By • Dec 24th, 2009 • Category: Toys

Tags: > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >

Finally I made it … taking the first step into changing my lifestyle a little by resisting all invitations to go for some X’mas dinners and drinking! I know my plan to start a change is supposed to be from the 1st of January 2010, but I thought I could start doing a little bit of ‘rehearsal’ now. Hahaha! I took my family out for a short nice dinner and came home to play with Fitzand. I also did the unboxing of the 3 ‘toys’ that Lensbaby sent me recently … namely the new Soft Focus and the Fisheye optics. They also threw in a step-up/hood thingie in the package! Thank you, Lensbaby! I kept it for  weeks just to make it my X’mas present. Hohoho!!!

Here they are … the new additions to my Lensbaby family!

“The Soft Focus Optic creates a velvety soft image perfect for portraits, flowers, landscapes or any subject that needs a soft touch. Soft Focus has a look that is evenly soft throughout the image without the Sweet Spot of sharp focus created by our selective focus optics. You can vary the amount of softness by changing and stacking the aperture disks.”

The Soft Focus optic is one strange looking thingie. On the outside it looks just like any other Lensbaby optic but look inside and you’ll find that instead of the usual aperture disc … there is one that’s full of holes! Yeah cool! Hahaha! The set comes with the following aperture discs …

f/3.3 overall + f/4.8 center, f/4.8 overall + f/6.7 center and a f/4.8 overall + f/9.5 center

Strange that this is the first time I’m seeing 2 aperture values being used on a single aperture disc/lens. The reason is because the multi-hole apertures combine one large opening over the optic’s sharp center with small openings over the optic’s soft edges, creating a sharp underlying image with a soft overlay. Does that make sense? Hahaha! I’m a little confused. I didn’t write that line … it was copied from the instruction manual. 😛

“Turn your Lensbaby Composer into a fun fisheye lens with the Fisheye Optic. The Fisheye Optic’s ultra-wide 12mm focal length and 160 degree field of view captures eye-popping fisheye views from infinity all the way down to one inch from the front of your lens. The Fisheye Optic is designed for use with the Composer, and can also be used with the Muse with the purchase of a special adapter.”

With cropped sensor cameras, the edges of the photo circle will be clipped while the black area around the photo circle will be totally eliminated in 4/3 cameras. Guess full frame cameras will get the most out of the image circle. Hmm … can’t afford full frame DSLRs, so I guess my old film SLR will be the best choice of tool for this.

Unfortunately (just a little) the fisheye optics sent to me doesn’t come with a lens cap. I read that they are coming out with a lens cap for it to protect the front glass but not sure if it is available yet. Meanwhile I’ll just have to be extra careful with it. It took me a while to realise that the only way to change the aperture discs on the fisheye optic was to remove the front ‘barrel’ by unscrewing it. Check out the next photo …

This is the Fisheye optic with the front ‘barrel’ removed. You’ll need to drop the aperture disc into the outer barrel (the one on the right) and then screw in the front ‘barrel’ again.

The last one is a Step-up ring that acts as a lens shade/hood too. I guess this was introduced due to user requests that a step-up to use a more commonly available sized filter is possible. Now you can use your favourite filters with your Lensbaby! What I can think of (that I might try using) will perhaps be a Circular Polarizer or an infrared filter. Hmm … lots of fun awaits!

You’ll probably realise that these two optics come with their own set of aperture discs. It’s gonna be real messy if I were to bring both of these and the other Lensbabies out for shoot. Hahaha! I’ll have to make sure I use the correct aperture discs because I’ll have to lug around 3 sets of them!

Sample photos? Ermm … it’s a little too late to take any decent shots, so I’ll probably leave the test sessions to tomorrow or the coming weekend.

For more info about Lensbaby … click on the Lensbaby ad on the right side of this page.

5 Comments »

  1. WOOOOO! AWESOME PRESENT! and merry christmas!!

  2. @sumlom : Oh yeah. These are the best X’mas presents I’ve received ever! Merry Christmas to you too. Have fun!

  3. Merry christmas Andrew!

  4. TEST SHOTS!!!

  5. @Mijonju : Merry X’mas and welcome back. Are the HK photos up already?

    @cyanwater : Too bad test shots ain’t ready yet. Hahaha! Some random shots to get a feel of it but won’t post them as I don’t wanna give these toys a bad name. Hahaha! Will post some soon when I get more decent ones. Those guys from Lensbaby will kill me if they see how I misuse their creations (based on those few random lousy shots). Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.