Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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29 Apr 2020 7:27AM   Views : 320 Unique : 212


It’s a short word, heavy with meaning, of many different sorts.

But it’s definitely true that living close to the edge is exciting, and the most creative things often happen right on the cusp of disaster.

I often quote Jimmy McRae, rally driver and father of the late Colin McRae, who won the World Rally Championship for Subaru: ‘If you’re not having any moments, you’re not going fast enough.’ I think that’s true in every field: to achieve great things, you need to take some risks, as I’ve written a few times on this site.

Using Lensbaby optics at all constitutes some sort of a risk: they operate differently from other lenses, and difference causes problems for many people. Remember the days when Ford only made rear wheel drive cars, with cross-ply tyres and dynamos? Ford owners (and some Ford engineers) were dismissive of the peculiar technology that British Leyland adopted in the Austin Allegro, but their cars now own more to the Allegro than a Cortina…


Given that Ford are still in business, and British Leyland aren’t, maybe the moral is to avoid being an ‘early adopter’!

Lensbabies have been around a while now, and mirrorless cameras make them much easier to use well. And some peculiar things have happened in their development. Here’s where Lensbabies get less edgy: ironically, with a lens called ‘Edge’.

Back a step. Once Lensbaby introduced the Composer mount, they had something which was, by any normal definition, a tilt mount. So why not add a tilt lens to the range? Something that is inherently pretty sharp, so that it can be used for conventional pictures, and simply allows the user to apply the Scheimpflug principle (go on, look it up). Lensbaby users being the sort of people they are, though, the more common use is usually to tilt the lens the opposite way to achieve a slim slice of focus, or the sort of ‘differential focus slice’ effect that makes a real street scene look like a shot of a model village.

The first Edge was 80mm, followed by a 50mm and most recently, 35mm. The 80mm is not currently in production, but I’ve recently acquired one on eBay: not cheap, but great fun!


And just a few words for another defunct piece of kit. In this case, maybe it’s defunct because it operates in a way that’s completely contrary to the spirit of Lensbaby: it allows you to lock any setting of the lens, and then fine-tune it, using three adjustment screws. Naturally, it’s called the Control Freak.

The final shot uses the Control Freak and Edge 80 at f/2.8 to inprove depth of field - I wasn't using a tripod, but compare this with the 'unadjusted' version at the top...


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