Lensbaby Composer & Fisheye Optics - Photographic Examples and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Lensbaby Composer & Fisheye Optics
Lensbaby Fisheye Optic
Using the Lensbaby
Photographic Examples and Final Thoughts

Photographic Examples:

Like all artistic tools the Lensbaby's power lies more in more in the skill of its operator than mechanics. The real trick with the Lensbaby is in taking advantage of the situations where it shines.  It takes real talent to be able to visualize a scene, not for what it is but what it could be, and then to apply the correct tool to get your results. I'm afraid that I have a long ways to go in my photographic journey so I won't pretend that I have a firm grasp on this concept, but using the Lensbaby for even a short time stretched my creativity in a good way. Here are a few of the more interesting things that came out of the Lensbaby during that time.


Double Glass Optic - selective focus

Selective Focus
Selective Focus - Double Glass
Firelight Focus
Selective Focus #2 - Double Glass


Both of these shots were taken using firelight only.  The long exposure times necessitated that the camera be on a tripod. Note how even though the objects are on a single focal plane, only one area of the picture is in focus.

Fisheye Optic - wide angle
While we were staying at a bed and breakfast I had a chance to take pictures of some lovely flowers. The fisheye lens allowed me to get so close to the flower that it was almost touching the lens.  Even my prime lens would let me get nearly that close.
DSC_0590.jpg by Nicao
Wide Angle Effect - Fisheye
DSC_0605.jpg by Nicao
Almost Macro - Fisheye


The fun part about the fisheye lens is not in in realism but rather its' surrealism. It sure looks wacky the way that it can turn a nice straight construction site into a mass of curves. 

Garage Trusses - Fisheye
Garage Trusses - Fisheye
Garage - Fisheye
Garage - Fisheye


Photographing small children is not something that the Lensbaby excels at. They move too fast for effective manual focus. It was still fun to try though, and I got this shot of my son playing in a tube at the playground.  The fisheye is great here because it allows you to see the whole tube and gives a much better context to the shot. 

Boy in a Tube - Fisheye



Image quality:
I'm going to touch on this briefly just to let you know that it didn't slip my mind. I don't have the complicated test equipment, environment, or expertise to do this topic justice so I'll just leave you with a couple of thoughts.  While neither the double glass, or the fisheye optic was as sharp as my F1.8 prime, they were both still adequate for the job.  Their primary purpose is visual effects not exceptional clarity.


The Lensbaby is a hard product to review, because its' usefulness is determined in a large part by the user. If you are the type of person who likes the artistry of photography and doesn't mind spending a considerable amount of time setting up a shot then this product will prove very useful. However if you like to point at pretty things and go "click" then the Lensbaby will prove useless and infinitely frustrating. After having used it myself I must say that it's a tool that I would appreciate having in my bag.  I probably wouldn't use it everyday but for certain situations it is definitely invaluable. 

  • Good construction
  • Produces effects you won't find in another product
  • Manual focus
  • Awkward light metering on some cameras
  • Manual aperture


This product is pretty hard to give it a full rating according to our review criteria, but after reading this review, you can determine for yourself if you want to take your creative photography to the next level with a Lensbaby.  That being said, for quality, creativity and control I believe it deserves an Editor's Choice - Silver Award.




I'd like to thank Lensbaby for sending out both the composer, double-glass and fisheye optics for us to try out. If you have any questions or comments, please drop Nicao a line in the forum at the "Comments" link below.