Lensbaby Ignites Creativity with Spark – a Fun and Affordable Selective Focus Lens
The Lensbaby Spark is a fun and affordable addition to the creative effects camera lenses in the Lensbaby lens family. It is a perfect entry point into the Lensbaby system for photo enthusiasts who want a fun way to break out of the box.
Spark is a great way to capture selective focus images with a digital SLR. It features a unique selective focus optic and a tilting lens body, allowing the aspiring enthusiast photographer to capture creative images in-camera that have a sweet spot of focus, surrounded by beautiful artistic blur.
This new Lensbaby speaks to youthful, adventurous photographers looking for fun, creative tools to help tell their unique story. Indomitable photographers who harness energy and inspiration by capturing the magic of fleeting moments through their camera lenses will find a kindred spirit in Spark. Whether documenting their experiences on holiday or their daily escapades in their own hometown, Spark is designed to help aspiring creative photographers express themselves.
Spark is a manual focus lens that provides a fun, tactile shooting experience. Photographers squeeze to focus, and tilt to move the “sweet spot” of focus around the image. It is a lightweight, all plastic (except for the optic, which is a multi-coated glass doublet) 50mm selective focus lens with a f/5.6 fixed aperture available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Spark is compatible with the rest of the optics in the Optic Swap System, and with all Lensbaby 37mm threaded accessory lenses.
“Spark sprouted from Lensbaby’s fun and creative roots,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder. “We crafted Spark for photographers who look to go beyond their predictable kit lens and experiment with visual spontaneity in-camera.”
Spark, like all Lensbaby lenses, is a non-electronic, manual focus lens. Spark works in either Manual or Aperture Priority mode. It is important to make sure the diopter on your camera is set for your eyesight as this will help ensure that what looks to be in focus through the viewfinder is actually in focus. The diopter dial on most SLR cameras can be found right next to the viewfinder. Correctly setting the diopter on your SLR camera is easy, just put any normal lens on the camera, and then rotate the diopter dial until the grid in your viewfinder appears sharp.
Some cameras will work with Spark in Aperture Priority mode, reading the amount of light coming in and automatically adjusting the shutter speed accordingly (you’ll just need to set your camera’s ISO). If your camera will not meter with Spark, change to Manual mode and look at the preview and histogram on the back of your camera after you’re taken a test shot, then manually adjust the shutter speed for a good exposure. For a starting point, try ISO 1600 at 1/60 shutter speed indoors, ISO 400 at 1/250 shutter speed outside on a cloudy day, and ISO 200 at 1/500 shutterspeed outside on a sunny day, and then make small tweaks until the exposure looks correct.
Adjusting the diopter and shooting in manual mode can take a little practice initially but the payoff of being able to shoot fun, creative, unique images with the Lensbaby Spark provides great reward.
Lensbaby’s top tips: getting started…
· Start with an easy subject - something with texture so that you can clearly see the area of focus.
· Point your lens straight ahead. Whilst holding the camera with your thumbs on the back and finger tips from each hand on the front of your Spark, slowly squeeze straight back. Practice getting your sweet spot sharp. In this position, it will always be in the center.
· Look sharp through the viewfinder? Take a few extra shots, just to make sure. Try compressing just a tiny bit more or less each time – the odds are that at least one of these photos will be in focus.
· Once you feel comfortable getting a center-focus shot in focus, try tilting – this will move the sweet spot of focus in the direction you’re tilting. Just remember that a little tilt goes a long way!