21 megapixels, supersharp RAW images could probably print high quality pictures bigger than my house from my 5d, so why would I want to buy a lens that blurs the image on purpose? ‘cos its a lensbaby and its fun to use….
The lens baby is an odd little device, it’s a kind of bellows, tilt lens that gives a nice blurred effect around the point of focus. It is fun to use as it is manual focus only, of and the aperture has to be changed by hand. By that I mean removing the aperture disc and replacing it with another one. You can also use shaped apertures to give shape to the out of focus areas, very cool.
It is harder to use if you are used to autofocus everything though, manual focus only, when you shoot beyond f5.6 the viewfinder starts to get a little dark even in sunlight.
I started off by testing it on some random things I found around the garden.
Then I thought I would see how it worked in a model photo shoot. I was shooting Samantha Alexander at a really cool studio, with gritty backdrops. The first image was a single large softbox to camera left.
With this one I went nuts with the lights, and overexposed with a large softbox close in and a bright back light that I flared slightly into the lens.
Next up was my second shoot with Holly. She had some fab dresses so I went for a classic style with this shot, I used a smaller aperture, f8 I think, which makes the area in focus much bigger.
The Lensbaby works really well for natural light portraits, these were shot close to a large window, no artificial light at all. I love the full length image as it look like the dress is melting into the bottom of the image.
This shot shows the use of the shaped aperture, the light was from a low powered beauty dish behind holly and natural light from the large windows as a backlight. The shaped aperture picks up all the out of focus highlights on the chandelier and turns them into sparkly stars, the same effect can be seen on the jewelry.
Then on my recent shoot with Monika I grabbed some fairy lights and got to work. The setup is simple, Beauty dish on low power camera left, blue gelled light bounced off a reflector to camera right, and fairy lights ung in front of the lens to give my out of focus highlights.