are either your preference for one optic over the other or you wanting to have a lot of fun.

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Lensbaby Now Making Flagship Lenses for Fujifilm X Mount

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lensbaby Fujifilm Announcement (2 of 2)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 6.3

Lensbaby has been creating lenses for DSLRs and many mirrorless camera systems for a while now, but today they’re announcing that their higher end lenses will be available for Fujifilm X series users. This includes the Composer Pro with Sweet 35 optic, Sweet 50 Optic, Circular Fisheye and Velvet 56 Portrait lens. Of all of these, we’re most excited about the portrait lens due to the fact that Fujifilm is lacking a bit there in terms of what’s available to users. Considering how soft these lenses are wide open, you’re going to want to stop them down to take full advantage of what the X Trans sensor is capable of doing.

Fujifilm cameras also have focus peaking, and that makes manually focusing with these lenses easier especially when you combine this with the APS-C sensor. At a given aperture, more will be in focus as opposed to with a full frame sensor.

Of course, the lenses won’t have AF communication chips, so it will be just like shooting an adapted lens except that you don’t need to use an adapter.

Prices for each lens will be the same, and availability is immediate at your favorite photo retailer.

These Documentary Style Portraits Were Shot with a Lensbaby Composer Pro and Sweet 35

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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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Review: Sony Zeiss 135mm f1.8 (Tested with the A99)

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The Sony 135mm f1.8 is one of the fastest aperture lenses at this focal length; and it the focal length is also a mainstay for many portrait and headshot photographers. Sony’s version of the lens was a collaboration with Carl Zeiss, and incorporates autofocus as well as a metal body and some of the best image quality we’ve seen from any lens out there. I was first turned onto the lens when Photographer Brian Smith let me use his for a little bit during a previous Sony event, but when this lens goes in front of the A99’s sensor, something awesome happens.

 

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