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I had the opportunity to play around with a Lens Baby Composer.  Lens baby lenses, for those that have never heard of them, are fixed focal length lenses that allow the photographer to creatively select the focal point or sweet spot in the photo and the rest of the image gradually blurs.  The good folks at Lens Baby have just released three new models, The Composer,  The Muse and The Control Freak.  I worked with a version of The Composer and after one afternoon I felt like I had a pretty good handle on what I could do with it.

The Composer ($270, street) allows you to turn the lens until you get the sweet spot right where you want it, The Muse ($100, street) acts the most like the original Lens baby and allows you to gently push and pull as you twist the lens to get your final image, the Control Freak (not yet available) resembles the Lens Baby 3G and is very useful with macro and tabletop photography. Another unique feature of the Lens Baby line is the creative aperture, you literally adjust the aperture by physically placing the aperture ring into the lens and it stays put magnetically, with the creative aperture option you have a specific shaped bokeh.

For example if the aperture has a heart in the middle you will get heart shaped bokeh. The one draw back is the manual focus required by the photographer which takes some getting use to but this also forces you to really think about your photo when composing it. I thoroughly enjoyed using the Lens Baby for an impromptu portrait session.  The resulting photo drew attention to the eyes while the rest of the photo gradually blurred away from the face.

Sample photos

—Melissa Macatee
Contributing Blogger