In case you’ve never heard of a Lensbaby let me explain. A Lensbaby is essentially a basic lens contained within a body which is capable of swivelling, in the case of the one I currently use, a Lensbaby Composer it swivels on a ball joint which can be locked to enable repeatable results. The more basic Vuse moves on a flexible hose and can’t be locked. Because of this movement it allows the user to pick a small point of focus and create some interesting blur effects on the rest of the image.
The size and placement of the area in focus can be controlled by adjusting the amount of movement you apply, together with the choice of aperture you make.
It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of making the right adjustment to achieve the effect your after, but well worth the effort. The aperture is changed by swapping circular discs magnetically held in place inside the lens throat and requires the use of a tool to remove the discs, so not ideal.
Options are available which allow you to interchange various lens modules, the more expensive options such as the Sweet 35 enable the aperture to be controlled by a dial on the lens saving some hassle. That having been said I tend to leave the f2.8 aperture in mine permanently as i like to aim for a more extreme effect.
It’s not everyones cup of tea, but if you’re looking to create images that little bit different well worth a go. I’ve had a lot of fun with mine. Here’s a few more of my favourites.
I hope you’ve found this basic introduction to the Lensbaby interesting, as ever far more in depth and technical reviews can be found on the web. You can also find more great examples of its use on sites such as Flickr.