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The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 mimics tilt-shift blur for less cash

Tilt-shift lenses are pricey, but the latest addition to the Lensbaby modular Composer Pro II system allows photographers to capture a similar effect for under $500. On Thursday, March 14, Lensbaby launched the Composer Pro II with Edge 35mm Optic. The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35mm Optic uses the company’s existing Composer Pro II base, but expands the options for the optic swap system with a wider 35mm.

The Edge optics create a strip of sharpness while blurring the rest of the image, similar to the effect of a tilt-shift lens. The Edge works with the Composer Pro II or Composer Pro base, which uses a ball and socket design. That allows the lens to be used straight like a traditional lens, or tilted. Tilting the lens adjusts where the sharp areas of the image are. The modular lens system already includes a 50mm and 80mm Edge. The Sweet optics in the series, which includes a 35mm, 50mm, and 80mm use a circle of sharpness instead of a strip.

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The new Edge 35 Optic is the company’s widest Edge effect lens in the series. Lensbaby says that a 35mm tilt lens is among the most frequent requests, and now the company is granting those wishes. Photographers can create a horizontal slice of focus by tilting the lens up or down or a vertical slice by moving the lens left or right. Moving the lens diagonally will also create a diagonal line of focus through the image.

The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 has an aperture range of f/3.5-f/22, using an eight-blade iris. The lens can focus on objects as close as seven inches from the front. There is no autofocus motor included in the lens construction, which means the lens is manual focus only.

Lensbaby is known for developing unique lenses that allow for creative effects like selective blur.

“Over the past 15 years, we’ve made optical tools to help you discover unique ways of seeing your world. A 35mm tilt lens, despite being our most requested new product offering since we introduced the Edge 80 in 2012, has been elusive and the results of our efforts have paid off in a lens that is far better than we thought possible when starting our design process. It was worth the wait,” Craig Strong, Lensbaby Chief Creative Officer and co-founder, said in a press release.

The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 will be available in mounts for the Nikon F, Canon EF, Sony E, Fujifilm X, and Micro Four Thirds. The lens will be available in April for about $450 for photographers who need both the base and the 35mm optic. Photographers that already have a Composer lens in their bag can pick up the Edge 35 optic for $250.

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