The RainyDayPhotography folks have been Lensbaby enthusiats for years. Our first Lensbaby was the 3G. We added the Composer and the Scout lenses to our collection a few years later. We have used them extensively and have found that they offer creative options not available from anything else in our photographic bag of tricks. The only (small) quibble we have with our Lensbabies is with the manual “drop-in” process required to change apertures. It took us a while to get used to doing it, it interrupts the flow, and is not something we like doing in the field.
When Lensbaby announced that they had some new optics with adjustable apertures (Edge 80, Sweet 35), our ears peaked up. These new optics are part of the Lensbaby Optic Swap system. While our older Lensbaby 3G lens is not compatible with the system, newer lens like the Composer Pro are. The Composer Pro is based on the same ball and socket design as the Composer, but has a more rugged construction. We’ll give you a closer FirstLook at the Composer Pro today.
The Composer Pro we got came with the Sweet 35 optic installed. The lens is compatible with the two swappable optics we already have (Soft Focus, FishEye). The Sweet 35 is the widest focal length (f/2.5 – f/22) of any of the selective focus Lensbaby optics and also features close-focus capabilities. It has four multi-coated glass elements, in three groups, with a 12-blade adjustable aperture.
The adjustable aperture is the most intriguing feature to us. It means we will no longer have to preselect the f-stop, and will enable us to quickly adapt to changing conditions, especially when shooting outside. We expect the Sweet35 optic will have a huge impact on the usability of the Lensbaby lenses.
As we had mentioned a few weeks back, we have decided to dedicate one of our backup cameras to have a Lensbaby mounted at all times. This will enable us to just grab it and go. For the next month, we’ll have the Composer Pro and the Sweet35 mounted on it and will shoot with it at every opportunity. We look forward to sharing the results. Look for pics at the end of October.