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Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic [Review]

Disclaimer: I was sent a Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic to try out and review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

A few weeks ago, I was expecting a package to arrive in the mail. I took Mikey to preschool the afternoon of the day it was scheduled to arrive and returned to find a failed delivery notice on my door. I could see the UPS truck at the end of my street still, so I grabbed the note and ran to the end of our block, catching up with the driver as he finished unloading packages for the final apartment building on the street.

After retrieving my package from the driver, I quickly returned back home and ripped it open before the back door to my apartment had even had a chance to close behind me.

This is why I was so excited to receive my package: Inside, nestled between layers of crumpled brown paper padding, was the Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic that I had been patiently waiting for.

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic

The Lensbaby Composer Pro is available for a wide variety of different SLR bodies: Canon EF (EOS), Nikon F, Sony Alpha A / Minolta Maxxum, Pentax K / Samsung GX, Olympus E1 cameras. It is also available for some of the mirrorless camera models as well.

Both the manual focus system and tilt control are beautifully smooth. The Composer Pro is sturdy and obviously well constructed, with a refined metal ball design for the tilt control. The lens ships with either the Double Glass Optic ($300) or the Sweet 35 Optic ($400) and is compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System.

The Sweet 35 Optic is a 35mm selective focus optic with a 12-blade adjustable aperture and an aperture range of f/2.5 – f/22. It is the widest focal length of any other Lensbaby optic and creates a sharp Sweet Spot surrounded by gorgeous, ethereal blur. You can move the sweet spot around easily using the sleek tilt control of the Composer Pro.

If you are new to Lensbaby, or would just like to see what they can do, why not take a look at these videos available on the Lensbaby Website?

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic

Shooting with The Lensbaby Composer Pro

It took a little while for me to get used to shooting with the Lensbaby, but once I got the hang of it the results took my breath away. It is manual focus, I haven’t used manual focus very much since I upgraded my camera body, and it certainly takes some getting used to when photographing a moving subject. I found that I picked it up fairly quickly though and was happily surprised at exactly how sharp the Sweet Spot on the Sweet 35 Optic actually is.

The aperture range is fantastic, with a range of f/2.5 – f/22 I can easily close down my aperture to allow more room for error when practicing my manual focus.

The Lensbaby Composer Pro is perfect for photography and videography of all kinds. I’ve been using it to take photos of Mikey, playing at the park or in the house helping me cook. I’ve been taking still life type photos of food, flowers and objects around my apartment. The Sweet 35 Optic has superb close-focus abilities and Lensbaby have a macro converter available if you want an even closer focus.

I have yet to catch the train into downtown Chicago to shoot some street photography with it, but I am absolutely looking forward to doing that in the near future because I think the results will be fantastic!

Why not click here to check out what I’ve been shooting with this lens?

The Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic would be a great addition to the camera bag of any photographer, professional or amateur. It’s a professional level system, at the fantastic price of $400. Once you have the Composer Pro lens, you also have the option to switch out optics  for various different creative effects depending on what you would like to achieve.

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic

I’m in love with the great quality of the lens and since putting it on my camera a couple of weeks ago, it has barely left. I had previously felt a little as though I was stuck in a rut throughout this long Chicago Winter, but using this lens regularly has pulled me right out. While learning to shoot with it, I feel as though my creativity has improved.

You can use the Lensbaby Composer Pro to guide the eye in an image using the sweet spot and blur, be on the look out for new perspectives or different ways to represent the same scene. See in a New Way, is the tagline for the company and the lens helps me to do exactly that.

The combination of blur and the sweet spot gives a sometimes ethereal or painterly quality an image, something that I really love.

I am excited about being able to use the lens to shoot for our upcoming Nurture Photography Challenge, and to get out there and try it out with some different types of photography such as some street or urban photography.

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic

Disclaimer: I was sent a Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic to try out and review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

11 Comments

  1. I have not heard of this – I don’t think my husband will let me purchase a new lens so soon since I just bought a new one before our trip to Europe (Canon EF 17-55). I’m still getting used to the new lens and am not sure if I like it that much(why does this always happen to me).

    So this lens produces photos that are somewhat distorted?
    Tiaras & Tantrums´s last post ..Day One – Traveling to London

    • Yes, the lens has a tilt function which gives you some really interesting distortion/blur. Great for creative projects!

  2. LaShawn

    This lens is on my wish list! Maybe for Mother’s Day…….

    • You should check into it, I’ve been having so much fun shooting with this lens. It has really pushed me to think in different ways about my photography.

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