Objects of Desire: Lensbaby Sweet 50 and LM10

December 18, 2014

By Greg Scoblete

Lensbaby aficionados know just how sweet an image looks after the background-blurring lens is attached to a camera—your crisply focused subject floats like a bubble in a sea of gentle blur. The company’s newest selective-focus optic is a 50mm prime, the Sweet 50. It sports a 12-blade aperture that’s adjustable from f/2.5 to f/16. You mount the Sweet 50 to your camera using the Lensbaby Composer Pro, Muse, Control Freak or Scout lens bodies, set your camera to manual or aperture priority mode and experiment away. The Sweet 50 rotates in the lens body, and when you’ve settled on your shot you simply twist the manual focus ring to sharpen your subject. You can focus on an object as close as 15 inches or set it to infinity. Also arriving with the Sweet 50 is the LM10, which brings the background blur to your mobile images. To mount the LM10, you attach an adhesive-backed magnetic ring around your smartphone lens. The LM10 will then magnetically attach to the ring, giving you a quick way to add and remove the lens when needed. The rest is handled through the Lensbaby app (iOS and Android), which lets you choose your “sweet spot” of focus and guides you through positioning the lens. The app has the obligatory filters and records videos, too. Both ends of the LM10 are magnetic, so you can attach other magnetic lens accessories to the front of it—a Voltron of inventive mobile photography. 

PRICE: $299 (with Composer Pro); $119 (optic only)

INFO: Lensbaby.com