Creating surreal pictures utilizing tilt results with Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic

In case you’re like me, you’re all the time on the lookout for one thing totally different. New angles, new lighting, new methods, new gear and new views.

I had been desirous to experiment with the kinds of blurring results some tilt-shift lenses may provide for years now, as I had seen only a few examples of this in evening pictures. When I discovered that Lensbaby had an Edge 35 Optic lens for my Pentax Ok-1, I couldn’t say no.

Optic swap

Lensbaby lenses are just a little uncommon of their method. The Edge 35 Optic lens, because it seems, doesn’t mount on to your digicam. You have to buy a Lensbaby Composer Pro II or an earlier kind of housing. The housing mounts to your digicam. Then, in flip, you snap the Edge 35 Optic to the Composer Professional II.

There’s a cause for this. The Composer Professional II bends. Subsequently, it’s possible you’ll bend no matter lens is connected each which means. The aim of that is to shift the aircraft of focus and depth of subject, which is dependent upon the path and quantity you tilt the lens.

Edge 35 Optic

Because the identify implies, the lens is 35mm. I needed to buy one of many widest lenses Lensbaby had, and this was it. It’s not as extensive of a lens as I normally use, however continues to be extensive sufficient.

I did discover that I needed to again off my topics fairly a bit greater than regular. The lens is f/3.5-f/22 and can be utilized on APS-C in addition to full body. It is best to know that it’s utterly handbook, as you wouldn’t be capable of focus given the tilting that it does anyway. Nevertheless, the aperture can also be handbook, and won’t be electronically communicated to your digicam.

Fascinating results

You could use the Edge 35 Optic as a “regular” lens, that means that it has a flat subject of focus in all places within the body, if that’s what you need. However after all, that’s not why we buy this lens, is it? In any case, the enjoyable lies in tilting the aircraft of focus.

As with all tilt-shift fashion lens, which this approximates, the blur impact is dependent upon the quantity of tilt. However additionally it is affected by the aperture. Wider apertures similar to f/3.5 create a narrower space of focus surrounded by a bigger quantity of blurring. Smaller apertures create a wider space of focus surrounded by much less blurring.

If this sounds complicated, in apply, it’s surprisingly intuitive. The slice of focus is well managed bodily, and you may see the impact instantly. Effectively, you probably have sufficient mild, anyway. Since I used to be photographing at evening, I aimed my headlamp on the topic close by and was capable of dial within the impact simply.

Experimenting is enjoyable. That’s mainly the motto of Lensbaby merchandise.

Discovering the ring

I discovered that the one factor that I actually needed to get used to was discovering the aperture ring. As talked about earlier than, you management the aperture manually. Simply finished. And the impact on the slice of focus isn’t refined. You may see the slice of focus proceed rising, with increasingly turning into as focus as you shift from f/3.5 to the a lot smaller f/22.

Keep in mind, I used to be figuring all this out at midnight, which speaks to how intuitive that is.

My first picture with the lens within the subject

My first use with the Lensbaby Composer II and Edge 35 Optic was in a extremely out-of-the-way place within the Sonoran Desert. The moon had not but risen, so I made a decision to start photographing inside a constructing the place uncommon classic vehicles and vehicles have been being restored.


I lined up the primary truck, a pink Twenties Commerce flatbed truck. Commerce manufactured 1500 vehicles in a span of three to 4 years. Not many are left. As a result of I used to be working at midnight, I took nice warning when transferring round it.

The lens was surprisingly sharp after I positioned it with a flat-focus view. I doubtless have a sharper lens than this, however once more, that’s not what this lens is for. I created a Dutch angle with the ball head, then bent the lens to create a slice going throughout the Commerce emblem within the entrance. This took no time in any respect, and I may see the impact readily regardless of the dim mild of the headlamp.

Illuminating the Commerce truck

Utilizing a ProtoMachines LED2 light painting device, I grazed a heat white mild throughout the entrance of the Commerce truck to create shadow and depth. I then switched the ProtoMachines to blue mild and illuminated the inside of the truck. I positioned it to create a shadow of the steering wheel whereas within the window for good measure. The publicity is barely 29 seconds lengthy, because it was not essential to go any longer for the reason that sole illumination was from my lighting.

Toylike miniaturization

The lean-shift creates an virtually toylike high quality. That is as a result of miniaturization impact. The impact is much more pronounced as a result of I selected daring colours for the composition. I used to be fairly pleased with this primary try.

My second picture within the subject


My second try utilizing the lens within the subject was inside the identical constructing, this time with a Gotfredson Mannequin 20B stake mattress truck from the Twenties, one other extraordinarily uncommon classic car. I made a decision to forego the Dutch angle this time.

As soon as once more utilizing the dim headlamp, I centered on the symbol. This time, I used a barely smaller aperture, in all probability f/5.6 as a substitute of f/3.5. I say “in all probability” as a result of the lens is totally handbook and doesn’t talk its settings or the rest electronically with the digicam. The smaller aperture created a wider slice of focus.

Adjusting the blur

I additionally angled the slice of focus so it could rise because it was going to the right-hand facet to get the horn on the motive force’s facet of the car extra in focus. In case you take a look at the blur, you’ll be able to inform that the left facet, particularly on the prime, is significantly extra out of focus than the higher proper. One has quite a lot of management over the blur impact. Once more, I discovered it intuitive.

Illuminating the Gotfredson truck

I approached the lighting in an identical method. I illuminated the entrance of the truck with heat white mild from the left facet of the digicam as I did with the Commerce truck, skimming the sunshine to create shadow and depth from the symbol. Then I then walked round and illuminated the inside with a blue mild. This time, there was not any glass in entrance of the steering wheel, so I couldn’t get the shadow as I did with the Commerce truck.

Illuminating a GMC truck

I lit this in an identical method to the Gotfredson truck however was capable of get the shadow of the steering wheel.


Inspiring experimentation with Lensbaby lenses

I hope that this text conjures up you to experiment with Lensbaby, tilt-shift lenses, or another type of lens that creates totally different results. Please share what kind of experimentations you’ve tried in the comments beneath!