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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Need quick reply please
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10/02/2011 06:32:46 AM · #1
Is a Lensbaby Composor worth buying or should I spend my money elsewhere ?
Need quick reply as on Ebay.
Thanks
Neil
10/02/2011 07:16:16 AM · #2
I think most people who have one, and are interested in doing that type of low-fi, selective focus photography, are pleased with it. I certainly am. It's not the sort of thing that i use all the time but when i do it's always a pleasure.

If images like this... ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30982/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_831974.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30982/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_831974.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1045/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_803140.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1045/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_803140.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/45000-49999/49773/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_813168.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/45000-49999/49773/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_813168.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1405/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_957260.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1405/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_957260.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' are inspiring to you (they certainly are to me) then i say go for it.

A lot of people don't see the attraction so if you aren't keen on blurry stuff i wouldn't bother.

The composer is one of the easiest to use as you can lock it in place (on the Muse you have to hold the focus in place which makes for a different photographing experience)
10/02/2011 07:22:51 AM · #3
For me, the answer would be a strong no.
I just find the effect to be contrived, and lacking appeal.
Of course, thats a personal taste, and some may like it.
But, my opinion, - rather let the auction expire, and spend the $$ elsewhere.
10/02/2011 10:11:01 AM · #4
Thanks for the replies, I let it go in the end. I love the examples you posted Clive each and every one.
But I tend to think perhaps for the amount I would use it I could photoshop the same effects.
Interested in any views anyone may have as I still may get one in the future.
Thanks
10/02/2011 01:36:22 PM · #5
Can you do the effect in PS? Well, sorta... with lots of work. If you're looking to do the effect, honestly, get the lens. Spending all that time in PS isn't worth it. Mind you this is doing it WELL, not all dodgy, which is quick and easy to accomplish. It's similar to simulating Tilt Shift- doing it sorta haphazardly is pretty easy. Doing it well, whole different ballgame (mind you, my TS entry was done haphazardly).
10/02/2011 03:16:37 PM · #6
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Can you do the effect in PS? Well, sorta... with lots of work. If you're looking to do the effect, honestly, get the lens. Spending all that time in PS isn't worth it. Mind you this is doing it WELL, not all dodgy, which is quick and easy to accomplish. It's similar to simulating Tilt Shift- doing it sorta haphazardly is pretty easy. Doing it well, whole different ballgame (mind you, my TS entry was done haphazardly).


What he said; there's an organic feel to an actual lensbaby shot that seems to be almost impossible to replicate in post. I actually HAVE the Topaz Lens Effects plug in, and I've experimented with it for creating lensbaby shots out of straight shots, and my lensbaby just does it better.

R.
10/02/2011 04:34:19 PM · #7
When I first got my Lensbaby, I found I looked around me in different ways and actually shot different photographs. Post processed or not, it's not the look of the product but the change in the process of photography that makes buying one worthwhile.
10/02/2011 04:48:51 PM · #8
Originally posted by paulbtlw:

When I first got my Lensbaby, I found I looked around me in different ways and actually shot different photographs. Post processed or not, it's not the look of the product but the change in the process of photography that makes buying one worthwhile.


Yes, that's precisely what i was going to say.
10/02/2011 07:39:41 PM · #9
Neil, with the lenses you have now I would pass on the LB and get a good prime lens (I recommend the Canon 100mm 2.8 macro). Buy a cheap UV filter for it and selectively smear the filter with Vaseline (or similar degradation), set a slow shutter speed, move the camera, drink heavily. Your experience and results will be similar to the LB. But, in the end, you will own a good lens and not a toy.
10/02/2011 07:48:51 PM · #10
For sure the lensbaby is one of those non-essential pieces of kit. However, something I have noticed when using the lensbaby (I have a composer) is that I slow down. As it's basically a manual lens I find I spend much more time composing the image etc & I find for me, this has been beneficial to my photography as a whole. So, yes, it's a toy lens, but for me it's one I wouldn't be without, even if I do not use it that often.

Not that this is useful to you now, as you anyway decided not to buy, but...

Message edited by author 2011-10-02 19:49:43.
10/03/2011 12:52:37 PM · #11
Thanks for the replies they make interesting reading.
10/03/2011 07:29:43 PM · #12
I love my lensbaby. I don't regret spending the money to get it. However, you have to love the type of images it produces... and I do. You can't get the same effect in photoshop or using plugins... somehow there is a real difference.
10/03/2011 08:11:32 PM · #13
Party over so soon? I think pointy is spot on about lens acquisition. I need the lens he recommends, but have had almost a whole new life with a cheap second hand 50 mm f 1.4 asahi pentax. Everything is manual. Another thing you could try, when you run out of vaseline and strong drink, is lens whacking to get the feel of weird. And then there is the homemade pinhole... You can google both methods,
10/03/2011 08:19:52 PM · #14
The only thing I don't like about my Lensbaby is that it isn't a Composer. Maybe one day I'll be able to justify an upgrade, but for now I struggle on with older technology.
10/03/2011 08:59:41 PM · #15
You can achieve the same lens baby effect using software - like onOne Focus Point - and save yourself a bunch of money. Just an option. Of course, software won't work for basic or minimalist editing ... but it's fine for Advanced and Expert. So maybe that's a reason to go to glass.
10/03/2011 09:16:15 PM · #16
I like Steve's vaseline suggestion, I keep a slimmed filter in a ziplock bag.

However, I really enjoy the plastic and pinhole optics. An easy way to get a zoom pinhole. ;)

10/03/2011 09:28:55 PM · #17
Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

You can achieve the same lens baby effect using software - like onOne Focus Point - and save yourself a bunch of money. .


My guess is that software is too perfect. No donut, Scream faced, bokeh. No flare. No blown highlights, etc.
10/03/2011 09:44:27 PM · #18
Originally posted by bspurgeon:

Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

You can achieve the same lens baby effect using software - like onOne Focus Point - and save yourself a bunch of money. .


My guess is that software is too perfect. No donut, Scream faced, bokeh. No flare. No blown highlights, etc.


Oh, I've proven I can commit ALL these sins in software, too! Even easier, for me than with glass.
10/03/2011 09:45:24 PM · #19
Yes, the effect is way better being camera caused: so many factors at play that results are more likely to astonish...
post processing is like tuning - the more advanced pp is, I imagine, the more it can be like the original game, but of course it isn't really, and the charm/novelty wears off.
10/03/2011 10:19:02 PM · #20
yes! plastic pinhole lens whacking... party on!

10/05/2011 12:37:36 PM · #21
Thanks for the info,never heard of lens whacking before looks really interesting will certainly give it a go shortly.
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