September 24, 2008: Lensbaby, LLC has launched an entire new system of selective focus lenses at the Photokina tradeshow in Cologne, Germany.
All Lensbaby lenses provide photographers with a new way to control depth of field by bringing one area of a photo into sharpest focus with that Sweet Spot surrounded by graduated blur. By bending the Lensbaby lens, the photographer moves the sharp area around the photo for customised creative effects.
Three new products will be offered: The Composer (US$270), The Muse (US$150) and The Control Freak (US$270). With the Composer, Lensbaby introduces a completely new lens, based on a ball and socket configuration that delivers smooth selective focus photography with greater ease of use and precision. It retains its position after being bent and is easy to use even with one hand. Photographers can simply tilt the lens to a desired angle and then focus with a barrel focusing ring. The Composer stays in the desired bent position without requiring a locking mechanism. The Composer’s barrel focusing ring becomes more sensitive (requiring greater rotation to move the optic in and out) as you approach infinity, making it easier to focus on subjects from 3.5 metres to infinity.
The Lensbaby Composer.
The Muse replaces the Original Lensbaby and Lensbaby 2.0 lenses and is similar in appearance and functionality. The key update for the Muse is its new Lensbaby Optic Swap System. Photographers still focus by compressing the lens and move the sweet spot by bending the flexible lens tubing. The Control Freak updates the Lensbaby 3G by adding the Lensbaby Optic Swap System. With The Control Freak, photographers compress to focus, bend to move the sweet spot, and then push a button to lock the lens in place. Once locked, fine focus adjustments are made with a barrel focusing ring, while the tilt is tuned by rotating its three metal posts.
The Lensbaby Control Freak.
All three lenses – the Composer, Muse, and Control Freak – feature the Lensbaby Optic Swap System and will ship with one optic installed. Additional optics are available as optional accessories. When a photographer wants to change the optic in their Lensbaby, they will simply pop the optic out and drop in a different optic using an Optic Swap Tool supplied with the new optic. Each optic has different features and image qualities, allowing photographers to choose the look that fits their creative style.
Lensbaby’s new Optic Swap System.
At launch, the Lensbaby Optic Swap System will include four interchangeable optic options:
1. Double Glass: A 50mm multi-coated optical glass doublet that is the same optic that was in the Lensbaby 2.0 and Lensbaby 3G lenses. Retail price: US$85.00.
2. Single Glass: a 50 mm, updated, uncoated optical glass singlet similar to the optic that was used in the Original Lensbaby. At f/2, the Single Glass Optic is one full stop brighter (2x as bright) than the previous Original Lensbaby Optic. Retail price: US$35.00.
3. Plastic: a 50 mm f/2 plastic singlet that maximizes blur and diffusion in a dreamy way that Holgaâ„¢ and Dianaâ„¢ camera lovers will especially appreciate. Retail price: US$35.00.
4. The Pinhole/Zone plate: an optic cup with an f/177 aperture hole to allow for pinhole photography and an f/19 Zone plate opening. Users can slide a toggle inside the optic to change to back and forth between Pinhole and Zone plate mode, allowing further artistic exploration. Retail price: US$35.00.
The first three optics listed above are all 50mm fixed focal length. They all feature magnetically levitating interchangeable aperture disks that allow aperture settings from f/2 to f/22. The Single Glass, Plastic, and Pinhole/Zone plate optics will be sold individually as well as in an Optic Boxed Set to retail for $95.00. For more information, visit www.lensbaby.com.