I have had a fascination with tilt shift photography for some time. A few years ago, I followed Photoshop tutorials to create fake tilt shift effects on some of my photographs; I still dabble in that from time to time. Tilt shift photographs just look different and fun, but I could never justify buying one of these expensive lenses.
I have heard of Lensbaby pretty much since I heard about tilt shift lenses. They create a number of manual lenses that produce different fun effects. Although I loved the effects that it creates, I still couldn’t justify its (cheaper) price when I hadn’t even tried using one of them. This spring, I decided to rent the Composer Pro with Sweet 35 and Edge 80 optics and have a trial run with them to see if this is something I would still like to purchase.
This was the first time I have rented a lens, and I decided to go with Lensrentals.com. Their selection of photography gear is pretty extensive and the prices are pretty reasonable. The order process is also very simple. Basically, you can either use their search function if you are looking for something specifically, or you can browse through their camera systems (Nikon, Canon, etc.), which is then broken down by types of gear (lens, body, flash, etc.). Once you find what you would like to rent, you just pick the dates you would like it delivered and sent back. There is a $25 shipping fee, which also covers return shipping. They make you sign for the lens on delivery, and since I knew I wasn’t going to be home that day, I decided to have it held at my local FedEx office so that I could pick it up when I got out of work that day.
My Lensbaby optics arrived the day before my husband and I took a road trip to Northern California in April. I kept it for two and a half weeks so that I could play with them and get a good feel for them. In addition to the Redwoods, I also took them to a local wildlife refuge and also to Mt. St. Helens.
I will post my thoughts on the lenses next week, but here is a preview of one of the photos I took with the Lensbaby.