So I was pondering a theme for the week, couldn’t come up with anything better, so I decided it would be LensBaby Week. Yay.

The LensBaby is a sort of toy tilt-shift lens with a pronounced sweet-spot (area of acceptable focus) and distinctive blur to everything else. I have the Muse with the plastic optic (no longer produced: current models have a double glass optic that is sharper with less distortion)… there are fancier ones, with larger sweet spots, the ability to lock focus etc., but the Muse does some things the others simply can’t do.*

With the Muse, you focus by squeezing and twisting the lens. The slightest change in lens position causes a vast change in focus.

For most applications, a normal-type lens—one with an aperture and the usual twist-ring focus (or auto-focus) and numerous glass lenses with fancy coatings and specific curvatures—is preferred. In fact, I found myself rather frustrated with the LensBaby on more than one occasion this week. I probably need to limit myself more, as I think this frustration showed a lack of creative intent and suggests that a certain amount of decadent complacence has crept into my photographic practice.

Anyway. If you look back into my archive, you’ll find a few other examples of the sorts of things the LensBaby is great at (in my hands, anyway). In more capable paws, it’s likely the Muse would be capable of greatness.

D7000. LensBaby Muse (plastic optic). Various ISOs ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected]), various A-mode-provided shutter speeds, wide open (f/2) for the first part of the week, with drop-in apertures of f/4 and maybe f/8 employed, but I’ll challenge you to find them, since the EXIF reports f/2 only. Very slight changes to saturation and contrast on one, and a slight bump-up in shadow detail on another in Lightroom.

*see, for example, the LensBaby Bubble, day 216 of my 365 project

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