The Lensbaby Double Glass II ($199.95) is an replace to one of many unique Optic Swap lenses, the Double Glass from 2008. The brand new version provides inner aperture management and is available in a better-built metallic barrel, however retains the identical 50mm doublet components that attracts creative blur round a central candy spot of focus in photographs. Assist for inventive bokeh drop-in plates separates it from the plastic Candy 50 ($119.95), although you should not depend out that extra inexpensive optic in case you do not care about seeing funky shapes in defocused highlights.
Lesbaby’s Optic Swap System
The Double Glass II is just not a lens you need to use along with your digital camera by itself; you additionally want a handbook focus Lensbaby Optic Swap housing, such because the Composer Professional II or Spark 2.0. The lens works advantageous with each, although I feel it makes extra sense as an add-on for Composer Professional II homeowners as a result of the Spark 2.0 bundles the Candy 50 lens.
The Double Glass II and Candy 50 share an optical design, however the former makes use of a bigger and heavier aluminum housing. It measures 1.8 by 1.9 inches (HD) and weighs 4.8 ounces, whereas the plastic Candy 50 is available in at 1.6 by 1.9 inches and 1.6 ounces. The Double Glass II additionally helps magnetic drop-in aperture plates, one thing you’ll be able to’t use with the plastic Candy 50.
Just like the Candy 50, the Double Glass II has a 50mm focal size. On full-frame cameras, it nabs a normal angle of view that is acceptable for each portraits and basic snapshots round city. With an APS-C or Micro 4 Thirds sensor, the focal size is squarely within the vary for portraits. Take a look at the Candy 35 if you’d like one thing wider with an identical optical character.
Should you do not have already got a Composer Professional II housing, you will get it in a bundle with the Double Glass II for $369.95, a good low cost in contrast with shopping for the Composer ($194.95) and Double Glass II ($199.95) individually. For comparability, the Composer Professional II and Candy 50 bundle prices $299.95, so that you pay a premium for the metallic barrel and bokeh plate assist.
The Composer Professional II physique is offered for a litany of digital camera mounts: Canon EF, Canon RF, Fujifilm X, L-Mount Alliance, Micro 4 Thirds, Nikon F, Nikon Z, Pentax Ok, and Sony E. I acquired the Canon RF model for testing and used it alongside the EOS R6 Mark II and EOS R8 digital camera our bodies.
Candy Spot of Focus
The Double Glass II captures photographs with Lensbaby’s distinctive candy spot of focus look. Sturdy area curvature and a comparatively simplistic optical components mix to create photographs with a pointy central space of focus and a blur impact that surrounds it. This character is most seen broad open at f/2.5, however an inner 12-blade aperture means you need to use a smaller f-stop (all the way down to f/16) to increase the realm of focus.
The Composer Professional II’s and Spark 2.0’s tilt adjustment characteristic enables you to transfer the candy spot of focus away from the middle of the body. That is one of many actual methods of the Lensbaby system and a side that expands the flexibility of the optic as a inventive instrument. I used the lens with the Composer housing; I favor its lockable ball-and-socket design to the Spark’s push-and-pull mechanism.
The Double Glass II has a 46mm filter thread and works with macro diopters, however Edge lenses assist nearer focus with no additional equipment. With out a macro diopter, the Edge 50 focuses as shut as 8 inches, in contrast with 15 inches for the Double Glass II.
In order for you a definite impact, attempt an Edge sequence lens; accessible in 35mm, 50mm, or 80mm focal lengths, these optics draw photographs with sharp distinction from middle to edge.
Reshape Your Bokeh
With a lot blur in a picture, there’s ample alternative to catch specular highlights. The Double Glass II attracts them with a modest cleaning soap bubble impact; the perimeters of the bokeh are a bit of brighter than at their middle. It is not as pronounced right here as with a cleaning soap bubble specialist just like the Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100 F2.8 II, nonetheless.
The Bokeh form is determined by how a lot tilt you apply. With out tilt, highlights are usually spherical—I do not anticipate any of the cat’s eye impact with a spherical lens design like this and do not see it. The extra tilt you apply, the extra circles stretch into elliptical discs all through the body. You may see the best way tilt (and focus) have an effect on highlights in our pattern video above.
The included magnetic aperture plates are one other strategy to change the form of highlights, add some texture to the blur, or each relying on the scene. The Double Glass II bundles 9 plates with totally different shapes lower into them (together with a round f/4) and a magnetic wand instrument to tug them out of the lens. The wand features a storage compartment for the discs, too.
I used the snowflake plate at a neighborhood botanical backyard so as to add some texture to photographs just like the one under. You may stack as much as three plates to create totally different results, however bear in mind to set the interior aperture broad open to f/2.5 once you use drop-in plates to get the most effective outcomes.
Lensbaby additionally sells a Artistic Bokeh Optic for $99.95 with the identical set of plates. Its optical components is less complicated: a single uncoated glass factor that produces much less central sharpness and softer distinction, usually talking. I have not examined it, however photographs I’ve made with the unique Single Glass Optic introduce important false colour in backgrounds (LoCa), an impact I do not observe in photographs from the Double Glass II (or Candy 50 for that matter).
A Traditional Will get New Life
The Lensbaby Optic Swap system has caught round all through the years as a distinct segment possibility for impressionistic photographers, and we’re very joyful that Lensbaby introduced again one of many optics that launched it. Sure, the Double Glass II overlaps considerably with the extra inexpensive Candy 50, however the former’s sturdier housing and assist for impact plates are certain to lure inventive photographers who cherish creative expression above all else.
If you have already got a Candy optic however need extra bokeh results, the Artistic Bokeh optic is a worthwhile different for round $100, although we do not anticipate its single factor to seize photographs with the identical character because the Double Glass II. In the meantime, in case you’re shopping for a brand new Composer Professional II housing and are not certain which optic to begin with, the Double Glass II is price getting over the Candy 50 due to its customizable bokeh and higher construct high quality.