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SPECIAL FEATURE

September 14th, 2007
written by Bet-TAY Morgan, "special features editor"

Review: Lensbaby 3G

First Impressions!
When FedEx delivered my Lensbaby 3G, I was so excited until I pulled it from the plastic shell and out of it's silky black sack... "What have I gotten myself into?" I'd been so excited, because the photographs that I'd seen on Lensbabies.com were exactly what I was trying to achieve. The results I wanted were those I had gotten with Holga filters on my old film Nikon. But this "space ship looking" contraption was so complex looking that I was intimidated.

Lensbaby 3G Focus
With great anticipation, I attached my Lensbaby 3G just like any other Nikkor lens. With a few adjustments in pushing or pulling the bellows and tilting the direction of the lens, I was up and running! Fine tuning the focus was easy and the resulting photographs were a delight! What an amazing piece of camera equipment!

WOW! What is THAT?
And don't think you'll be able to take photos in a "STEALTH MODE" with the Lensbaby 3G attached to your camera body... Everyone kept asking, "Wow! What is that?" And when they saw the results, the WOW was even greater! For those of who are Photoshop CS3 users, and say, "I can do the same thing in Photoshop!" I agree. You can duplicate the same results, but not without several layers, filters and lots of time. For me, I'd rather get the results right from the moment I snap the photograph. First and foremost I want to spend my time having fun and taking great photographs with less time tweaking them in Photoshop.

Two Cameras, One With Lensbaby 3G
Because I don't want to change lenses outside or during a special event, I've started using the Lensbaby 3G on my extra Nikon so that I can shoot the traditional shots for the client on my main camera. Then I switch to the camera with the Lensbaby 3G for creative version. It means carrying around more equipment, but the clients love having at least a few of the Lensbaby 3G shots and for the professional that means more revenue!

Aperture Ring Labeling
Because my brain doesn't discern left and right well, I decided to label the aperture rings so that I could make changes faster. I took an old type correcting tube and made a puddle on a piece of paper and dipped a fine tip pen into the puddle to write the numbers onto each ring. A fine dipped silver pen would work better.


Examples of Effects created by Lensbaby 3G

Recommendation
The Lensbaby 3G is a MUST HAVE for my camera bag! Buy IT, and have some FUN! (NOTE: The Lensbaby 3G is being replaced by the "Control Freak.")


Lensbaby Accessories
Lensbaby Accessory Bundle = Lensbaby Macro Kit + Lensbaby Wide Angle/Telephoto Kit
Get all your focal lengths covered with the Lensbaby Accessory Bundle, which includes the Lensbaby 0.6X Wide Angle / 1.6X Telephoto Kit and the Lensbaby Macro Kit. With this accessory bundle you will be able to shoot your Lensbaby at 30mm, 50mm, and 80mm, and focus from 2 inches to infinity. All accessory lenses sold on Lensbabies.com will work on all Lensbabies... the Original, the 2.0, and the 3G.
Cost: $114

Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit

The Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit includes 1 f/4 star, 1 f/4 heart, and 5 blank aperture disks. You can custom cut the blank disks into any aperture shape you want. Out of focus specular highlights (bright points of light) in your photos take on the shape of the hole in your aperture disk.

*Please Note: The Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit works with Lensbaby 2.0, and Lensbaby 3G, but does not work with the Original Lensbaby.
Cost: $ 9.99

Lensbaby 3G Custom Case
The Lensbaby 3G custom case features sturdy padded construction and a single, vertical zipper. The gumdrop shaped case is a great choice to replace the plastic clamshell case that comes with your Lensbaby 3G.

Size of Case:
Height: 4.25" (10.5 cm)
Diameter: 4.25" (10.5 cm) at the base

Cost: $ 17.00

The Lensbaby Wide Angle/Telephoto Kit™
The Lensbaby Wide Angle/Telephoto Accessory Lens kit includes the Lensbaby 0.6X Wide Angle Conversion Lens and the Lensbaby 1.6X Telephoto Conversion Lens. The 0.6X changes your Lensbaby’s effective focal length to 30mm while keeping the Sweet Spot the same size as a Lensbaby photo taken without a wide angle conversion lens. Other wide angle conversion lenses shrink the sweet spot. The 1.6X converts the Lensbaby to 80mm and slightly increases the size of the sweet spot. With the 0.6X Wide Angle lens, slight horizon line distortions (fish eye effect) sometimes occur when the sweet spot is pushed far off center. The wide angle lens is the sharpest wide angle conversion lens we have tested with a Lensbaby.

*Please Note: All accessory lenses sold on the Lensbaby web site will work on all Lensbabies - the Original, the 2.0, and the 3G.

Specifications
37 mm threads, screws on the front of your Lensbaby
0.6X wide angle conversion lens
1.6X telephoto conversion lens
Note: The Wide angle lens does not have a macro element
Cost: $ 89.00

The Lensbaby Photographic Experience
Creative and FUN!

Related Articles and Links
• the eBook, DSLR: Nikon D200 by Peter iNova

• the Best of Photoshop CS3 by Jack Davis

Compositing Exposures to Light Architecture & Landscapes by Bob Coates

Nikon D200 Training Series by Elite Video

Lensbaby

Other Special Features by Bet-TAY

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