I have a Lensbaby.

For anyone unfamiliar with these nifty devices, it's a variable focus 50mm f/2 lens. The single lens element is fully adjustable to enable a focal 'sweet spot' to be found in creative photography. A particular setting can be locked and then fine tuned by rotating any of the three protruding long screw threads. To change the aperture, a series of magnetic aperture rings is provided and held in place in front of the lens element by a series three small magnets. It's a quirky lens with a maximum aperture of f/2 and produces a wide range of focal effects. Mine is a Lensbaby 3G … which is now sold as the 'Control Freak' (can't imagine why … I mean look at the thing!).


Picture courtesy Lensbaby

When I first received the lens (passed to me by a cinematographer friend who'd purchased it for cine-work but found it unsuitable) I put it on my D80 DSLR. It produced  some neat results but it wasn't a go-to lens by any means. Also the lack of adaptive exposure metering in the camera body meant more then a few frames to get the manual exposure just right … it just seemed a bit of a chore. For this reason I had been putting off trying the Lensbaby on my new D600 body and but … well … whatever(!) … so I took it along in my bag to the abandoned shops in the previous post. I put it on the camera, dialled in what I thought was my anticipated exposure setting and took a picture. Beautifully exposed! Well I wasn't expecting that! So I left the settings as is, re-composed and took another shot of something somewhere else … and? Same! Great exposure! It was then I had one of those total 'Derr!' moments when I realised the D600 was automatically adjusting to bring in the best exposure for the scene … it actually had very little to do with me and my settings πŸ˜‰

Now, this was fabulous news as I am essentially a lazy photographer at heart and I realised that the previous burden of adjusting exposure had been banished … it was like I had a new lens … which I guess I kinda do. Here's the same shops as seen through the Lensbaby … Enjoy!







Lensbaby love … have you ever fallen in love with a lens (or anything for that matter…) all over again?


Geoffrey Dunn is a Canberra based photographer specialising in portraiture and event photography.




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