I treated myself to a Lensbaby Sweet 80 optic a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been having a play an getting used to finding and placing the sweet spot of focus.
We went out with the dogs on Sunday morning, it was a grey dull day not great for photography but out of habit I took my camera gear. While we were wandering round the common I thought I’ll try for some action shots of Splat fetching the tennis ball. I set the aperture and shutter speed and focussed on where I expected him to run through.While I was setting up they had a false start and there were a few shots which included Jack.
The shots of Splat didn’t work, he moves faster than I expected so they were blurred. There was something about one of the early shots including Jack which appealed to me. I think it was the expressions on their faces and the sense of movement. The focus wasn’t sharp as they were both just outside the sweet spot.
I’ve downloaded Topaz Studio and had an initial play but still have lots to learn. I thought I’d have a play with the free Impression adjustments. I love the result, see below. It turned an very average photo into something I really like and was happy to post on social media. I’ll have to play some more.
- On the common
I love Lensbaby lenses and the effects they create. I’ve built up a collection over the years and my favourite is the Velvet 56. My least favourite is the Edge 80, so when the Edge 50 came out I decided to give it a miss. That was until it was on offer on Amazon and I felt like some retail therapy, so I bought it about two months ago.
I’ve used it a few times when on the common with the dogs. I struggled with the Edge 80 and getting the slice of focus where I wanted it so I thought I take things slowly with the Edge 50.
I started using it simply as a prime lens, with no bending. I take photos of the flowers, tress and other things which catch my eye as I wander round the common. To get close to the flowers and leaves I was using it in macro mode. I also tend to shoot at the widest aperture to blur the background (for the Edge 50 the max aperture is f/3.2).
My three favourite shots are shown below.
The catkin shot below, was the one successful attempt at bending the lens to create a vertical slice of focus.
I love this lens, I love what happens to the out of focus background. It’s now become one of my favourites, although I still have to master bending the lens to get the slice of focus where I want it.
I’ll have to revisit my Edge 80.