Renting Lensbaby, Part II

(Sorry for the unintended hiatus. Life has been busy. I’ve been out taking a bunch of photos, though editing is slow to come by. I’m in the process of deciding how I can make this site better for both you and me, and am always opened to suggestions.)

(Here is Part I of my experience renting Lensbaby optics from Lensrentals.com.)

Although the Lensbaby is a manual lens in all sense of the word, my Nikon D7000 allowed me to set the maximum aperture, which then allowed the light meter to work.  I was still basically able to use my camera in the aperture-priority and manual modes without spending a lot of time just guessing the shutter speed.  I understand the value of manual settings, but I find the aperture-priority mode more my friend for 99% of my use.

The hardest thing about using the Lensbaby was finding the Sweet Spot. You swivel the lens to where you want the focus to be, and then turned the focusing ring to focus.  Even the littlest of swiveling causes a huge change in the photo.  The trick is being able to find that Sweet Spot, though.  As time went on, I found myself taking multiple photos of the same scene and adjusting the lens ever so slightly, and even then, most of the photos did not come out as well as I wished.

The other issue that I found — though this can mostly be edited out during post-processing — is the dramatic chromatic aberration.  I don’t usually get bothered by this when it’s at the edge of the image, but I found chromatic aberration everywhere on the image.

Overall, I’m happy that I tried the Lensbaby Composer Pro, but I will not be purchasing it in the future.  I’m more than happy editing this effect into my photos if the desire should arise again in the future.

Below are some of my favorite images taken with Lensbaby lenses over a couple of weeks in the spring.

At the Curve

Surrounded by Redwoods

Looking Down

Branching

Yellow and Purple

Disclaimer: This is not an affiliate or a sponsored post. I am just sharing my experiences with Lensrentals.com and Lensbaby.

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Renting Lensbaby, Part I

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.

Enter Lensbaby.

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.

House PlantsDisclaimer: This is not an affiliate or a sponsored post. I am just sharing my experiences with Lensrentals.com and Lensbaby.