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.

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.

Product Review

With the S10e and S10 Plus, do we really need the Samsung Galaxy S10?

The Galaxy S10 is the middle child in this year’s Galaxy S10 range, between the Galaxy S10e, and the Galaxy S10 Plus. There’s no striking reason to buy it, but it’s still an excellent phone you’ll be happy with.

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.
Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…

Photography News: Taking a smartphone photo probably saved this guy’s life

A man was snapping a photo in Australia when the smartphone stopped an arrow shot at his face. In this week's photography news, see Canon's plans for a stabilized mirrorless, Hasselblad's newest accessories, Samyang's latest lens, and more.

Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 is sharp enough to handle futuristic 90-megapixel cameras

Lens launches come with a lot of hype and marketing speak but a recent test confirmed some of the initial claims around the Sony FE 135 f/1.8. A rental company says that the Sony 135mm is the sharpest lens that it has ever tested.

Forget folding phones, the Insta360 EVO camera folds in half to shoot 360 video

The Insta360 EVO is a...flip camera? Unfolded, the Insta360 Evo shoots 3D in 180 degrees, folded, the new camera shoots in 360 degrees. The EVO launches with what are essentially a pair of 3D glasses for your phone, not your face, the…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Obsbot Tail camera uses A.I. to follow the action (or a pet) for you

Want to capture more epic action selfies, or see what your pet is doing while you're gone? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.

Loupedeck Plus can now edit video, audio with Final Cut Pro

The list of Loupedeck Plus-compatible software is growing. The photo-editing console now works with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Audition for video and audio editing. The controls can be configured to be used on either platform.

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.