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Lensbaby introduces Edge 80 telephoto optic

By dpreview staff on Feb 14, 2012 at 14:00 GMT

Lensbaby has announced an addition to its unique range of selective-focus lenses, in the shape of the Edge 80. It's an 80mm F2.8 short telephoto that, unlike the company's existing products, is conventionally optically-corrected , and designed to be used as a tilt lens to produce 'slices' of sharp focus across the frame. It has a 12-blade circular aperture diaphragm for attractive out-of-focus blur, and a built-in extension tube for close focusing down to about 19". It's available to order now from the company's website for $300.

Click here for our quick review of the Lensbaby 80, including a small samples gallery

Press release:

Lensbaby® Introduces the Edge 80 Optic

 Edge 80 gives photographers extraordinary creative control over depth of field

Portland, OR – Lensbaby, announces today the availability of its 80mm Edge 80 Optic, the newest addition to its Optic Swap System.  This new optic is compatible with the Lensbaby Composer Pro, Composer, Muse, Scout and Control Freak, and will transform any of these bending lens bodies into a tilt lens that delivers a selective slice of sharp focus through an image.  Like the Lensbaby Sweet 35 Optic, the Edge 80 features Lensbaby’s internal 12-blade adjustable aperture.

“The Edge 80 Optic allows photographers to create images with quality that is on-par with some of the best lenses I’ve ever used.  Like a great lens mounted on a view camera bellows, you can make spectacular ‘straight’ photos with the Edge 80 pointed straight ahead and then, when you want a different look altogether, fluidly tilt the lens to create a razor sharp slice of selective focus through your image,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby President and Co-Founder. For more information, visit the Edge 80 hub.

The Edge 80 provides a flat field of focus that, pointed straight ahead, takes photos that are sharp from edge to edge. Tilting the Edge 80 allows photographers to create vertical, horizontal and diagonal slices of focus through the image. Objects in both the foreground and the background can be in focus within that slice.  Photographers can control the size of the slice of focus by changing the 12-blade aperture.  For example, f/2.8 will produce a thin slice of focus with abundant blur. F/22 will produce a very wide slice of focus with just a small amount of blur. The Edge 80 allows photographers to quickly and seamlessly change the 12-blade aperture from f/2.8 through f/22, simply by rotating the dial on the front of the optic. An incredibly versatile portrait lens, Edge 80 can also be used to great effect in any situation that lends itself to selective focus – from food photography to giving landscapes a “miniature” appearance. To better understand how tilt, aperture, and focus affect an Edge 80 image, visit the Edge 80 Optic simulator.

With the addition of Edge 80 to the Optic Swap System, Lensbaby provides photographers with yet another way to creatively control depth of field.  A photographer needs only to buy one Lensbaby lens to gain access to a system offering 8 interchangeable optics that each give different ways to control depth of field and other creative effects – an unprecedented system within the world of photography.

With the Edge 80, photographers can control a flat field of focus that becomes a slice of sharpness through the photo when the lens is tilted.  With Lensbaby’s Sweet 35, Double Glass, Single Glass, and Plastic Optics, photographers can control a curved field of focus that brings one area of the photo into sharp focus with other areas at the same depth of field falling off into blur.  The Pinhole/Zone plate provides infinite depth of field, the Soft Focus optic delivers a sharp image with a soft overlay from edge to edge, while the Fisheye Optic provides a 160 degree angle of view on the world.

Edge 80 Optic Product Specs:

  • Focal Length: 80mm
  • 12-blade internal aperture, controlled by a dial on the front of the optic
  • Aperture range from f/2.8 through f/22
  • Flat field of focus optic (when tilted, creates a slice of sharp focus, bordered by blur)
  • Compatible with Lensbaby Composer Pro, Composer, Muse, Scout and Control Freak lens bodies*
  • Minimum focusing distance: approximately 17” when the optic is extended forward in close focus mode and fully tilted
  • Maximum focusing distance: Infinity
  • 5 multi-coated glass elements, in four groups
  • 46mm front threads**

* The Edge 80 Optic is not compatible with the Composer with Tilt Transformer for Micro 4/3rds and Sony NEX Cameras.

** The Edge 80 Optic is not compatible with current 37mm Lensbaby accessories.

The Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic is available for $300 (MSRP) from http://www.lensbaby.com/, and Lensbaby-authorized photo specialty stores worldwide.

Comments

Total comments: 19
paul13walnut5
By paul13walnut5 (Feb 25, 2012)

If you are in the UK it makes sense to order it from the states instead. Even with all applicable taxes and postage you should still save around £50 in the worst case scenario.

0 upvotes
paul13walnut5
By paul13walnut5 (Feb 23, 2012)

UK price confirmed at £300, which is equivalent to $475.

UK customers are expected to pay £110 or $175 more than US customers.

Boo Hiss Lensbaby! Very greedy.

0 upvotes
grafli
By grafli (Feb 25, 2012)

most of the difference are taxes..

0 upvotes
paul13walnut5
By paul13walnut5 (Feb 22, 2012)

Lensbaby and Intro2020 (UK importer) have so far been unable to confirm the UK selling price.

However Morris Photo have it listed on their site at £299 (eqiv. to $475 dollars)

http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/ProductDetails~man~Lensbaby~productID~9797~categoryid~270.html

If you were starting from scratch then you would need a composer -ranges from £167 to £365 ($265 - $580)- depending on whether or you go for the basic body and double glass lens or pro body with sweet 35 optic.

In the UK if you want to get the Edge 80 kit your pocket will be between £468 & £664 lighter ($740 & $1050)

Even if you already have a composer kit you're still paying 60% more for the optic in the UK than you would in the states.

I'm a lensbaby fan. I had the original, the 2.0, now have the composer and I think they are great. The extreme cost of the new optic and the disparity between US and UK prices really really put me off the product and the brand.

Would any of my US friends pay $1050 for this optic?

0 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (Feb 15, 2012)

For $300 plus that this is you might as well buy a Hasselblad tilt adapter and a second hand Hasselblad 80mm 2.8 for not much more. Will enable much further tilt, better image quality and better full frame coverage, and repeatable effects.

0 upvotes
paul13walnut5
By paul13walnut5 (Feb 15, 2012)

Not to mention the cost of the composer mount, ranging from $250 for basic composer with double glass optic, or $400 for composer pro with sweet 35 optic.

So combined cost is $550-$700 to get a usable combination with this new lens.

1 upvote
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Feb 15, 2012)

so sony NEX finnalöy got their portrait lens hehe

0 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (Feb 15, 2012)

Does this lens cover full-frame 35mm sensor?

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Feb 14, 2012)

A nice product that will spawn yet more creativity without the exorbitant cost associated with overpriced TS lenses.

This is a game changer.

Well done.

2 upvotes
paul13walnut5
By paul13walnut5 (Feb 15, 2012)

Well done on the R&D and looks like an innovative and interesting product capable of quality results, lets do some maths though..

If you don't already own a composer lens then you'll need to buy one...
...ranging from $250 for basic composer with double glass optic, or $400 for composer pro with sweet 35 optic.

So combined cost is $550-$700 to get a usable combination with this new lens.

Still pretty exorbitant! At least you can rent a tilt lens for the rare occassions you absolutely require one.

1 upvote
mitchelsphotography
By mitchelsphotography (Feb 15, 2012)

the lens baby is just awesome, but can you not just edit this in photoshop?
[URL="http://www.mitchelsphotography.com"]http://www.mitchelsphotography.com[/URL]

0 upvotes
dimalozz
By dimalozz (Feb 14, 2012)

All we need is... samples! :)

2 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Feb 14, 2012)

yes

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 14, 2012)

"...the Edge 80 allows photographers to create vertical, horizontal and diagonal slices of focus through the image."

A sample or two might help show where or why this effect might be valuable. Does one see a scene that begs a selective swath in focus, and tilt a special lens, to match the sudden inspiration? For less dexterious follks, or for shots one cannot control, fancy defocus may be easier to achieve, after seeing a photo, with a more humble or trial and error inspiration, and a ditigal defocus tool.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Feb 14, 2012)

You mean like the samples in the review we've just posted?

2 upvotes
Colin Dutton
By Colin Dutton (Feb 14, 2012)

Having a slice of focus that travels across the frame, rather than just a sweet spot, is really useful in food photography for highlighting certain areas and textures at different focal distances while maintaining a narrow depth of focus overall.

I usually use a Zork system with an enlarger lens and the results are excellent. But I'd be interested to know how this compares to the Tilt Transformer with a normal Nikkor lens fitted. Especially at shorter focal lengths as the Zork requires at least an 80mm.

I don't yet see any advantages to the Edge 80 over the Tilt Tranformer/Nikkor option. Perhaps I'm missing something.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Feb 14, 2012)

@Colin Dutton - the Edge 80 and Tilt Transformer+Nikon lens options work on different camera types. The Edge 80 is for SLRs, the Tilt Transformer is for mirrorless systems (Micro Four Thirds and NEX).

0 upvotes
Colin Dutton
By Colin Dutton (Feb 14, 2012)

Ok, I see what I was missing now. . the Tilt Tranformer/Nikkor combination is only available to Micro 4/3 cameras. It all makes sense now.

In that case a comparison between the Edge 80 and the Zork would be interesting as the price difference is huge.

0 upvotes
Colin Dutton
By Colin Dutton (Feb 14, 2012)

Thanks Andy, you beat me to it!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 19