Lensbaby Composer – Edge 80 Optic is a little different from the others in the optic swap system as it does not require the separate aperture discs supplied with other Lensbaby Optics. This, doubled with the tilt-shift effect makes it a very good lens to start your collection with as you will build up your confidence with this in no time at all.
The aperture is controlled on the lens, via the built in aperture blades. This differs from other Lensbaby optics as they have separate aperture discs that you insert. There are 12 sturdy aperture blades in the Edge 80, from F2.8 to F22 giving a very workable range for the depth of field.
The Edge 80 is a very straightforward lens to work with. It has the additional feature of a close focus lens, which is activated by pulling the ring at the front away from the camera. This adjusts the focal point as it has moved the lens further away from the sensor. This can be utilised as a ‘zoom’ lens or, for best effect, a close up or macro lens. This works best with the tilt angle set to zero, or to maximum of 19º.
Used in conjunction with the Lensbaby Composer, the Edge 80 works very much the same as a traditional lens if the focal plane is in line with the camera. However, if you unlock the Composer and adjust the angle to up or down, left or right, you then achieve the ‘slice’. This gives a very narrow depth of field, blurring the background of the image. With the right subject matter, the image takes on a new perspective; miniaturised, a diorama.
Focusing is as always, via the focusing ring on the Lensbaby Composer, which moves the optics in the lens away or toward the camera. As stated before, it is very important to adjust the diopter or viewfinder in manual mode (there is an adjustment knob or lever beside the diopter) as this will affect your ability to get the subject in focus.
Due to the nature of the Edge 80, it is a more expensive lens within the Lensbaby range, however good quality used lenses can be sourced via reputable internet marketplace sellers, such as Amazon, Ebay, Gumtree and online camera retailers. The build quality is very robust and this optic will last you for many years to come.