Review: Lensbaby Composer Pro

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Lensbaby Composer Pro

Oh, oh, oh, how I LOVE the new Lensbaby Composer Pro.

Lensbaby has revised their original Composer with heavier construction, a Double Glass 50mm selective focus optic with drop-in aperture discs, and upgraded swivel ball and focus mechanisms. Where the swivel and focus on the original Composer felt a little “gritty”, the swivel and focus on the Composer Pro are smooth as silk.

Lensbaby Composer Pro, side tilt shot

As I described in my original review, the Lensbaby Composer Pro possesses a very specific “sweet spot” focus point surrounded by graduated blurring, that can be manipulated in fascinating ways to provide very interesting perspectives. The apertures are physical discs that are placed on the lens itself, from f/2.0 to f/22. They are contained in an applicator tool, and at the end of the applicator tool is a magnetic wand that is used to insert and remove the apertures. The lens can be tilted to move the “sweet spot” of focus around while composing the photograph.

The Lensbaby must be used in either aperture priority or manual mode, and it is manually focused. Once you play around with it for a few minutes, you’ll easily get the hang of how the lens operates. I found that it was unnecessary to “lock” the focus in place once it was manipulated to my satisfaction – there was enough tension to hold it in place just fine. However, you can utilize the locking ring to lock the focus in place if needed.

Once I trained my eyes to recognize the sweet spot and determine focus, I found no end to the fascinating ways I could photograph the ordinary.

I was in Santa Fe last month. While there I spent a lovely hour early one morning with the Lensbaby Composer Pro in hand, wandering around the area of the historic Plaza. Here are some of my shots (click to see larger versions):

Lensbaby makes versions for Canon EF, Nikon, Sony Alpha, Minolta Maxxum, Pentax K, Samsung GX, Sigma and Olympus 4/3. Both the Lensbaby Composer Pro with Double Glass Optic for Canon Digital SLR (here’s the Nikon version) and the Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic for Canon Digital SLR (here’s the Nikon version) would make excellent and unique gifts for the photographer in your life (or yourself!).

Once you get your hands on one, you’ll quickly discover how addictive they are!

Photos copyright Tiffany Joyce

*The Author received complimentary products in exchange for mentioning the Provider’s products and/or services on this website. Such compensation received did not and will never influence the content, topics or posts made on this website. We will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement.

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