Useful knowledge about Lensbaby optics
The Lensbaby website has loads of useful information about their lenses, optics and accessories. All videos are also found as thematic playlists on YouTube. The Lensbaby “people” – founders and employees – even run a facebook group, Lensbaby Unplugged,* where this information is elaborated on and other useful tidbits are shared. For my own interest, I have gathered nuggets of info here on this page – perhaps it will be useful to others as well.
* On a sidenote: this is perhaps the most friendly, welcoming and inspiring group for anyone with an interest in Lensbaby, please join if you haven’t already!
- All LB lenses can be used with third party extenders and tubes. As with any lens, this will result in some loss of light.
- LB macro converters preserve your sweet spot placement with any given amount of tilt, by moving the optic – but not the ball and socket mechanism of the Composer – forward.
- Extension tubes move everything forward, making it possible to tilt your sweet spot off the long end of an image even when using a full frame sensor.
- All optics and lenses have their minimum focusing distance listed on the product page.
- Blog post by Kathleen Clemons on how the compression caused by longer focal length will be useful for narrow spaces.
Macro converters or macro filters?
- The macro converters (right) magnify the center of your optic’s image circle, making Sweet lenses have a bigger sweet spot. Macro filters (left) keep your sweet spot small.
- The shorter the focal length the more the magnification with macro converters. The longer the focal length the more the magnification with the macro filters.
Soft Focus optic vs other drop-in aperture optics
Multi-hole apertures are compatible with all the drop-in aperture compatible optics (old generation optics). The optics are all unique in their optical designs.
The Soft Focus optic has a very flat field of focus so the sweet spot is large even at bright apertures. The glow of the Soft Focus optic at apertures brighter than f/11 was intentionally designed into the optical system whereas the double glass, except for a small amount of glow at f/2.0 (no disk), has a sharp and contrasty – and, at its brightest apertures, tiny – sweet spot.
The Double Glass optic has a very steeply curved field of focus so you’ll never get a normal looking image, even stopped down.
- The Double Glass optic is the same optically as the newer Sweet 50 optic.
- The Single Glass optic is the same as the Creative Bokeh optic.