W/NW: The Lensbaby

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chip NoVaMac, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #1
    Here is another take on on image that I took with the Lensbaby 2.0 on my Nikon D50 at Williamsburg,VA this past March. This was "stylized" with PS CS2 and and the watercolor filter.

    I thought I would post this thread for us Lensbaby owners to have a spot to post our images here on MR.

    I designate this as a "Words" thread. One to get feed back on our posts of what the Lensbaby can do, also so that we might have a place for tips and techniques. But also to solicit comments on at least my images posted.

    If you post an image that you wish to have no comment on, then state so.
     

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  2. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #2
    Sorry, but I can't figure out what W NW is. I've given it some though but haven't figured it out (you're not the first). Wasteland, not wasteland... Want, not... West NorthWest...
     
  3. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

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    #3
    W/NW = Words / no words. :D

    The picture looks cool.

    For my part, I don't know what a Lensbaby is.
     
  4. sarae macrumors 6502

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    madison, WI
    #4
    The lensbaby

    Don't have one myself yet, but I very much like their effect. One day I'll bite the bullet and get one.

    Nice shot, Chip
     
  5. Blong macrumors member

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    #5
    Check out www.lensbabies.com - this lens can change your life - or at least the way you see the world.
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #6
    Well one out of two is not bad. :)

    "W/NW" is for "words/no words"". A different take on assignments. Something that we can dig through our archives with, and continue long term with.

    Thanks for the kind words. The Lensbaby is something that one has to work with in order to come up with workable images from IMO. Other above have mentioned where to get info on this lens.

    Hope other owners of the Lensbaby will post their pictures.
     
  7. Blong macrumors member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    I'm a lensbaby addict so I think this is a cool idea. I like you placement of the sweet spot on the lower blade of the windmill - I feel that this results in a nice feeling of movement through the upper blades. But I somehow feel the cropping is just that little bit too tight. My opinion only. Good shot.

    Here are a couple of my fave lensbaby shots.

    Cool.
     

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  8. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #8
    Thanks, I like the images you shared.

    The one I posted was actually the very first one from the Lensbaby. The others on the same day were not as successful IMO. Since I shot this on digital, the 75mm focal length takes some getting use to. I also wish that Nikon DSLR's under the D200 could meter at least in Aperture Priority Mode.
     
  9. Blong macrumors member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #9
    Yeah, the crop factor makes things a bit tight. Have you looked at conversion lenses to screw on the front of the lensbaby? Basically anything with a 37mm thread will do - I think they are conversion lenses that are used on video cameras. If you get a .45x converter, you will have an equivalent focal length in the range of 35mm or so. Wide angle converters will enhance the blur around the edges, while tele converters reduce the amount of blur.

    On the lensbaby website, there is the occasional discussion on metering with the Nikons under the D200 - I think the most common answer is to practice assessing scenes by eye. Maybe an external light meter would help.

    Cool.
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #10
    I am aware of the conversion lenses. I have the macro lenses/filters, and looking at getting a wide angle converter. It would be nice to have a shorter focal length without the need for a converter IMO.

    I now take and meter the scene before I put the Lensbaby on, and shoot in RAW to correct for exposure errors. Not quite the solution when I first tested the Lensbaby on my Rebel XT. :(
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #11
    Very interesting images! After I've satiated my ongoing "lens lust" and have pretty much gotten the lenses I need (want), then it'll be time to go further afield and try something like the Lensbaby. It's certainly an intriguing concept and allows for real creativity and unusual images!
     
  12. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #12
    I still can't believe that. It seems like such a basic feature, that a camera will meter shutter speed when it doesn't know the aperture or can't change the aperture, or there is no lens attached that the body knows of.
    I know Canon EF allows this, what about Pentax K and the Minolta mount?
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #13
    Issue is that Nikon on their "consumer" bodies requires a CPU in the lens for any metering to take place. Canon does not, but some bodies do better than others. We don't have a Lensbaby for me to try on a Pentax body, but IIRC, it should work.
     
  14. Blong macrumors member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #14
    Just a few more ...

    Chip - didn't want to double up too much on pics in other posts, so I thought I might show some more of my faves. Hopefully, I've picked a nice variation.

    Cool.

    Rob
     

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  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    The lensbaby produces incredibly interesting results, but the fact that you have a great eye for photography doesn't hurt. Give a lensbaby to most other people, and they wouldn't be able to do half of what you're capable of, I'd imagine.
     
  16. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #16
    I love that one with the rowboat....but frankly, I think the blur from the Lensbaby detracts from the image. All of these were interesting images but I couldn't help thinking that they might have been better had they been shot with a conventional lens.
     
  17. Blong macrumors member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #17
    Thanks Abstract. Very kind words. If you have time (or interest) check out www.lensbabies.com and go to "lensbabies friends". Some of the forum members do wonderful things with the lensababy. Cool.

    I'm glad you like the boat and find the others interesting. re: the blur detracting from the boat image - I thought opposite i.e. the blur around the subject attracts attention towards the waterfal at the back of the boat, especially where the colours are very similar in the whole shot.

    Not being difficult, just interested in what you think, but could you tell my why these shots in particular would be better with a conventional lens? I've been hanging around with lensbaby freaks for half a year and would like other opinions.

    Cool.

    Rob
     
  18. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #18
    With a conventional lens, you can have more control over depth-of-field and depending on the lens you can achieve beautiful bokeh rather than just blur. Borrow a traditional lens and go out and shoot with it one day just for the heck of it. You have obvious talent and it's a shame to see you using nothing but the Lensbaby.
     
  19. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #19
    Actually nothing wrong IMO to make the most of a strange lens or camera. Blong has clearly demonstrated that he is mastering this lens well. Just as others have settled into nothing but Holga and Lomo cameras. These examples do not end up as cliche-ish s lets say that if I only took pictures with my Nikon fish-eye lens.
     
  20. MacMosher macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #20
    WOW! Im really feeling all the Black and White photos with the LensBaby. I dunno its just somthing about it.
     
  21. Blong macrumors member

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    #21
    Isn't bokeh the same as blur (as in out-of-focus, not motion blur)? Anyway, I find the bokeh with the lensbaby rather pleasing - and in some cases more interesting due to the variations and aberrations that come from bending the lens. Although the lensbaby only comes with f2.0, f2.8, f4, f5.6 and f8 apertures (and then any custom made ones for those who want to), I find that there is a fair amount of control over DOF.

    I don't think these shots are good examples when talking about bokeh i.e., the scenes don't lend themselves towards having much - except for maybe in the top corners of the frame in the boat pic. I'll see if I can dig up some examples with shallow DOF and bokeh and post them in this thread. Maybe we can start another thread and compare bokeh? ;) ... or maybe that's been done.

    I have two conventional lenses. For the first 6 months that I had my DSLR I almost exclusively used the 17-85 IS and every now and then used a 50mm 1.8 lens for low light portraits. Being fairly new to this forum I haven't posted any shots that I took last year before I got the lensbaby.

    Please don't think that I'm being precious about this and that I'm saying "no, no, no I will NOT use another lens just because you think I should" - not at all. I'm am still on a honeymoon with the lensbaby which still feels almost as fresh and new as it did 6 months ago - still exploring it's little quirks and nuances and mucking around with adapters and add-ons - I don't think I've mastered it yet, or even got to "advanced" lensbaby use. Part of this exploration will help me distinguish between scenes or situations that would be better with the lensbaby or better with a conventional lens.

    BTW - thanks for the complement :) - nice to hear it when people think that there is some talent when I share what I enjoy creating.

    Cool.
     
  22. Blong macrumors member

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    Mar 14, 2006
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    Melbourne, Australia
    #22
    Thanks guys

    Thanks Chip and Mosher.

    Chip - some of the guys at lensbabies forum go out of their way in Photoshop to make their lensbaby shots look "Holgaesque". Needless to say, more than one of the members over there have Holga cameras. Cool.

    Mosher - glad you like the b&w.

    Cool.
     
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #23
    Bokeh is like the quality of the blur. If the background is blurry, but you can see a distinct edge and division between different objects in the background, then it's just not that good. Oh, and it depends on the intensity and how it's "arranged" throughout the blurred object, I believe.

    I guess it's hard to explain. I've tried to understand, but I guess you just know if you look at enough photos where people comment and say "Wow, great bokeh," or "The bokeh isn't so great." Now I just look and say "Wow, good bokeh" if I see nice bokeh, but I really don't know my reasons.
     
  24. Blong macrumors member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #24
    I've been through the whole definition of bokeh before and there does seem to be slight variations - but I'm pretty sure it's the label put on the out-of-focus part of the photo, rather than it's quality.

    Quality of bokeh is also dependant on whether the aperture is smooth or polygonal due to the shape of the diaphragm - amongst many other thinks i am sure. A cool thing with the lensbaby is that as the aperture is a disk that you pop in and out from the front of the lens, you have a wonderful world of unique looking bokeh at your fingertips eg, cut a diamond shaped aperture and the bokeh will have a diamond shaped pattern in it.

    However, I think it's fine if we stick to "good bokeh" and "bad bokeh" and "not so good bokeh" etc.
     
  25. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #25
    This afternoon I had the opportunity to actually handle a Lensbaby and to see how it works. Wow! I definitely now have a much greater appreciation of the work you've done with this because I quickly saw that it's not that easy to get a specific effect, not at all! I fiddled with it for a few moments on the store's camera and came away realizing that it must take a great deal of patience and time to get good results from this thing. I moved the "bellows" in-and-out, I twisted it to one side, then the other.... yeah, not as easy as it would seem to nail focus on any particular subject! I understand now why you're enthralled with the challenges of mastering this and making really excellent images with it. I didn't buy one today, as I'm still developing my traditional lens collection first, but maybe one day....

    <plug for brick-and-mortar store> Today was a prime example of the benefits of shopping at a B&M store. I went there, was able to see and handle a lens and make the determination that this really excellent lens was just not going to be suitable for me because it is quite large and heavy; at my request another lens in which I've been interested (different specs) is being sent over from the warehouse for my examination and decision; I tried out a couple of different tripods and tripod heads; I looked at and tried out the Lensbaby; I had questions about a few other things..... Oh, I did buy something fairly small today so I didn't leave empty-handed, and the store knows that I'll indeed be back once I've made my mind up on a couple of items....

    Such a difference between that experience and simply ordering a lens sight-unseen from an online store! For instance, had I ordered the first lens, Nikon's excellent 200-400 VR, I would have had the thing on the doorstep and immediately, too late, would have realized that I just wasn't going to be able to comfortably manage this lens, even on a tripod or monopod, and then I would've had the hassle of returning it. Looking at a photo of a lens on a website is just not the same as handling it in person. Here, the sales associate cheerfully fetched the large and heavy box from a high shelf, opened it up and unpacked the lens for me, let me examine it and test-shoot with it for a few moments....and then when I said, "uh...I just don't think I can handle this lens!" cheerfully packed everything all back together in the box (I'm impressed -- the next customer will never know the thing had been unpacked, he did such a neat job!) and put it away.... Brick-and-mortar store (in this case, Penn Camera) wins out over an online store in my estimation! </plug for brick-and-mortar store>
     

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