Sunday, March 24, 2019

First Look - LensBaby SOL 45

I was happy to have the opportunity to test the new LensBaby Sol 45 lens. It (plus the similar Sol 22 for mirrorless bodies) is the newest model in the LensBaby lineup. I had seen some images that a friend made with the Sol 22 and was very impressed, so I wanted to check out the Sol 45 (on my DSLR) for myself. I brought it along on my recent Florida travels, and had an opportunity to put it through it paces.

Because it is simpler to use than other LensBaby options, and is priced lower, I did not have high expectations. Boy was I wrong. I was very pleasantly surprised to see how wonderful a lens it is.

Like other LensBaby options, it has a sharp area (that you can move around as you wish), and softens all the other areas outside of the sharp "sweet spot." That provides an artistic look that I really like.

The three examples above show you how well it works with a variety of subjects. Initially I thought it would be best for flowers, but in using it I found it was great with other subjects as well.

The top image was shot at the entrance to Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. It did a super job of rendering the central architectural details razor sharp. In fact the sharpness of this lens is much better than I expected, which made me very happy. There was no mushiness or loss of detail in the sharp sweet spot.

The middle image was shot of an iris planted along a public walkway. The light background is the sidewalk, and I love the way the lens retained the beauty of the flower, while allowing everything around it to be rendered progressively softer.

The bottom image was of a mock-up of a 17th century rifle, and once again the sharp sweet shot is beautifully clear while the surrounding areas are much softer, giving an old world feel.

So three very different subjects, all portrayed beautifully with a bit of an artistic flair by the LensBaby Sol 45.

As I mentioned, the Sol 45 is for DSLR bodies, and the Sol 22 is for mirrorless bodies. Each has a fixed aperture of f/3.5, and the lens must be focused manually, but focus is quick and easy.

Gary Farber, at Hunt's Photo and Video is running a special discount on both the Sol 45 and the Sol 22 for my clients. If this type of lens appeals to you, click on this link for special pricing

As always, Hunt's offers Free Shipping and an easy-going staff of helpful people.

Building - 1/1250 sec. at f/3.5, ISO 400 on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.
Flower - 1/2000 sec. at f/3.5, ISO 200 on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.
Rifle - 1/1600 sec. at f/3.5, ISO 200 on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Life inevitably throws us curve balls that remind us to expect the unexpected."  --Carre Otis

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