Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good 'ideas book' to get you started, but largely non-technical, 3 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Lensbaby: Bending your perspective (Paperback)
I got this book as part of an eBay sale: a Lensbaby Muse, an optics set, a Lensbaby case, and this book, all for about half the cost of the Muse on its own.

So that's the first thing to take note: If you are in the market for a Lensbaby, get one second hand on eBay. A Lensbaby is about the most primitive lens you can put on a DSLR, and some pro photography people just don't get that and sell it after only two or three attempts.

A Lensbaby requires you to use either Aperture (A) or full manual (M) mode on your camera with manual focusing, and some DSLR beginners can't get their head around that, and the Lensbaby ends up on eBay again.

Wait long enough, and one will come along for cheap.

On to the book. Its a showcase of what you can do with a Lensbaby. It also goes through the different types of Lensbaby and the available add-on optics and shows you what each can do.

The book doesn't provide much in the way of advanced instruction simply because there's not much to learn past the basics: most of the technical skill is in knowing how to use your camera in manual modes anyway.

The showcase part is useful though, because it gives you an indication of what sort of things you can aim for.

Taking all that on board, there's still a few important things missing in the book:

No discussion on post processing/lighting. If you are using a Lensbaby, the images that come out are typically lower contrast than you would get using normal lenses, and a bit of post processing love (or subtle use of fill flash) to fix this goes a long way. Not mentioned at all in the book, but for me, pretty fundamental.

No discussion of video. You can actually reproduce the `Lensbaby sweet spot' in Photoshop (assuming you know how to layer a few radial selections over each other and know your Gaussian from your motion blur), but you can't easily create the same effect in post when you are playing with video. So one of the big uses of Lensbaby is video. No discussion whatsoever in the book.

So, to conclude:
If I were being cynical, I would say this is a good sales brochure for Lensbaby. If I were not, I would say this is a good ideas book and shows you what all the various add-on optics can do.

Downside is that the book is not detailed nor specific enough for intermediate-advanced users nor videographers... but they probably don't need a book to get into Lensbaby anyway.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

M. Bhangal "S"
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Somewhere in Northern England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 124