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Lensbaby 2.0

By dpreview staff on Mar 22, 2005 at 10:50 GMT

Are you bored of your lenses? Do you want to get a bit creative? Then check out what the stork delivered from lensbabies.com. Lensbaby 2.0, an attachment for digital SLRs, offers a greater aperture range than The Original Lensbaby and a much sharper 'sweet spot' of focus, the size of which can be controlled by changing the apertures. Lensbaby 2.0 also features a coated, high refractive index, low dispersion optical glass doublet instead of the singled uncoated optical glass element in The Original Lensbaby. Apertures snap into place using the magnetic aperture system and can be lifted out with the complimentary Cell-Klear Lenspen. Suggested retail price is around $150.

Press Release:

Lensbabies Launches Lensbaby 2.0 for Brighter, Sharper, Faster Selective Focus Photography

March 21, 2005, Las Vegas, NV. Today at the WPPI trade show, Lensbabies launched Lensbaby 2.0, a second-generation selective focus SLR camera lens, bringing brighter, sharper, and faster selective focus photography to professional and avid amateur photographers.

“Lensbaby 2.0 has proven to be a wonderful creative tool for demanding photographic assignments. Compared to The Original Lensbaby, Lensbaby 2.0 has a greater range of aperture settings, a much sharper ‘sweet spot’ of focus, and a new levitating magnetic aperture system, which makes it a snap to change apertures,” said Craig Strong, the inventor of the Lensbaby and Co-CEO of Lensbabies, LLC.

Lensbaby 2.0 and The Original Lensbaby bring one area of a photo into sharp focus, with that ‘sweet spot’ surrounded by graduated blur, glowing highlights, and subtle prismatic color distortions. Photographers can fluidly move the sharp area around the photo by bending the flexible lens tubing.

Lensbaby 2.0 features an f2.0 aperture setting in addition to The Original Lensbaby’s f2.8, f4.0, f5.6 and f8.0. With Lensbaby 2.0, a photographer can control the size of the sweet spot of sharp focus by changing the apertures. The brighter the aperture, the smaller the sweet spot of focus and the greater the amount of graduated blurring in the photo’s surrounding area.

Lensbaby 2.0 also features a coated, high refractive index, low dispersion optical glass doublet instead of the singled uncoated optical glass element in The Original Lensbaby.

“In the year since we launched The Original Lensbaby, we learned many photographers wanted to create Lensbaby images that had an even sharper sweet spot. Lensbaby 2.0’s optic creates a much sweeter sweet spot of focus, which allows photographers to print large photos and see fine details like eye lashes or individual threads of fabric in the sharp area. Photographers will also find that Lensbaby 2.0 has minimal diffusion even at the f2.0 aperture setting,” said Strong

Lensbaby 2.0
“We now have two products that will appeal to a broader range of photographers. Many photographers will want to have both versions of Lensbabies in their camera bags; others will naturally find a favorite. We expect those who love soft focus, diffused images will gravitate towards The Original Lensbaby, while photographers who want a brighter lens with a very sharp sweet spot of focus and minimal diffusion will favor Lensbaby 2.0.”

Kevin Kubota, a professional photographer who used a prototype Lensbaby 2.0, was thrilled. “The optic is bright and crisp. The images have beautiful mix of clarity and dreaminess. I love using it with my wedding work and find it perfectly suited to feminine portraits like pregnancy and high school seniors. My customers love the ‘new’ look,” said Kubota.

Lensbaby 2.0 also features a levitating magnetic aperture system that makes changing apertures faster than with The Original Lensbaby, which uses a rubber gasket to hold aperture disks in place. Lensbaby 2.0 uses three shielded magnets embedded inside the optics cup to suspend metallicized plastic aperture disks just above the coated optical glass doublet. When a photographer drops an aperture disk into Lensbaby 2.0, it quickly snaps into position. Removal is also very easy: Lensbabies provides a complimentary Cell-Klear™ Lenspen® that the photographer inserts through the center hole in the aperture disk to lift it out.

Lensbaby 2.0 is available for sale now at www.lensbabies.com for $150, in camera mounts for virtually all SLR camera bodies. It will be rolled out to specialty photographic supply stores starting in mid-April. Lensbabies continues to offer The Original Lensbaby for $96.

Both Lensbaby 2.0 and The Original Lensbaby combine several vintage camera technologies in a novel, patent-pending combination. The shooter focuses a Lensbaby using the same general principle used with a bellows camera, by moving the focusing collar in and out with his or her fingertips. The photographer moves the ‘sweet spot’ of focus around the picture by bending the glass optic out of a parallel position to the image capture plane, like a tilt-shift lens.

Lensbaby 2.0 specifications

  • Available in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Olympus E1, Minolta Maxxum, Olympus OM, Canon FD, Leica R, Minolta Manual, Sigma, Contax/Yashica, and Screw mounts
  • Focal Length: right around 50 mm
  • Focus Type: Manual, fingertip, actually
  • Optical element: coated, high refractive index, low dispersion optical glass doublet
  • Aperture Type: Interchangeable levitating magnetic apertures
  • Apertures: f2.0, f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8
  • Nominal Focus: approximately 18 inches
  • Maximum Focus: infinity and beyond
  • Minimum Focus: approximately 10 inches (achieved by pushing on the back of the focusing collar)
  • Size: 2.25" high x 2.5" wide
  • Weight: 3.6 oz.
  • Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: $150

The Original Lensbaby and Lensbaby 2.0 Compared

 
Lensbaby 2.0
The Original Lensbaby
Aperture settings f/2.0, f/2.8. f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8.0 f/2.8. f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8.0
Optical glass element Coated, high refractive index, low dispersion optical glass doublet Uncoated single optical glass element
Aperture system Levitating magnetically receptive aperture discs that float above the optic Aperture discs held in place with a friction fit rubber gasket

Lensbaby 2.0 aperture system
Lensbaby 2.0 utilizes a system of levitating magnetically receptive discs that float above the optic. When the aperture discs are dropped into the Lensbaby, they snap into place, held just above the optic by magnetic attraction from the three shielded rare earth magnets embedded in the optics cup. Removal is also easy, and Lensbabies provides a complimentary Cell-Klear™ Lenspen® that the photographer can insert through the center hole in the aperture disk to lift it out.

Lens: Lensbaby 2.0. Camera: D70. Aperture: f/2.8. ISO: 400
© Craig Strong

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