PHOTOKINA, Cologne, Germany (Press Release)—Today Lensbabies, LLC launched its third generation selective focus Single Lens Reflex (SLR) lens, Lensbaby 3G, introducing new features that dramatically expand the Lensbaby product family’s capabilities.
The Lensbaby 3G SLR lens allows photographers to lock the Lensbaby in a desired bent position simply by pressing a button. Then, using a traditional barrel focus mechanism, photographers can do fine focusing and precisely place the sweet spot of sharp focus before pressing the shutter release. The Original Lensbaby lens and the Lensbaby 2.0 lens require the photographer to manually hold the Lensbaby in a bent position while pressing the shutter release.
Professional Photographer was fortunate to get to try one of the prototypes, and the new design works wonderfully. Simply move the barrel of the lens to the position you want, push a button to lock it into place, and then you can fine tune with the focusing rails (which we like to call the Swedish Furniture Legs) and focusing ring. With this new design that moves the focal point where you want it and locks it in, you can create gorgeous, reliable effects with a camera mounted on a tripod.
Lensbaby selective focus SLR camera lenses take photos with one area in sharp focus, with that ‘sweet spot’ surrounded by graduated blur. Photographers can move the sweet spot of sharp focus anywhere in the photo by bending the flexible lens tubing.
“Response to the Original Lensbaby and Lensbaby 2.0 has been great,” said Craig Strong, the inventor of the Lensbaby and Co-Founder of Lensbabies, LLC. “But we asked our customers what new features they wanted. Studio photographers told us they want to repeat Lensbaby photos exactly the same each time, whether they are shooting food, fine art nudes, or Chanel shoes. Studio portrait photographers told us they want greater confidence in the sweet spot’s sharpness and placement. Outdoor and location photographers said they are interested in shooting longer exposures than are possible with the Original Lensbaby and Lensbaby 2.0.”
Lensbaby 3G features the same low dispersion, high refractive index, multi-coated optical glass doublet and the same flexible tubing as Lensbaby 2.0, but adds three focusing rails that emerge from the camera mount and pass through the focusing collar. A trigger button on the focusing collar releases three pins that engage the focusing rails and lock Lensbaby 3G in a bent position.
“The process of shooting with Lensbaby 3G is quite different than with Lensbaby 2.0, and the two lenses are optimized for different types of photography. While Lensbaby 2.0 is great for intuitive, fluid, photojournalistic shots, Lensbaby 3G is a workhorse for pros that require precise focusing, complete control, and repeatability,” said Strong.
Once Lensbaby 3G is locked into place, additional fine focus can be achieved by turning the barrel focusing ring, which moves the optic in and out like a normal manual focus lens. Also, in the locked position, a photographer can make small adjustments to the placement of the sweet spot of focus by turning any combination of the three focusing rails.
“We think Lensbaby 3G is the logical next step in the evolution of selective focus photography, allowing complete control and repeatability,” said Strong. “We hope Lensbaby 3G will meet photographers’ needs for precision while stimulating their creative vision.”
Lensbaby 3G SLR lenses will be available starting in mid-October from www.Lensbabies.com, by calling 877-536-7222 / 971-223-5662, and from select specialty photo stores. Lensbaby 3G is initially available in mounts for Canon EF and Nikon F camera bodies. Versions of the Lensbaby 3G for Olympus 4/3rds/Panasonic, Pentax K/Samsung GX, and Sony Alpha/Minolta Maxxum digital and film SLR camera bodies are scheduled to ship in mid-November. Optional accessories include the Lensbaby Macro Kit. Photographers can also mount a variety of 37mm threaded accessories, such as wide angle and telephoto conversion lenses, onto the front of their Lensbaby.
Lensbaby 3G Specifications:
Optic: Coated optical glass doublet (same optic as Lensbaby 2.0)
Focal Length: Approximately 50 mm
Focus Type: Hybrid Manual Compression / Manual barrel
Aperture Type: Interchangeable levitating aperture disks
Apertures: f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22
Minimum Focus: Approximately 12 inches (30.48cm)
Maximum Focus: Infinity
Size: 3" (7.62cm) high x 3.25" (8.89cm) wide
Weight: 5.7oz (161.59g)
Available Mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Olympus 4/3rds/Panasonic, Pentax K/Samsung, Sony Alpha/Minolta Maxxum
Note: A Lensbaby does not communicate electronically with the camera body.