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08-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #1
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Lensbabies & Various Filters??

I've got four questions..

#1 I've looked at past threads on LensBabies & I'm still not quite sure just what a Lensbaby does..Can someone explain it for me, please??..

#2 For those of you that use thread-on neutral density filters, what strengths do you own & use??..What brands of ND filters??..Are there any strengths of ND filters that you wish you owned & would like to experiment with??..Do you ever use a ND filter with film in order to compensate for outdoor sunlight when moving from indoors to out with high speed film in the camera??..

#3 Do any members routinely use a star filter??..If so, how many points on the star does your filter produce..Brands??..Do you like using a star filter??..

#4 For those of you that still shoot black & white film, do you use any colored filters to achieve differing contrasts with the film that you shoot..If so, what Wratten number filter(s) do you use..What brands of filter do you own & use..Have you noticed if a particular filter produces differing contrasts with different brands, speeds, or models of film??..

If possible, would you please post an image to illustrate any point that you think I might have difficulty in understanding..

Thanks for any & all answers to these questions..

Bruce

08-25-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote

#1 I've looked at past threads on LensBabies & I'm still not quite sure just what a Lensbaby does..Can someone explain it for me, please??..Bruce
Wikipedia sums it up pretty well - Lensbaby

You can basically move the lens around until you find a sweet spot, depending on what aperture disc will depend on the severity of the effect. f/2.0 - extreme blurriness to f/8 - mild corner blurriness. Probably for people while like to experiment and particularly like the effects make by toy cameras like the Holga or Diana.
08-25-2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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You can make your own aperture, in any shape / size you want, so you don't need a star filter or similar.
08-26-2008, 04:26 PM   #4
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The Lensbaby 3G takes 37mm screw-in filters, and I think the other versions do as well.

There aren't that many 37mm filters available at most photography stores/sites, so depending upon which filter you want, it may have to be a special order.

You can use larger-size filters, but you'd need one or two 37mm extension rings, along with an adapter from 37mm to whatever size filter you're using, as the Lensbaby 3G retracts within the edge of its locking mechanism at some focus points.

I have a 37mm Tiffen Soft F/X 3 filter, which was one of the only soft focus filters in stock at Adorama.

If you click here: Lensbabies >>> Selective Focus SLR camera lenses you'll see that all versions of the Lensbaby are on sale during the month of August.

If you're thinking of getting one, I'd say do it now, as I've never seen them on sale before.

Also, if you go through the Lensbaby site slowly, it should answer all your questions.

Mike

08-26-2008, 06:41 PM   #5
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I use Cokin A filters on all the Lens Babies (except 3G). They make a 37mm adapter ring. The 3G is tough to use with large filters because the rods get in the way. You would need a huge amount of extension to use them .
LBs always have a sweet spot. Changing aperture disk changes the size and bending the lens changes where in the image the sweet spot is placed.

thanks
Barondla

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08-27-2008, 05:19 AM   #6
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I've considered (and bid for) a LensBaby3G but the price is never right. But there are other, cheaper ways to get that toy-camera look. Note that I have used these on little Sony 1mp and 5mp PNS cams, not my K20D, but the principles apply.

[1] With a razor knife, I cut a (fairly) square mask into a piece of thin cardboard. I taped that over the lens -- tape around the outside, of course. The mask produces a (fairly) square image with softness and some flaring at the edges. Definitely that toy-Lomo look! Vary the precision of the cut, and the thickness of the cardboard, to achieve different edge effects. You can also cut masks of other shapes and proportions as desired.

[2] From a wooden ruler and a couple cheap screw clamps, I 'built' a rig to hold a 4-inch diameter magnifying glass in front of the camera. The magnifier itself is mounted on a screw-down universal joint with clamp, so its position and angle can be adjusted with infinite folly. The camera attaches to the ruler stub with a plastic clamp+tripod unit that doubles as a hand grip. I usually place the magnifier about 4-5 inches in front of the camera lens (1-foot minimum focus) and at a 10-30 degrees horizontal angle -- greater angle gives greater distortion. Were I bothered by light from the sides, I'd tape a black plastic bag to the edge of the magnifier and the edges of the camera. In use, the "sweet spot" can be kept in focus whilst the margins suffer more-or-less extreme perspective distortion.

[2a] For even cheaper experimentation, forget the rig, and just hand-hold a big magnifying glass in front of your camera. Depending on your steadiness of grip, strange effects may result.

[2b] Another way to get perspective distortions is to shoot into a mirror positioned obliquely to the lens. You can do this easily (and shakily) hand-held as in [2a], or attach the mirror to the rig in [2] above. You might look for non-flat mirrors to achieve further distortions.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Distortion filters: I bought some star and multi-image and diffraction and other fun filters, and never use them. It's so much easier to achieve those effects in post-processing, rather than fumbling around with filters during a shoot.

Neutral-density filters: More goodies that I bought and under-use, but they're good to have along, just in case. One exception: I have a French CROMOFILTER M2, which is a split-density filter -- half is clear, the other half is about +2 ND, and it rotates. (I've heard that Galen Rowell helped develop this, but that could be wrong.) This is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for shooting bright-sky landscapes or heavily shadowed scenes, where metering for bright vs dark is problematic.

B&W filters: I've given up on film. I bought the K20D and got a set of B&W filters -- and don't use them, because the K20D can apply digital B&W filtering, to better effect. The glass filters do NOT work well with the K20D. But if you're shooting B&W film and want filters, the standards are: Yellow #8 (K2); Orange #16 (G); Green #11 (X1); and Red #25 (A). You might want to look for an old copy of the KODAK MASTER PHOTOGUIDE, a tiny handy reference which overviews many aspects of photography, including these filters. For sources, you can't go wrong with Hoya or Tiffen -- and the old Tiffen package I'm now holding includes a reference sheet detailing what a zillion filters can be used for.
08-27-2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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onOne makes a Photoshop Plugin - FocalPoint. It lets you create your own 'lensbaby' image out of any image you want, or shouldn't. The nice thing about that is your field kit stays the same weight, and you don't have to swap out glass when you want a 'normal' shot.
08-28-2008, 01:12 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Thanks for the replies!!..

Bruce

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