Derelict a la Lensbaby

Derelict sailboat
Derelict sailboat, Pugh Marina, Racine, Wis. | Canon 5D Mark II and Lensbaby Composer | Exposed 1/80 sec. @ f/4, ISO 200 (-1 1/3 EV)

On Saturday evening my dad and I went down to Pugh Marina in hopes of catching a moonrise.  But as we got to the lake, we saw a heavy haze on the horizon above Lake Michigan, and the hopes for a moonrise dimmed.  However, I took advantage of the fleeting golden-hour light to walk into a normally gated area at the marina that used to be chock full of derelict boats.  Evidently, the marina has been getting rid of them, because the gate was wide open (it actually has been for days–I just finally took the initiative to walk over to it) and only three remain.  I’m 99% certain that if you dropped this boat into the lake it would just sink.

In my last post about the Lensbaby I was hesitant to recommend it.  I will say that, after using the Lensbaby Composer some more, it does have a learning curve and I think the hardest thing to know is when to use which aperture with this lens.  This is especially true as you have to manually insert and remove the aperture “blades” (washers), and since it’s a rental I don’t want to risk carrying them around and losing them!  What I am slowly discovering is that I like this lens with a little more depth of field than it has wide open or even at “f/2.8.”  The image above was captured at f/4, and I think I may try f/5.6 in my next experiment.  Food for thought.

Perfect zoom blurs every time: Lensbaby Composer

When you don’t want razor sharpness…

I am currently in the process of properly calibrating the focus on my Canon lenses using the LensAlign system I rented after some recent frustrations with back-focusing while using the Canon 7D and 400mm DO IS lens.  At the same time, I am also experimenting with a Lensbaby Composer that I rented to round out the order. It offers the complete opposite of what I am seeking for my other lenses: fuzziness.  In fact, its effect is akin to a zoom blur, only far more consistent in its results than zooming a telephoto lens while dragging the shutter could ever be!

Walking out the front door
Mom walking out the front door, Racine, Wis. | Canon 5D Mark II and Lensbaby Composer | Exposed 1/320 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 1600 (-2/3 EV)

One of the first things I noticed when using this lens is that its color rendition on my 5D Mark II left something to be desired.  I was prepared for and expected to have fun with the highly-selective focus / blurry nature of the Lensbaby, but I did not want wonky color to be a part of the experience.  As I wrote earlier this year, the X-Rite Colorchecker Passport can be an incredibly useful tool when a camera and lens combination is not yielding the kind of color that you expect.  Have two bodies and want similar color?  Profile both of them in the same lighting condition.

More after the jump!

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