The Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic fits inside the Lensbaby Composer and should therefore be seen as an optional lens for the lensbaby system - which now consists of a number of lens / optical units called the "Optic Swap System" - the original being the double glass optic that comes with the lensbaby composer. There are a number of other Optics available from the Sweet 35, Double Glass, Single Glass, Plastic, Fisheye, Soft Focus and Pinhole / Zone plate.
Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic Features
What is a Lensbaby? What does it do? Lensbabies are lenses that combine a simple lens with a bellows or ball and socket mechanism for use in creating different creative effects. The original lens comes with aperture rings (washers) that are removed and replaced in order to change the aperture.
The Edge 80 Optic is an 80mm f/2.8 prime lens, ideal for portrait style photography, and used on a full frame camera and you get an 80mm lens, used on an APS-C sensor camera such as a Nikon D5100, you get a 120mm (1.5x) equivalent, a Canon EOS 600D, you get a 128mm (1.6x) equivalent, and on a Micro / Four Thirds camera you get a 160mm equivalent (2x). The front features a screw thread so that filters or other adapters can be mounted.
Lensbaby Edge80 Aperture Part Closed
12 blade aperture
f/2.8 - f/22
Macro / Close up mode
Compatible with Lensbaby Composer Pro, Composer, Muse, Scout and Control Freak lens bodies*
46mm front threads
Lensbaby Edge80 Rear
Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic Handling
We thought the best way to show you how this lens works with the Lensbaby Composer was to record a video demonstrating how you change the standard lens out for the Edge 80 optic:
More product views:
In Lensbaby Edge 80
Lensbaby Edge80 Macro Mode
Turn the main ring on the composer to focus, turn the ring on the Edge 80 for aperture selection
Pull the very front ring / lens element forwards to put it into macro / close up mode
Lensbaby Edge80 Aperture Closed
Lensbaby Edge80 Aperture Open
Bend the main Composer lens section to alter the focus to different areas of the image, you can also tighten the ring nearest the camera body in order to fix or loosen the composer position.
Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic Sample Photos
The lens is capable of taking sharp images - as can be seen in the test studio shot above, using f/11 and keeping the lens straight, rather than tilting it. Using the tilt, it's possible to keep an area sharp, for example, the toy cement mixer is sharp from front to back, but the bench is out of focus.
The Lensbaby Composer and Edge 80 optic is great for videos as it can give extremely shallow focus, as well as the unique tilted focus plane. Another use would be to create timelapse videos, such as miniatures.
A cheaper alternative is the Lensbaby Spark, which takes the Lensbaby back to basics, and is available for around £80, although doesn't feature aperture control.
Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic Verdict
The Lensbaby Edge 80 with built in aperture control, makes it easier to quickly change aperture from wide open f/2.8 to closed at f/22, and the 12 aperture blades ensures a very circular opening, which in turn gives very pleasing background blur or bokeh. The Edge 80 can be used for sharp photography when used straight ahead, or can be used creatively for styled photographs and portrait work. In addition the use of the Lensbaby Composer means you can quite quickly and easily change to a different optic for a different effect. There are not many 80mm portrait lenses, with most being 85mm and costing a similar amount to the Edge 80, however the Lensbaby Edge 80 has the "edge" thanks to the tilt shift capabilities of the Lensbaby Composer, making this a unique and appealing lens, particularly for portrait work.
Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic Pros
Quick aperture control
Good bokeh / background blur
Easy close-up mode
Quick and easy creative effects
Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic Cons
Getting the Edge 80 out of the Composer can be fiddly
Quite high price if you don't already have a Composer