Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35mm Optic Review
This is part two of my Lensbaby review series. Read part one here and learn more about the Lensbaby Spark. The Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35mm optic is a photographer's dream come true. Sturdy, well constructed, and absolute bokeh perfection.
I may have posted this photo before but I'm sharing again to illustrate how awesome this lens is for those of us who rely on bokeh and blur to "clean up" backgrounds.
Lensbaby Composer Pro offers seamless and smooth manual focus and tilting compatible with all optics in the Optic Swap System.
The Composer Pro is available for the following SLR camera bodies: Canon EF (EOS), Nikon F, Sony Alpha A / Minolta Maxxum, Pentax K / Samsung GX, Olympus E1 cameras ( some mirrorless camera models as well) and ships with either the double glass optic ($300) or Sweet 35 optic ($400).
The Sweet 35 Optic is appropriately named. Sweet? It is. It's a 35mm optic with selective focus and a 12 blade internal aperture system. Aperture ranges from 2.5 to 22 with a sharp spot of focus surrounding by increasing and absolutely gorgeous blur. You can move the sweet spot around effortlessly with the Composer Pro's phenomenally flexible tilting abilities.
What it means
Like the Spark you have to be comfortable with manual focusing but this is a professional grade system. Focusing manually with the Lensbaby Composer Pro and Sweet 35mm optic is as smooth as it gets. Because this isn't a fixed aperture lens you can choose a smaller aperture to get a bigger area of focus which leaves a ton of wiggle room while getting to know the lens. There's no pressure to nail focus at one specific aperture because the 35mm optic has a terrific range from 2.5 - 22. That's great for those of us with kids since getting a toddler at 2.5 can be a bit of a challenge. A cool feature is the locking ring that ensures that your spot of focus stays in place while you shoot.
You can swap optics with the Composer Pro system. I was able to easily remove the 35mm optic and am considering purchasing the soft focus optic for a little more Lensbaby fun.
Anything! Videography and photography of all kinds. Excellent for hobbyists and professionals alike. The system is well constructed and well made. There is nothing flimsy about it.
If you are an amateur photographer there is no reason you should shy away from the Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35mm optic if you're comfortable with the price. If you aren't the Lensbaby Composer is an excellent less expensive alternative. I've heard great things about it.
I think the Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35mm Optic is excellently priced because not only do you get a professional level system for $400 you also get the option to switch optics for different creative results. You get a lot more use out of the system than a traditional lens.
I love using this lens when I'm shooting images for black and white conversions.
I think this lens is great for parents because it adds a little magic to our everyday snapshots of our families.
Same shot in black and white because I couldn't help myself.
The Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35mm Optic has been mounted on my camera about 50% of the time I'm shooting since I got it last month. I was skeptical about using Lensbaby lenses because I had seen some shots that made me dizzy and made me feel like I had motion sickness. After taking many of those shots myself I learned that it's strictly user error.
I've spent a lot of time testing this lens and looking at the work of professionals who use Lensbaby and can confidently say that the images that are a bit too blurry are cases of either user error or creative shots that didn't personally vibe with me, my stomach, or style. It's not the lens at all.
Don't judge this workhorse of a lens by my terrible attempts at product photography :) it's awesome.
This lens has increased my compositional creativity and it motivates me to shoot with new perspectives. Totally recommend this for anyone who wants a lens that is a bit out of the ordinary and is looking to add some creative depth to their work. My favorite thing about this lens is that there are affordable optics I can switch out when I'm looking for something new. Beats buying a new lens for sure.
My favorite shot so far. My curious son exploring nature.