Lensbaby Creative Effects
What Is Lensbaby?
At Lensbaby, we see things differently. We think perfect is boring. We seek surprise—to have our eyes opened, to dance and play and lose ourselves in moments. To break free of routine, be uncomfortable, tinker, and open yourself up to unexpected results. When you do that, you’ll change how you see everything.
We make award-winning creative effects lenses, optics and accessories that follow this philosophy. And we invite you to join us in our pursuit to dance, play and delight in what’s possible with a creative lens and your imagination.
What does Optic Swap mean?
Optic Swap is our system of interchangeable lens bodies, optics, and accessories. It allows you to swap out the optic that comes in your Lensbaby for any of the other Optic Swap optics. This lets you change the creative effect and/or focal length of your lens. Your Lensbaby has the potential to be 12 different lenses while still using the same lens body. The Composer Pro II, Twisty 60 lens body,Composer Pro, Composer, Muse, Scout, and Control Freak lens bodies are all Optic Swap compatible.
What are the different effects you can get with Lensbaby Lenses?
Velvet 56- A 56mm, f/1.6 lens that produces velvety, glowing images at bright apertures and sharp yet subtly unique images at darker apertures.
Circular Fisheye- A 5.8mm, f/3.5 stand alone lens that gives you a super-wide 185° angle of view.
Twisty 60- A f/2.5, 60mm optic that gives you a large spot of focus in twisty, swirly blur and features internal apertures.
Edge 80- An 80mm f/2.8 optic that gives you a slice of focus through your image when tilted and features internal apertures.
Edge 50- An 50mm f/3.2 optic that gives you a slice of focus through your image when tilted and features internal apertures.
Sweet 50- A 50mm f/2.5 optic that gives you a tack sharp Sweet Spot of focus surrounded by gradual blur and features internal apertures.
Sweet 35- A 35mm f/2.5 optic that gives you a tack sharp Sweet Spot of focus surrounded by gradual blur and features internal apertures.
Double Glass- A 50mm optic that gives you a tack sharp Sweet Spot of Focus surrounded by gradual blur and uses drop-in magnetic apertures.
Fisheye- A 12mm optic with a 160 degree field of view that lets you focus from .5” to infinity.
Soft Focus- A 50mm flat field of focus optic that gives you the same soft image quality from corner to corner.
Creative Aperture- A 50mm optic that gives you a tack sharp Sweet Spot of focus with creative out-of-focus highlights.
Single Glass- A 50mm optic that gives you a soft Sweet Spot of focus similar to what you would get with an antique camera.
Plastic- A 50mm optic with our softest Sweet Spot of focus that is similar to what you would get using a toy camera.
Pinhole/Zone Plate-A 50mm optic that turns your DSLR into an f/177 Pinhole or f/19 Zone Plate by simply flipping the toggle inside the optic.
How do you control the amount of effect?
The amount of effect is controlled by the aperture. If your aperture is wide open (ex. 2.5 or 2.8) you will get a lot of effect, the more you stop your aperture down the less effect you will see.
With Edge 50 and Edge 80, aperture controls the width of the slice of focus, brighter apertures will give you a very small slice while darker apertures will give you a wider slice.
With the sweet spot optics, the Petzval 60, Sweet 35, Sweet 50, Double Glass, Creative Aperture, Single Glass and Plastic Optics, aperture determines the size of the sweet spot. Bright apertures will give you a small area of focus with a lot of blur while darker apertures give you a large spot of focus with just a little bit of blur around the edges.
With Velvet 56, aperture controls the degree of softness with bright apertures producing very soft, glowing images and darker apertures producing sharper images with subtle softness and swirling around the edges.
What is selective focus?
Selective focus is a photography technique that gives you an area of focus and blur in the same image. The area of focus is used to make specific elements stand out in your photograph. Lensbaby’s sweet spot optics (Twisty 60, Sweet 35, Sweet 50, Double Glass, Creative Aperture, Single, & Plastic) give you a circular sweet spot of focus surrounded by blur. The Edge 50 and Edge 80 Optics give you a slice of focus bordered by blur.
Why not just use software to create a Lensbaby look?
Many world renowned Photoshop® authorities, such as Katrin Eismann, Jack Davis, and Jim DiVitale, attest that it is impossible to replicate with software the natural, organic optical effects a Lensbaby creates. But, many devoted Lensbaby users will not even argue that point because even if software could emulate the Lensbaby’s look, there are many reasons why using a Lensbaby is more satisfying. Using a Lensbaby allows you to compose with selective focus in the moment rather than adding it later. This lets you experiment with different angles and approaches to quickly and seamlessly integrate selective focus into your composition leading to more organic and original imagery.
Can I use filters with my Lensbaby?
Yes, the Double Glass, Creative Aperture, Single Glass, Plastic, Pinhole/Zone Plate, Soft Focus and Spark Optics all have 37mm filter threads. The Lensbaby Step Up/Shade is specially designed for use with the Composer Pro II, Composer Pro and Composer to step up these optics’ 37mm front threads to 52mm which allows you to use any 52mm filter with them.
The Sweet 35, Sweet 50, Edge 50, Edge 80, and Twisty 60 Optics have 46mm filter threads and will take any 46mm filter.
Velvet 56 and Velvet 56 SE have 62mm filter threads and will take any 62mm filter.
The Fisheye Optic and Circular Fisheye do not have filter threads and cannot be used with a filter.
How is Lensbaby different than a tilt shift lens?
The Edge 50 and Edge 80 are the closest Lensbaby optics to a Tilt Shift lens. Like a Tilt Shift lens, the Edge 50 or Edge 80 tilt and produce a slice of focus and allow you to create a miniature effect. Unlike a Tilt Shift lens it does not shift and therefore it does not correct perspective.
Which Mounts do you make Lensbabies for?
Lensbabies can be found in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha A, Pentax, Olympus 4/3, Micro 4/3, Fuji X, Sony Alpha E, Samsung NX, Contax/Yashica, Leica R, Minolta Manual Focus, Olympus OM mount, and Pentax Screw Mount.
Velvet 56, Circular Fisheye, and Composer Pro II come in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha A, Pentax, Micro 4/3, Fuji X, Sony Alpha E and Samsung NX.
Velvet 56 SE, Velvet 56 Limited Edition and Spark are only available in mounts for Canon EF and Nikon F.
Composer Pro comes in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha A, Pentax, Olympus 4/3, Micro 4/3, Fuji X, Sony Alpha E and Samsung NX. Spark comes in mounts for Canon EF and Nikon F.
Composer, Muse and Control Freak can be found in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha A, Pentax, and Olympus 4/3.
Lensbaby 3G can be found in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha A, Pentax, Olympus 4/3 and Leica R. The 3G is also available for Mamiya 645 and Pentax 67.
Original Lensbaby and Lensbaby 2.0 can be found in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha A, Pentax, Olympus 4/3, Leica R, Contax/Yashica, Minolta Manual, Olympus OM mount, Pentax Screw Mount (M42) and Canon FD.
How are the different focal lengths calculated?
All focal lengths are quoted based on full frame cameras.
If you are shooting with an APS-C or Micro 4/3 sensor camera, multiply the stated focal length by your camera’s crop factor to determine the effective focal length of Lensbaby lenses on your camera.
How do I set up my camera?
Lensbabies will only work in Manual mode (M) or Aperture Priority mode (Av), though some cameras will only work in Manual mode. To find out which mode(s) will work on your camera please see your manufacturer’s compatibility chart here.
How do I focus?
Lensbabies are manual lenses and focus is done manually. Circular Fisheye, Composer Pro II, Composer Pro, Composer and Scout have a fine focusing ring that you adjust to focus. Circular Fisheye also features a hyper focal scale to help with focusing. Spark and Muse are focused by squeezing and pushing the lens. Control Freak is focused by squeezing then fine tuning by using the fine focus or turning the rods. You can move the area of focus around your image by tilting the Composer Pro II, Composer Pro or Composer or squeezing one side or the other of the Spark, Muse or Control Freak.
Why can’t I get anything in focus?
Below are some of the most popular solutions to why you may be unable to get anything in focus.
- Make sure your diopter is correctly calibrated for your eye. Setting your diopter helps ensure that what you see as being in focus through the viewfinder is actually in focus. For more information on how to adjust your diopter watch the Basic Camera Set Up with a Lensbaby video.
- A little bit of tilt goes a long way. To start out try focusing straight ahead without tilting. Starting at f/4 or f/5.6 will give you a good sized Sweet Spot making it easier to tell where the area of focus is.
- Pay attention to the focusing distances of the optics and make sure you aren’t trying to focus on something that is too close. The Sweet 35 has a minimum focusing distance of about 7 inches, the Edge 80 has a minimum focusing distance of 17 inches, and the Sweet 50 has a minimum focusing distance of 15 inches.
- If you have been using the Macro Converters recently to shoot macro photography make sure both converters are removed. The 8mm Macro Converter is small and black and easily gets lost under the optic.
How do I get my exposure right?
Set your ISO on your camera according to how much light you have. Set the aperture on your Lensbaby according to how much effect you want. In manual mode, guess your shutter speed, take a test shot and go from there. If the image is too dark choose a lower number for your shutter speed. If your image is too light choose a higher number for your shutter speed. Take another test shot and continue to adjust until you get your exposure is correct.
How do I use electronic flash with my Lensbaby?
First determine the Flash sync shutter speed for your camera: this is usually between 1/60 and 1/500 of a second. Set your camera at this shutter speed or SLOWER, (i.e. 1/60, 1/30). If your camera has multiple options, put it in Manual or Aperture Priority mode.
Digital camera users can take a test shot and look at the histogram for correct exposure.
If the image is overexposed, use a higher aperture (smaller hole) or decrease your flash power by 1 stop. Continue to decrease aperture size or flash power as needed.
If the image is underexposed (not likely) use a larger aperture. You may have to experiment to find the right balance between flash power and aperture size to get the correct exposure with the amount of blur you want.
For film cameras used in combination with an external Flash Unit, do one of the following:
Use a flash light meter to measure the amount of flash being emitted from the Electronic Flash Unit and set your aperture according to the readings (make sure you calculate for the correct film speed!).
Calculate the distance from subject to camera and set the Flash according to the chart on your Flash unit. The users manual of the Flash Unit will also give you more information.
Some cameras have built in flashes that can meter TTL (through the lens) and adjust your flash for correct exposure. Please go to our Electronic Flash page for more information.
Where are my aperture disks?
If you purchased the Composer Pro with Double Glass, Composer, Muse, or Control Freak your aperture container/tool is in the bottom of your Lensbaby box and looks like a small plastic frying pan.
If you start out with the Composer Pro II with Edge 50, Composer Pro with Sweet 35, Composer Pro with Sweet 50, Composer Pro with Edge 80, Twisty 60, Spark or Scout and later add another optic that uses aperture disks please consult your user guide to request an aperture set.
What are the black specks on my Pinhole?
The specks are actually dust on your sensor. The specks are visible when using the pinhole optic because the aperture is so small that it casts a well-defined shadow of the dust onto your sensor. These specks are not visible with the other optics or your regular lenses because the amount of light prevents the specks from appearing.
Can I shoot video on my camera with a Lensbaby?
If your camera shoots video, you will be able to shoot a Lensbaby video.
Why does my Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, or Fuji camera say there isn’t a lens attached?
Lensbaby lenses have no electronics in them so your camera has no way of reading that a lens is attached to it. To be able to shot with a Lensbaby you will need to turn the shutter lock on your camera off. This function is usually found in the Custom menu and is called “Release w/o Lens” or “Shoot w/o Lens.”
Why doesn’t my Canon EOS Rebel T2 recognize the Lensbaby?
The Canon Rebel T2 has a safety lock feature that prevents the camera from taking a picture if there is no film loaded or no lens attached. Since Lensbaby lenses have no electronics your camera will not recognize it as being attached and “no L” will flash on the LCD screen. To turn the Safety Lock off move the Right Arrow on your LCD screen until it points at the icon. Next, press the <FUNC> button and place the setting on “0”.
Why can’t I get my Lensbaby to meter on my Nikon camera?
Lensbaby lenses do not have electronics in them so lower end Nikon cameras have no way of telling what aperture the lens is going to be at the moment of exposure. To use a Lensbaby on these cameras, put your camera on Manual mode, set your ISO according to how much light you have, set the aperture on your Lensbaby according to how much effect you want, take a test shot and adjust your shutter speed until the exposure is correct. If your image comes out too dark slow your shutter speed down, if it is too light speed it up.
Consult the Nikon Compatibility Chart to find out if your camera’s light meter will work with a Lensbaby or not.
Why can’t I get my flash to fire on my Nikon?
Lensbaby is a manual focus lens. Nikon disabled the TTL flash metering on the lower end Nikon cameras when they do not sense an autofocus lens. Consult the Nikon Compatibility Chart, if your in-camera light meter works, the TTL flash metering on your camera will work. If you camera’s light meter does not work you will need to follow the instructions below in order to use the built-in pop-up flash.
- Go into the Custom Settings Menu (CSM) on your camera and set your pop-up flash to “Manual” rather than “TTL.” (If this is not clear you may need to go to the Set Up Menu and change your Custom Menu from “Simple” to “Detailed.”
- Start by setting your flash power to 1/2 with a shutter speed/ISO combination that gives you an ambient (non-flash) exposure that is 1 to 1.5 stops too dark so your background does not come out totally black. Test the ambient (non-flash) exposure by taking a few test shots with the flash off. Play with the power of the pop-up flash from full power down to 1/16 to get proper exposure on your main subject(s).
Hotshoe mounted Nikon Speedlight flashes must be set to either manual or auto exposure modes. TTL modes on your Nikon Speedlight flash will not work with a Lensbaby on the D80 or D90 camera bodies.
I have my Olympus or Panasonic camera all set up to shoot. Why am I still getting a dark screen and viewfinder?
Take a close look at the mount on your Lensbaby and the mount on your camera. You will see a small lever on the camera that should fit into the slot on the mount of the Lensbaby. Turn your Lensbaby all the way on to the camera so that the lever lines up and it will work just fine.
About the Lensbaby App
Why do I need an app?
Due to the optical configuration of LM-10, using it on your phone will produce an upside-down image. Using our free app automatically flips the image, along with a lot of other features to ensure you get the most out of the lens.
With LM-20 and LM-30 you can use the regular camera app or your favorite photo app, however the sweet spot of focus will always be perfectly centered in your image.
Which iPhones will the app work with?
The Lensbaby app will work with iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, 5c, 6, 6S, 6 Plus, or 6S Plus running iOS7, iOS8, or iOS9.
Which Android devices will the app work with?
The Lensbaby app will work with most Android devices running Jelly Bean 4.1-4.4, and all versions of Kit Kat and Marshmallow. The following phones have been tested to work well:
- Samsung S6, S5, S4, S4 Mini, S3
- Xperia Z2
- Nokia Lumia 1020
- Huawei Ascend Y210
- LG Optimus G
- Moto X
- Moto G (1st Edition)
What all does the iPhone app do?
iPhone App includes White Balance and Exposure Locks, Rule of Thirds Grid, Square Crop, toggle to switch between still & video mode, toggle to switch between right-side up and upside-down mode, toggle to switch between spot and evaluative metering, and a sharpening slider.
What all does the Android app do?
Android app includes Spot Metering, Exposure Lock, Rule of Thirds Grid, White Balance Lock, toggle to switch between still & video mode, toggle to switch between right-side up and upside-down mode, filters: monochrome, negative, solarize, sepia, posterize, washed, vintage-cold, vintage-warm, point-green, point-blue, and point-red-yellow.
The app also features a sharpening slider to adjust the sharpness of your images after you have taken them. To access the sharpening tool, click on the photo viewer, use the slider on the left hand tool to adjust the sharpness and click “save”.
If I buy a Lensbaby do you have tech support?
Yes, if you have any problems, just send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call (toll free: 877-536-7222 or outside the USA: 971-223-5662) and ask for the Customer Happiness department. We will do our best to answer your questions. You may be able to find the answer you need on this page.
Where can I find Lensbaby at a retail location?
To find an authorized retailer near you, simply enter your zip code into the Retail Finder at the bottom of this page.